Why this country?
Poland is blessed with natural beauty, with its 500 km Baltic Sea coast, extensive lakes district and dense forest covering nearly a third of its territory to the mountains in the south.
It is also the only country in Europe to have confidently withstood the widespread financial and economic crisis. Efforts have been made lately to attract international capital and investors to launch new ventures in Poland.
The country has a dynamic and growing ICT sector, with a demand for developers, web designers, software engineers and database administrators. International companies, meanwhile, need people with language skills to work as helpdesk agents, call-desk agents, customer service advisers, content reviewers, game testers, project managers, and financial and logistical specialists.
Looking for work?
Jobs are advertised by public employment services (regional and local labour offices), private employment agencies, in newspapers and on online job portals.
Tips for job applications?
The most usual application method is to send a CV and covering letter. The employer usually asks for applications to be sent via e-mail or regular mail.
When sending an application electronically, make sure to indicate which vacancy you are applying for, preferably in the subject line. The CV should be typed and should list work experience, skills and education in reverse chronological order. The covering letter should be up to one page and the CV up to two pages long. The Europass CV template is a good example.When applying spontaneously, the jobseeker should also send a CV together with a covering letter. They should also be prepared for an interview.
Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?
A photo is an advantage, but it is not obligatory.
Is there a preference for handwritten applications?
There is no preference for handwritten applications.
Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?It is accepted, but not widely used.
Making contact by phone
In telephone contacts, applicants should introduce themselves and state why they are calling. Do not ask anybody to call on your behalf, and be prepared to note down information that you receive from the employer.
Do I need to send diplomas with my application?In some cases, copies of your certificates, diploma, etc. should be attached to your CV. Employers take these into consideration when deciding whether or not to invite you for an interview.
Should I supply references, letters of recommendation or proof of good conduct?
References are not commonly used. Instead, submit confirmation of your employment in written form and documents connected with your education. If you wish to submit references anyway, cite former employers or teachers as referees. You normally do not need letters of recommendation, although these can be helpful if written by a prominent employer. Jobs in the public sector require a statement that applicants have no criminal or tax offence record.
Usual length of time between publication of the vacancy and start of the jobIt usually takes up to a month or two.
Preparing for the interview
Applicants should gather as much information as possible about the company before the interview. They should be prepared to show their motivation and discuss what they can do, what they know and who they are, as well as have questions of their own.
Employers focus on whether a candidate has appropriate knowledge and can think creatively. They look for communicative people with a positive attitude. The employer may hire a specialist in non-verbal communication for the interview to verify the coherence between a candidate’s verbal and non-verbal communicatio.
Dress professionally for a job interview, even if the work environment is casual.
For men: a suit in an unobtrusive colour, a long-sleeved shirt and tie, dark socks and conservative leather shoes; little or no jewellery; a neat, professional hairstyle; not too much aftershave; neatly trimmed nails; and a portfolio or briefcase.
For women: a dark suit with a skirt long enough so you can sit comfortably, coordinated blouse, conservative shoes, neutral tights; a modest amount of jewellery (no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets); professional hairstyle; make-up and perfume in moderation; clean, neatly manicured nails; and a portfolio or briefcase.
Who will be there?Usually two representatives of the employer are present at the interview. If there are tests, the candidate may be alone or attend a group session.
Do we shake hands?The employer or recruiter will decide whether to shake your hand. You should not take the initiative.
Is there a typical interview structure?
Usually the meeting takes 45 minutes to an hour. If there are tests, it can take 2 to 3 hours. In general, each interview has a specific structure.
• Introduction: the first part of the interview is informative. The person conducting the interview informs the applicant about the conditions of the meeting, the job, range of duties, etc. and tries to build a good atmosphere.
• Exploration of work experience: in this stage, the recruiter will ask factual questions to gain information. These will focus on personal data, work experience, education, profession, etc.
• Interpretation of facts: this stage consists of an interpretation of facts collected during the second stage. The interviewer asks applicants about how they feel their educational and work experience relates to the job in question. This helps to reveal a candidate's motivation, attitudes and the value they attach to the job.
• Personal opinions, thoughts, points of view: during this stage, candidates give their personal opinion and show the way they think in relation to work decisions made (the employer or person who conducts the interview asks questions about the motives for personal decisions).
• Summing up: in this stage, candidates can ask questions on topics that have not been covered. The interviewers should give information about the subsequent stages of the recruitment process.
Prepare for tricky questions, such as the following.
• What will you be doing in 5 years' time?
• How would you solve a conflict at work?
• What do you do in your spare time?
• What are your salary expectations?
When is a question out of bounds?There are laws against discrimination on grounds of sex, age, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religious affiliation and trade union membership. An applicant has the right to refuse to answer discriminatory questions.
Questions about your sexual preferences, political allegiance, pregnancy or religion are not acceptable.
Negotiating your pay and benefits
Terms of remuneration are fixed in:
• company agreements or collective bargaining agreements (made by the employers with active company trade union organisations);
• pay regulations (in the case of employers with at least 20 employees who are not subject to a company agreement or a collective bargaining agreement); and/or
• employment contracts.
Employees are usually paid per unit of time worked (hour, day or month) or, in some cases, per unit of work completed (piecework). The employee is paid at least once a month, on a fixed pre-arranged date.
Candidates should negotiate their pay with the employer before signing the contract.
Bonuses depend on results achieved. During holiday leave, an employee receives the normal pay agreed on in the employment contract. Non-statutory benefits may include meal vouchers, a pension scheme, health insurance, a Christmas bonus, a reward for special achievements and performance, and an encouragement of personal development, especially in the private sector.There is limited room for negotiation in the public sector.
Is a trial period likely?Employers prefer to ask for a 1- to 3-month probationary period rather than a 1-day work trial.
Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?
Not usually. This should be negotiated.
When will I hear the result?
Within 1 or 2 weeks. If you do not, call the employer.
Getting feedback and further follow-upIf you were told that you would be contacted after the interview and the deadline has passed, call and ask for the result of the inter¬view. There is nothing wrong with asking. It proves that you are interested in the job.
If you are not offered the job, you may ask for the reason for this decision. Try to find out what factors made them decide to reject you. This may help you in the future.
How early should I arrive for the interview?Always be on time; respect your interviewer’s time.