3 steps in writing a job application

You've finally found some potential companies you're interested to apply to - those registered in the PRH- Finnish Patent and Registry Office. Note that the company should be registered in trade (kaupparekisteri), tax administration (verohallinnon), value added tax-liability, prepayment- and employer register.

Step 1: Write your cover letter in English

Most private companies in Finland require Finnish or Swedish language proficiency in their job ads because they are obligated to serve in their local language. However, more and more companies in Helsinki and Espoo are becoming more open to the ideas of adopting English as the general work language. The progress is slow but it is getting there.

Even so, recruiters and company owners, who are responsible for the recruitment process, are able to read cover letters written in English. This makes it more advisable to write the application in English rather than ask someone else to write it in Finnish. You can always add your Finnish and other language competencies in your cover letter. People often say that job hunting in Finland is can be quite challenging without connections and the right networks.

Step 2: Write a short and direct cover letter

A cover letter is a one-page document you usually submit in your job application, along with your CV. It aims to sell your skills to the employer and the specific job you are applying to. Make it compelling and engaging enough that the recruiter would want to review your CV, or even call you for an interview.  

Most companies in Finland are more casual than formal, which is why the cover letter can be written directly in the email rather than an attached form. This way, the recruiting manager will be able to see the information directly in the email rather than opening a separate PDF file.

The cover letter should be short and direct to the point. There could be hundreds of applicants for the job so no beating around the bush. Tell them why should they hire you, what makes you stand out, maybe despite being a foreigner who doesn't speak Finn