Italy - why work abroad?

Country: Italy
Official languages: Italian
Government: Parliamentary republic
Population: 60.9 million
Capital: Rome
Currency: euro (EUR)
Member EU or EEA: EU
Phone code: +39
Internet code: .it

Why this country?

Italy has it all - from an enviable climate, varied landscape and historical and artistic treasures to a beloved national cuisine. Its people know how to live the good life, cherishing family, cultural traditions and beautiful surroundings.

Recruitment has picked up since 2012 in Italy. Recent observations have seen a marked increase in the proportion of highly skilled jobs on offer, particularly for IT, manufacturing and construction specialists, as well as for administrative, financial and banking technicians. There has also been a growth in demand for labourers and skilled workers, with less demand for clerical and sales staff. Italy traditionally has a large number of jobs for seasonal workers, due to the large tourism industry. Companies have a problem filling around 20 % of vacancies.

Looking for work?

Jobseekers in Italy usually start by looking for work on the Internet. Local public employment services and newspapers all have websites with job offers. The Ministry of Labour has a new website with job offers: It is also common to send employers a spontaneous application with your CV. Other options are to buy local newspapers, or visit the local public employment service or private job agencies.

Tips for job applications?

The standard application procedure in Italy is to send an up-to-date CV together with a covering letter, by e-mail or regular mail.

With electronic applications, make it clear which job you are applying for and activate the read­ing confirmation option in your e-mail account settings.

In written applications, the layout and the appearance of the covering letter itself are very important. The covering letter should be better structured than an electronic application.

Check the receipt status of your application by a phone call. If your application is of interest to the company, the employer should contact you within a few days. If not, it means that you have not been selected. However, CVs are often stored for a long time, and you might receive a phone call for a job vacancy that you applied for the previous year.

If you are applying spontaneously, your appli­cation must be grammatically correct and well written, but it must also be very motivating.

How else can you capture the attention of an employer for a position that is not vacant?

Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?

No, but you can include one if you want to.

Is there a preference for handwritten applications?

No, you should not send a handwritten letter.

Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?

Yes, the Europass format is preferred.

'Through EURES, I secured an internship in a design studio in Senigallia, north­ern Italy. At the same time, I did an Ital­ian language course, which turned out to be a great place to meet people from all over the world and make new friends outside work. On a personal level, it was a very valuable experience as I learnt how to manage daily life in a country so different from my home country - and in a new language. Professionally, the internship proved to be very successful because shortly afterwards I got a per­manent job as a product designer in Denmark.'

Ebba, jobseeker from Sweden

Making contact by phone

If the first contact is made via phone, be polite and speak fluently and correctly. Ask for an appointment right away and do not forget to ask for the person’s contact details.

Do I need to send diplomas with my application?

No, but bring everything with you to the interview (Italian bureaucracy is very strict).

Should I supply references, letters of recommendation or proof of good conduct?

It is always an advantage to the candidate to provide references or letters of recommendation (from previous employers, university professors, etc.) to support their previous work experience or testify to their skills and abilities.

Usual length of time between publication of the vacancy and start of the job

As soon as possible after the new recruit is available.

Preparing for the interview

If you are particularly interested in the position, collect information about the company or the employer; think about what they would like to hear from you. Being sociable, willing and enthusiastic could be an advantage.

Dress-code tips

In some companies there is a dress etiquette. The same goes for jewellery. The general rule is: if you do not know anything more specific, go for the smart casual look.

Who will be there?

Depending on the vacancy, the employer, head of department, HR officer or even a person specially appointed to conduct such interviews - so either one person or a panel of people might attend. Written tests are usually carried out in groups. A meeting or a test usually lasts for a maximum of 1 hour.

Do we shake hands?

Yes, this is common practice.

Is there a typical interview structure?

The interview usually starts by talking about the candidate's previous work experience. The atmosphere is formal. It is up to the interviewer/ employer to make the atmosphere more relaxed.

The employer pays attention not only to the way you speak and act, but also whether your appearance and dress are suitable for the vacancy. You should also give a good explana­tion of your motivation.

After the employer has explained the duties and work that have to be carried out, the appli­cant can ask questions about any issue that is not clear. This can include the nature and dura­tion of the contract, pay conditions and any­thing else.

When is a question out of bounds?

Applicants should feel free not to answer questions about their personal life. The employer should not ask for strictly private information.

Negotiating your pay and benefits

Financial and contract conditions are not negotiable in Italy. If you take the job, you will sign a contract that sets out all the information and the description of the financial and work conditions. Negotiation of pay, holidays, bonuses, etc. depends on the employer and on collective agreements (CCNL). The most common non-statutory benefits in Italy are meal vouchers, a company mobile phone or a car. Negotiations on pay and non-statutory benefits are conducted with HR staff.

Is a trial period likely?

The employer may ask for a 1-day work trial or a probationary period. You can refuse this if the period exceeds the statutory period (which depends on the specific collective agreement).

How long is the standard probationary period?

There is no standard period.

Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?

In some cases, for some positions, the candidate may be offered a refund of some or all of the costs incurred in travelling to the interview.

When will I hear the result?

If you are hired, it will be up to your new employer to communicate this to you. The employer should specify at the interview how much time will be needed to make a decision.

Getting feedback and further follow-up

If you want to get follow-up about your interview or ask more questions, you can do so by phone or by e-mail.

How early should I arrive for the interview?

Punctuality is very important. If you are prevented from going to the appointment, you should give notice as soon as possible.

last modification: 2014-09-03
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