Portugal and its territories - the Azores and Madeira - are popular tourist destinations. Besides tourism, services are the largest employers. Manufacturing employs less than 20 % of the workforce. It is based on traditional products such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork, wood products, beverages, ceramics, glass, fish canning, metalworking, oil refining and chemicals. The country has increased its role in Europe's automotive sector and has a world- class mould-making industry.
Almost 4 in 10 young people are out of work and wages are among the lowest per capita in the EU. Nevertheless, there is demand in specific sectors, including seasonal work in tourism and agriculture; doctors; specialist IT workers; and professionals with language skills that are difficult to find in Portugal.
Job vacancies are published in newspapers, at job centres, private employment agencies, professional and trade union associations, supermarkets, municipalities, parishes, other public facilities and, increasingly, via (public and private) online job banks.
Some jobseekers are increasingly adopting a proactive approach, applying spontaneously, placing adverts, posting CVs on websites and at university careers offices, using social media, and even setting up web pages.
In a country where more than 90 % of firms are small, personal contacts are still one of the most effective means of finding out about vacancies and reaching a potential employer. If you have a social network in Portugal, don't be shy to use it.
It is almost impossible to meet all the requirements set out in some job adverts. Do not be put off by this; if you meet most of them, do not hesitate to apply. Portuguese employers can be flexible on this matter.
Most applications require a covering letter and a CV (although the letter may be omitted if it is not explicitly requested). Prepare your CV in Portuguese if possible. It should be clear and short (no more than two pages) and adjusted to each application.
When applying by e-mail, include the covering letter directly in the body of the e-mail. Only the CV should be attached. Write short paragraphs, and avoid informal symbols and abbreviations commonly used in e-mail and text messages. If applying by post, the covering letter should be no longer than one A4 side and typed.
Take care to respect deadlines, particularly if you are applying from abroad. And aim to submit your application early, in order to participate from the beginning of the selection process and be sure that the company has not already chosen a candidate.Spontaneous applications can be very useful. Many Portuguese companies will archive CVs they receive and look first through these when they have a vacancy, to save on the time and cost of placing adverts.
Not unless it is mentioned in the advertisement. Take a copy to the interview, however. If your application is successful, documents may be requested when formalising the contract.
When taking copies of diplomas or qualifications to the interview, be selective, and be aware that Portuguese employers may be unfamiliar with your country of origin's education and training system and the relevant knowledge and skills content. Documents such as the Europass diploma supplement or certificate supplement may be more useful.
There is no typical structure, although you might expect questions on:
• personal background (where you were born, where you studied, family, etc.);
• your CV: your educational/professional background, professional experience and other activities/hobbies;
• your motivation with regards to the company and the job; and
• your personal and social skills (open questions on yourself your attitudes, your qualities, your weaknesses).
At the second stage, the interviewer will give you more information on the company and the role. At this point, you may ask about autonomy and responsibility levels, travelling requirements, working hours, expected wage, etc.
At the end, the employer will usually say when you will be informed of their decision. You should then thank them for the opportunity to meet.
Recruitment interviews using video-conferencing and Skype are not very common, but are likely to be increasingly used for the first selection with international candidates.
Pay is usually expressed on a monthly basis. Remember that in regular employment in Portugal, you are paid for 14 months per year (i.e. including holiday pay and Christmas bonuses, usually paid in May/June and November/ December respectively), although this is presently taking other forms following exceptional measures by the government. If you are recruited by a multinational company, pay may be negotiated as an annual package, including subsidies and other fringe benefits.
Annual productivity bonuses are not common, although there may be scope for a bonus payment at the end of the year depending on profits. Only in medium-sized to large companies, mostly multinationals, are annual bonuses well integrated in remuneration policies.
Other benefits might be: improved health insurance cover or medical services, in the case of larger companies; and a mobile phone and company car, mostly for senior staff (managers and directors), although this practice is declining.