How do you apply for a job?
Before you start looking for a job, consider these matters:
- what can you do already? what could you do? what are you interested in? what are you good at? what would you like to learn?
- in which locality can you work?
- do you know someone through whom you might be able to look for a job?
- would you prefer to find full-time or part-time work or something else?
- could you work as self-employed or entrepreneur?
- do you only want to work for one employer, or could there be more than one employer?
Where can you look for a job?
Find work via different channels:
- Labour exchange pages on the Internet, e.g., TE services’ te-palvelut.fi as well as duunitori.fi and tyopaikat.oikotie.fi.
- On these pages, employers report jobs for which they need employees. You can order information about vacancies directly to your email.
- Also explore the new web page at työmarkkinatori.fi. In the future, it will replace the te-palvelut.fi page in job searches.
- Specialists of TE services help you to plan job searches, find your own skills and, for example, access training. You can book an appointment for career guidance by telephone or videoconferencing.
- If you have been left unemployed, you can ask TE Services for help in job search and career training. For example, job search training helps you get started in the search for work. Career training, on the other hand, provides help with the clarification of your professional selection and career options, applying for training and developing your working skills.
- See job notifications in newspapers and different online services. Remember that there are a lot of available jobs that are not advertised anywhere in public. Often, employers invite people who are familiar to them from somewhere for job interviews.
- Use your own networks: tell people you know that you are looking for a job. Ask them to tell you, if they hear about vacancies.
- Call or communicate to employers you are interested in. Tell them you are looking for a job. If you have ever taken part in an employer’s job interview in the past, you can now ask whether new jobs are available.
- You can use many company websites to send an open job application. Even if the company does not have jobs to offer at this point, they may later. In this case, employers can look for a suitable employee from among those who have sent open job applications.
- Job advertisements often mention someone whom you can call and ask for more information. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call. That way you can also make an impression on the employer already in advance.
Prepare a CV or résumé
- Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé is a paper that tells what, where and when you have studied and done for work.
- You can easily find instructions and templates for creating a CV online.
- If you want, you can also make a video or portfolio presenting yourself.
- Check what information about you can be found online.
- Check your public social media profiles and consider how they look to employers. It may be useful for you to create a profile in a working life network, such as LinkedIn.
Make a short job application
The purpose of a job application is to tell the employer why precisely you should be chosen as an employee. A written job application can be at most a page long, but it may also be a video, for example.
State briefly in the job application
- what age you are, what you are like, what you are interested in (for example, of a social nature, quick to learn, interested in the restaurant sector)
- your work experience (what kind of work you have done)
- your education (what you have studied, for example, finished comprehensive school, graduated or have a vocational degree)
- something about your life situation (for example, why you are looking for work).
Prepare for the job interview beforehand
Once the employer has received your job application and CV, you may be asked to appear for a job interviews.
During the job interview, the employer wants to find out how well you fit the job you have applied for and what your motivation is for it.
If you prepare well for the interview, you can relax in the interview and be yourself. A little nervousness is fine.
What to do before the interview:
- Get information about the employer.
- Check again what has been said in the job advertisement.
- Go through your CV.
- Consider what kind of work-related matters you might need help in. You can tell that in the job interview.
- Prepare to explain the reasons
- why you have not worked anywhere for a while, for example
- for some choices you have made in your life.
- Think about the questions you want to ask about the position and the employer.
A positive first impression is important when people meet each other for the first time:
- Think about how you should dress.
- Take along your application, work and school certificates and any portfolio.
- Do not be late!
Which questions you do not need to answer in the job interview?
The employer cannot ask you just anything. Essential information related to the work can be asked for in the job interview. You do not need to answer questions that concern, for example,
- family relationships
- sexual orientation
- political conviction.
Read more about preparing for a job interview:TE services
Different employment relationships
When applying for a job, you can already see the following in the job advertisement:
- Whether the employment relationship is continuous (i.e. indefinite or permanent) or fixed-term.
- Whether the work offered is by a renting firm, that is, an enterprise renting labour to enterprises or a staff renting enterprise. In that case, the employer will be this renting firm.
- Whether the employment is full-time, part-time or zero-hour contract. In law, the term “variable working hours” is also used of the working hours of a zero-hour contract.
- Whether the employment relationship is an internship or an apprenticeship.
Continuous employment relationship
A continuous/indefinite/permanent employment relationship means that the employment contract is valid until the employee or employer wants to terminate or end the employment relationship. If the employer terminates the employment relationship or fires the employee, it must have a valid and cogent reason for that. The employee does not need a reason to resign. However, you cannot stop working immediately, but only after a period of notice.
Fixed-term employment relationship
A fixed-term employment relationship means that you have been promised work only until a certain date. The employment contract states the end date of a fixed-term employment contract.
A fixed-term employment contract can only be made at the employer’s initiative for a justified reason. Justified reasons may include the following:
- You are a substitute for a permanent employee.
- You are a seasonal worker, for example, at a ski resort or as a berry picker.
- You are a summer employee or a Christmas assistant.
- You are in in-the-job training.
- You have asked for a fixed-term job.
- The job is a project to be carried out within a specific period of time.
- You have been unemployed for at least a year.
- You are studying under an apprenticeship contract.
However, a long-term unemployed person, that is, a person who has been unemployed for at least a year may be hired for a fixed-term employment relationship without a justified reason.
If the employer needs you constantly, a permanent employment contract must be made of the employment relationship. No fixed-term employment contract may be concluded without a justified reason. If there has been no justified reason for using a fixed-term employment contract, the employment contract must be considered to be valid for an indefinite period in accordance with the law.
If you feel that your work is for a fixed term without a justified reason, ask the shop steward at your workplace or your trade union about the matter.
Temporary agency work
When you are a hired employee, you have entered into an employment contract with the company renting the workforce. Companies that need employees lease you from a rental firm that pays your salary as an employee. It also pays compensation for overtime, holiday compensations and other benefits included in your employment, as well as pension and other statutory social insurance contributions.
You enter into an employment contract with the temporary work agency. You are therefore employed by the temporary work agency which is your employer. The work is carried out in another place. The place of work may vary.
The company you work in assigns your tasks and supervises your work.
The salary for temporary agency work must be no worse than what is stated in the collective labour agreement. Agency work is governed by the same provisions as any other employment relationship.
The company in which you work as a hired employee is obliged to tell you, too, about vacancies.
An apprenticeship contract is one way to learn a new profession. You will then study by working in the workplace and also studying at a vocational school, for example. The bulk of the studies is carried out at the workplace and a part at school.
As an apprentice, you enter into an employment contract and receive a salary for your work. However, you are also a student, and you can receive various subsidies.
Internshipis work by doing which you learn more, in other words, you gain more professional skills. If you are an intern, you are usually a student or another person who is newly starting to work. The focus of the training is on trainees being taught and him or her learning new skills.
Unpaid internship is only legal if the traineeship is provided via an official educational institution or the TE Office.
If the employer wants to test the suitability of a trainee, a trial period can be agreed upon in the work contract. The trial period pays a salary.
Working hours in an employment relationship
Job advertisements also often state whether the work is full-time, part-time or only available when necessary to the person being invited to work.
Full-time work means that you work the full working day, usually on five days a week. The working hours are, at most, 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. For example, working hours for full-time work are usually 7.5 hours a day and 37.5 hours a week.
Part-time work means that you only work part of the working day or part of the working week. Employees work less hours in part-time employment than in full-time employment.
If you are a part-time employee, you are entitled to additional work. This means that if your employer needs more employees, your employer must first give you more hours before they can hire additional employees.
If you want to do more hours than agreed on in your contract, talk to your employer.
A zero-hour contract, a zero-work contractor a contract on variable working hours means thatthe employer does not have to provide you with any working hours. If your employment contract states that you work 0-20 hours a week, it is a zero-hour contract. If you have 0 working hours, you will not receive any salary. Note that if your employer no longer offers you any work, you can request the employer to give a written statement on the reasons why there is less work on offer.
If the employer offers you a zero-hour agreement, always try to agree on a minimum number of hours. You must then be paid a salary at least for those hours, even if you do not have any work.
Employers are not allowed to offer zero-hour employment contracts if the need for the work covered by the contract is fixed.
Employers must review the number of hours worked by employees with zero-hour contracts at least every 12 months. If the number of hours worked during the reviewed period and the employer’s need for labour show that the employee’s minimum working hours can be raised, the employer must suggest raising the minimum amount.
What is platform work?
For example, food deliverymen and cleaners performing on-demand work can carry out platform work. When you start working for a company operating on an Internet platform, you are not regarded as an employee, but as an entrepreneur working as a partner of the company providing work.
Therefore, employees working through platforms do not have any employment relationship with the company they work for. As a platform worker, you are not entitled to pay-related unemployment security, you will not be protected by working time legislation or occupational safety and health legislation, and you are not entitled to occupational health service. Furthermore, the employer does not acquire statutory industrial injury insurance or insurance against occupational disease. Instead, you must arrange your insurance yourself.
Many platforms still work in the same way as any employer, that is, work carried out through the platform resembles employment relationships.
Are you an employee or an entrepreneur?
If you work for a company operating on a platform, considerwhether these characteristics are present between you and the company that provides work:
- The work is performed under the direction and supervision of the platform company (employer).
- The platform company determines the fees (i.e. how much is paid to workers).
- The platform company specifies the rules of work.
- The platform company determines the place where the work is carried out.
- You work at least in part with the tools of the platform company.
These characteristics are signs of an employment relationship. If these things are present in your work, you are an employee under the law, and your employer should take care of the employer’s obligations set out in the Labour Code and the Social Security Act.
However, companies that offer platform work and trade unions disagree on whether those engaged in platform work are entrepreneurs or employees.
Many of the platform economy companies operating in Finland work in such a way that the work has the characteristics of an employment relationship. For example, in October 2020, a work council under the Ministry of Employment and the Economy issued a statement stating that the cooperation between the company providing food through the online platform and its deliverymen is an employment relationship.
When companies operating on the platform regard you as a partner or self-employed entrepreneur, they usually do not pay for your pension, unemployment, illness or other insurance. They benefit greatly from this. You are a very cheap employee for them.
If you fall ill or have an accident, you do not have the security provided by insurance, as does an employee with an employment relationship. In other words, the platform worker should pay taxes and other insurances himself.
Signs of entrepreneurship include:
- you acquire your tools and a place of work yourself
- you define your working hours
- compensation for your work is paid according to the work result or invoicing
- you pay for your pension and insurance cover.
In addition, self-employed and light entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs.
If you sell your work as an independent entrepreneur, the company or other customer ordering your work will not lead and supervise your work.
As an entrepreneur, you may have a trade name or you act as a trader. You may also be a freelancer or act through a company/enterprise. If you are an entrepreneur, you must pay a self-employed person’s pension premium (YEL) and your other insurance policies.
If your work has all the characteristics of an employment relationship, you are an employee, even if you have agreed on something else. For more information, read the Platform work section
If you are a freelancer, you can work for one or more companies or other customers providing work at the same time. As a freelancer, you can either be an entrepreneur or an employee, or you can receive so-called work compensations.
When you work as a freelancer, you will enter into a commission agreement with the client. It must be written in the agreement whether a fixed-term employment relationship or a commission to the entrepreneur is agreed upon.
Compensation for work
The work compensation does not include a salary. It is a compensation. This means that the work provider pays a tax on your work compensation, determined by your tax deduction card, like on a salary, but it is not necessary to pay employment pension insurance or other social security contributions on the work compensation.
If your estimated work compensation income per year exceeds a certain amount (EUR 8,261.71 in 2022), you must acquire an enterpriser’s pension insurance or YEL insurance.
If you receive compensation for work, you will not be governed by labour laws. As the recipient of work compensation, you have the same legal status as an entrepreneur.
Are you a citizen of the European Union or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland?
As a citizen of an EU country or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you can search for work or work in Finland freely for a maximum period of 3 months. After this, you have to register your right of residence. You do not need any other worker’s residence permit.
The right of residence is registered at the service point of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). You can also do this electronically at enterfinland.fi
. After that, you must still be authenticated by the Finnish Immigration Service.
The registered right of residence is valid until further notice, unless it is cancelled. Once your right of residence has lasted 5 years, you can be granted a permanent right of residence.
Are you a national of a non-EU country?
If you are not a citizen of the EU or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you usually need a worker’s residence permit other right of residence for employment. Before you can obtain a worker’s residence permit, you must have a job in Finland.
You must apply for the first residence permit before you arrive in Finland. You can apply for a permit online in the Enter Finland service at enterfinland.fi
Once you have submitted the application, you must visit the nearest Finnish mission to prove your identity and present the original copies of the appendices to the application. You need to visit the mission within three months of filing your application online. The application can only be processed after your visit to the mission. Usually, an appointment must be reserved for the mission in advance.
Remember to check your Enter Finland account regularly. If further clarifications are needed for your application, you will be informed of it on your own account.
The processing of the permit application is subject to a charge. You need to pay the fee when you submit your application for permit.
A worker’s residence permit can be granted if you can support yourself with your work in Finland.
If the validity of your residence permit is about to expire and you want to continue staying in Finland, you will need a new fixed-term residence permit. Apply for an extension residence permit in the Enter Finland service. Visit the Finnish Immigration Service’s service point if you are asked to prove your identity and present the originals of appendices. Visit the service point within three months of submitting the application for extension permit.
Remember to apply for an extension permit in time before the previous permit expires. If you apply for an extension permit only after the previous permit has expired, the right to work covered by the permit has also expired.
If you are an asylum seeker, you can be employed in Finland three or six months after submitting your application for asylum:
- If you have presented a valid and authenticated travel document to the authorities, the time limit is three months.
- if you have not presented a travel document, the time limit is six months.
Are you a seasonal worker?
If you come to Finland for a specific season for work in agriculture or horticulture, forestry or tourism, for example, you are a seasonal worker. If seasonal work in Finland lasts less than 3 months, you do not need a residence permit, but you need to apply for seasonal work visa or a seasonal work certificate:
- If you come to work for less than 3 months from a country subject to a visa requirement, you must apply for a seasonal work visa from a Finnish mission.
- If you come to work for less than 3 months from a visa-exempt country, you must apply for a seasonal work certificate from the Finnish Immigration Service. Please note that you must have visa-exempt days available during the validity of the certificate.
- You do not need a permit or certificate for picking wild berries. However, you must apply for a visa from a Finnish mission if you enter from a country subject to a visa requirement.
- If you come for seasonal work for 3-6 months or for a longer period, you must apply for a seasonal work residence permit from the Finnish Immigration Service.
In Finland, the law prescribes a part of working life matters, but many matters are prescribed by a collective agreement. Collective agreements are made jointly by an employer association and a trade union that represents workers.
The collective labour agreement on seasonal employees in berry, fruit and vegetables farms is the Collective Agreement for Agricultural Industries.
- The collective labour agreement states the conditions of employment of all working in the sector, namely the rules concerning employees and employers.
- All berry, fruit and vegetable farms must abide by the collective labour agreement rules.
- The collective labour agreement is available in Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
- Ask your employer for the collective agreement. According to the law, the collective labour agreement must be present at the workplace so that all employees can read it.
A seasonal worker must separately apply for the right to social security and healthcare from the Social Insurance Institution (Kela).
Are you a posted worker?
A posted worker usually works in a country other than Finland. The employer of the post employee has sent him to perform temporary work for a specific period of time in Finland to work in Finland under a contract as a subcontract, internal company transfer or temporary agency work. Posted workers are governed by the law for posted workers in Finland. Read more about the conditions of employment of posted workers here:
A posted worker must be paid at least a salary in accordance with the Finnish collective agreement.
Other useful links for you who come to Finland to work
International House Helsinki provides initial services to those who have moved to Finland. The service is aimed at all immigrants who have recently arrived in the Helsinki region.
The pages of the TE Offices offer an information package for those who come to work in Finland.
The pages of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health contain basic information on Finnish working life in 13 different languages.
Web pages of InfoFinland contain practical information for immigrants in 12 different languages.
You can find information about permits for those coming to Finland to work at the Finnish Immigration Service’s online service.
Seasonal workers who come to work in a berry, fruit or vegetable farm can find instructions at the Industrial Union’s online service.
Information on industrial exploitation and discrimination is available on the web pages of Victim Support Finland.
The brochure of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Victim Support Finland explains the conditions of employment applied in Finland. You will also find advice there on how to act if you are being exploited.
Checklist for workers entering Finland
Join the trade union
- In Finland, the majority of employees are members of the trade union of their sector. You also have the right to join a trade union when you come to work in Finland.
- The trade union will help you if you have any problems with your employer.
- The trade union negotiates with the employers on the conditions of employment. Therefore, work-related rules have been agreed on your behalf.
- Trade union members usually also join an unemployment fund. If you are unemployed, the unemployment fund pays you an earning-dependent unemployment benefit.
Get the required permits
- If you want to work in Finland, see what permits are needed for staying and working in Finland. You can find the information in the Finnish Immigration Service’s application guide.
- If you receive a job, you are obligated to show your employer a permit entitling you to work (such as a worker’s residence permit if you are from outside the EU).
- The employer can take a copy of your passport and your residence permit, but he may not keep them unless you wish to leave them to be kept by the employer.
- TE Offices all over Finland help you to look for work. Many workplaces require a minimum knowledge of the Finnish language.
Enter into a written employment contract
An employment contract is an agreement between the employee and employer on the rights and obligations of both, or the conditions of employment. Under the employment contract, you promise to carry out the agreed on work, and the employer promises to pay the agreed salary for it. The conditions of employment include salaries, salary extras, working hours, holidays and the right to training.
Once you have received a job, enter into a written employment contract with the employer. An agreement that is orally agreed upon is binding, but if you experience any problems with the employer, a written agreement can be consulted to see what was agreed upon at the beginning of the employment relationship.
If you do not enter into a contract in writing, the employer must still provide you with a written account of the conditions of employment. The account must be given within one month of the beginning of your employment relationship. If the employer does not provide you with an account, it is in breach of the Employment Contracts Act.
Before signing the employment contract, check that at least these matters have been written into it:
- Name of the employer.
- The name of your employee, that is, your name.
- The day on which the work starts.
- Is there a trial period in the work, and how long is it?
- The purpose of the test period is to give you and the employer time to consider whether you would like to continue the employment contract. It usually has a maximum length of six months. During the trial period, the employee or employer may cancel the employment contract without a period of notice.
- Is the work permanent (i.e. indefinite or continuous) or fixed-term employment, or is it an internship?
- If the employment contract is fixed-term, the contract must specify why.
- Where is the work done?
- What are your tasks?
- How much salary is paid for the work?
- The date on which the salary is paid.
- Working hours, or how many hours of work there are.
- Full-time work usually refers in Finland to work 5 days a week and at most 8 hours a day. If you do periodic work, the working hours vary. However, it must comply with the collective agreement of the sector. In Finland, a separate compensation is paid for overtime and evening and weekend work.
- If you sign a part-time employment contract, try to get enough working hours to receive a sufficient amount of salary. A minimum number of hours means that you will receive at least the number of hours promised in your employment contract. If, for example, 0-20 hours a week has been written in the employment contract, you may not receive any work or salary during some weeks.
- Annual holiday.
- Period of notice: how many days/weeks/months work will continue after you or your employer has terminated the employment contract.
- The notice period is binding on both the employer and the employee. No one can be resigned immediately after the trial period.
- The employer must always have a valid and cogent reason for the termination .
- The employer cannot terminate a fixed-term employment contract before it ends.
- The employee cannot resign, either, before the fixed-term employment contract ends, but often the matter can be agreed upon by negotiating with the employer.
- Which collective agreement applies to your work?
Read the employment contract carefully before you sign it. If you do not understand anything, do not sign the contract. Advice is provided, for example, by
Open a bank account
The salary must be paid to the bank account. The salary can only be paid in cash for a compelling reason. Such a reason may be the fact that the employee does not have a bank account. The bank account is personal.
When you open an account, you need a passport or another official identity document. Opening an account is easier if you already have a Finnish personal identity code.
Check that you receive a salary in accordance with the collective agreement
In Finland, the law does not determine a minimum salary. Collective agreements determine the minimum salary for each work. The salaries defined in collective agreements apply to all workers in the sector who work in Finland, including foreign temporary agency workers.
You do not need to take part in collective bargaining. Instead, the trade union negotiates on your behalf with an employers’ association.
Check that statutory fees are deducted from your salary
When you receive the first payslip, check that statutory taxes and social security contributions have been deducted from your gross salary:
- Taxes: You can see in your tax deduction card the withholding rate paid on your salary. This indicates how many per cent of taxes are deducted from your salary. When you start in a new workplace, the employer must obtain your tax deduction card either from the Tax Administration or directly from you. You will receive a tax deduction card from the Tax Administration when you have a Finnish personal identity code.
- Employee’s pension fee: When you work in Finland, a pension accrues on your salary. The employer deducts your pension fee from your salary and pays your pension insurance. If the employer does not do so, it breaches the law.
- Unemployment insurance contribution: All employees of 17-64 years of age pay an unemployment insurance contribution.
- Trade union membership fee: When you are a trade union member, you can agree with the employer that the union membership fee is deducted from your salary. You can also pay it directly to your trade union. The membership fee is usually 1-2 per cent of your salary, depending on which union you belong to.
If you are working in Finland temporarily, your taxes and social security contributions may be different from those listed above.
Take care of your safety
The employer must advise you on the matters to be taken into account in workplace safety. The employer must also pay the accident insurance that compensates for the damages and losses to the employee or his family if an accident at work occurs or the employee contracts an occupational disease.
Recognise exploitation at work
Industrial exploitation means, for example, that the employer
- pays less salary than what the collective agreement and the law prescribe (underpayment)
- does not give an employee days off prescribed by law and the collective labour agreement
- requires employees to work too long days without compensation
- collects money from the employee as a compensation for the job or the residence permit
- prohibits the employee to take sick leave
- does not arrange for occupational health service
- provides inhumane housing conditions.
Industrial exploitation occurs also in Finland. Often, the victim is an employee with a foreign background. He or she may not know the rules of Finnish working life or fears that he will lose his right of residence.
If you suspect that you are the target of criminal exploitation of workforce, you can contact the police or Victim Support Finland (RIKU). You can contact Victim Support Finland confidentially and get advice on how to proceed. Please contact by e-mail (email@example.com) or by phone (including text messages or WhatsApp) to 040 632 9293.
If the exploitation is also associated with limitation of freedom, coercion, pressurising, threatening, forcing to take debt, misleading or violence, it can have the constituent elements of human trafficking
. You can contact the assistance system for victims of human trafficking by calling 0295 463 117
Residence permit or certificate because of exploitation by the employer
If you have been the victim of an employer’s exploitation and significant neglect, you can apply for an extension permit or certificate of an extended right to work and change your employer. You must have a residence permit in Finland that includes the right to work. Read more tat the Finnish Immigration Service’s online service
Are you having problems with your employer?
If you have any problems with your employer relating to, for example, your pay or other employment terms and conditions or the terms of your collective agreement, try to discuss the matter with your employer first. Many issues are solved by communication.
If the problem is not solved, ask for help and advice:
If you are a trade union member
Talk to your shop steward or occupational safety and health representative at your workplace or of your union. If the problem cannot be resolved with help from the shop steward, contact your trade union’s regional office or your union’s helpline.
If you are not a trade union member
Talk to a colleague or occupational safety and health representative or your workplace. If the issue cannot be resolved, you can contact the occupational safety and health authorities or SAK’s employee rights helpline.