Six golden rules for the Austrian job hunt

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 26 Aug, 2014 Updated Tue 26 Aug 2014 14:11 CEST
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So you're looking for a job in Austria, but you don't know where to start. Well don't fret, we've talked to a career expert who explains how to get ahead in the job game.


You don't want your application to end up in the rejection pile, so do take your job-seeking seriously - and remember these days the competition is high so you need to stand out from the crowd.
The Local spoke to Lydia J. Goutas, managing partner at top level recruitment company Lehner Executive Partners, for some of her tips on how to succeed in Austria. 
1. Do your homework
It might sound obvious, but you can't just send in a bog-standard CV and cover letter. You have to sell yourself as a candidate, and really put some effort into it. 
First, look at the company's career page, look them up on social media, especially LinkedIn. Read any news stories about them that you can find. Consume it all, you need to be aware of who they are before telling them who you are.
Do be accurate about your skills and don't take credit for other's work. If you've said you speak perfect German, but don't, that will soon become apparent. 
Goutas also recommends being private about your job search - by all means tell your family but don't shout about it on social media. "Austria is a small community and you never know who might be talking to your future employer, and possibly telling them something negative!" 
Don't apply for five jobs at the same company as that will put an employer off - you need to be clear about what you want from the job and what you're skilled to do. 
2. Learn German
Goutas says that most English speaking applicants will still be expected to have a working knowledge of German, or show that they are prepared to learn. "Just having English often does not cut it," she said. "If you know you're going to be applying for a job in Austria make sure you do a German course, wherever you're based."
As well as that, Goutas says that having an understanding of local habits and Austrian culture is very important. "You need to understand how a small country works, within Europe."
If possible talk to your Austrian contacts and find out how things function in their workplace. 
3. Good presentation
Not only should your CV look good, but so should the photo you send with it. "We often say that we invite people to interview in spite of their pictures," says Goutas. "Make sure it's a photo that's well lit, where you can actually see your face."
She also says that some applicants make the mistake of thinking their CV needs to be very streamlined, and therefore miss out important information. Do list all of your achievements and stress whether you can be flexible - which is important for companies these days. Employers are looking for hands-on people who really know their area of expertise. 
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4. Focus on networking
Use social media and contacts to find out information about the company you want to work for - but don't corner someone at a party in the hope that they'll give you a job - they won't appreciate it.
Employers are a little more cautious in Austria, and if you're from outside of the EU you really have to have some unique skills if you want to bag a top job - so find out what kind of things a potential employer is looking for. Perhaps your contacts know something about the company you want to work for? 
5. Sell yourself
You have to think of yourself as a salesperson when you're applying for a job - you're selling yourself and your skills. You're selling the solution for them. Perhaps the person you're replacing was let go, perhaps they're expanding. But they're hiring for a reason and you need to know what it is. Think: How can I solve their current problem?
Put together a killer cover letter explaining why you're applying and why you're the perfect match.  
6. Be patient
If you're from the US or the UK, for example, you might have to be more patient with Austrian employers. The lead times can be longer, and direct employers may be more cautious. In Austria if you hire the wrong person then it can be hard to get rid of them - not to mention expensive. 
Stay on top of it, follow up with them, but most of all, be patient. 



The Local 2014/08/26 14:11

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