Luxembourg - why work abroad?

Country: Luxembourg
Official languages: French, German, Luxembourgish
Government: Constitutional Grand Duchy
Population: 524 000
Capital: Luxembourg
Currency: euro (EUR)
Member EU or EEA: EU
Phone code: +352
Internet code: .lu

Why this country?

Postage-stamp-sized Luxembourg is known for its banking sector, low tax regime and fairy-tale castles. Besides the city, it is magical outside with steep hills and lush wooded valleys are ideal for a walk before lunch in a rustic tavern beside a turreted manor house. Almost half the country's resident population are foreigners. Even more people commute to work daily in Luxembourg from the other side of its borders.

The job market has grown rapidly in recent years - up 30 % from 2004 to 2012 with growth in the business and financial services health and social services, construction, transport and communication. There is also still recruitment potential in construction, hotels and restaurants, business services, industry, wholesale and retail trade, transport and health, and social services.

Looking for work?

Job vacancies are posted on bulletin boards in the Luxembourgish public employment service, in Saturday editions of national newspapers, on websites of private employment organisations and on the websites of recruitment organisa­tions and large companies. See the EURES por­tal's Links page for useful web addresses in Luxembourg.

Spontaneous applications are very common in Luxembourg, especially among young gradu­ates and for people applying to work in large companies. Do not hesitate to apply in this way and get yourself noticed by a company. Your application will probably be stored in a database.

Taking into account that Luxembourg is at the centre of Europe and has three official lan­guages (French, German and Luxembourgish), many job adverts insist that candidates speak different languages. And since companies in Luxembourg also have activities and cooperate with other companies all over Europe, knowl­edge of extra languages such as Dutch, English, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish is indispensable or at least very much appreciated. It is essen­tial to be bilingual, including in at least one of the country's official languages, if you want to find a job here

Tips for job applications?

The most common application procedure is to send a CV and a covering letter in response to a job advertisement. The letter should make it clear that you understand very well what the company wants in a new employee and that your skills and qualities meet their needs. You should explain your motivation for the job and the reason why you want to work for the company. The letter should be written without mistakes and in the same language as the advert, unless otherwise specified.

Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?

Yes, it is standard to include a photo on your CV.

Is there a preference for handwritten applications?

Sometimes, as many companies still insist that the covering letter is handwritten. They would, however, normally mention this in the advertisement.

Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?

No, it is not widely used. For employers, the Europass format contains too much informa­tion and is too long.

Your CV should be no longer than two pages, and should list your education, training courses and work experience, language skills, computer skills and fields of interest.

Making contact by phone

Contacting the employer by phone is not recommended.

Do I need to send diplomas with my application?

You are advised to send a copy of your diplomas with the application

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

There are no general rules regarding the use of references or letters of recommendation. Normally the job advert mentions the documents or references that are required. It is often advised to bring copies of these documents to the interview. This is also true for the need for proof of good conduct.

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

It all depends on the kind of job and the availability of the person.

Preparing for the interview

Finding a job is hard work. You have to put a lot of time into it in order to be successful as quickly as possible. Things you must definitely do to prepare for the interview are the following.

• Conduct a thorough self-analysis: strengths and weaknesses, skills and competences, your assets.

• If you were unsuccessful in previous application procedures, persist in your efforts and be certain to show clearly why you are applying.

• Make sure you can tell the employer more about the job and working conditions that you are looking for.

• Get informed about the company, their products and their image. Show the employer that you have prepared for the interview. If the employer has the impression that you did not prepare well, he/she will consider you to be sloppy and unprofessional. Make sure you can supply a short, clear summary of yourself your motivation and your strengths in relation to the job requirements.

Dress-code tips

Adapt your clothing and your overall appearance to the situation and the kind of company in which you are applying to work. In the financial sector, recruiters still expect men to wear a suit and tie.

Who will be there?

The number and role of those present will depend on the job in question.

Do we shake hands?

Yes, always shake hands with your interviewer(s).

Is there a typical interview structure?

There is no typical interview structure; it depends on the job and firm (size and sector of activity).

That said, it is quite possible that the per­son who is in charge of the interview will ask you some tricky questions, especially about the reasons why you left other jobs or former employers. Make sure you prepare in advance to answer such questions. You can always try out the answers with your family or friends. They should tell you honestly if your answers are convincing.

As a rule, if you are asked about a bad expe­rience, always try to make the best out of it. Never be negative about former employers or colleagues. Counter the bad experience by giving several examples of things that worked out well.

To make a good impression on your potential future employer, remember to show a positive attitude, keep your head up and make eye con­tact with the person in charge of the interview.

When is a question out of bounds?

Luxembourg has legislation to protect private lives, so highly personal topics should not form part of the interview.

Negotiating your pay and benefits

Financial aspects can be negotiated in some companies, but not in those where employ­ers have agreed on a collective labour agree­ment for pay or where pay is determined by a pay scale.

For white-collar employees or administrative and managerial positions, pay is expressed in monthly rates. Blue-collar wages are expressed in hourly rates. Holiday pay is not standard and annual bonuses depend on the company and the sector. In some cases they are included in collective agreements.

Choose a level of pay that really rewards your abilities. It is important to persuade the employer to reward you for these abilities. You will therefore have to prove the added value that you can provide to the employer once you have been hired. It is not always neces­sary to name figures when asked to state the level of pay you have in mind. Inform yourself in advance about the usual remuneration in the sector or the company. The pay may con­sist of a mix of cash payment and non-stat­utory benefits.

Asking people who occupy the same position in other companies or looking things up in special­ist HR magazines can help you to define your negotiation standards.

Is a trial period likely?

Yes, in general there is a 3-month trial period for an unqualified worker and a 6-month trial period for a qualified person.

How long is the standard probationary period?

The probationary period is 6 months long in general.

Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?

No, candidates’ travel costs are not usually covered.

When will I hear the result?

You will usually hear after 1 week.

Getting feedback and further follow-up

It is acceptable to call the employer and ask for feedback on your interview performance.

How early should I arrive for the interview?

Punctuality and respect for the appointment you have made are considered to be very important.

last modification: 2014-09-03
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