10 tips to increase your chances of getting your dream job in Norway

  1. What works for job-seekers in your country, may not work for Norway. Find out how the job-seeking process works in Norway and how you should adapt. For instance, display of confidence is perceived differently across cultures. By overselling yourself towards Norwegian employers, you will be perceived as a dishonest person who lacks integrity.

2. The job advert is the employer’s wish list. Many positions are filled by less qualified people than asked for in the advert. You should still apply, even if you do not fill all their criteria.

3. Adapt your CV and application letter to the ‘Norwegian style’ to ensure that your application will be read by the employer. Templates in English and Norwegian are presented and distributed with my book ‘Applying for jobs in Norway‘ and my course with the same name. Templates in Norwegian can also be found on the internet.


4. Use the application letter to emphasise your motivation and to showcase what you can contribute with in the job you are applying for. Make sure that your application also includes all transferable skills such as people skills, IT and communication skills, project management, accounting, budgeting, etc. 

5. Tailor your CV for each position and employer. A standard, ‘one size fits all’ CV will give the impression that you are not motivated enough to make an effort with your application.

6. For the same reason as above, never submit or hand out your CV without a tailored application letter explaining why you want to work for this particular employer.

7. You may submit your application letter and CV in English until your Norwegians skills are on an intermediate level. The employer may feel that you have deceived them if you submit your documents in Norwegian any sooner.

8. Show an interest by calling the contact person in the job advert to ask relevant questions. Their answers may enable you to submit a more tailored application than your competitors. Do not waste their time by asking about information that may easily be found on their webpage.

9. Prepare some good questions to ask during the job-interview. It will be perceived as lack of motivation and interest if you only answer their questions and don’t have any of your own.

10. In Norway, there are many job-seekers with higher education, but less with work-experience. Temporary jobs are easier to get, and working as a temp can be an excellent way of building your experience and your network, whilst looking for your dream job.

If you found these tips useful, you will learn much more from reading Karin’s book ‘Applying for jobs in Norway‘ or attending one of her courses with the same title.

The books are available at Speak Norsk school and on the website: https://ellisculture.com/en/books/ . Courses can be found on www.facebook.com/EllisCulture/events

This article is written by Karin Ellis. Karin Elis is the founder of Ellis Culture and the author of ‘Working with Norwegians‘,  and ‘Flerkulturelle arbeidsplasser’. Her books and seminars will help you crack the hidden codes in the Norwegian job market and workplaces. They provide suggestions on how to deal with the additional challenge of being a foreign job-seeker and/or employee.