Going Abroad? Looking to study abroad somewhere exciting next semester? Or perhaps you’re searching for the perfect internship? Are you looking for something that will help you stand out in a large pool of applicants for your dream job?
You should consider Spain. No, really. With its vibrant culture, beautiful architecture, and unlimited opportunities to improve your Spanish, Spain is the perfect place for you to create a career, and a lifetime of goals. Just make sure you keep in mind a few things before you head out.
While the concept of what a resume actually doesn’t change, in Spain, you’re more likely than not to use a CV than a resume. CV stands for curriculum vitae, and it’s meant to highlight your accomplishments in work, and more specifically academics. The format is really all about creating itself to suite your accomplishments, versus a resume, which creates itself to fit the job position. These are typically accompanied with a cover letter.
However, you should keep in mind that when using a CV to apply for a job, you should still structure it to fit the job. You want interviewers to know that you understand the position! Short answer: a CV is more detailed about what you have accomplished, and a resume is all about telling an employer why they should hire you. Since the CV is mostly common in Europe, Euro Pass has a handy online form that will help you fill out a CV! Visit it here for help getting your own CV started.
And don’t forget to send your resumes, cover letters, and CVs to a Spanish corrector before submitting! It doesn’t hurt to have a second opinion, especially if writing in Spanish is new or still a bit unfamiliar to you.
Not much changes from the United States to Spain in terms of interview etiquette. Always be a little bit early. Anywhere from five to ten minutes is acceptable. Be prepared! No interviewer wants to spend time with a candidate that has no idea what is going on.
If Spanish isn’t your first language, then it will help you out even more if you come prepared. You’ll know exactly what to do when an interviewer mentions a complex topic or asks you a question that requires a bit more thought. You’ll spend less time thinking about your response (and even the best non-native Spanish speakers still struggle with processing new vocabulary at a rapid, immediate pace, so understand practice is important) and more time impressing your interviewer!
In Spain, it’s standard to greet females with the kiss on each cheek greeting, but you shouldn’t do this in an interview. Keep it professional and stick with a firm handshake. Eye contact and confidence is also key! It’s also important to note the Spanish use of the tú versus usted. In Spain, it is more common to use tú than usted, but again, keep it professional. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Some interviewers will let you know if they prefer you to use tu over the usted form, but just in case, memorize your usted verb endings.
Vocabulary and Key Phrases
Not every job will have the same vocabulary and key phrases. An engineer’s vocabulary is going to be different than a designer’s vocabulary.
Whatever field you are going into (or studying), make sure you brush up on those vocabulary words before the application process and especially before interviewing. It’s difficult enough to interview for a job or academic program – you put all your hard work out on the line and have to deal with the agony of waiting to hear back for days on end, sometimes even weeks! – don’t make it any harder on yourself by not knowing your industry vocabulary.
Sure, you know how to say jefe and empresa, but do you know how to explain the key concepts in your field? Can you detail what excites you about your career path? You’ll definitely want to know how to talk about those things. Start by translating the vocabulary and/or phrases, and then put to use the Spanish you already know! If you can memorize the key words of your industry, half the battle is already over.
Before you can even think about interviewing, you have to submit a CV and cover letter, and before you do that, you have to make sure you’re qualified to apply. Job qualifications vary from country to country.
Each field will have its own special set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to be well versed in what your field requires of applicants and prospect employees before you even begin searching for your perfect fir(whether that be a job, internship, academic program, or study abroad program.).
For example, the healthcare system is set up in the United States differently than it is in Spain and the rest of the European Union (EU), so that will affect how hospitals, clinics, and healthcare offices are run.
When practicing law, know that Spain is a part of the European Union, which affects many laws, regulations, and ultimately professional certifications. Whatever field you are entering, or are already a part of, make sure you are prepared and well-versed on requirements before you start applying.
Visas and Permits
This is the most important thing to remember when studying or working abroad, as you cannot do your studies or your job without it!
While Spain doesn’t require visas to enter the country for American citizens on short-term trips (up to three months) you will need one if you are going to be staying a semester or two and if you will be earning wages.
Typically, summer programs don’t require visas, as they are shorter terms than three months. Some employers will even sponsor visas and help with the process of obtaining one. However, there are a few different types of visas, and each situation is unique, so be sure to research your specific job or academic situation to find out correct and up to date information. Again, this is the most important thing you can remember to do! You can’t do your job without it!