5 common mistakes internationals make in job searching in Denmark (and how to fix it)

Being an international is tough, especially in Denmark. We have to learn not only the culture and language but how to go about job searching in Denmark. I understand this feeling being an American and living in Denmark. It has had its challenges, especially in finding your dream job while living in a foreign country.

2024-05-07 17:37:00
Move On

Now that I have had my own experiences working and living in Denmark, I also currently work with internationals in helping them land a position in Denmark so they feel a sense of belonging. While working with many internationals from within Denmark and those coming from outside of Denmark, I have found 5 common mistakes that I find most internationals make. Want to know what I found out? Then keep reading!  

Communicating Your Value

As internationals, we tend to forget that there is a person on the other side and not just a company. Denmark's work culture is not hugely hierarchical but many internationals talk to Danish companies as if they are a god. We need to remind themselves that we are a valuable resource and have to explain what we are able to offer.

Here are some tips to help get started - How are you able to provide value to the company? What accomplishments have you achieved in your studies, in your work experiences and lifetime? Yes you heard me. Your life time! Danes want to get to know you as a person but also want to know what you can bring to the table.

Choosing the wrong level of formality

Most Danish companies are very business casual. It is very common at work to wear nice blue jeans (no holes) and a collared shirt and/or a nice dress for women. But not all of Danish companies are business casual. So many internationals get confused in choosing what to wear for their job interviews.

So how do you find out? Simple. Look at their company website and look at their pictures. What clothes are they wearing? What styles are they using? Also, look at their LinkedIn page and take a look at their employee's profile pictures. Take a look at their headshot photos to get a glimpse of what is acceptable.

Don't just send the application. Look to see if there is an opportunity to build a relationship with the company to help your application be remembered.

Not having a LinkedIn profile

Do not underestimate the power that LinkedIn has in Denmark. This is mainly due to the fact that we might be coming from a country where LinkedIn is not as popular or as important to help land a job.

According to Next Business Academy, more than 2 million inhabitants have a registered LinkedIn profile, which is approximately more than 2/3rds  of the Danish population!

WorkinDenmark claims that almost 60% of Danish companies use LinkedIn as a means to find their next employee. So go out there and create your LinkedIn profile today!

Relying on written communication

One of the biggest fears that we as internationals face (also people in general) is making that call to Danish companies. Why? It is mainly due to the fear of rejection. For us internationals especially, our Danish might not be good and we are embarrassed at the level of Danish that we know. So the application is sent without seeing whether or not there is an opportunity to contact the decision maker in the job ad. So take the steps to learn how to ask the right questions and build a relationship on the other end.

How to start? You can start off talking in Danish. Danes appreciate that you try to make the effort. Then switch back to English if you need to. 

It is tough and honestly, it takes a lot of practice. But it takes time to master it. Don't just send the application. Look to see if there is an opportunity to build a relationship with the company to help your application be remembered.

Lacking Confidence

Finally, the number one mistake that we make as internationals is being pessimistic. "I will never find a job because I am not fluent in Danish, I don't have this degree, I don't have these skills and competences, I have this ethnicity and background so I won't land a job in Denmark." Theses are the many statements that I hear from internationals. But they tend to forget about the talents that they have excelled in. If they are lacking in an area, then they need guidance in how to fix it. Take Danish courses, go online to learn how to gain the skill that needs improvement or join a course. These are the many examples. As an international, the last thing you want to hear is to go get a cleaning job. This does not help with your confidence so break the negativity off. You have value and worth and have so much to give to Danish society. So go show them!


Career Denmark

Helping internationals in learning how to communicate their value to Danish companies

Career Denmark brings additional value by creating events, courses and talks to promote your international brand and services

Have an event that is organized by Career Denmark in the area of job searching to help show your company brand as being internationally friendly. This can be in the form of giving a course, talk, network recruiting or doing a mentorship day.

Creating your event with Career Denmark will help show that you are international friendly and/or are open to recruit internationals as part of your company branding.

According to Danmark Statistik, 600,000 + inhabitants in Denmark are internationals. That is approximately more than 1/5th of the Danish total population!

Career Denmark, has organically gained 2000+ followers on LinkedIn and Facebook page followers in total within less than a year of its launch. Kate Dahl has worked with numerous organizations like Djøf, IDA, Dansk Magisterforening, HK, KarriereCoach, International House North Denmark, Odense International Community and Intercultural House Aarhus.

Interested and want to learn more? Write to [email protected] or visit www.careerdenmark.dk.


Kate Dahl, CareerDenmark.dk

Kate Dahl is an American, who has lived in Europe for 11.5 years (6.5 years in Germany and 5 years in Denmark). She has her Master of Arts from the University of Flensburg and was an English teacher in Germany for 4.5 years. She reinvented herself when she came to Denmark and was in the sales start-up SaaS industry for 4.5 years as well. Now, following her passion, she helps in training internationals in how to communicate their value to Danish companies as she has had practical experience in landing jobs in Denmark with all types of job search strategies.

Learn more by going to her website: www.careerdenmark.dk

26.589 læsere
Opdateret d. 07.05.2024

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