Why this country?
Slovenia appeals to hikers and skiers thanks to its beautiful landscapes and enviable climate. Lying on the south of the Alps, it boasts sunny alpine meadows covered in wildflowers, a good stretch of balmy Mediterranean coastline and lush forest coverage on 58 % of its territory.Slovenia is heavily dependent on exports and suffered from the global recession. Signs of recovery translated into a growth in the job market in 2011, but in 2012 economic conditions began to decline again. There is still demand for mechanical, electrical and electronics engineers; medical professionals; software developers; catering staff; heavy goods vehicle drivers; and welders. Humanities and social science graduates without work experience and unskilled workers are among those facing the most difficulties finding work.
Looking for work?
As well as advertising job vacancies online, in the media or through recruitment agencies, employers in Slovenia are obliged to notify the employment service of all vacancies. They also indicate if they wish to recruit international workers from EEA or non-member countries.
The employment service of Slovenia publishes vacancies on its notice boards or its ESS website, the EURES portal and other media. Jobseekers can also register in the employment service CV database, which enables employers to get in touch with suitable candidates.
'The recent cross-border Slovenian- Austrian Job Day in Maribor attracted over 6 000jobseekers - with employers and employment agencies presenting over 600 vacancies. The Slovenian-Italian Job Day in Koper drew 2 000 jobseekers and 46 representatives from employers, employer associations and employment agencies. '
Darja Grauf, EURES Adviser, Slovenia
Tips for job applications?
Most job applications comprise a covering letter and CV. The letter should make the employer want to invite you for an interview. It should not go into too much detail about experience and qualifications; this is provided in the CV.
Your CV should consist of two or, even better, one A4 sheet. Previous periods of employment should be arranged in reverse chronological order. This also applies to the section that covers your education and training.
An application is usually written in Slovenian, but for workers from other countries, it may be written in another language, most frequently English, German or Italian, especially for cross-border positions or when applying for a job in an international company.
If making a spontaneous application, consider the following opening suggestions.
• 'I have been a customer of yours for a long time and I think I know your field of work very well. That is why I would like to join your company.'
• 'Perhaps in the near future you will need a colleague with the experience and abilities that I have. Please allow me to introduce myself'
Go on to list your professional training, employment experience, skills, achievements and knowledge of foreign languages. Explain why you believe you could be useful.
Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?
No, although it may be useful for certain roles, such as in marketing or working with clients.
Is there a preference for handwritten applications?
This is very rare in Slovenia.
Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?Yes, especially for applications from abroad.
Making contact by phoneIf you call about a job, be friendly and relaxed, have your questions prepared as well as answers to questions you may be asked, and be sure to close the conversation with optimistic and stimulating words.
The employer may wish to conduct an interview by phone or Skype if the applicant lives abroad. They might also discuss the content of an employment contract with suitable candidates and send it to the potential worker for review by e-mail or fax. After that they can arrange for the candidate to go to Slovenia.
Do I need to send diplomas with my application?
Copies of educational certificates and qualifications usually need to be enclosed, or can be enclosed voluntarily. You can also state that documents will be forwarded later if necessary. It is advisable to bring the original documents to the interview. Proof of linguistic competence, computer skills, documents about work experience and achievements in any competitions you took part in are important.
Should I supply references, letters of recommendation or proof of good conduct?
References are expected. A former employer, lecturer or tutor can write a letter of recommendation or you should give their contacts, so that potential employers can call them and ask for their impression of you. Letters of recommendation are welcome and can be very helpful. If proof of good conduct is needed, it is mentioned in the vacancy.
Usual length of time between publication of the vacancy and start of the jobThis can be anything from 2 weeks to a month or more.
Preparing for the interview
The recruiter will focus on experience, motivation and interpersonal social skills. Psychological, intelligence, aptitude and psychometric tests are widely used, especially for jobs requiring a high level of education.
Candidates should: prepare a list of their achievements; have an understanding of what the employer does in significant detail; speak about competences and practical experience gained through work elsewhere; identify a realistic working ambition; and be able to communicate the above mentioned ideas clearly and effectively.
Candidates should prepare for questions about their medium- and long-term career aims. Having a clear plan about your own self-development is key. Some Slovenian recruiters also expect you to say what your pay expectations are.
Look business-like, neat and clean. Shoes should be in good condition and hair neatly styled.
Who will be there?Tests are usually taken in groups and are ha-dled by a psychologist. A group meeting may also be held initially to present the company and the posts. A single interview is usually enough for the employer to decide about the candidate, but further interviews may be required. The interview usually takes 15-45 minutes.
Do we shake hands?Yes, shake hands at the beginning and end of the job interview.
Is there a typical interview structure?
Introductions are followed by a short presentation of the company and the post. After that, the employer can interview the candidate to clarify information in the application documents. This
is the stage where the candidate can show the original versions of documents sent as copies when applying for the job. At the end of this part, the jobseeker can ask questions, if they have any. To end the interview, the interviewer usually tells the candidate how the process will continue. The atmosphere is business-like.
When is a question out of bounds?
The candidate only has to answer questions that are relevant to the job applied for.
Negotiating your pay and benefitsThere is an unwritten rule that during the inter¬view it is the employer who should bring up the subject of pay, not the jobseeker. You can then state the range (minimum and maximum) that would be suitable for you.
Pay consists of the basic wage or salary, part of the wage or salary for job performance and extra pay.
Pay is expressed as a monthly rate. Holiday pay and annual bonuses are included in the remuneration listed.
Employers are obliged to enrol their workers in a pension, invalidity, health and unemployment insurance scheme within 8 days of the job start date. They are also required to deliver a photo-copy of the registration to the employee within 15 days of commencing work.
Is a trial period likely?Yes, you may be asked to undertake a work trial.
How long is the standard probationary period?It varies, but is usually between 3 and 6 months long.
Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?No, this is not common practice in Slovenia.
When will I hear the result?Employers usually tell candidates when they will contact them to let them know their decision.
Getting feedback and further follow-upIf the employer said that he/she would decide within a week, you can call them after 1 week, not sooner. It is not common to call for feedback after the decision has been made.
How early should I arrive for the interview?Punctuality is important. Arrive 5-10 minutes early.