Many of us come to Sweden with long, elaborate cvs that are not very successful on the local job market. Try to condense your cv to a one-page document. All information that does not fit / belong on the cv should be on your LinkedIn profile, which your potential employer will check.
We provide some tips on how to do so in the attached template with the recommendations we have heard most from hiring managers but there are of course many different formats. Unless you are applying to a position in a creative field, there is no need for a fancy, colorful cv. A simple, sensible document with all the relevant information is the norm here.
Put yourself in the shoes of a Swedish hiring manager, who may not or may not know English well, probably doesn’t know anything about your home work culture, doesn’t have an in-depth knowledge of your field, has less than 30 seconds to decide whether to call you for an interview or move your cv up to the next level. So make life easy for them by being clear and concise!
Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish National Employment Office, serves all job seekers with residence permit and legal right to work in Sweden and has some special support newcomers in Sweden. Note that you need a personnummer to register.
Should you register with Arbetsförmedlingen?
Let’s be honest, very few SDCN members find a job through Arbetsförmedlingen, which is more helpful for low-skilled workers. However, it is worth registering and checking in with them because they offer:
– a thorough and updated job database, open to all.
– support for starting your own business
– trainee or internship documentation, necessary if you apply to programs such as Jobbsprånget.
– access to the highly-recommended Korta vägen program.
Registration is free and you do not want to find at the last minute that you are not eligible for a coveted program because you have not registered.
Steps to register as a job seeker:
- You need to have Swedish personnummer
- If you have electronic identity legitimation (BankID/Mobil BankID), you can create your personal account on the website, and then book a specific time for the first visit with your handledare (case officer) who will help you set up working plan and give you more information about Arbetsförmedlingen’s services.
- If you do not have BankID/Mobil BankID, you have to register here. In this case, you cannot book a specific time for your visit, but you have to goto one of the Arbetsförmedlingen offices around the city.
- During the visit, you will discuss and create your work plan, confirm your credentials (e.g. education background, previous work experience, job related skills, etc.). You can bring your diplomas so they are verified and entered in the database.
- You do not have to come to Arbetsförmedlingen office every time you need to consult your job situation. Feel free to contact your case officer by phone or via email.
Once registered, you have to fill a monthly activity report to remain registered.
The transportation service SL covers all of Stockholm with buses, subway, local trains, light-rail and ferries. Children under 7 can travel for free at all time. Children 7-12 years old can travel for free on Friday afternoon and weekends when accompanied by an paying adult. Children of all ages can travel for free on public (helgdagar/ röda dagar) and school holidays.
For bus travel, an accompanying adult with child/children in a stroller/pram/buggy is allowed to board through the exit doors free of charge (even if the child/children is/are not in the stroller when boarding). If your stroller is empty, you must have a valid ticket.
SL Fares and info on Travelling with Children: https://sl.se/en/fares–tickets/
The midwife will give the expectant mother an official form around the 20th week of the pregnancy (after the second-term ultrasound) that should be mailed to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) so you can receive benefits and apply for parental leave. Pregnancy benefits can be paid as early as 60 days (two months) into the pregnancy in case of complications and continue up to 11 days before the due date. The amount received is roughly 80 per cent of the mother’s daily pay (if she has been employed and salaried for 8 consecutive months -240 days- before the due date) or about 250 SEK (if unemployed or employed for less than 240 days) and is paid by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). Check their website for up-to-date information.
After birth, each parent is entitled to 240 days of parental leave, at different levels of benefits, but most at 80 percent of past salary, provided the parent has been salaried for 240 consecutive days before the due date. If both parents are involved in raising the child, then you should plan your benefits as a couple, especially as the partner with the highest salary can transfer days to the other person. Again, the Försäkringskassan information and tools has very useful to help you plan, calculate, and apply for benefits. It is a bit complex at first — even for Swedes — but don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Note that if the expectant couple is not married, then the father needs to go to the municipality services to declare paternity, after the mother has received confirmation that the Försäkringskassan has received the pregnancy certificate.
You can notify the Försäkringskassan that the child is born by sending them an SMS. At birth or as soon as you register your accompanying child as a resident, your child receives a Social Security ID number (Personnummer). This number will be required for all social security, health and educational matters of your child. Make sure to have it at hand at all times.
Finding available placement at daycare (förskola) or preschool (förskoleklass) is important to keep you sane.
Children can be enrolled in daycare (förskola) only after they turn 1. In Stockholm, you can register your child for förskola when your child has turned 6 months. Make sure to do it as soon as possible as there can be a long waiting period in Stockholm, especially if you have your eyes set on a specific daycare or location. It is always good to visit prior to registration/enrollment as expectations differ.
In August of the year your child turns 6, they can go to preschool (förskoleklass). Preschools vary in setting and pedagogy, so again make sure you scope out the options open to you. For the public school you can register in January-February the same year. For private alternatives or international schools, you need to check the institution’s deadline.
Children from 7 to 16 receive compulsory education in Sweden. All education provided by the government is free but you can choose the institution you want for your child(ren).
Children from the age of 7 (grundskola) usually attend primary schools that follow the Swedish curriculum. Alternatively, there are also international preschools and schools that follow international curriculums (e.g. IB –International Baccalaureate) if you are concerned about international mobility. Upon finishing primary and passing a national test, students can attend a 3-year upper secondary school / high school program (Gymnasieskola, not compulsory).
For children in primary schools who speak a language other than Swedish at home, Stockholms Stad offers free Modersmål (mother tongue) classes. Language teachers come to the school to help children practice and develop their first language one to two hours a week. Enrollment is through the primary school directly, not through the city.
Information, search and apply for schools in Stockholm (government website)
Click here for a list of International Schools in Stockholm.
Relocation with children can be fun when you meet like-minded parents. Many places in Stockholm cater for parents and young children, such as öppna förskolor, open preschools, leklands, lekplatsen (playgrounds) and parkleken (children parks), and many children activities are free! You can find out more by visiting the state library (https://biblioteket.stockholm.se/en/), Barnavårdscentral (BVC), and the list of playgrounds in Stockholm here. There are also activities that you can do with your baby, such as baby massage and swimming classes. You can also join Facebook groups (e.g. “Mums in Sweden – English speakers”, a closed Facebook group) or other meetup group for international parents in Sweden, where there are almost daily events and many cool parents to chat to. Within Stockholm Stad, Kulturskolan (the School of Arts) offers children between the ages of 6 and 22 classes in music, singing, theatre, musicals, dance, circus, art and media for very reasonable fee (http://kulturskolan.stockholm.se).
Expecting mothers in Sweden receive pre-natal care at their local public clinic (vårdcentral) with a midwife (barnmorska) as there are no private obstetricians and no private maternity wards here. Licensed midwives who are trained nurses with professional education handle almost all pre-natal care and you may not see a doctor if everything goes well – even ultrasounds are usually done by a midwife.
Prenatal care is not as medicalized as in other countries, but you can always ask for more tests than the recommended one ultrasound and couple of blood tests, especially if you are over 35 or / and have a previous history of complications. Such tests are usually handled at the local hospital (sjukhuset). You may be charged for tests if they are not deemed necessary by the midwife. Otherwise, prenatal care is free of charge. Parents to be also receive free or subsidized courses to prepare for the delivery and baby care. It is expected that both parents attend appointments with the midwife and prenatal courses, and employers understand that you may leave work, come late or leave early to go to this appointments.
It’s not something we hope you will ever need access to, but it’s worth knowing where local hospitals and emergency clinics are in relation to you, as well as what to do in an emergency.
In case of major emergency, dial 112 – emergency number for police, ambulance, fire brigade or poisoning anywhere in Europe.
In an emergency, you can visit one of the major hospitals:
Karolinska University Hospital, Solna; 08-517 700 00
Astrid Lindgrens Children’s Hospital: 08-517 700 00
Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge: 08-585 800 00
Danderyd Hospital: 08-655 50 00
Södersjukhuset (Stockholm South Hospital): 08-616 10 00
St Erik’s Eye Hospital, Polhemsgatan 50: 08-672 31 00
Good to know: Emergency dispatchers in Sweden can sometimes be reluctant to send an ambulance. If you feel you or the patient needs to be taken to the Emergency Room immediately, do what many Swedes do: Call a taxi and ask them to take you to Akuten (Emergency Services).
SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) Language Courses (free)
To be able to register for any of the state-funded language courses in Stockholm, you must have received your Swedish ID-number (personnummer).
If you are registered in Stockholm City, you can apply by paying a personal visit to the Vuxenutbildningscentrum (Adult Education Center) at Rosenlundsgatan 52. Here you can test your knowledge of the language and choose where to study. Bring some ID such as a passport. For more info, click here.
They will provide you with two alternatives that are funded by the state and don’t cost any money – SFI and SFX
- SFI: All SFI courses are free and they provide basic knowledge of Swedish language and society.
- SFX: This course is also free and known under the acronym SIFA (Stockholm Intensive Swedish for Academics). They have only one center at Blekingegatan and they offer Swedish training program for educators (SFP), Swedish for economists, lawyers and other social scientists (SFEJ) and Swedish for Engineers (SFINX). This course provides you access to mentoring programs with the respective unions that in turn helps you network with Swedish professionals that share your area of expertise.
Swedish knowledge test:
When you visit Vuxenutbildningscentrum in Stockholm you will be interviewed by the personnel to determine your level of knowledge of the Swedish language. If you are a true beginner and have no knowledge of Swedish you are not required to take the knowledge test but, if you already know some Swedish you will be asked to take a test. The results of the test will be used to determine the level you would start your language lessons at.
SFI classes are run at multiple centers. So, if you opt to take classes with SFI you are entitled to choose the center that suits you the best. You can convey your choice of center to the personnel at Vuxenutbildningscentrum when you visit them for registration.
If you are not satisfied with the center and would like to change to another, you could contact Vuxenutbildningscentrum anytime and get it changed. A few of the better known centers are ABF and Hermods. Several members have had good experience there but, of course, the quality of the teaching can vary depending on the location, the class, teacher, etc. so you should make up your own mind.
If you you are not able to find time to go to the classroom sessions because of reasons like job, childcare or any other kind of education, you could opt for online courses both with SFI and SIFA.
Time taken to complete the course:
If you are registered with SFI, the time taken to complete the course depends on you and the time you are willing to spend on learning the language. It is more structured and less flexible if you decide to take classes at SIFA because each level at SIFA is nine weeks long.
Language Courses that do not require a personnummer (paying options)
There are also private/paid options available if you want more personalized Swedish language training. Please be aware that this is not an endorsement of those classes.
- Folkuniversitetet offers a wide range of courses all over Sweden. Swedish language classes are offered in six levels from beginners to experienced speakers. Language levels are usually divided into different modules, you can choose between intensive and extensive courses, grammar-oriented courses or conversation. You can do online placement test, which helps you find the right course for you. To apply for Folkuniversitetet language course you do not need to have Swedish ID-number, but you might need visa or passport.
For availability, prices and information about courses, click here.
- Medborgarskolan is similar to Folkuniversitetet and besides language courses offers wide range of courses/study groups specialized in the arts, nature and technology. All of them are paid and you have to apply to be able to attend.
Medborgarskolan arranges classes in Swedish as a foreign language as a beginners course. Please note, that if you want to apply for a course online, you need a Swedish ID-number. If you do not have ID-number yet, contact the organization and they will help you. For more information about courses date and prices, look here.
Don’t forget that SDCN also offers Swedish language courses, mostly with a professional focus and you could opt for it even if you don’t have personal number. Information about the courses is available on our events calendar.
Once you received your personal identity number (personnummer) and you have decided on an area to live in, it is time to look up 1177 Vårdguiden (a website and telephone service with information, counseling and services in healthcare in Sweden) to find your nearest healthcare centers and register you and, if applicable, your family to a local clinic and doctor.
For children under 5, you are offered services from Barnavårdscentral (BVC). There you have the regular child development check-ups, and most importantly vaccination. Look at the vaccination program to see if there are any huge differences with your home country and discuss how to manage them. Swedish doctors typically offers to match any extras not typically given in Sweden (e.g. tuberculosis) if given in your home country. For the Stockholm region, vaccinations against tick-born encephalitis (TBE) are advisable, due to it being a high-risk region. Also, always check your children thoroughly after playing outdoors. TBE vaccine is available at your own cost at independent vaccination centers.
Opening a bank account in Sweden is not mandatory, but it is recommended and you will find it useful. Sweden is ranked as a top cash-free country and you can pay with the payment card everywhere – in the shops, restaurants, kiosks, public transport, even in public toilets. If your domestic bank has high fees or if you are planning to transfer money online from a foreign account to Sweden (e.g. to pay for rent, mobile phone, insurance, etc.) and you don’t want to lose money on bank fees every month, you should open a Swedish bank account as soon as possible.
First important thing to know is that you need a Personnummer (Swedish ID-number) and sometimes a Swedish id card to be able to open bank account. Some of the banks do not ask you for the ID card, and you will need only passport or other identity proof, but most do. However, it is always better to have a Swedish ID card because it is requirement for using Internet banking. Otherwise you can withdraw money from ATMs, pay with a card at the vendor, but you cannot do any online transactions.
There quite a few Swedish banks, but the main ones, which have offices and ATM all around Stockholm are:
Swedbank is the only bank with online customer service in English, but if you go to any bank office around the city, they will help you to open bank account even if you do not speak any Swedish. Once you choose the bank that suits you best, set up a meeting with the bank officer in advance, so you do not have to wait in a queue.
Useful bank applications
Bank ID/ Mobilt bank ID is an electronic identification solution, which allows banks, government agencies, companies and organizations to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the Internet. Bank ID is an electronic identity document with similar strength as a passport or identity document. You can use Bank ID as identity confirmation for login into the online systems e.g. Skatteverket (tax agency), Arbetsförmedlingen (employment agency), Försäkringskassan (insurance agency), to sign documents, login to your Internet banking account, to confirm payments with an online vendor, to use Swish, etc.
You can download the application on your computer or mobile device once you have a Swedish bank account so we advise you to activate it at the same time as open your Swedish bank account.
Swish – You can hear the phrase “just swish me” every day. Swish is a handy mobile application, which allows you to transfer money from your bank account directly to another one just using your mobile phone, for example to reimburse someone for a meal or a ticket, buy something from a blocket vendor, etc. Once you have the application, you enter the person’s phone number and the amount you want to send. The money is sent within seconds. You can also receive payments through Swish.
In order to be able use this application, you have to ask your bank for permission. Usually, you can manage it online in your Internet banking settings, or you can go to the nearest bank office and they will help you with installation.
If you plan to live in Sweden for a year or more, you need to visit the Skatteverket office so you can be registered in the Swedish Population Register. You will be given a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) and be registered as living in a building with an address. Your civil status and any relationship to your spouse, children or parent will also be registered. Find how to do it here.
Some authorities or organisations may request that you present a population registration certificate (personbevis) along with an application for their services. A population registration certificate is an extract from the population register showing what information is registered about you, such as your name, address, and civil status. You can order a population registration certificate at Skatteverket once you have received your personnummer.
Once you receive your personnummer, we recommend that you apply for your Swedish ID card (identitetskort) at Skatteverket. It is an approved form of identification within Sweden, for example as proof of your age and identity at places such as pharmacies, banks, shops etc. However, it cannot be used as a travel document. There is a SEK 400-fee to pay for the application. More information here.
Once you have your personnummer and if you are eligible to work in Sweden, register with the Swedish employment agency. To be honest, it is unlikely that you will find your next job through Arbetsförmedlingen but registration may be required when you apply for certain jobs, programmes or internships (see below), and it is free so it is a good idea to register sooner rather later. Read more here and follow the instructions for registration.
A valid registration is one of the eligibility criteria for some internship and career programmes, such as:
- Kortavägen (the short-cut) is run by Stockholm University but you apply through your case officer at Arbetsförmedlingen. Kortavägen starts twice a year and consists of 26 weeks of full-time study and internship.
- Jobbsprånget: Jobbsprånget is a four-month internship program for newcomers with a university degree.
- Career Tips with or without a personnummer
- Register your cv or your LinkedIn page with Novare Potential. It’s free you do not need a personnummer or Arbetsförmedlingen to register.
- To make connections with professionals in your field, sign up for those two free programs:
- Yrkesdörren will match you with a professional in the same field. This person will meet you and try to connect you with more people in your professional area in Sweden. Free, no personnummer needed and available in English if you need.
- Mitt Livs Chans will match you with a mentor, who will help you with your career over the course of 2 months (in English) to 8 months (in Swedish). Again, free and no personnummer needed.
It is a government authority that pays out money to individuals in various situations (child benefits, dental insurance, internship subsidies, parental leave, etc.). Once you have your personnummer and ID you can register at the social insurance agency. Read more about it and get the forms here.
It is wise to register yourself at 1177. Go online to register and consult the information about your healthcare needs in Sweden.
You can get emergency healthcare in the Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland) by showing your Swedish ID and providing your Swedish address.
You can get emergency healthcare in the 28 countries of the EU plus Switzerland (regardless of your own citizenship) under the same conditions as local residents thanks to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) once of course you have your personnummer and are registered with Försäkringskassan. The card is free and valid for three years but order it at least 10 days before you travel. Go here to apply.
Job and career
Stockholm Dual Career Network events
Search for jobs with English as the working language
Search engines for university positions
Internships (some of the links are mainly in Swedish)
Swedish Institute information about the path to working life in Sweden
Information for newly arrived professionals in Sweden
International schools in Stockholm
British International Primary School of Stockholm
Grades: Preschool, Grades 1 – 7
De Nederlande School in Stockholm
p/a British International Primary School
Grades: Primary school and secondary education
Deutsche Schule Stockholm
Grades: Preschool, Grades 1 – 12
Internationella Engelska Skolan (Nacka)
Curriculum/language: Swedish /English
Grades: 4 – 9
Engelska Skolan Norr
Curriculum/ Language: Swedish /English
Grades: Preschool – 5 & 6 -9
Internationella Engelska Skolan (Bromma)
Grades: 4 – 9
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm
Curriculum: Swedish and the IB
International School of the Stockholm Region (ISSR)
Curriculum: Schooling for children aged between 3 and 8, including the IB
French Lycée Saint Louis de Stockholm (Lycée Français)
Grades: Preschool, Grades 1 – 12
Futuraskolan International School of Stockholm
Grades: High School
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm
Internationella Engelska Skolan (Enskede)
Grades: 6 – 9
Internationella Engelska Skolan (Täby)
Curriculum/Language: Swedish /English
Grades: 4 – 6 (Junior School) & 7 – 9 (Senior School)
Internationella Engelska Skolan
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (Sigtuna)
Grades: Middle years – High School
Curriculum: IB program
Spanska skolan – Colegio español
Grades: 1 – 6
Stockholm International School
Grades: Kindergarten – 9
Curriculum: International / International Baccalaureate
Stockholms Språkskola (Elma School)
Viktor Rydbergs Gymnasium (VRG) & Samskola (VRS)
Grades: 3 Gymnasium High schools (10-12) and 1 middle school (7-9)
Curriculum/Language: Swedish/ English
Grades: Preschool & 1 -9
The Tanto International School
Curriculum: English National Curriculum
Grades: Preschool, Grades 1 – 6