Looking for work in another country requires more than just the obvious CV translation (and even that is difficult in Cyrillic!).
You will be confronted with issues that probably didn’t even cross your mind when you decided to go for an international career, but don’t underestimate the big impact they can have on the outcome of your adventure! Russia is one of the G8, gaining more and more power at the world stage and offering interesting opportunities for graduates. However, note there is very little information available in English.
Job hunting in Russia
Although job advertisements appear in the national and local press, personal contacts are the most important way to find a job. Use any contacts you (or your university) may have. Friends, family, former professors, anybody you can think of that might be helpful in getting the necessary contacts established with Russia.
Please note that Russian employers consider a good academic background, linguistic and computer skills and an understanding of business as indispensable, but most important are your personality. Therefore, prepare yourself for questions about your professional and personal goals.
The website www.bankir.ru is by far the best suited website to find job advertisements for financial specialists. Newspapers are a good way of finding yourself a job as well, have a look at the Russia Today: www.einnews.com/russia/ or The Moscow Times: www.themoscowtimes.com for example. Russian students use university’s sites, such as www.hseclub.com and http://career.hse.ru.
Moreover, there are several Russian sites devoted to young professionals, such as: www.graduate.ru, www.career.ru, www.futuretoday.ru.
Also, for English speaking persons, the following website can be of great help: www.russiajobs.com
The Application Letter
In general a letter of application should create enough interest to make the potential employer want to look at your application in more detail and hopefully invite you for an interview. Your application letter, however, should not provide too much information about experience and qualifications; this will be provided in your CV.
Russian application letters tend to be short, factual and formal. Illustrate your skills with examples that fit the job. If you know to whom you have to direct the letter, you mention his or her name in the address of the company, if you do not have this information you mention the department (in the address section) to which you are applying.
References can be mentioned both in the letter and in the CV. It is advised to send a letter in Russian, preferably handwritten although typed application letters are getting more common nowadays.
The Curriculum Vitae
The key focus of your CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for an interview. Therefore your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.
The CV is usually in reversed chronological order (most recent activities first) and very detailed. At the maximum it is two pages long. The CV starts with your personal details, including name, address, date of birth, your telephone number (with international access code) and e-mail address.
You continue with your education, your practical experience, your language and computer skills and the references. Under ‘work experience’ you mention the companies for which you have worked.
It’s becoming more popular to apply for a job via the internet. Be aware of the fact that an electronic CV does not always look the same as the standard one.
The Application Procedure
Application interviews are a standard element of the selection procedure for jobs at all skill levels in Russia, as they are the most crucial part of the selection procedure. The amount of interviews varies per job.
Make sure you are on time and pay sufficient attention to your appearance. Bring copies of diplomas and testimonials to the interview. Russians greatly appreciate any attempt by foreigners to speak their language and are very proud of their culture. Use this information for your advantage.
On-line applications are nowadays common. In fact, more and more job agencies, but also employers publish their vacancies on-line and provide the opportunity to complete the job application form on-line.
If we got you started on Russia – order the guide ”Looking for work in Russia” for further info.
About the author
Looking for work in RussiaNannette Ripmeester is the expatriate affairs consultant to several multinational companies, which she advises regarding the strategy of international assignments and the practical implementation around expat issues.
Ripmeester started her international career at the European Commission, has worked on a project basis in 17 countries and is founder and Managing Director of Expertise in Labour Mobility (www.labourmobility.com).
She is co-author of a series of country-specific guides, the guide “Looking for work in Russia”, (ISBN-13: 978-90-5896-080-1) is part of that series of guides. To order this guide or other guides that will help you to secure the international job you want, visit our website: www.labourmobility.com. As a reader of Eurograduate we offer you a 10% discount if you are your copy here.