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How NOT to apply for work in Denmark (part 2)

How NOT to apply for work in DenmarkIf you have a hard time finding work don't put all the blame on “the Danes” that they don’t want to hire you because you are foreigners. In many situations that may be the case, but in many situations the foreign applicants approach the topic of finding work in a completely counterproductive way. You can find other articles about how NOT to apply for work in Denmark

In this article I will share some of the common mistakes I have seen in the applications people send to Worktrotter and I am sure they send similar applications to other companies. With the described approach you break some of the basic traits of the local work culture and like in any other country doing that reduces your chances to being seen as the right candidate for a job.

You can find more hints and tips about DOs and DON'Ts in Danish work culture in the book
 Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish work culture 
Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish workplace culture

1. I often get applications where in the sender line it is mentions Mr, Mrs, Dr before the name. This does not go well with Danes. It looks all too formal. Considering the fact that one of the central pillars in Danish work culture is a low level of hierarchy, you don’t want to give the slightest impression that you prefer hierarchy. Example: Dr. Oludiran Palau

2. In many cases the sender's names are in non-Latin characters. Should you be used to seeing these characters always remeber - Danes aren't. Receiving such an email can easily give the impression that it is spam and in many cases such applications go unopened directly to the trash. Example: Дмитрий Реджепов.

Fixing these two problems is very easy. You just adapt them in the settings of your email program.

I cannot repeat it often enough: If you send an application in which you have put little work in writing, chances are high that those who receive it will put in as much effort into reading it and it will go directly on the “Not interesting” stack. 

3. DON'T  resend your application and your CV without adapting it to the job and the company you are looking for! You need to explain why you are applying at that company for that job . What do you see as interesting in that job, what do you bring to the table, why should they hire you? Make it as easy for the reader as possible to get answers to these questions.
Example: I have just recently moved to Denmark and am looking for work. I have work experience in country 1 and 2  and on cruise ships. My Danish is getting better every day and im training hard to master it as fast as possible. Fast learning is one of my biggest qualities. I am very easy to get along with and im allways smiling, friendly and helpful. I promise you would get a dedicated and hard worker to your team.

4. Everybody apply for themselves! For well-educated postions NEVER apply several people in one email. It is a complete waste of your and the reader's time. The chance that any company can hire the profiles coming in, is low. And on top, you probably also make the mistakes described in point nr 3. You need to focus on why you apply at that company and why.
Example: We are couple from country x. We ar looking for work, where we could work and live together. If you like our CV's and would like to hire us, please contact us via e-mail or call us on our mobile phone. We'll be happy to hear from you.  

Find more information about how to apply for work in the Worktrotter-books.

Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish work culture                                    The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark
Business-Dances with Danes.                   The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark
Decoding Danish workplace culture                       Step-by-step instructions for life in Denmark


#3 Helene 2013-02-02 11:13
Thbs: you just write "Dear Peter Nielsen",for instance. Keep it simple :)
#2 Samn 2013-01-29 12:45
The above text misses the most important point. It is still talking about job "applications". If you are a expat manager or a student, you are competing with the local workforce. Sending emails is not sufficient. You need to get on the phone. And to do it by volume. In the US, this is called cold-calling. You need to understand who you are called, have empathy - and crucially, to not ask for a job. Deliver value. Ask how you can help them network. And do it for free. I work as a recruiter and this is delivering value.
#1 thbs 2013-01-29 09:50
Who does that?! Applying as a couple?
Although, I must admit guilty for the "Sir/madam" part, but what do you do if there is no name? You just say "hey dude' ?!:D

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The Worktrotter books

Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish work cultureBusiness-Dances with Danes

For those working with Danes and those trying to find work in Denmark.
This book is also aimed at those Danes who want to become conciously aware of the Danish workplace culture.

Find out how to decode Danish work culture, avoid pitfalls and know how you can bring your messages across when working with Danes. 

The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

For current and future newcomers to Denmark.

A practical step-by-step guide about living and working in Denmark. Save time, nerves and money. Be smart and do things right - right from the start.

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