How to look for work in Sofia

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Bulgarian Job Market

Expats who have permanent residence status can easily qualify for any job they are offered in the same way as Bulgarians. Starting a job involves issuance of a working permit which is applied for by the employer and must be renewed on an annual basis.
The application and interview process is similar to those used in the UK. The working week is usually 40 hours, and daily work is 8 hours or more, with an additional hour for a lunch break.
In most jobs, Bulgarian is required. However, in jobs such as teaching and IT, fluent English is preferred. Another great job option for expats is to look for a job in tourism since it is a developing job market in the country, especially in Sofia.

CVs in Bulgaria

The first information a Bulgarian employer will want to see is your CV (curriculum vitae) - an in depth look at your work and educational experience that should not be longer than two pages.

Layout of CVs in Bulgaria

Your CV should contain the following information about you:

  • Personal Information: At the top of the page include your name
  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information such as phone number, address, and email address.
  • Purpose: The position that you are applying for
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically, starting with your most recent employment. List your work experience with: your title, the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your tasks and achievements in that job
  • Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career. If relevant for the position you are applying for, you can expand on your degrees and/or specialization
  • Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses, or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Note if you received any special honors
  • Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can read, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in a language that is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important
  • Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.
  • References: If not asked for in the job advertisement, you may indicate that references are available upon request

Tips for Submitting a CV in Bulgaria

  • Style should be straightforward. Use standard paper and a simple font.
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Don't use abbreviations.
  • Make sure your CV is as organized as possible.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base CV that you can adjust in each application.

Cover Letters for Bulgaria

A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent.

Format of Bulgarian Cover Letter

  • Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation, ideally, addressing the person who will be reading the letter (if unsure, check the company's webpage or LinkedIn page).
  • Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, how you found out about it, and a brief (one sentence) outline of why it interests you / why you are suited for it. The introduction paragraph should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experiences. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
  • Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer, although many favor the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line.

Job Search in Sofia

Job Search Engines in Bulgaria

Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts to be notified when jobs are available.
The following are the biggest search engines available in English:
Job websites for Sofia:

EURES

As part of the EU, job seekers can access the European job mobility portal EURES. This resource provides information about job vacancies and the labor market. It also provides information on the living and working conditions, and a CV posting service.

EURAXESS

EURAXESS is an international initiative that supports European and non-European researchers hoping to find research careers in Europe. Available research positions are posted online.

Newspapers

Several papers have a helpful classifieds section. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media.
These include:

Recruitment Agencies in Bulgaria

Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also "Head hunting" agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals. To find an appropriate agency, look for "employment agencies" in the yellow pages or go to a directory of agencies.

Recruitment agencies in Bulgaria:

Career Fairs in Bulgaria

Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are usually a large variety of employers you can visit in one day and apply. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot.
You can also try going to career fairs in your home country that specialize in jobs abroad.

Networking in Bulgaria

Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work. Expat events can also be a great way to find out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln or expat forums.

Teaching English in Bulgaria

English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools in Bulgaria recognize TEFL or other teaching certifications. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.

Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.

Find a School to Teach English in Sofia

The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the best.

Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.
It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.

Teaching in the state sector is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience and the best qualifications. These positions offer the paid holidays, excellent salary, and a good pension.

Teach Private English Classes in Bulgaria

It is also an option to give private lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's Job Listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.

Teaching Certificates

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

Interviewing in Bulgaria

Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. It is common for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.

  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

Temporary Agencies in Sofia

If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. Jobs may consist of office work, babysitting, gardening, security or any other types of work. They will try to fit with occupations that fit your skill set. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.

Work Visas & Permits in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a member of the EU therefore citizens of the EU and European Economic Area do not require a working visa. Those coming from countries outside the EU will need to obtain both a residence permit and a work permit.

Please refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.


Update 6/06/2018


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