Find a Job in Colombo

How to look for work in Colombo

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Sri Lankan Job Market

If one is looking for a job in Sri Lanka, various surveys have found that the best-paying and in-demand professional jobs are available in software and mechanical engineering, nursing, advertising, digital marketing, accountancy and finance, bank relationship management, and systems analysis. There is a dire need for people with good communication skills and IT competency in the private services sector, especially since just 20% of Sri Lankans are able to communicate in English. Many also do not have the basic IT skills. The tourism and industry sectors have the largest number of foreign entrepreneurs involved in them. For more information, see: Labour_Demand_Survey_2017_Report.

CVs in Sri Lanka

A resume or CV is a document which covers relevant professional information, academic background, and key personal details. These days, resumes are generally one-page long. But, how to differentiate between a resume and a CV? Briefly:

  • A resume is a brief overview of work and educational experience. It is popular in the US, when one wishes to apply for employment. Usually, it contains just one page making it easy for a reviewer to refer to it.
  • A CV (curriculum vitae) is a more in-depth look at work and educational experience. It is used in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Typically, it contains two or more pages. A CV is usually preferred in Sri Lanka.

Here are two useful links, the first which contains a basic template of what-all a CV/resume needs to contain, and the second, which is a helpful read, "CV versus Resume?" from our website.

Layout of CV in Sri Lanka

The CV (curriculum vitae) should contain the following:

  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page, with: name, phone number, fax number, address, and email address.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically, starting from the earliest to the latest. List your work experience with your designation/post/title, the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of what you accomplished while there.
  • 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 should be mentioned. If you received any special honours, list those too.
  • 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 translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English and it is not your first language, be sure to have it checked first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.
  • Computer Skills: Programs, languages known, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc. Level of IT skill should be mentioned.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.

Tips to Create a CV in Sri Lanka

  • Writing style should be simple and clear.
  • Use standard paper and a font such as Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10 font).
  • Always hand in printed original copies, using high quality paper. Do not send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care that the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling in your resume are perfect. Do not use abbreviations. Emphasize (bold type) sections and things that are should stand out.
  • Ensure that your CV is organized in such a way that information can be found easily.
  • Do not date or sign your resume.
  • Create a base CV which you can adjust each time you apply for a new job.

Cover Letter for Sri Lanka

A cover letter should accompany your job application. It formally introduces you to the prospective employee and makes your interest in the position you are applying for clear. Besides being referred to as a cover letter, it is also called a covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation.

  • Header – While using a standard business letter style, it should contain the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date the letter is being sent, given after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header has the salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
  • Introduction – Gives, in brief, the post applied for and should be created to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body – Points out the suitability of the applicant for the job at hand 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 experience. If other things have to be highlighted, such as date of joining, it may be included as well.
  • Closing – Here the applicant politely says that he/she will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer at the earliest. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation "ENCL" may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.

Check out the cover letter templates at:

Job Search in Sri Lanka

After having made your CV, the next step would be to start your job search. Openings are available in online job sites, newspaper classifieds, on websites such as and others.

At times, companies also have a 'Careers' tab on their official websites. These often have an online registration form which one can fill up. Once you are on their data-base, they could contact you whenever a job suited to your credentials comes up. Sometimes, they have certain positions which are open and can be applied for immediately.

Recruitment firms also help to look for jobs for their customers. Their HR recruiters or 'head-hunters' are always searching the web for people whose profiles would fit their client's needs. To catch their eye, you should have an account on social forums like LinkedIn and other job portals.

Search Engines for Jobs in Sri Lanka

Search engines give you the chance to review a variety of jobs, and short-list openings which are suitable to you, based on your skill-sets. You would improve your visibility if you post your CV online so that hiring managers can find you, if they want a person with a profile matching yours. Job portals also have the facility of creating an e-mail job alert or an SMS alert, to let you know when new jobs in your particular skill-area become available.

Sri Lankan job sites are the following:

Colombo City Jib Search Engines:


If you are a part of the EU, job seekers can also access the European job mobility portal: EURES. This resource provides job-vacancies and related information. It informs expatriates and others on living and working conditions abroad. It provides a CV posting facility.


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


Expat and other social forums are another valuable resource for job seekers to look into. EasyExpat's Sri Lanka forum is a great resource. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.

Newspaper Job Ads in Sri Lanka

Several papers have a dedicated classifieds section once or twice a week. Mostly, they are there in the Sunday papers. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media. These classifieds appear in:

Recruitment Agencies in Sri Lanka

Most agencies specialize in jobs for a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. Certain "Head hunting" agencies are hired by major multinationals and 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.

Career Fairs in Sri Lanka

Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. At such an event, you can approach a large variety of employers in one place and apply for various suitable positions. You also benefit by getting a chance to interact directly.
Entrance is usually free but registering online might be encouraged. Bring several copies of your resume and dress formally as there may be on the spot interviews leading to direct job offers.

One of the best-known job fair in Sri Lanka is the Edex Expo which is an annual event. It takes place at an appropriate time in the academic year and offers educational opportunities for higher studies abroad, career counselling and a job fair, all happening simultaneously.

You can also try out career fairs in your home country that help to get you jobs abroad.

Networking in Sri Lanka

Networking is key in Sri Lanka, as is true of most countries. Many jobs are never advertised. You can get such a job if you know the right people.

Through word of mouth, information travels and job seekers and employees are put in touch with each other. One should, therefore, talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have any connections in the area you wish to work in. Expat events can also be a good way to find out how other expats found work.

You could check to see if their company has any other openings. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedln or expat forums.

Update 22/07/2018


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The number one job site in Sri Lanka provides a full online service for anyone looking for a new job vacancy or a new course. advertise vacancies on behalf of employers, recruitment agencies who are looking for talented staff and courses on behalf of top course providers in Sri Lanka. Registered users of, can receive email job alerts, apply for job vacancies,create job seeker profiles and store CVs securely online.



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