Cyprus - why work abroad?

Country: Cyprus
Official languages: Greek, Turkish
Government: Presidential republic
Population: 800 000
Capital: Nicosia
Currency: euro (EUR)
Member EU or EEA: EU
Phone code: +357
Internet code: .cy

Why this country?

Cyprus retains the marks of 10 000 years of civilisation, as well as a good number of party hotspots. Away from the resorts are villages and ruins drenched in scents typical of the Mediterranean. It is also a little-known fact that Cyprus is home to one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts.

In terms of work, the country has seen a contraction in the construction, hotel and catering industries, as well as in retail and commerce. Unemployment has risen significantly in recent years, especially among the young. The best prospects for employment for those with a secondary education include work as shop staff and cashiers, waiters, in childcare and care work, and bakers. Those with a higher education are more likely to find work in accounting and finance, IT, telecoms, and electrical engineering.

Looking for work?

Candidates can look for vacancies through the Cyprus section of the EURES portal, at public employment service offices or private employment agencies, or in newspapers. Useful links can be found via the EURES portal’s Links page.

Tips for job applications?

The most common way to apply is to send a typed letter and a CV. For unskilled occupa­tions, the application procedure is usually ver­bal. In cases where the applicant is sent by the public employment services, a standard refer­ence letter is issued - which has to be com­pleted by the prospective employer, stating their final decision - and submitted to the labour office.

If you apply for a vacancy found on the EURES portal, mention the national reference number. Both electronic and written applications should include a covering letter, which should be no longer than one page, to the point and typed. This letter, addressed to the employer or the organisation advertising the post, should con­tain important data not included in the CV. It should always be signed.

Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?

Yes, photos are common on CVs in Cyprus.

Is there a preference for handwritten applications?

No, a typed letter is preferred.

Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?

Yes, it is quite common and well understood by Cypriot employers.

Making contact by phone

The first contacts when looking for work in Cyprus are usually made by phone. As a prospective candidate, you are advised to ask if the vacancy is still open and for details of the application procedure.

Do I need to send diplomas with my application?

A copy of the diploma is always needed, usually at the very beginning of the application. Authenticity of documentation is rarely necessary, except for regulated professions for which registration is required, such as doctors, architects, engineers, etc.

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

References and letters of recommendation are commonly used for high-level jobs. When listing referees, the applicant should inform the relevant person in advance and ask for their permission to include their name, phone number and job title in the CV.

Regulated professions usually need proof of good conduct as evidence of a clean criminal record.

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

After the agreement between the two parties, the job usually starts by the beginning of the next calendar month for occupations paid on a monthly basis, or by the beginning of the fol-lowing week for unskilled occupations paid on a weekly basis.

Preparing for the interview

The applicant should have a general idea about the company’s activities, size, etc. Employers usually pay attention to the candidate’s general appearance and dress. Candidates should present themselves self-confidently and politely.

Dress-code tips

Candidates are advised to dress in a smart casual style and avoid extremes.

Who will be there?

Be aware that in Cyprus most establishments are small units where the owner is at the same time the director and the personnel manager. The director or personnel manager usually con¬ducts the interview.

Do we shake hands?

It is customary to shake hands with someone you meet for the first time.

Is there a typical interview structure?

There is no specific structure for the job interview. You may be asked to present yourself and discuss your positive and negative sides as well as your qualifications and experience in relation to the job description.

Questions are most often related to qualifications and experience, for example: Why do you feel you are suitable for this job? What is your experience in this field? What are your expectations of this job? For low-skilled professions, the employer may ask the candidate to demonstrate their skills on-site.

When is a question out of bounds?

In Cyprus, there are laws against discrimination and for the protection of personal data. During an interview, the candidate is not obliged to answer strictly private questions or give confidential information, for example about one’s sexual orientation.

Negotiating your pay and benefits

In Cyprus, terms and conditions of employment are usually determined in collective agreements. Candidates are encouraged to be informed about the terms of these agreements. However, collective agreements are not binding by law and in many cases wages and other benefits are negotiated between the employer and the employee.

Employers are obliged to inform an employee in writing about the terms and conditions of employment offered within 1 month of the commencement of employment. This document should include the salary, hours of work, annual leave, etc

Is a trial period likely?

A trial period may be negotiated between the two parties, but it is not determined by law or by collective agreements.

How long is the standard probationary period?

The usual period is 1 month.

Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?

No, this is not standard practice in Cyprus.

When will I hear the result?

There is no general rule as to when candidates are informed about the outcome of an interview.

Getting feedback and further follow-up

It is not customary to give feedback to all candidates. However, any written queries from candidates are usually answered in due time.

How early should I arrive for the interview?

Candidates are encouraged to be on time for their interview. If you cannot attend, give notice of this in advance.

last modification: 2014-09-03
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