How To Work In Denmark, Stories about life in Denmark

Finding a job in Denmark as a foreigner: Some tips from my experience

If you’re a foreigner, finding a job in Denmark is not easy, but it can be done. It depends a lot on what you can do. And what you can do better than a Dane. Because, let’s be frank here, if all things are equal between you and a Danish person, they’re going to hire the Danish person.

The Danish person knows the language, the Danish person knows the culture, the Danish person knows not to bring Brie cheese to the Friday shared breakfast. In every Danish office I’ve ever worked in, there’s been a Friday shared breakfast, and they always eat exactly the same cheese. Sliced, medium-sharp Riberhus Danbo cheese.

Sometimes I would try to bring a different cheese and my Danish colleagues would smile and nod like they do when a foreigner has done something silly … and then not eat my cheese. They’d eat no cheese at all until someone brought out the Riberhus Danbo medium-sharp sliced cheese. My daughter and I call it ‘Danish people cheese.’

Having a Danish diploma helps
Anyway, the Danish workplace is about teams, and working together, and getting along as a group, and there’s an automatic suspicion that a foreigner might not fit into that. Back to my original point – to overcome this, you have to show what you can do better than your Danish rivals.

If you have an education from within Denmark, that’s a good start, because that’s kind of a local seal of approval. If you’re just moving here with a partner, you might want to consider this as a way to start out. Higher education is (in some cases) free here, and the government even gives you a stipend to live on while you learn. By the time you’re finished with school, you’ll have a network that should make job hunting easier.

Otherwise, I suggest you put all your effort into Danish classes at the start, and then get a job that will force you to speak Danish all day, every day.

I often recommend working as an assistant in a Danish day care center. The jobs don’t pay well, but they’re relatively easy to get, particularly in Copenhagen, and particularly for men. They’re always looking for men that the little boys can look up to. And quite frankly, the kids speak very simple Danish, and you speak very simple Danish. It’s a good match.

Just speaking English is not enough
When people come from English speaking countries – the US, Britain, Australia – they often ask me if speaking English well is enough to get them a job. The answer is no, even though there are many companies that have English as their corporate language. But those are prestigious companies – Novo, Lundbeck – places that everybody wants to work. So, you have to have a job skill, plus English, to work there.

So, if you do have a job skill, plus English and you want a job in Denmark, what do you do?

This is my recommendation: search the job ads on databases like Jobindex.dk and WorkinDenmark.dk. But unless you’re a perfect fit, don’t rush apply for these jobs, where you’ll be competing with a lot of other people.

Instead, study the ads to figure out what skills companies are looking for. What skill can they not find? Figure out if you can dress up your cv to highlight some of those skills, or even get take a quick course so you have them.

Go to as many professional events as possible, chat with people, but don’t ask them for a job. Ask about them about your industry, ask them where the pain is, where the problems are.

Show how you can solve their problems
And then, write your job application and your cv, explaining how you and your skills can help them solve exactly the problems that everyone is worried about. Put the problems at the top, and explain how you are the answer. Create a little elevator speech explaining how you and your skills can help solve this problem or that problem in your industry.

The local union that covers employees in your field can also help with this, and can also help you adapt your cv and cover letter for Danish employer tastes. Joining a union is well worth the money when you’re looking for a job that requires an advanced degree.

And then start approaching companies, and you gotta be tough. The first time I was unemployed in Denmark, I approached 100 companies with personalized letters. I got about three responses…and one job, where I stayed for 8 years. So it’s a numbers game.

Denmark loves LinkedIn
Two more tips. Danish people love LinkedIn, so get your LinkedIn profile looking really spiffy. Please put up a professional picture that shows your real face. Of just the people who have asked for my help, one guy had a picture of himself at wedding, maybe his own wedding, wearing a little white carnation. He looked like Fred Astaire.

Another guy had a shadowy picture of himself at a nightclub, holding a beer. No. You have to put up a clear picture of yourself smiling and looking friendly in whatever type of clothing you wear for work. If you’re a music producer, you don’t have to wear a suit. If you’re a banker, it’s probably a good idea. Danes are casual, so a nice, colorful sweater or blouse is perfect.

And secondly, pay somebody to look over your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s in really good English. I’ve hired people in Denmark, and it’s always amazing to me I got so many cvs and cover letters in terrible English. There’s a website called Fiverr where people will copyread your CV or your LinkedIn profile for only five US dollars. It’s definitely worth the investment.

So, that’s my advice. It’s hard to get a job in Denmark, but the good news is that everyone is rooting for you – particularly the Danish government. They want to get you working as quickly as possible – so you can start paying your giant Danish taxes.

Hear this essay as a podcast.

 

Please note: I have received literally hundreds of messages from people asking me to find them a job in Denmark. I am not a government body or employment agency: I cannot help you find work. Check out workindenmark.dk for official information on working in Denmark.

Moving to Denmark

Want to read more? Try the How to Live in Denmark book, available in paperback or eBook editions, and in English, Chinese, and Arabic. If you represent a company or organization, you can also book Kay Xander Mellish to stage a How to Live in Denmark event tailored for you, including the popular How to Live in Denmark Game Show. Kay stages occasional free public events too. Follow our How to Live in Denmark Facebook page to keep informed.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

92 Comments

  • Reply Sonja February 26, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Kay!
    Thank you for this post. It’s really interesting and full of good advice.

  • Reply Stuart February 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Nice article, and the cultural myopia is most certainly a big factor. However, you are incorrect on one point – education in Denmark is most certainly not free for people from non EU countries.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish February 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I apologize, Stuart – sounds like I got some incorrect information. I will correct this in the text.

      • Reply Stuart February 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm

        Hi Kay, You are certinly correct as far as Danes and EU nationals are concerned. As I understand it, if you are from outside the EU you cannot even qualify for SU for two years, after which time you are on the same footing as an EU national in terms of working for 10 hours per week to qualify for SU when studying. So non-EU citizens can expect to receive no financial support while studying and pay fees of around 6000 euro per year. However, the situation could well be different for those on humanitarian visas (I don’t know anything about this).

  • Reply Amit Roysen February 26, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you very much for your valuable article. It will be very helpful for me.

  • Reply Andra Popa February 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Great post, it’s pretty much as you said, except with the SU, it’s rather difficult to get it if you are not danish. You need to have min.10h/week worked and at least 3 months of working. And you get the SU as long as you keep that up. Considering how “easy” it is to find a job as an international student, it’s quite an adventure.

  • Reply Rene March 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I secured a job at Novo Nordisk quite quickly, even without speaking a word of Danish. I think what gave me the edge over other danish candidates was my extensive international work experience. Certainly for a company like Novo, with its growing global footprint will favour candidates with a diverse international background. This in my view is something many average Danes cannot compete with. The business worlds of New York and London are way more competitive than small Copenhagen. Employers in DK know this and they also know that these candidates are likely to work harder (and better) than the average Dane.

    • Reply tanusree dasgupta September 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Hello Rene,
      I recently applied for a scientist post in Novo Denmark, and done with first round of interview.I have a few questions,I would really appreciate if you can help-
      1)I am in Canada currently-do NOVO people prefer people in Denmark over foreigners even when the foreigner has a better resume?
      2)I have work experience in USA, India and Canda but not in Europe…is it going to put me in a better position than other candidates or this would be my drawback?
      3)Like in USA visa is a big issue now..they hire less qualified candidate who doesn’t require a sponsorship over candidates who are perfect fit but require a sponsorship?is it same for Denmark?is sponsorship an issue while deciding a candidate?
      Please help,I am really looking forward to work at NOVO..

  • Reply Raphael March 6, 2014 at 2:39 am

    I am moving to Denmark this July… I find your website to be informative and yet intimidating all at once… after reading this, i’m thinking i may not find a job as easily as i thought, i have yet to learn the language… this should be interesting. Thank you for all these posts and look forward to reading more!

  • Reply Mino August 17, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I found your article interesting and inspiring…especially when you talk about higher education and the money the danish government may give to live on during the course…do you know who I can refer to if I want to know more about it? Thanks a million!

    My kindest regards

    Mino

  • Reply Christopher Kayima September 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Kay.
    I have been to Denmark twice. Ist in 1999 on a work visit, and 2nd in 2010 for a three weeks course by the Danida Fellowship Center conducted by Grontmij Carl bro. I want to return and work in Denmark. I am from Kampala – Uganda. I have ACCA, Msc accounting & B.Com Finance. What advice do you give me?

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish September 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Hi Christopher! Have you looked into the Danish Green Card program? Alternately, consider studying here again. Student visas are usually easier to get than work ones.

  • Reply Bipesh October 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Kay! i don’t know how hard it was for other people but in my case got a problem with accommodation, CPR, bank account. Each and every step was like walking over pieces of broken glasses for few months. Now i am getting problem of getting job in Copenhagen as i don’t know anyone here. I got a CPR and getting problem to survive being an international student. what will you suggest me to have a job coz i have strong command in english language and can speak Japanese as well.
    Thanks

  • Reply Yaser November 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Kay, I would like to know about the conditions of aquaculture and fisheries jobs for Non-Eu citizens regarding to their educational level.
    thanks

  • Reply Sander December 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Hello everybody. Just to let you know that this girl is right in some part of his thoughts but be realistic it’s no true. I think she is living in a buble and doent know how hard it is to find a job here in Denmark plus learn Danish. I think she do more social life than be honest I got 4 months in DK and I have no job and I have my cv with a good cover letter with good knowledge of education and I have no answer or even a phone call from the 1000 agency I applyed until now. So what she s writing or talking its a Saturday night conversation in some bars in Copenhagen to break the ice. Sorry but please be more realistic. (Sander winter.) thank you

    • Reply Ayaz Aslam May 23, 2017 at 5:22 am

      Absloutely Right I have spent my three years in Denmark. Being a forginer student without Language. I faced very hard time and did not Get any Good Job except paper delivery & clening finally Got schezophrinia and huge depression in terrific financial crises came back to home country.Alas

  • Reply Haidar December 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Kay,

    I have Indian Nationality and currently residing in India. Recently I applied a Green card Visa for Denmark. I have maters degree in IT and having 5 Years of relevant experience in IT field. I would like to know that what are the possibilities for getting a job in IT in Denmark once i have valid Green Card Visa for Denmark.

    Please do the needful.

    Thank you so much !

    • Reply Akram June 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Assalamualaikum Haider.
      Akram here saw your comment on this article. Very curious about the situations in Denmark. I’m willing to apply Green Card for Denmark. As per my Agent I’m also qualifying for it. As I’ve B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering and don’t have any experience in my relevant field. Can I get any jobs in Aeronautical Indystry ? If not then can I work in Mechanical Industry as a Mechanical Engineer ? I want to know about jobs, living and other things in Denmark. Kindly take sometime to email me regarding all of it and your personal experience. One more thing how about Muslims treated in Denmark ? Please give me an overview since you’re already in Denmark.
      JazakAllah.

  • Reply Andrew January 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I must say, it is not easy finding a position in Denmark; especially if you are apply from abroad. But you just need to soldier on and do not get upset or take it personally when you get that umpteenth rejection letter.

    Myself, I will just keep applying for positions I see fit my skill level and keep attending my Danish lessons over here. Everything has its place and everything has its time!

    …But for now, thanks Mrs Mellish for the advice you are giving everyone and for this page….. was beginning to think it was just me who was struggling 🙂

  • Reply Mahmoud January 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Hi Kay,your article is really helpful.I`m in the VISA issue process(Greencard). But I didn`t see you talk about some jobcenters in copenhagen. Are them really helpful?

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish January 18, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Hi Mahmoud. Job centers are basically designed to match open jobs with unemployed people; they’re not designed to think creatively, which is what you need to do if you’re a foreigner looking for a job in Denmark. As I said, most Danish employers would rather hire a Dane unless they simply can’t find one with the qualifications they need. Your best opportunity, as a foreigner, is to have those qualifications. If you can use the job center as a way of finding out which jobs are going begging that you – with a little extra effort and training – could fill, then they’re useful. Otherwise they match people who have worked with ABC with jobs that require ABC, and teach everyone else how to write cvs, etc. I recommend nemCV.com for the latter.

  • Reply Touseef January 31, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Hi Kay, your article is really very good. I had got greencard visa and planning to come in May. I have Masters in computer science with research publication and over 8+ years of software development experience. I am very hopeful I wish to do Phd as well. please suggest/guide me how to find a job and also proceed my education.
    I has started applying online and waiting for good response.
    Please guide me in this case, your advice will be highly valuable for me

  • Reply Peter February 11, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Hi all

    Im a native dane and i stumbled in on these very informative, and sometimes very funny threads – Kay you really have something good going here!
    i love to read what foreigners have to say about my country – and in this case the walls people run into looking for work – Kay (and others) may be right that you guys need to be better than the average dane in order to secure that job – not too difficult as most of us natives are average in every way concieveable

  • Reply Robiul March 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Nice article. Thanks… I am from Bangladesh a south Asian country….I completed Masters on management from national University and got 2 years experience in Sr. Executive position in a commercial fishing company.Now I am willing to do job in Denmark.Do u have any suggestions for me?? Please Reply…. 🙂

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish March 4, 2015 at 10:49 am

      Hi Robiul. I’m just a blogger and I can’t help you get a job. But I do recommend workindenmark.dk and jobsindenmark.dk. Also try to figure out which Danish unions cover workers in the fishing industry and get in touch with them. Unions are often the best source of information about jobs in a particular sector.

  • Reply ASONGTIA DONATUS March 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    am a cameroonian by nationality holder of GCE(ordinary level certificate am seeking for a job in Denmark

  • Reply shir March 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Hey , iam almost 3 years in Danmark and iam married to a danish lovely man plus a baby boy.
    i have opportunity to study something whats goes now at market outside here in Danmark?
    hope you can advice me
    my opinions are design or computer science
    do you know if there’s a studying in english for accounting
    Thanks Ahead
    shir

  • Reply nils March 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hi

    Is there any site, where I can apply for a voluntary year in denmark?

    Best
    N

  • Reply Olumide April 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I am from Nigeria , i have an aunt currently in denmark for 18years. I am curently studying geology in a Federal University in Nigeria. I plan having my Masters degree in any Danish University after which i might get a job .
    Thanks for this information of yours i look forward to more enlightening online articles such as this.

  • Reply Lucinda April 12, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Kay,
    I would like to study social sciences in Denmark; and I have three children. What can you recommend?

  • Reply NIKITA April 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Kay

    Your article was a great help to me. I am an indian national who is an Indian qualified teacher for 12 years. I have got masters degree in childhoodstudies from England and a part time work experience in uk. Do you think i will be able to stand in dane competition with dane teachers.
    Thanks

  • Reply raheel anwar April 20, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Kay

    I am married to a Dane and we live in London but she is going back and i plan to follow end of the year/beginning of next. I am british in my mid 40s, and have 20 years experience of working in the voluntary sector in awards/grants management and project management. I have a BA and MSc from London University in history and politics. I don’t speak any Danish. Job wise: i am interested in organisations like WHO, UNICEF, Red Cross, so similar to what i have been doing before but am open minded and would consider the tourist industry (hotels-events management), English speaking nations and their embassies or international organisations requiring project management/administration skills. I am also interested in learning Danish once over especially if i can get courses paid for. Is there any guidance in any of this you can give please?

    Raheel

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish April 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Hi Raheel! I don’t know much about the NGO sector, but the UN does have a prominent building in Copenhagen full of international employees. In general,the Danish job market can require very long lead time, particularly for someone coming from outside the country. I would recommend trying to start make contacts and build networks now, and plan on a minimum of 6 months of job searching before you are offered a position. Since you are British and married to a Dane, I’m not sure what your immigration status will be in Denmark, but you might want to consider opening your own single-person business (very easy to do in Denmark) and then selling your project-management and grant-writing services on a consultancy basis. It can be easier to get someone to ‘try you out’ as a consultant than to convince them to hire you full-time, and there are tax benefits to running your own shop as well (can write off office-related things like computers, phones, etc.). Good luck!

      • Reply raheel anwar May 18, 2015 at 9:10 am

        Dear Kay
        Many thanks for taking the time out to reply.
        I have seen some adverts from UN bodies for english speaking jobs that i can apply for. Other jobs in private industry seem to center on IT/Pharma industries which i am not familiar with. The idea of self employment has come up so your advice around there is very helpful. Good also to have an idea of time frames for finding work. As UK is in the EU, tied in with wife being Danish, i have strong immigration status.
        Thanks again.
        Raheel

  • Reply Yuliya May 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you so much! I wish I found your blog 6 months ago! I was feeling so lousy and miserable about myself,my background…so,I read all articles and you’ve made my day!!!

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish May 8, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Thanks, Yuliya! Glad to be able to help! 🙂

  • Reply Moryn, May 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Kay,

    I’m a Tanzanian married to a french man with a child. We now leave in Tanzania in the process of moving to Denmark. My husband will come alone and I will come later with my daughter.
    My husband has BA in Marketing but 6 years experience in Logistics! Other than day care assistance. Which jobs can he easily acquire while searching for something more appropriate to his education and experience? note that he is good at French and English.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish May 22, 2015 at 4:45 am

      Hello, Moryn. There are actually no jobs he can ‘easily acquire’ in Denmark: the hiring process tends to be slow and deliberate, even for Danes. Logistics sounds like his best bet, but I suggest he start working hard on his Danish, since the logistics field may require working with a lot of people who are not gifted English speakers. GLS, the logistics firm, hires many foreigners, but in my experience they all speak at least basic Danish. He could also try the UN, which does a lot of logistics out of Copenhagen. Hope that’s helpful!

  • Reply Brian May 26, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Hi my partner is danish. We have both just finished our psychology degree and looking to earn money for our masters. She has already got a job lined up in retail and will work full time. I am very worried about myself if i will be able to find work there. I am from England and have experience in sales and retail. I am so worried about finding work it starting to stress me out. I have applied for couple jobs no reply back yet. She keeps thinking that it will be same for me to find work in Denmark and that it would be same chance in London where i am from. The reason going to Denmark is the pay should be better but i am so worried i won’t find anything and have better chance in London. I will be staying quite near Aahurs.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish May 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      Hi Brian! It sounds to me like it would make sense for you to already begin applications for your master’s in Denmark, or some other degree in the same field. As I understand it (and I’m no expert), you might then be eligible for some support from the Danish state. Being affiliated with a college would also help your job prospects – you would be a bit more of a ‘known quantity.’ Alternately, you could see if there are any British and/or Irish pubs in the Aarhus area, where not speaking Danish might be seen as kind of a bit of ‘local color.’ There are a lot of restaurant workers in Copenhagen who do not speak Danish – not sure about Aarhus. Alternately, you could learn very basic Danish and then look for work in a child-care setting, probably with kids 3-6, who also speak basic Danish. They are always looking for kind, energetic men to serve as role models to the little boys! At any rate, it’s hard to job-hunt for a face-to-face job from faraway. And I think you’ll have to send out more than 2 applications! I sent out more than 100 before I got a job in Denmark – but I did get a job. Personal face-to-face appeals work too.

  • Reply Pratap May 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Hi,
    I’m from India. I read your article and points are covered Precisely. I also appreciate your patience and the helping nature. I also got recently Denmark Green card. Your article will be helpful for me.
    I’m having 10 years exp in IT and can speak only English.

    • Reply Akram June 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Hey Pratap,
      Akram here saw your comment on this article. Very curious about the situations in Denmark. I’m willing to apply Green Card for Denmark. As per my Agent I’m also qualifying for it. As I’ve B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering and don’t have any experience in my relevant field. Can I get any jobs in Aeronautical Indystry ? If not then can I work in Mechanical Industry as a Mechanical Engineer ? I want to know about jobs, living and other things in Denmark. Kindly take sometime to email me regarding all of it and your personal experience. Please give me an overview since you might be already in Denmark.
      Thanks&Regards.

  • Reply Satish June 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Kay,
    Greetings..!!
    Your article was simple and very helpful. Thank you very much for sharing this. I have 1 question here, I am from India and having 6 years of IT experience and planning to migrate to Denmark. I heard that there are very few opportunities for IT in Denmark, Is this correct? How about IT industry in Denmark? Please share your thoughts also share the Job portals list which are in English language . Thank you.!

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish June 30, 2015 at 5:30 am

      Hi Satish! The IT industry is thriving in Denmark, and there are many Indian IT specialists here. That said, I cannot advise you about specific IT jobs or the skills most in demand in Denmark. Try jobsindenmark.dk or workindenmark.dk.

  • Reply Camilo Sierralta June 30, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Hi, I decided to get a job in Denmark, I am living in Chile right now but I have Belgium passport. I am working as a Lawyer in Chile in a Logistics Company and I speak english and Spanish, any advice for me?

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish June 30, 2015 at 5:31 am

      Hi Camilo! I suggest you get in touch with the DJØF, the local lawyer’s union, about job possibilities in Denmark. Also try jobsindenmark.dk or workindenmark.dk.

  • Reply Daniela Petre July 15, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Hy Kay,

    Very interesting and at the same time funny article. I have bought also your book “How to live in Denmark” in e-book, I really like your style, and you get to know so much about Denmark. I know you are only a blogger, but I saw you gave the others some good tips, so I will try briefly to describe me. I am an M.A graduate in Culture-Language-Media from the university of Flensburg, and I have lived in Fyn since a couple of months. I am Romanian and Italian, I speak 5 languages, and now studying Danish. I took part in the Spouse’s Programme offered by WorkinDenmark, that was very useful, but still I don’t have a job. I know how to write a good cv, cover letter, how to have a good linkedin profile, but is hard. I have two experiences of internships, all in all 5 months, one in germany working with international students, counselling and accomodation, and one in CPH, in the Embassy, translations and press briefings. Would I have some opportunities in CPH, with the little I have done until now? Thank you for reading this, and thank you for the answer.
    Best regards,
    Daniela

  • Reply Matovu Ronald October 4, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    am in Denmark but planning for an exit every where you go the Danes are favoured most..i had a good paying job but those gaint taxes and the cost of living is so high.. was working at a multi NGO company under electrical engneering

  • Reply Valeria October 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Hello! Do yoh think that it’s easy to find a tourism job?

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish October 19, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Assuming you have the right working visas and it is tourist season – roughly May to September – then it’s certainly possible.

  • Reply Rajkumar October 27, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Great article, Yes only English speaking is not enough not only in Denmark, total Scandinavia. And also you mentioned about Denmark loves Linkedin, Yes it’s 100% true specially IT related jobs are available for English speaking people in Denmark.

  • Reply Lizzie November 24, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Kay!
    Many thanks for your article. At this point I’m not sure if is uplifting or depressing – but definitely useful.
    How do you think, does a mix of a British Bachelor’s degree and a Swedish Master’s degree plus a lot of international experience help in anyway? I have background in International Business, Politics and Asian Studies and it doesn’t seem to be taking me anywhere.
    I thought of getting another Master’s degree in Sweden-one year in Management or Marketing, or Branding etc. Can it be a good idea? And I’m mentioning Sweden since CBS doesn’t seem to be offering one year master degrees.

    I will be happy to hear from you.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish November 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Lizzie! I guess I’m not sure what type of job role you’re aiming at. I’ve always found it useful to figure out “How can I use my knowledge to help people while making money?” and then work backwards towards the actual job. Also, are you looking at big companies, small companies, starting your own company?

      • Reply Lizzie December 10, 2015 at 6:52 pm

        Kay! I didn’t expect such a quick reply from you! Thanks so much 🙂

        Well, I shall say I’m at a panicked stage. I have been trying with big companies – graduate programmes at KPMG, Deloitte and alike, smaller consultancy companies in Copenhagen, and I do have a business idea – which I am not quite brave to pursue. I need a quite specific pool of skills and not sure where to find people for that.
        Ideal in a purely professional sense would be a consultancy job since I do have knowledge, skills and expertise to do that.
        Ideal for me would be a research degree and quite honestly, I was aiming for a PhD but as you probably know – Danish budget cuts did their job in academia and currently there will be no PhD positions opened in my field of expertise.
        So after receiving recent news from academia, trying opening at both big and small companies – I’m left with either giving a go to my business idea or seeking opportunities in Asia.

  • Reply Rj December 16, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Hi Kay,

    I have Indian Nationality and currently residing in India. Recently I applied a Green card Visa for Denmark. I have maters degree in IT and having 8+ Years of relevant experience in IT field. I would like to know that what are the possibilities for getting a job in IT in Denmark once i have valid Green Card Visa for Denmark.

    Please do the needful.

    Thank you so much !

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish December 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Hi RJ! I receive many, many notes like yours, and I’m afraid I have very few contacts with the IT industry and cannot tell you what your job prospects are. I will suggest, however, that you change your approach and focus less on your years of experience and more on what you can offer a potential employer. Research the programs and skills Danish employers are looking for – http://www.computerworld.dk/ is a good start, read it with Google Translate if you don’t speak Danish yet. Then approach employers with information on how you, personally, have what they’re looking for and how you can help solve their challenges. That’s your best way forward.

  • Reply Debra Ward January 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Very interesting post. I am a South African citizen who had the opportunity to stay in Sweden for 3 weeks in December and fell in love with the place to such an extent that I want to relocate there.
    I was rather apprehensive since I don’t speak Danish or Swedish except for hello and thank you which believe me is not much but i am trying to find a tutor here in SA that can assist me in learning the language.
    I have started sending my CV out to the larger companies and hopefully by the end of 2016 I am my husband would have relocated.

  • Reply Omkar January 24, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Hi Kay,

    Firstly your write-up is very informative and give a realistic picture about Denmark.

    I am planning for Masters in Economics and Business Administration from University of Southern Denmark. Do you have any idea regarding the ranking of this collage in term of adding value to your resume for looking out for job after completion of the course? I am currently residing in India and I have 7 years work experience in Banking Sector (Finance Field). What is your opinion regarding finding a banking job post completion of my Msc from Denmark University along with 7 years work experience ? Do you have any idea regarding prospects in Banking or Finance jobs currently in Denmark ???

  • Reply Michelle O'Mahoney March 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Hi

    Thank you for comments, I love Denmark, but would like to ask is it as ageist re work as say UK/London?

    I work in advertising/digital roles and I see ageism all the time in London? Dreadful shame.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish March 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      I would say it depends on the industry, but if your skills are up to date, it should be less of a problem. I frequently tell older job-seekers, particularly those with an IT background, that they should consider working for the Danish state or municipalities (kommune). You do need at least basic Danish to do so, however.

  • Reply Jennifer Cui March 30, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Hi Kay,

    I love how your write ups are so comprehensive & informative. Thanks! Now I am in a dilemma and would like to seek some advice from you. I am currently working in Dubai as a Junior Accountant and recently got an invitation from a good friend to work with her as au pair in Denmark. She said I could finish my 1 year contract and from there find a white collar job within Denmark. Please tell me if this is possible? Would there be any possible conflict on my Visa if so? This is such a major decision for me to make, hope you can give me some light.

  • Reply skumarm April 25, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Hello Kay,

    I received my visa under the Green Card Scheme. I have been applying for jobs and last week i got a call from an employer. We started to discuss about previous roles and responsibilities. He said he was impressed with my profile and will discuss with his colleagues and come back.

    What will be the next process ?.

    If i dont hear from him in the next couple of days, is it fine if i call him up and check on the status.

    Please advice.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish April 25, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Danish companies – and Danes – are generally pretty true to their word, so if the employer says he or she will get back to you, I would expect that they would. I would use the next couple of days to study up on the company, finding out all you can about their products, projects and competitors. Do a Google search so you know about any news connected to the company. All this information will be useful in a job interview, which I assume will be next in the process – it will set you apart from other applicants. Your best bet is to play the role of “Man who really wants to work at X company because he’s so passionate about what they do” as opposed to “Man who just wants a job.” If you do have to call back, I would wait at least 10 days, and then lead with something like, “Congratulations – I see you’ve signed a big new contract with ABC Company” or “I just realized that you also make X. I wanted to tell you that I have some interesting experience with X” as opposed to just “So, are you going to hire me or not?”

      • Reply skumarm April 26, 2016 at 4:39 am

        Hello Kay,

        Thanks for quick response. I would like to add that the first discussion was telephonic. This is for position as Software Developer.
        I will look into the company prospects ,their portfolio ,products and also read through some publications of the company.
        I do have a few more questions:
        Do you have any idea about the interview process (like number of rounds)?. I do know this will vary from company to company ,but in general i would like to know about the process.

        Thank you

  • Reply Rue May 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hello Kay,

    I am a ‘black-british’ citizen and I am about to finish my undergraduate degree here in the UK. However, my boyfriend (Danish) and I have decided that we would like to move to Denmark and start our lives. I know I have to learn danish but i was wondering if you have any ideas on diversity in the legal industry? As well in the health industry. I am worried about racism, discrimination etc and more importantly, I am worried about not fitting in. I plan on moving and studying a degree in either Law or Dentistry.

    Look forward to hearing from you. This post was really helplful
    thank you

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish May 30, 2016 at 9:34 am

      “Fitting in” will really be on you – you can never really become Danish, and as a blonde, green-eyed American who has been here for 16 years, I still often feel like I don’t fit in. You’ll have to decide how much of the Danish culture you want to take on board and how much of your own culture you want to keep. (See my other blog post, https://www.howtoliveindenmark.com/stories-about-life-in-denmark/moving-to-denmark/). The Danish legal industry is not particularly diverse, but you may be able to find a position with an international firm like Mærsk or Novo Nordisk. Racism in Denmark exists, but it is mostly directed against Muslims, not people of African descent. If you are busy educating yourself and becoming a taxpaying member of society – paying taxes is the way Danes show they are ‘good’ people – most people will accept you as the individual you are.

  • Reply Jaffar Sathiq August 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Hello Kay,

    I really admire your effort to guide people to achieve their career goals in Denmark.
    Hope you guide me too. I am a 26 years old seafarer, Third Officer to be more specific with over 5 years experience in the industry. I always wanted to quit sea life and work ashore where I feel like home. I have heard from many of my friends and have read in several books and magazines that Denmark is one of the most awesome places to work as the work – life balance culture is perfect compared to most other nations. Ever since I had always dreamt of working in there. However all I could offer is my Bachelors in Nautical Science and a certified license as a Second mate on Foreign Going Vessels from Indian Govt and a few years of my International sea going experience. I really am a person looking to pursue more in life and I am also ready to take up courses/master programs in Denmark (as you had mentioned that it could add up to my profile). I have already planned on taking Danish Language courses here. So Please share me your ideas on how to go about making this work.
    Is there any field in Denmark looking for someone like me in the relevant sector or if you can just tell me where to approach, it would be of great help.

    Please Advise.

    Thank you!

  • Reply Susana López August 31, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Hello Kay!
    Im a mexican psychologist living in Spain, I am searching for psychology jobs in DK, I would like to know if you know any psychology english speaking center or centers where its required basic danish? In the meantime I could learn of course!

    Thanks in advance 🙂
    Susy

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish September 1, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Hi Susy! I know very little about the psychology business in Denmark, so I think the best move would be to find the union that represents psychologists here and ask them. Unions in Denmark are not just for old-fashioned industries – doctors, lawyers, and engineers all network through very powerful unions. I would imagine most clients in Denmark would want to work with a psychologist in Danish, although I would imagine there is a growing need for people who can speak Arabic, Pashtun and Somali due to the recent influx of refugees, many of whom experienced PTSD in their homelands.

  • Reply Jaffar Sathiq September 1, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Dear Kay!

    You are just an awesome person, I believe. You just made my day. Thank you so much for your efforts and guidance. I think this will do. I hope I meet more people like you in life. I wish you have a great life ahead!!

    – Jaffar Sathiq

  • Reply Alexender October 5, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    As you said, If you really wanted to settle in Denmark, you should learn Danish. But there are some job opportunities for IT background people like programmers, engineers.

  • Reply Santosh Kumar October 8, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Dear Kay,

    I am Indian national having a master degree in dentistry current working in kuwait having 7 yrs of work experience as dental specialist. I received Danish green card visa last month. I am planning to move to Denmark shortly.
    Do you have any idea about jobs for foreign trained dentists.
    I went through the websites for authorisation process to get license to practice dentistry in Denmark. I guess it will take around an year to finish the authorisation process.
    In the mean time, of completing the authorisation process ,what kind of job sector is open for foreign trained dentists with green card visa like from the industrial sector or university etc.
    Please help me as I don’t know any dentist in Denmark.
    Also is it possible to start learning Danish language abroad before migrating to Denmark and then continue to learn there?
    Thank you

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish October 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

      To Santosh and everyone with similar questions – you should always start with the union for your field in Denmark. They can answer questions much better than I can. The Dentist Union is at https://www.tandlaegeforeningen.dk/Om_Tandlaegeforeningen/Foreign_Dentist.aspx . And of course you can begin to learn Danish where you are, although I suggest you focus on reading and writing first. Spoken Danish has to be heard to be believed.

  • Reply Joe Dugwa Isaiah November 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Kay,

    Your responses are quite helpful as it give a real life situation and not like a bed of roses promises. Life is not easy everywhere even for the citizens of the countries but why we migrate is because some countries are fairer and more reasonable than others.

    I am from Ghana. I have studied maritime transport in Nigeria and have about 9yrs experience around west Africa and the African coast in sailing, shipping and marine logistics combined and some international short course like Nebosh in London. Planing to study commerce or logistics management in Denmark and also to get a job in Denmark.

    I know I can move my family but would my kids study for free in Denmark or pay fee.

    Also how easy or difficult it is to get a job in my field?

    Thanks

  • Reply Jane November 10, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Wow, this made me really depressed! I’m Dutch and I’m finishing my undergraduate degree in history in England right now. I plan to go to Denmark in August to live with my boyfriend and immediately start learning the language, but I am only 22 and have no experience 🙁 Will it be possible for me to find anything at all? This got me all worried!

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish November 10, 2016 at 5:50 am

      Sure it’s possible! But plan for a slow hiring process, and plan to spend a lot of time networking.

      • Reply Jane November 19, 2016 at 11:23 pm

        Thank you, and thank s for the tip, I will definitely keep that in mind! 🙂

  • Reply Manuj Sardana December 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Kay

    I am planning to move to Denmark next year with my family. My office would be in Copenhagen (near Holmes Kanal). Could you please let me know what are the good places to live in and around Copenhagen. I am looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. It would be great if you could also provide me estimate rent. Also I am looking for a place which has some schools nearby. I am ready to spend 30-45 mins on commute.

    Thanks

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish December 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Hi Manju! I suggest that you join one of the many “Expats in Copenhagen” groups on Facebook, where the members will have a variety good feedback related to your move. Quora, the question-and-answer site, has also addressed your situation a few times.

  • Reply Ali A February 1, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hi, I am a good expert on quality control and quality assurance. I believe that if I get a job in Denmark I will be very successful in my own specialization. Can I apply directly for immigration?

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish February 3, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Hi Ali! I’m not a Danish government representative; I’m just a blogger. Check out workindenmark.dk and nytidanmark.dk for official information about immigration. – Kay

  • Reply Cat March 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Kay, I just came across this article you wrote, and thank you for your time in writing it!
    I’d like to relocate to Denmark this year, but like many others, I also have 0.01% Dansk. Say I find a job as a cleaner or sales assistant, from the little I’ve found out, would it be roughly in the region of 14dkk per hour? and would it be gross?
    I wonder if the “employment situation” is similar here in the UK as it is in Denmark – media and family members complaining about not being able to find jobs, or not being paid well. But the fact is that there are jobs around, it just depends on people being willing to test their comfort levels initially until something better comes up, or they gain the skills required for where they want to be.
    If taking on two cleaning jobs – one in the day and one in the evening/weekends means I’ll be able to afford living expenses and does not rely on my currently non-existant Danish to get me a job then I’ll be straight out there!

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish March 12, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Low-skill jobs in Denmark are paid roughly DK120/hr, and there many EU foreigners who have them here in Denmark. If your standards are flexible, I feel confident that you will find something that you can bear long enough to find something better. Keep in mind that rent and expenses tend to be very expensive in Denmark, particularly in the big Danish cities.

  • Reply Maurice July 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Hi, I am an international student from Uganda doing a masters in one of Denmarks’ best Universities. I am self sponsored, which means that I do not get SU, and I also have to pay tuition (8000 euros). To survive, I have 2 jobs, something that means that I get stressed out by work and losing time moving from one job to another, something that usually affects my grades. Consquently, I keep getting average grades (Ds) while my Danish counterparts get even better grades. I must say that their grades are well deserved. The fact that my results are not even close to those of the average Dane keeps me worried as I have struggled a lot to make it to where I am. It took a first class degree, then it takes so much effort to keep pursuing my dreams. Honestly, I feel tired chasing a dream where it sometimes feels like the dream will kill me.
    My fellow international students (they made it) keep telling me the same, that you must be better than the average Dane if you are to make it here in Denmark. With a cleaning job and then a student job, my studies become terribly hard while other students simply focus on their studies.
    Do you think this is a reason enough for me to drop out and go back home? I thought coming to Denmark was going to be a whole new world of opportunities. Any advise will be helpful from anyone.

    • Reply Kay Xander Mellish July 3, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Maurice! One of the most important things to know about Denmark is that your grades are not nearly as important as your networking and the ability to be a “good fit” with a team. While you don’t want to flunk out of school, meeting with the right people and the right companies is what’s going to get you the job you want in the future. If I were you, I would focus on meeting people and getting in the “right” study groups at your school – these are the people who are your future colleagues – and making contacts at companies in your field. Given that you’re short on time, making regular and intelligent, informed comments on social media is also a good way to get your name out there. Building yourself as a brand in your field and being able to be “plug and play” when you’re ultimately hired is more important than getting a specific grade on a specific assignment.

      • Reply Maurice July 4, 2017 at 3:24 pm

        Thank you, I’ll try and do that and see what comes next. Otherwise, it is not as smooth as I imagined!

      • Reply KAMUGISHA DAVID GEOFREY August 5, 2017 at 6:12 am

        Hi Maurice, In fact i would like to thank you for that great question.i faced the same problem some time back in 2015 when i was at campus, to assure you i had not yet completed by course study and a certain company hired me in favor of a job. unfortunately, i did not accept and later heard from one of my friends that they hired some one else. when i completed by course. i started looking for a job but really felted like it was the end of my life when i failed to find a job of my professional and later found a hospitality job. This is all from the root cause being “i did not accept the job opportunity that God had given me at first during campus”
        Therefore, brother Maurice , Mr. Kay Xander Mellish’s advise worked for me.
        Thank you. Stay blessed.

  • Reply Mark GR July 12, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Hi Kay,

    I’m a native Singaporean specialised in construction of underground and above ground structures for 22 years. How’s the construction market for me to settle down with my family of 5? Any particular difficulties?

  • Reply Laxmi August 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Hi, Kay!
    First of all, I appreciate your hard work time investment to create such a helpful tips.
    As an international student at Neils Bohr Institute (KU), I am worried about my jobhunt after my graduation.
    I am scheduled to defend my master thesis in physics on November. I have started to look at the vacancy announcements in different company’s website and, yes, on Linkedin. But I feel I need someone who can update my CV and help me to make an excellent cover letter. Do you have any idea where should I look for it?
    I would like to connect with you on linkedin.
    The very Best
    Laxmi

  • Leave a Reply