How to Work in Italy and Apply for a Job

If you want to work in Italy or for an Italian company, it is essential to know how to write your resume and cover letter and how to submit your application properly.

For English speaking expats working in Italy is usually not a problem. But in some industries, speaking, reading and also writing Italian may be required and can be the key to your success.

So, before starting to look for a job in our country, we suggest you learn Italian, at least to an intermediate level.

Also, you need to be informed as much as possible about all the options and the various methods of applying for new jobs in Italy.

And as we said before, understanding how to properly format your resume and application can help you to increase the number of job opportunities you will receive.

Why work in Italy?

Italy is one of the top holiday destinations in the world.

We have almost 7.500 kilometers of coast grandiose mountains, surprising cities, and lovely countryside. Not to mention the variety of exquisite food and acclaimed wines the all the different Italian regions can offer.

Well, for some people, all of these are good reasons to move to Italy and start a new life there. Especially if they also have an Italian significant other. But how can you work in Italy as a foreigner? Where should you start looking for a job?

Well, all these reasons may already be more than enough to move to Italy and start a new life there. But you can also find temporary work opportunities.

Italy working hours 

Working hours in Italy vary according to the kind of job. Anyway we can say that for most employees regular working days are from Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 6 pm with a one-hour break for lunch usually from 1 pm to 2 pm. 

About this topic, we also recommend you to read our post on Italy Business Hours

What do you need to work in Italy?

If you are a foreigner, to work in Italy you must follow the Italian immigration laws, that vary depending on your nationality:

For EU citizens is much less complicated because they have very few requirements to find a job in Italy. EU citizens have the right to move freely within all the EU countries, and they can also work without any special permit.

They only would need

  • A valid ID document (passport or identity card).
  • A “fiscal code” (codice fiscale) which is a unique code based on your full name, place, and date of birth. To request this code, which is entirely free, you must go to a local Agenzia delle Entrate office and issue a request. 

We also suggest you still need to register in the country. You can do that by reporting your presence at a police station and filling out the forms and paperwork they give you.

Please note that if you are EU citizens willing to stay in Italy for more than three months, you need to apply for residency in Italy 

For non-EU citizens, things are a bit more arduous, because they need to have a work permit.

For example, working in Italy as an American is a lot easier than working here if you are from Asia or Africa. 

Non-EU immigrants are generally treated differently according to their nationality.

Anyway, all non-EU citizens will need:

  • Visa. A Visa is issued for a specific purpose, and therefore there are different kinds—tourist visa, student visa, employment visa, and so on. It has an expiry date, and it establishes for how long you’ll be allowed to stay in the country. If you have a visa for the Schengen area, you don’t need another one to enter Italy. Securing a job in Italy may help you in this bureaucratic tasks because your employer in Italy will take care of the visa application process for you. Here you can check if you need a Visa for Italy
  • Residence permit (permesso di soggiorno): You must apply for a residence permit within eight days of entering Italy, if you are planning to live in the country and you are not just a tourist. A resident permit is the most important document for a non-EU citizen in Italy, and it matches the Visa information. For example, if you have a student Visa, you’ll get a student permit, if you have an employment Visa, you will get an employment permit, and so on). Residence permit must be requested to the local Police Headquarters (Questura).

How to apply for a job

Before you submit your job application, it is crucial to understand the job application process and how to make your resume shine. 

You should start studying the market and do some research to understand which are the job’s requirements, the skills and the experience needed for the type of job you are interested in. This is fundamental to update your resume so that it will look as professional as possible. The more in-tune you are with the position you are interested in, the easier it is getting an interview. So you should format each resume accordingly to each job position you are applying. 

Generally speaking, we suggest you research resume samples and templates. Knowing how to properly format your resume and cover letter for a job in Italy will help to improve your chances of getting hired. 

You can also try to find real resumes and Italian cover letters to get a feel for the type of wording you should implement and how you should present yourself professionally. 

Understanding the job application process for an Italian job can help to drastically improve your chances of being selected as the ideal candidate for an available position. You can also read online blogs and communities dedicated to the job application process to find more job application tips. This is a way to feel more reassured and confident when you submit your own applications and resumes to any company.

The more confident and comfortable you are when you apply for positions in Italy, the more likely you are to receive a request for a follow-up interview, regardless of the level of experience you have in the industry. Knowing how to fill out applications and submit your resume properly is a way to ensure you are getting the most chances possible of being hired for all positions you are interested in personally

Each country has its way to style CV. Recruiters spend a few seconds looking at a CV because they already know what they are looking for, and they are used to a certain kind of structure. So if you style your CV in the proper way, your chances of getting a job can increase.

What is the country-style CV for Italy?

Here are some tips:

  • Basic Information: at the top of the page, you should write your personal data like full name, address, and contact details. Also, adding a photo may be useful too.
  • Demographic data: then you should add your date and place of birth and nationality. 
  • Visa: If you already have a Visa, you should include some information about it, for example, about your eligibility to work in Italy and for how many hours a week.
  • Working experience: now it’s time to write down your professional experience starting from your most recent work experience
  • Education: Then you must write all your educational qualifications, always starting from the most recent ones (Master, University degree, High school diploma, … and others.
  • Other skills: include your language skills, especially if you can speak Italian and any other skill that may be relevant to the sector you are applying. 
  • References: you can add the name and contact of one or two referees
  • Hobbies: you can include them if they are very relevant to your position or job sector.

Keeping all this in mind, please try not to build a CV longer than two pages, unless you are for example a physician or an engineer and the position you are applying for requires a lot of technical details

Do you need a cover letter?

The cover letter is increasingly in demand by HR managers because it’s less impersonal than a CV and can show your effort to stand out from the crowd.

Interview tips

If you were able to get a job interview, then you need to be prepared to do your very best:

  • Get informed! Find out as much as possible about the company you are interviewing for! Visit its website, its social channels, try to understand what its mission is and what are its values
  • Dress to impress: even if you are applying for a role where the clothing is not relevant (e.g., warehouseman, house painter, …) or even if you are provided with a uniform, your clothing for the interview must be impeccable.
  • Be on time! Perhaps in the collective imagination, it is believed that Italians are slow people and always late. Even if that may be true, you should never be late for a job interview. So arrive there around 15 minutes early.
  • Demonstrate confidence when greeting with a firm handshake and fearless eye contact.

Where to find a job in Italy?

There are different ways to look for a job:

  • Agencies and supply agencies
  • Public job center (Centro per l’Impiego): public structures located throughout the country that support unemployed workers
  • Websites: you can take a look at websites such as Indeed, Infojobs, Trovalavoro
  • Networking: build strong relationships is the best way to find a job in Italy. So you should try to meet new people that work in your field, by going to expos, congresses, and conferences. Also, Linkedin is an excellent way to create a good starting network 

Which kind of contract can you get in Italy?

The most typical contract that an employer can offer you in Italy are:

  • Permanent contract (contratto a tempo indeterminato): this is a contract without an expiry date, and it can be part-time or full-time. It must be said that it is increasingly difficult to obtain contracts of this type, and for a foreigner, it is even more difficult unless he/she has very high professional qualifications and requirements (doctor, engineer, etc.)
  • Fixed-term contract (contratto a tempo determinato): this kind of contract has an expiry date, but after that, it can be renewed. Also, this contract can be part-time or full-time.
  • Interim supply contract: if you rely on a job agency to find a job in Italy you will probably get a contract that is made between you and the agency that usually supplies workers to companies for a short period of time.
  • On-call contract. This is a kind of contract that doesn’t have a fixed number of hours. The employer can ask you to work according to the company’s needs and with short notice.

What kind of work is easier to get for a foreigner in Italy

The answer depends mainly on your skills and education.

In recent years Italian companies are having difficulty in finding specialized figures such as blacksmiths, welders, mechanics, and other skilled workers.

Among the most requested jobs with high specialization, there are also highly specialized engineering and computer technicians. 

There are also jobs that Italians don’t like to do and for which there is always a lot of demand: carers, cleaners, storekeepers, caterers, caretakers, waiters, drivers.

Doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians, and physiotherapists are also in high demand in the health sector.

In the IT field, the most sought-after figures are those of professions that can deal with data analysis, computer security, artificial intelligence, market analysis.

Finally, for a foreigner, there can undoubtedly be great opportunities as a translator or in the tourism sector, which is one of the most important in Italy. 

Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information and assistance.

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