Learn some Finnish
For those of us who are expats, finding a real summer job in our field can be truly challenging without a proper grasp of the Finnish language.
Not having a dominion of Finnish will not prevent you from getting a summer job, but it will arguably limit your options. This will be especially the case in any job which involves interacting with customers frequently. If you’re from a technical field, it is more likely that English will suffice, since it will be your technical skills which will make you valuable.
Fortunately, as time passes, more and more job offerings in English appear, particularly in smaller firms or startups. Moreover, just a little knowledge of Finnish will allow you to navigate through internet resources more easily.
Keep a simple and clean CV
A CV is something you will absolutely need when searching for a job. There are countless tutorials online on how to make a CV and, in the end, there is no best way of making one. It will depend on your field of study and your education and work history.
However, there is an essential thing to keep in mind: less is more. The first page of your CV is likely the only one the potential employer will see. A potential employer who gets dozens or hundreds of application will dedicate no more than a few minutes (if even a minute) to glance over your CV, so your best chance at standing out is in the first page. If you want to add extra information about you and your hobbies, you can use a second page for that.
Use job search sites
Aggregators or search engines for jobs are useful when you want to get a general idea of the job offers in your area. They come in many flavors, such as Duunitori, where you can find job openings for summer under the Kesätyö section.
There is also the webpage of the Finnish Employment Office, which has information in English but only has its job search engine in Finnish or Swedish. You can also try international search engines like LinkedIn Jobs and glassdoor and setting the city as Oulu.
Attend employment events
One of the most useful employment events is the Career Days at the University of Oulu (Pestipäivät). During Pestipäivät companies from all over Finland have stands with representatives of the company at the University of Oulu. You can go and talk to these representatives and ask them about job opportunities if you’re near graduation, looking for a thesis subject, or looking for a summer job. Many of them will likely direct you to the career sections of their companies’ websites.
Another great opportunity this year is the upcoming event called Löyly. This event aims to bridge the gap between Oulu employers and international students. There will be presentations and workshops from companies as well as tips and advices for students. Registration for the event can be done through the Löyly webpage.
Check a company’s website or write an email directly
If you have a good idea of which companies you are interested to work in from your field of study, it is recommended that you go to their webpages and search for open positions. Many company webpages already have their own submission system for job applications. Others will have only the information about the positions and will urge you to contact them. For example, you can find positions at the u University of Oulu Open Positions page.
Finally, you can simply write an email to a company expressing your interest in working for them during the summer with your CV. Even if they have not published open positions, they might still have an interest in you.
Thanks to Mihaela Ivanova, Ida Jantunen, Kaisa Tervahauta, Bianca Beyer and Iida Nikkinen for their input in writing this piece.