Looking for work in Sweden?
Here’s a run-down of what to include in your Swedish CV.
Finding work in Sweden can be intimidating and frustrating for a foreigner. Not all people move to Sweden with work lined up – some are following a partner with mere hopes that they find a job that works for them. This is made even more difficult when you’re still learning the language and adjusting to a new culture. One of the most important aspects to your job hunt is preparing your CV for the Swedish job market. To help you adjust your resume to your new environment we offer you tips on Swedish CV writing.
CV vs. Résumé
A CV, curriculum vitae, is Latin for “biography” and is generally considered a longer form of a résumé, although it serves the same purpose. The average CV is a one page summary of your qualifications, competency and work experience as it relates to the position you are applying for. The layout of your CV should be clear and simple to read and not cluttered with too much information.
What to include on your CV
Stick to what is relevant. It’s not necessary to include all studies and jobs held. Only include what is interesting and applicable to the job you are applying for. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning ‘moderate’ or ‘just right’. The term is also used to sum up the common Swedish tendency to avoid extremes in all aspects of life. Keep this in mind as you construct your CV for a Swedish company.
The following is a run-down of what should be included in your CV. Remember to list this information in chronological order with most recent experience at the top of each title.
Your name, contact details and date of birth
Indicate name of school, which city it is located and what degree you have or plan to receive. List the courses that are relevant to the job, with the most important first.
Any work experience, including internships and volunteer work should be briefly mentioned. Emphasize positions that are relevant to the position you seek and briefly describe what tasks you had, your responsibilities and your results.
Include computer skills, language competencies, travel, special achievements, awards and community organizations you belong to.
Interests and hobbies can be listed here as well as a listing of your experience and skills that are not directly relevant to the job, but that might describe you as a person.
Note: Through our research we found that many people are divided on the issue of including personal interests in a CV. Some sources claim that this information is valuable to companies because it provides a better description of the applicant. While others argue that a CV should only include information that is absolutely relevant for the job concerned and that an applicant should be judged purely on competence and not on the basis of such irrelevant things.
So, it’s up to you to decide if listing your personal interests will be of any help to you getting a job.
1-2 professional references and maybe 1 personal reference that can vouch for your personality, work ethic, and achievements for a long period of time.
Note: Some sources suggest offering these references only if the job ad requests it. Otherwise they recommend writing “References available upon request”.
Swedish Style Cover letter
When applying for a job in Sweden, you will need to send in a cover letter with your CV stating why you want the job. It should be no longer than a couple paragraphs explaining who you are, what experience you have and why you are the right person for the job.
CV and Cover letter in Swedish or English?
Most businesses will accept a CV and cover letter in English, although writing it in Swedish will certainly help, if you have the language skills. It may not hurt to send a Swedish and English version of each, however, you should clearly indicate what your language competencies are to avoid any confusion.
A photo is usually not required. So it is up to you to decide whether you want to include one.
Written by: Kristan Coleman
Research by: Carmel Heiland
Do you have a question or comment about preparing your CV in Sweden? Share it below!