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Finding a job

How to apply for a job


Curriculum Vitae/Résumé

In Iceland the usual practice is to enclose a résumé/CV with your job application. The CV should preferably fill no more than one or two pages. Most people include their photograph with the CV. Because CVs vary a great deal, here is a list of the information that should be included. The information should be in reverse chronological order (most recent information first):

Personal details: Name, address, phone number, e-mail address and perhaps date of birth (ID number) and marital status.

Education: It is here that formal education is specified. It should include when you studied, the name of the school, degree, and in what area your degree and your expertise is.

Work experience: This is a very important part of your résumé. Include a brief description of each job/position, name of the company and when you worked there.

Other qualifications: Here you should mention your language skills; spoken and written. You can also describe your computer skills, the type of driving licence you might have and other relevant qualifications.

Other/hobbies: Describe in a few lines your interests outside of work and leisure activities. If you have lived abroad by all means mention it.

References:  It is very important to name at least two people who will give you a good reference. State the names, job title, telephone numbers and e-mails of those individuals. Contact your referees and make sure you have their approval.

Cover letter

When you send in a job application or a CV you should also include a cover letter. The letter should be no longer than one page. Your cover letter is an important marketing tool that highlights your most attractive qualifications as a potential employee. While you may use the same CV for every job you are applying for, you should write a different cover letter for each job applied for.

Consider the following when writing the letter:

If you are responding to an advertisement be sure to read it carefully, and make sure you respond to what it asks for.

Explain why you want this particular job.

Make it clear to the recipient that you are familiar with the company and with the required qualifications and, furthermore, how you satisfy these.

Standard application

Larger employers in Iceland often use standard application forms. You will find these application forms on the job agencies’ websites or on the website of the relevant company. Most of them are available only in Icelandic, with the exception of the EURES application form Employers decide who to invite for job interviews on the basis of these application forms, so it is important to fill them in correctly. You can often attach your CV, application letter and perhaps other important documents with the application.


Text last edited on: 07/2019

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