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FINDING A JOB IN DENMARK

JOB

‘I am the plumber!’ Make your title fit the job

Our job search expert Franco Soldera is back to focus on why you need to clearly define yourself if you want to get employers to notice you.

'I am the plumber!' Make your title fit the job
No matter what you are, you need to clearly define it. Photo: Colourbox
This week we will analyze the very first stage of any job search, whether you are looking for your very first job or looking to switch positions after 20 years at the same company. Specifically, I will explain the meaning of the first two (an a half) steps referred to in my last column:
 
Click image for larger version
 
“Good morning! I am the plumber!”. Can you say this simple sentence with confidence? Do you feel comfortable presenting yourself with a very specific job title? If the answer is no, and you are looking for a job right now, then think twice: you are probably not ready yet for the move and you are going to waste a lot of precious time trying to impress employers who cannot possibly understand who you are!
 
One of the reasons we ask candidates to come to NemCV workshops prepared with one or more links to job ads that are suitable for them is that we want to avoid the usual conversation, which goes something like this:
 
Me: “Ok, let’s start to work on your CV: which job do you want to apply to? What’s your job title?”
 
Candidate: “Ooohhh, actually I am good at many things, it’s difficult to explain who I am and what I can do…”.
 
If it’s difficult for you to explain who you are, how can you believe that the five seconds (if you are lucky) an employer spends looking at your CV will understand what you can do for her/his company?
 
It is actually not so difficult to determine which label to stick on top of your CV as a job title, but first you have to first understand the targeted company’s language. 
 
This task is as easy as opening a web browser. Point your browser to any of the job search engines that you know (JobIndex, IT-Jobbank, Stepstone, our The Local’s own job listings, to mention a few) and search for the skills that you intend to offer to employers. Searching through the different job titles that you find and reading the job descriptions, you will be able to understand which job title best describes your skills.
 
This is an iterative process: search for a job, look at the job description and refine the search parameters looking for the job titles that better describe your skills. If you cannot find any suitable jobs, search again based on your skills but this time slightly change the keywords until you hit a number of job ads that are relevant to you. When you find a position you would like to apply to, you will write in your CV the same job title that you found in the job ad. If the company is looking for a plumber, then you must be a plumber!
 
Here is an example in NemCV format. I used this CV when I applied to a job as an “IT Operations and Support consultant”:
 
 
In case you are a new graduate and/or do not have much work experience, you should look at jobs where experience is not a requirement, like junior positions or internships.
 
Choosing the right internship or first job is matter of personal experience and attitude, combined with your degree title (if you have one). According to your specialization (and attained degree), you should pick the jobs where you can apply previous personal experience or study experience – remember, all experience counts! Do not underestimate voluntary work, as it is still work and it requires a special set of skills that could be used in your first job.
 
This is not a simple subject and I know that it can be a challenging and time consuming task for most readers. If you are in trouble with this task and need some advice, please send us an email and describe (with an example) your challenge. When I receive a number of requests, I will be able to dedicate an article that goes through your examples and  offer some clarification based on real cases.
 
Franco SolderaFranco Soldera is the co-founder of NemCV, together with Zubair Quraishi. Since 2011 they have focused on creating the right web application that allows a superior match between companies and candidates, overcoming the common misunderstandings that affect the hiring process. They have helped more than 1,000 foreigners in Denmark get their first job interviews.
 
Franco is an IT consultant with more than 15 years experience and has a past as musician. He got his first job in Denmark in 2003 and moved from Italy to settle in Copenhagen. You can follow him on Twitter at @fsoldera.

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JOB

‘We wanted to make chocolate to reflect Denmark’s seasons’

Stuart Eve moved to Denmark with his family after his wife, an archaeologist, was offered a job at Aarhus University. Nearly four years later, he is the co-founder of a fair trade chocolate business in the Scandinavian city.

'We wanted to make chocolate to reflect Denmark's seasons'
A chance meeting at their children's daycare resulted in the Ørbæk and Eve families starting their Danish business. Photo: Stuart Eve

Eve still works full time at his day job, also in archaeology. But the sweet-toothed entrepreneur told The Local that Denmark provided him with inspiration to try something out of his comfort zone – starting his own business in a foreign country.

After meeting business partner Anders Ørbæk at the daycare centre attended by their children, the two began the project, initially producing the chocolate out of their own kitchens.

“That has now moved to the renting of a professional space, so that we can scale up production and also get all the relevant food hygiene certificates and so on,” Eve said.

The archaeologist said having Danish partners had been beneficial in the course of setting up a business in the Scandinavian country, even though the process itself was straightforward.

“Actually starting the business was a matter of filling in a few forms online and showing we had 100 kroner [13 euros] in the bank. However, I think without our Danish partners, it would have been quite hard – mainly because of the technical Danish required. My Danish is pretty awful – and there are a lot of financial terms that are difficult to translate,” Eve said.

READ ALSO: Danish: Is it really so hard to learn?

“So I think for us it was essential to have Danish partners. Also, the food hygiene rules and health and safety, while similar to the UK, are quite onerous – and again very technical.

“I run my own archaeology business in the UK, so that has set me in great stead for the financial and business side,” he added.

The startup currently sources some of its supplies from Eve’s native UK – one aspect that may be complicated by Brexit, he said.

“My secret dream is that the chocolate business will enable us to beat Brexit and stay in Denmark for a lot longer — but we'll have to see how it pans out,” he said.

 

Packaged up and ready to go #somerferie #chokolade #beantobar #chocolate

A post shared by Ørbæk & Eve (@oerbaekandeve) on Jul 3, 2017 at 2:40pm PDT

It was not just the administrative side that Eve had to learn on the hoof for his Danish-based business, though – the process of producing the chocolate itself is also new.

“I was eating some Ritter Sport one evening and wondered to myself how chocolate was made, thinking it must be some incredibly complicated industrial process. So I checked out a few YouTube videos and it turns out you can make chocolate in a coffee grinder – it tastes awful because it is so crunchy, but it shows the process. From there it was a matter of buying a bigger grinder and starting to experiment. We have so much to learn still, but people seem to like what we are producing so far,” he said.

The chocolate produced by the startup – which is both fairtrade and organic – is heavily influenced by Denmark’s nature and seasonal variations, including a quarterly subscription service which can be signed up for via a crowdfunding campaign.

“We have been trying to find a way to really represent the beauty and abundance of the Danish countryside and combine it with something that Danes really love – chocolate,” he said.

“Strawberries from Samsø for summer, hazelnuts foraged from the woods for autumn, etc. Between us we have six kids so the family always come in and help during the production days,” he added.

A longer term aim is to consolidate the new company – named Ørbæk & Eve after its co-founders – as a well-known ‘bean to bar’ company in Aarhus.

“Our main reasons for doing this are two-fold. First, we eat a lot of chocolate and have become increasingly concerned by the human and environmental costs of industrialised chocolate production – there are new reports about destruction of rainforest for cocoa plantations and slave labour in West Africa, for example. In order to not be complicit with this, I wanted to figure out how it was made – and to do it myself.

“Second, we have really noticed the differences in the seasons since we moved to Denmark, so we wanted to make chocolate that reflected and celebrated the different qualities of the changing seasons,” he said.

Eve, Ørbæk and their partners are currently spending evenings and weekends on the chocolate production runs.

“As things pick up, I suspect I will move to one dedicated day a week, but we have four of us working on it, so we can usually juggle the time,” he said.

READ MORE: The Local's 'My Danish Career' series