One of the world's smallest and most densely populated states, the archipelago of Malta comprises three inhabited islands plus 18 others. A Mecca for tourists, it attracts three times as many visitors each year as the number of its residents. Despite being so heavily developed, it is testament to the islands' rulers over the years that many historic monuments survive to tell the tale of its 7 000-year history - a fascinating story of conquest in the Mediterranean.
The job market is dominated by the service sector and craft-related jobs. Recent surveys have shown a large number of vacancies for teachers, office staff, sales staff, waiters and waitresses, care workers, construction workers, nurses, cleaners and IT professionals.
The local public employment service is the Employment and Training Corporation. Vacancies are advertised on the corporation's website and in its job centres around the island. Several private recruitment agencies also promote vacancies through their websites and one-to-one contacts. Local vacancies are advertised by public-and private-sector organisations in local newspapers. You can find all the useful web links on the EURES portal's Links page.
Applications are usually sent by e-mail or by post, depending on the information given in the advert. You must always attach your personal CV with an application letter. Both the application letter and the CV must be submitted in English, unless it is specified otherwise.
Make sure you include attachments and that these can be opened. Specify clearly which job you are applying for. Avoid using animation or fancy design, especially if the job is a specialised one and design is not relevant for the post.
When applying spontaneously, specify what role you are interested in. Mention your availability. Add relevant qualifications.
'At the European Job Day in Brussels, most of the candidates who visited our stands were graduates in financial services, law, marketing and communications, and tourism. These are areas where we have a shortage of workers in Malta and the event enabled us to put these young
people in touch with local employers with vacancies in these sectors.' Jonathan Brimmer,
EURES Adviser, Malta
Proof of your qualifications is not usually required at the application stage. However, you will need to show original certificates if you attend an interview. Take photocopies of your certificates in case the interviewer requires copies. Qualifications obtained from non-Maltese education institutions, such as foreign universities, must be recognised. You can request this from the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC), which is part of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (http://www.ncfhe.org.mt).
References are usually required if the vacancy is connected with the service industry, finance and the like. A previous employer, a reliable professional or a parish priest could be a suitable referee. They usually confirm that the person in question is a reliable person who can be expected to perform this type of job without problems.Letters of recommendation are only needed if the employer asks for them.
Usually the employer is present during the interview, unless it is a large organisation, in which case the HR manager and section supervisor will be present.
The interview is usually very friendly and candidates are made to feel at home. Interviews are usually one-to-one. If the job is not specialised, there will be only one interview, but for a specialised occupation that requires experience, shortlisting is the order of the day, followed by one or two additional interviews. You may be expected to make a presentation in this case.
Keep to the point of the discussion/questions and do not invent ski lls that you do not possess. Show that you are willing to learn. Eye contact is important, as is body language.
You can ask questions, although these are best kept to a minimum and must be relevant. Asking for a job description or about working conditions might be advisable. If there is a second interview, it is better not to discuss pay at this stage.
The more you know about the company, the better. This shows that you have taken an interest in getting to know the company, its past performance and future plans. Your enthusiasm may even enhance your chance of being selected. The most common question an applicant is expected to be able to answer is about the core function of the company. Another is whether the company is a subsidiary of another company or whether it exports its products and to what countries, if this is the case.
One tricky question an employer might ask is what pay you expect. There are various ways of answering this, especially if you have done your research and have sufficient experience.
You can negotiate pay, particularly if you have a lot of experience in the job you are applying for. Pay is usually expressed as a weekly or monthly rate. Holiday pay and annual bonuses are included in the remuneration offered.
The staff member who negotiates pay and non-statutory benefits will be the HR manager if it is a large company or the employer himself/ herself if it is a smaller firm.If you are hired, the company is bound by law to inform the local authorities about your employment by completing the 'engagement of employment form' and submitting it to the Employment and Training Corporation on your first working day. This form must have your signature on it. Make sure that the employer sends this form to the corporation on the first day of your employment.