When looking for a job in Italy, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket – the more jobs you apply for, the better your chances are of finding one. Contact as many prospective employers as possible, either by writing, telephoning or calling on them in person. Whatever job you’re looking for, it’s important to market yourself correctly and appropriately, which depends on the kind of job or position you’re seeking. For example, the recruitment of executives and senior managers is handled almost exclusively by executive search companies which advertise in the Italian ‘national’ press and trade magazines. At the other end of the scale, manual jobs requiring no previous experience may be advertised at local employment offices (uffici di collocamento), in local newspapers and on notice boards, and the first suitable applicant may be offered the job on the spot. Job hunting includes the following resources:
Most national, regional and local newspapers (see page 392) contain a situations vacant or jobs section (Offerte di Lavoro or Offerte di Collaborazione) on certain days of the week. The Milan daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera, publishes a Corriere Lavoro (www.corriere.it/corrierelavoro ) job supplement on Fridays and the financial newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, publishes Cerco Lavoro – Giovani for college graduates on Mondays and also publishes a Lavoro & Carriere supplement. There are also specialised local and national newspapers for job seekers such as Il Posto (the job) and Il Concorso (which lists civil service and local government jobs) in Naples, Trova Lavoro and Bollettino Del Lavoro (www.bollettinodellavoro.it ), a monthly publication available at employment offices and libraries. Jobs are also advertised in industry and trade newspapers and magazines. Ask the locals which publications and days are best for job ads. in your area.
Most major newspapers and magazines have websites where you can usually access their ‘situations vacant’ sections free of charge and local and national newspapers are available in libraries, bars and cafés in Italy, so you don’t always need to buy them. Italian newspapers are also available abroad from international news agencies, trade and commercial centres, expatriate organisations and social clubs (although they don’t always contain the ‘appointments’ or ‘situations vacant’ sections).
Most professions and trade associations publish journals containing job offers (see Benn’s Media Directory Europe) and jobs are also advertised in various English-language publications, including the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal Europe, Wanted in Rome and other local publications (see Appendix A). You can also place an advertisement in the ‘situations wanted’ section of a local newspaper in Italy in an area where you would like to work. If you’re a member of a recognised profession or trade, you could place an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine dedicated to your profession or industry. It’s best to place an advert in the middle of the week and avoid the summer and other holiday periods.
Visit local employment offices (uffici di collocamento) and other offices in Italy (see page 25). Jobs on offer are mainly non-professional skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs, particularly in industry, retailing and catering.
Information Centres And Libraries
Local information centres (informagiovani)are useful for information about jobs, job hunting, education and training, for more details visit their website
(www.informagiovani.it ). Main libraries also provide a range of resources for job seekers, although they don’t specifically provide advice and assistance for the unemployed, as in some other countries.
Apply to international recruitment agencies acting for Italian companies and foreign companies in Italy. These companies chiefly help to recruit executives and key personnel, and many have offices world-wide, including in many Italian cities (see page 26). Some Italian agencies may find positions only for Italian and EU nationals or foreigners with a residence permit.
Chambers Of Commerce
Foreign chambers of commerce (camera di commercio) in Italy maintain lists of their member companies doing business (or with subsidiaries) in Italy. British nationals can join the British chamber of commerce in Italy, Via Dante, 12, 20121 Milan (( 02-877 798 or 8056 094, www.britchamitaly.com ) for between €140 and €1,200, for a range of different memberships and benefits. Italian chambers of commerce abroad are also a useful source of information, as are Euro Info Centres (EIC) found in the major cities of EU countries. Infoimprese (www.infoimprese.it ) is a useful website of Italian chambers of commerce with information on companies.
The Internet provides access to hundreds of sites for job-seekers, including corporate websites, recruitment companies and newspaper job advertisements (you can use a search engine to find them).
Unsolicited Applications To Companies
Apply to American, British and other multi-national companies with offices or subsidiaries in Italy, and make written applications direct to Italian companies. Italian companies are listed by products, services and province in Kompass Italy and directories, available at libraries in Italy, and main libraries and Italian chambers of commerce abroad. Making unsolicited job applications is naturally a hit and miss affair. It can, however, be more successful than responding to advertisements, as you aren’t usually competing with other applicants. Some companies recruit a large percentage of employees through unsolicited applications. When applying for jobs, address your letter to the personnel director (capo del personale) and include your CV (in Italian), and copies of references and qualifications. If possible, offer to attend an interview and tell them when you’re available. Letters should be tailored to individual companies and professionally translated if your Italian isn’t perfect. Some Italian companies require hand-written letters from job applicants and may submit them to graphologists. When writing from abroad, enclosing an international reply coupon may help to elicit a response.
Networking basically involves getting together with like-minded people to discuss business. It’s particularly useful in Italy, where people use personal contacts for everything from looking for jobs to finding accommodation. In fact, a personal recommendation (raccomandati) is often the best way to find employment in Italy, where nepotism and favouritism are rife. When looking for a job in Italy, it isn’t necessarily what you know but who you know. It’s difficult for most foreigners to make contacts among Italians and therefore many turn to the expatriate community, particularly in Rome and Milan. If you’re already in Italy, you can contact or join local expatriate social clubs, churches, societies and professional organisations (see also Appendix A). Finally, don’t forget to ask your friends and acquaintances working in Italy if they know of an employer seeking someone with your experience and qualifications.
Your best chance of obtaining certain jobs in Italy is to apply in person, when success is often simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Many companies don’t advertise at all, but rely on attracting workers by word of mouth and by their own vacancy boards. Shops and supermarkets often put vacancy notices in their windows or have notice boards where employers can advertise jobs, although these are generally for temporary or part-time help only.
It’s recommended to leave your name and address with a prospective employer and, if possible, a telephone number where you can be contacted, particularly when a job may become vacant at a moment’s notice. Advertise the fact that you’re looking for a job, not only with friends, relatives and acquaintances, but with anyone you come into contact with who may be able to help. You can give lady luck a helping hand with your persistence and enterprise by:
- cold calling on prospective employers
- checking ‘wanted’ boards
- looking in local newspapers
- checking notice and bulletin boards in large companies, shopping centres, embassies, clubs, sports centres and news agencies
- asking other foreign workers
When leaving a job in Italy, it’s wise to ask for a written reference (which isn’t usually provided automatically), particularly if you plan to look for further work in Italy or you think your work experience will help you find work in another country.
This excerpt has been republished with permission from Survival Books. Some of the information may apply to EU citizens only. If you would like to get the inside track on moving to Italy, pick up your copy of this great book by clicking here.