by Amy Menchhofer
You’ve landed in Madrid, passed through customs, and checked into your temporary digs at one of the city’s hostels. But you’re not looking for a whirlwind tour of the Spanish capital. You’re looking to stay. So, first things first — how can you find a job in Madrid?
There are two major online job search engines that are used throughout Spain: infojobs.net and infoempleo.com. Both of these sites are extremely user-friendly. You can search the listings (narrowing the search by city, industry, sub-industry and key word) without signing up for the site, but to submit your résumé you’ll have to join. Both sites are entirely in Spanish, but you will find the occasional listing in English. A bit of advice — do some online research to find out the Spanish equivalent to your educational level. Most listings include the minimum required degree level and it’s best to know your way around that terminology. Once you’ve applied to a job you’ll be able to check your “status” on your private menu. As the companies review your résumé, they can change your status to “in process,” “finalist,” or “discarded.” If you see that you’re one of the first two, expect a phone call shortly.
Are you looking to work in the hospitality industry? There are listings for these fields on the above-mentioned sites, but your best bet is to wander the streets of the city center (where the bars, restaurants, and hotels are at their densest) searching for help wanted signs. These pop up most frequently in the early summer months when tourism skyrockets. You’ll do best to dress professionally, wander with CV in hand, and expect frequent rejections.
Speaking of the CV, how should you create your Spanish résumé? Start off with the basic personal information. Strange as it may seem to some expats, in addition to the standard address and contact information, your résumé should also include your date of birth, nationality, marital status, and a photograph. From there go on to list your education and work history, and round it out with your special skills — highlight your native English! If you’re in a business or technical field, try to include specific details of your past projects, including, if possible, project scope and the economic figures. Don’t forget the cover letter. Most of the listings on InfoJobs and InfoEmpleo require a cover letter to submit your resume. So write up a good one (in Spanish) and get a native to check it for you. In my experience, that letter can prove more important than the résumé.
Remember: Finding work in Spain is made immensely easier by having an enchufe, or a good connection. Family friends, acquaintances, your new landlady’s brother — all can lend a major hand in helping find employment. So when you begin your search, be sure to get the word out there.
Finally, are you hoping to teach English (or another language) in Madrid? The rules of the game change a little within this industry, so be sure to check out Katie’s upcoming post on this topic.