For foreigners, however, the Norwegian job market is a different story, and they may find it difficult to find a job in Norway. Immigration into Norway has only grown in the last few years, and previously, Norway never had a tradition of immigration. This results in Norwegian employers feeling quite reluctant to hire foreigners. Almost everyone in Norway is of Norwegian descent, which makes the competition even more fierce for foreigners trying to find work there. Many foreigners in Norway report a general “fear of foreigners”.
In comparison to Norwegian workers, it is usually much more difficult for foreigners to find work which corresponds to their education and their previous work experience. For example, doctors often have to repeat a lot of their coursework before finding a suitable job and engineers have been known to end up working as janitors. You can increase your chance of finding employment in Norway if you apply for jobs within certain sectors of the economy, mainly in tourism, fisheries, services and the oil and gas industriesNorway has been ranked as the most attractive country for migrant workers in Scandinavia. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. According to a recent study by the University of Bergen, Norwegian employers favor ethnic Norwegians even when a foreigner is better qualified for the job. The key message to take on board is that unless you work extremely hard to integrate yourself into Norwegian culture, your job prospects will be limited.
So the very first step to getting a Norwegian career is to make yourself as proficient as possible in the language.
If you come to Norway from a non-EU country to work, you need to complete 300 hours of tuition in Norwegian, unless you are a citizen of one of the Nordic countries.
This is actually very useful. While having English as a first language does provide a definite advantage, a good knowledge of both written and spoken Norwegian provides better access to work opportunities.
There are excellent state-provided Norwegian classes which allow immigrants to learn Norwegian and acquire a good knowledge of how things work in Norway.
A new registration scheme now allows EU nationals to live and work in Norway without applying for a residence permit, as long as they register with the police.
All EU nationals who want to stay in Norway for more than three months must register with the police, showing that they have a basis for residence, be presenting a valid identity card or passport, and be submitting documents proving that they will not be a burden on the public welfare services.
For immigrants coming from outside the EU, the process is more complicated.
Up-to-date information and applications procedures are available at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration
Job seeking sources
Writing a good cover letter and CV is the first but most important step in successful job seeking. The application letter should then be adapted towards each individual job application. When applying for jobs advertised in Norwegian, it is best to have your CV translated into Norwegian. The CV should include key information from previous jobs and a short personal description.
The aim is to convince employers of how motivated you are to work for them. It can work well to approach prospective employers even when no job has been advertised, as initiative tends to be viewed