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How to Find a Job in Europe as a USA Citizen - Tips & Popular Countries

How to Find a Job in Europe as a USA Citizen - Tips & Popular Countries

Discover the benefits and challenges of building a career in Europe. Learn how to navigate the diverse currencies and cultures and how to find the best job opportunities.

The USA is full of opportunities, but it is not the only place you can find your dream job.

A great amount of people are ambitious enough to relocate to Europe and create a life and career for themselves on the other side of the ocean.

But if you are willing to be one of those people, you will for sure stumble upon a large pile of questions.

And we are here to provide you with the answers to the most important questions you might ask yourself about a job in Europe:

  • What currencies, cultures, and languages to expect in Europe?
  • Can Americans work in Europe?
  • How to find a job in Europe?
  • What are the most popular jobs for Americans in Europe?

And we are going to wrap things up with the most popular European countries for Americans.

So, if you are ready to start our journey to finding a job in Europe, stick around.

Europe – currencies, cultures, and languages

When it comes to currencies, you can find a great variety of those in Europe, starting from the Hungarian forint, through the Bulgarian lev, all the way to the Turkish lira.

However, many countries part of the European Union have integrated an international European currency - the euro.

But that’s not the only difference between the countries in Europe.

Each country on the continent has its own history, culture, government, and set of employment laws.

The same applies to the economic situation of each country, as well as the challenges each one faces.

Europe is also a home for 24 official languages, but the fact is over 200 languages are commonly spoken among its inhabitants, as they come from all over the world.

With all these differences inside Europe, you can imagine the variety of opportunities you can find there. But it is also crucial for you to do your research beforehand, so that you know which country can provide you with the best opportunity in your field of choice.

Can Americans work in Europe?

Just like non-Americans need some kind of visa to enter the USA, Americans need a type of a visa to go live and work in Europe.

Some countries might have their own additional requirement, but to enter an European country, you will need:

  • Schengen visa – active for traveling in the Schengen zone, which consists of 26 countries, but it does not give you a permit to work there
  • EU Blue Card – it is similar to a green card – facilitating the admission of highly skilled professionals into the EU. With this card you have a work permit that allows you to enter, re-enter, and stay in the country that has issued it, accompanied by your family

So, even if you have landed a job in Europe, take the time to check if you are eligible to work there, and take the necessary steps.

How to find a job in Europe?

It is never easy to find a job, and Europe is no exception to that rule.

But what you can do is take a few steps, and get one step closer to a job in Europe.

Figure out where you’re going

As we mentioned, Europe has a great variety of what you might be looking for – from the internationalism of London and Berlin, to the peacefulness of Scandinavia and Greece, so you need to take your time and figure out which European country you would like for your new home.

If you don’t have a structured plan yet, the best way to go is considering the big cities first, as they would provide more work opportunities, and more liveliness.

But we will go through the most popular cities you should consider later on in the article.

Decide what you’re going to do

Jobs in Europe don’t differ that much from the jobs you can find in the US – you can still find low-paid or high-paid, skilled or unskilled, permanent or temporary.

However, if you choose a country where English is not the official language, you might need to limit your search.

Furthermore, as a foreign citizen, you wouldn’t have the same employment rights as a native, so you should do your research on what you are allowed to do in the country first.

Adapt your resume to European standards

A European CV is not that hard to create – it is very close to the format used in the USA for resumes.

It is typically shorter than 2 pages, and includes a personal statement, highlighting career goals, skills and qualifications, education, and work experience in reverse chronological order.

Just like a resume, you need to make it relevant, and not include any details that don’t directly relate to the job position you are applying for.

The thing is, you need to consider the country you have chosen one more time and find out what norms they have for a CV.

For example, if you are applying for a job in the UK, you should not include a photo, or any details about age, while in Greece, it is accepted to include those details on your CV.

To get started, create your unique resume design, and then adjust it to the European CV format and the norms of the country you are applying for.

Job hunt

The last step of the way is to start your job hunt, and the first place you should start it is the internet.

If you are not yet living in Europe, the internet is your best friend, and your strongest ally. Look for job openings in platforms such as LinkedIn, Eurojobs, or JobsInNetwork.

However, if you already have a company in mind for your future job, try checking out their website for job openings.

On the other hand, if you are already in Europe and looking for a job, the best way to go is find a job center, or visit local language schools, bars, and hotels for any job opportunities.

If you are wondering what job you can get in Europe as an American, check out the most popular options:

  • English teacher – that’s the most preferred profession Americans choose when moving to Europe. However, it is not enough to be a native-speaker, you will also need qualifications, including a Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (TEFL) or Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) certification, as well as a college degree
  • Customer service – while there is a great variety of languages across European countries, there is still a great demand for customer service agents who speak fluent English and are familiar with American culture. That may refer both to call center jobs, or a job in a hotel or resort
  • Health care – like many countries, Europe needs medical professionals. There is a great deal of shortage in medical staff, and the shortage is only rising with the aging of the population
  • IT services – IT services are greatly needed in European countries, as a good deal of IT service providers and software developers have a great presence in Europe. And since many programming languages are based on English commands and originated in the US market, qualified American coders and IT technicians are always needed

Now, back to choosing your new European home. Let’s check out the most popular European countries for Americans:

  • Germany – a country containing in itself a truly global city – Berlin, as well as some other spectacular places to live – Munich, Hamburg, and Cologne. Germany is a very wealthy country, so you might find some difficulty in finding work there, but don’t feel let down, there are still plenty of opportunities
  • France – it is a gloriously cultured country, but if you were planning on not learning a new language – you have no chance, you will need to learn to speak French. Its capital – Paris, is your best bet for jobs, but if you were planning on teaching English, you would have to try your luck somewhere else
  • Italy – a beautiful and unique country, which is a perfect destination for lovers of long three-hour lunch breaks. There are plenty of opportunities there, and not only in its capital – Rome, but you have plenty of greatly developed cities, like Milan and Naples
  • Spain – that’s the place where you would not be able to find two cities alike. Whether you are comparing Barcelona and Madrid, or Seville and Valencia, you would be charmed with diversity. Its capital – Madrid, would provide you with the most job opportunities, but if you are into the tourism market – Barcelona is the right place for you
  • The Nordics – often called Scandinavia includes a combination of 5 countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland – take your pick. They are well known for their great quality of life, but it is far from cheap to live there. If you prefer to speak your native language, you would not have a problem, as locals speak immaculate English, and last but not least, they have some of the most beautiful sceneries in the world
  • The Baltics – this region consists of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and even though they are geographically close, they have some great differences in their culture and languages. Even though there are many beautiful cities, you would want to look for jobs in the capitals of the 3 countries – Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. The Baltics have a tradition in industries like wood and textile processing, but in recent years they have become famous for more high tech and entrepreneurial companies

English-speaking European countries

With the UK leaving the European Union, there might be some specific regulations you need to do some research on, but don’t worry, you still have some choices for an English-speaking European country:

  • Malta – this country offers a pretty perfect climate and a relaxed way of life, and is a preferred English-speaking option for Americans looking for a job in Europe. It’s a great place for people looking for a job in web and blockchain development, accounting, tourism, and customer service roles
  • Ireland – that’s a great choice if you are looking for a friendly welcome to the country. You can find great variety in position, including sectors like tourism, education, and medicine

Takeaways

We are all done, now you have all you need to successfully find a job in Europe.

Let’s go through a quick recap, just to be safe:

  • Figure out where you are going – go through all your 44 options, and figure out which country best suits you
  • Decide what you’re going to do – it will most likely match the job you would look for in the US, but it is important to figure it out before you start sending out your CV
  • Adapt your resume to European standards – one more thing you need to do before sending out your CV is creating it, using your resume as a starting point. Check out what norms for CV does your country of choice have, and make sure you follow them
  • Job hunt – as a final step, it is time to find the positions that suit you in your country of choice. Don’t forget that the Internet is your greatest ally in your European job hunt, especially if you are not on the continent yet

Check out the most popular European countries for Americans once again, to make your choice a little easier, and get started on finding your new job in Europe.

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Kal Dimitrov
Kal is a resume expert @ Enhancv. He frequently publishes blog posts around resume writing, cover letters & job applications. Kal also runs a Career Accelerator Bootcamp for young graduates.