How to look for work in Oslo


Job Market in Norway

Norway has a well established economy and there is work for skilled workers. There is a particular demand for software and systems engineers, offshore engineering, and biotechnology engineering and manufacturing.

Even though Norway is not officially part of the EU, there is free movement of workers, mutual recognition of diplomas, health and safety at work, and common labour laws between the EU and Norway. Norway is unique in that it has a very compressed wage structure. This results in all jobs being higher paid than they would be elsewhere, even jobs requiring a lower skill set. This results in many companies choosing to retain a small workforce.

Norwegian is usually a requirement for finding work.

For more information on Norway's job market, explore the Norwegian Labour & Welfare (NAV) or telephone 0047 800 33 166 (free within Norway). For laws relating to business and industry, contact:
Nafaringslivets Forlag A/S
PO Box 5145 Majorstua
N-0302 Oslo, Norway
Tel: + 47 22 965429
Fax: + 47 22 698210


A resume or CV (curriculum vitae) is needed to apply for a professional position. Unless you are fluent in Norwegian or the position is only for Norwegian speakers, a resume in English is admissible. The resume should contain:

Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including:
phone number
fax number
email address
Note: Norwegian CVs may be kept on file for lengthy periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number, with the international access code and e-mail are most important.

Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with:
your title
the name of the company you worked for
the dates of your employment
a brief description of your 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.

Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Long or prestigious courses are also interesting. Point out a course's duration in hours. List these in a chronologically inverse order.

Languages: This is pertinent to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in Norwegian, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.

Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet, etc.

Recommendations: Copy your correspondent's name and title exactly as printed on his or her business card, letter head, or company information. Make sure that the people you have mentioned as referees are aware of it and that they have agreed to say something positive about you.

Resumes should not be longer than 2 pages.


  • Style should be straightforward. Use a standard A4 sheet with Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10) 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. Emphasize sections and things that are important with underlines or bold type.
  • Make sure your resume is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base resume that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.
  • Attach a cover letter specific to the job you are applying for with the resume.

For some basic templates as well as templates specific to the job, look at

Job Search

    A checklist of what you need to start your Norwegian career:
  • Networking
  • Write a resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Research potential employers
  • Find job opportunities
  • Write cover letters
  • Complete job applications
  • Interview
  • Follow-Up
  • Get hired!


In the Norwegian job market, networking and personal recommendations are an excellent way to find out about positions. Employers generally prefer to hire someone they have worked with before, or who is known by someone else they trust. Foreign job seekers living in Norway should expect to network in order to gain employment. Seek recommendations through friends, colleagues, professional associates and industry contacts. Expatriates may also make contacts through clubs, such as Rotary and Lion's Clubs.

Online Tools

European Employment Services (EURES) offers a comprehensive vacancy database. This is a register of jobs in countries within the EEA (European Economic Area). The EURES website allows employers and job-seekers to be matched up on line.


Most newspapers feature a "Situations Vacant" column. Any local paper should have listings, but the best resource is the main Oslo daily, Aftenposten. It can also be read online and is only available in Norwegian.
Another option is Dagens Neringsliv.


Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. There are instances where upon submitting a resume or by completing a job application you are asked to sit down for an impromptu interview so make sure to be prepared for every step of the process.

Come to the interview prepared. Get directions and arrive early as punctuality is extremely important. Looking the part is an important element to an interview. Remember to dress on the side of more formal in a professional suit or dress (for women). Research the company and industry to demonstrate your knowledge. Be careful to address each person by title (Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Miss) and by last name. It is also a good idea to show your interest by asking questions about the job when appropriate. Refer to the business norms section more information of business interactions.

You may follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your final interest in the position.

Temporary Agencies

If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.

Telephone: 51934100

Norges Vikar
Telephone: 23 10 37 00

Kelly Services
Telephone: 888-222-6495

Work Visas & Permits

Citizens of full European (EFTA, EEA) Member Countries are able to live and work in Norway without a visa or work permit.
Non EU nationals must apply for a work permit or Norway Working Holiday Visa (only available for the non EU nations of Switzerland, New Zealand, and Australia).

Work permits must be applied for by the employer. Permits for skilled workers (granted for up to 12 months) and seasonal workers (3 months) can be applied for by jobseekers at a Norwegian Embassy or Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

Skilled Worker/Specialist

Skilled workers/specialists are persons who are trained in a particular field or have special qualifications needed in Norway. The skilled worker/specialist training must be documented by a certified translation into Norwegian or English. To apply for a work permit as a skilled worker/specialist, the applicant must have a concrete job offer, and the work permit will only be valid for a particular job and particular place of employment. The permit is normally granted for one year at a time and is renewable. Wages and terms of employment may not be less favourable than the current collective pay agreement or those that are normal within the trade or profession in Norway.

After three years, the skilled worker/specialist has the right to apply for a settlement permit. Once the skilled worker/specialist has been granted a settlement permit, they may seek other places of employment. Skilled worker/specialists may apply for other types of residence or work permit from Norway.

    To apply as a Skilled Worker or Specialist:
  • Application for with (passport) photograph
  • Copy of passport
  • A filled-in offer of employment form or contract of employment providing the same information as the offer of employment form
  • Documentation of education/training/work experience translated into English or Norwegian

Business Etiquette

Norwegians tend to be a straight forward and direct people. In day to day life, Norwegians are casual, but polite. This pared with the rarity in which they say please can come across as rude, but understand that this is merely a cultural difference. Norwegians do say "Thank you" frequently. Actions matter more than words in Norwegian culture. Keeping calm and restraining oneself from loud speech and actions symbolizes control. Norwegians tend to keep business and personal relations separate, resulting in a reserved but pleasant business environment. People are usually referred to by first name, but introductions with titles and surnames are common.

Norwegians value equal opportunities for all people, including women, sexual minorities, foreign cultures, religions and races.

Update 29/01/2011


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