How to improve your chances of landing a job in Norway

A boat in the Oslo Fjord, with the the Astrup Fearnley Museum visible in the background.

Not ready to leave this beautiful country after the semester you just spent studying here? Or are you back in your home country finishing your degree, longing to return to the happy country in the north?  

Besides doing a master’s or applying for a PhD, landing a full-time job in Norway is your single most direct path to picking up where you left off. The best part is that with a Norwegian income, you’ll be able to enjoy Oslo or any other part of the country in a whole new way.  

The path to full-time employment in Norway may not be straightforward. Most likely, a job isn’t going to fall into your lap—you’re going to have to work for it. Here are four things you can start doing now to increase your odds of landing a job in Norway and writing the next chapter in your Norwegian adventure.  

Work on your Norwegian

You’ve gotten by just fine as a student in Oslo without learning much Norwegian. Is it really going to be that hard to find a job you can do in English?  

The answer to this question depends on the field you are hoping to work in and the kind of position you are applying for. Jobs in the public sector at both the junior and senior levels almost always require  working knowledge of written and spoken Norwegian.  

Companies in the private sector and non-governmental organisations may be more flexible, and some even have English as their working language. But no matter what field you are hoping to enter, even a basic command of Norwegian will only work to your advantage.  

Norwegians know that their language is spoken by relatively few people and is difficult for many foreigners to learn. By making an attempt to speak and write Norwegian, you will show prospective employers that you are curious, capable of learning new things and that you respect the society you are choosing to make your home (at least for a while). It just so happens that employers value these same qualities when hiring new colleagues, no matter where in the world they come from.  

So dedicate some time to improving your Norwegian as you begin your job hunt. Take a web-based course. Watch Norwegian TV with subtitles. Do an informal language exchange with someone whose Norwegian is better than yours in exchange for conversation practice in your native language. Every little bit counts!

Signs for hikers in the forrest surrounding Oslo

Learning even some Norwegian will only help you in your job search, while also helping you live a richer life in Norway. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward

Spend some quality time on LinkedIn 

You’ve probably heard of LinkedIn and may even have a profile there. The world’s leading website for professional networking has a growing presence in Norway. While LinkedIn is more widely used by bankers than by nurses, you will find people working in a wide variety of fields in Oslo and the rest of the country on the platform.  

So how can you use LinkedIn in your job search?  

Follow companies and organisations you would like to work for

Employers sometimes post open positions on LinkedIn before sharing them elsewhere. This means you can out-hustle the competition by being one of the very first to apply. LinkedIn also shows you who in your network currently works at the company. This can make it easier for you to get a foot in the door and introduce yourself to someone already working at the company.  

Spiff up your personal profile

Make sure you have a professional-looking photo and that you present your qualifications and professional ambitions in a clear and understandable way. You can create a profile in several different languages. Whatever languages you choose, it's always a good idea to ask a native speaker to read over what you’ve written to be sure your profile doesn’t contain any grammatical mistakes.  

Try to include key words and phrases to describe your capabilities that people working in your desired field use in their profiles. That way, recruiters and HR professionals looking for candidates will be able to find your profile more easily.

Connect with fellow alumni 

The OsloMet alumni network is open to international students, whether they have completed a full degree or spent a semester at the university on exchange. Alumni are usually happy to hear from other alumni and share what it’s like working wherever it is they work.  

Start by exploring OsloMet’s alumni portal (, where you can search for alumni based on what kind of work they do, where they work, what they studied, and various other criteria. Once you’ve found people whose current positions and career trajectories look interesting to you, send them a connection request along with a few words explaining why you’re reaching out to them.  

Several of our international master’s programmes have their own alumni group. If your programme has its own group, try posting a message introducing yourself to alumni in the group. You could also consider sending a direct message to group members whose work experience looks particularly relevant. 

What about if your programme doesn’t have its own alumni group? There’s nothing keeping you from starting one.

Two students walking at Aker brygge in Oslo

Going for a walk is free and the perfect activity for practising your Norwegian on a friend. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward

Learn from the experts—other internationals who have found work in Norway 

Landing a full-time job in a country where you’ve only lived a relatively short time is not always going to be straightforward. But it has been done before. Your single best source of advice as you embark on your job search is other internationals who have made the transition from student life to a career in Norway.  

It might sound trite or obvious, but most people like being able to help out other people. Other internationals who have stayed in Oslo after finishing their studies or returned to the city after finishing their degree back in their home country will typically be happy to answer your questions and share their experiences entering the workforce in Norway.  

Think of these conversations as informational interviews. If you make it clear right from the start that you are not asking for a job, the people you ask to set aside a half-hour or 45 minutes to speak with you will understand that you don’t have a hidden agenda. This will help everyone to relax and set the stage for an open and honest conversation.  

Start by reaching out to people in your own network. If the pandemic has made getting to know people tricky, look for groups on sites like Facebook and Couchsurfing that bring together internationals and expats. Do some background research into group members and reach out to a few people whose jobs sound interesting. Tell them why you are getting in touch and ask them if they have time to tell you about their experiences and answer your questions.

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