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Five essential words you need when applying for a job in Denmark

A few context-specific words can go a long way towards effective communication on Danish job applications.
A few context-specific words can go a long way towards effective communication on Danish job applications. Photo by TheStandingDesk on Unsplash
Finding a job as a foreigner in Denmark is a challenging task, especially if you are applying in Danish as a new speaker of the language.

While we can’t find your ideal job, we’d like to think the below vocabulary will come in handy during the process.

If there’s anything important you think we’ve missed in this guide, let us know.

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Ansøgning 

Most job searches begin with an ansøgning, or application. You’re also likely to come across the compound word variant jobansøgning, job application.

You might find a jobopslag (job posting) which asks you to fill out an ansøgningsskema (application form), or perhaps you’ll try your luck by sending out uopfordret jobansøgninger (unsolicited job applications).

Ansættelseshistorik 

While a CV or resume is simply a CV in Danish, it’s worth knowing the typical titles for the various subheadings so you can be confident in (and look confident on) your application.

These include ansættelseshistorik (employment history), which can sometimes be prefaced with relevant if you only want to include selected or relevant past roles on your CV.

Other subheadings you might use include uddannelse (education), sprogfærdigheder (proficient languages) and øvrig erfaring og interesser (other experience and interests).

Referencer (referees) can also be listed, but it’s common for Danish CVs to state that these fås ved nærmere henvendelse, or are provided on request.

The letter of motivation (sometimes also called statement of purpose) commonly attached alongside a CV to job applications is sometimes just called the ansøgning (application, see above) and sometimes a motiveret ansøgning, which is perhaps a more faithful translation of ‘letter of motivation’.

Fagforening 

Your fagforening or trade union may be able to help you when looking for work, should you, like around 70 percent of people on the Danish labour market, be a member of one. In some trades, almost all people working in the sector are members of the same trade union – for example, the vast majority of nurses are members of Denmark’s nurses’ union, Dansk Sygeplejeråd (DSR).

Should you be a member of a union, the wage and working conditions on which you are hired will be determined by the overenskomst or collective bargaining agreement between the union and employer representatives.

While you are searching for work, you A-kasse or unemployment insurance provider can help with resources and guidance related to writing an application and looking for relevant job postings.

READ ALSO: Should I sign up with a Danish union and get unemployment insurance? 

Stilling

Meaning ‘position’, stilling is a good synonym for ‘job’ which can be used both on applications and during your interview. If you think you’d use ‘position’ or ‘role’ in reference to a job when speaking English, you can say ‘stilling’ in the equivalent sentence in Danish.

For example, you might write in your application that you håber at blive taget I betragtning til stillingen (hope to be considered for the position), or say in the interview that you feel you are meget velegnet til stillingen (very well suited to the role).

Kompetencer 

You may be asked at the interview which kompetencer (competencies or skills) you will bring to the role. Possibly, these will be specified as being faglige kompetencer (technical or professional skills). Likewise, you could find yourself explaining why you have the right erfaring (experience) for the job.

If you want to say you’re a ‘team player’, don’t worry about throwing the English term into the conversation – it’s a well-recognised loan expression in Danish.


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