Prepare for a job search

Looking for a job in Italy can be challenging and discouraging. But don’t give up! We will show you how to prepare for a job search.


thoughtful young boy

Finding a job will be much easier if you know the steps and have everything you need. If you prepare for a job search, you will be more likely to find a job that fits your interests.

Before you start

Before you start on your job search, think about your past work history. What did you do, what are you good at, and what you most enjoy doing.

What are your everyday skills?

Think about the skills you’ve gained during your everyday life. Think of one thing that you do very well – for example:

  • Managing your home, housework, and cooking;
  • Caring for children and helping them with their homework;
  • Perhaps you were good at saving money when you did the grocery shopping;
  • Have you ever worked with elderly people, caring for their health and daily needs;
  • Perhaps you like to repair appliances or cars;
  • Maybe you take care of a vegetable or flower garden;

As you can see from these examples, everyone is good at doing something! Make a list of all your skills. These are skills that may interest your future employer.

What are your work skills and certifications?

Think about any skills you have from work, like managing people and money, or using  certain tools and machines. You should also add any certified skills you have from your studies or training.

You can check to see if your degree or qualification is recognized in Italy.  If it is not accepted, you can learn how to get your foreign educational diplomas validated.

Write down your job history

For example:

  • The city or town where you worked and/or lived
  • The name of the company or family you worked for
  • The kind of work you did, including work you did in private, or in someone’s home
  • Your work responsibilities
  • When you started and ended the job
  • The reasons why you left the job

Now you have a list of your skills, your certification, and your experience, you can prepare for your job search!

1. Identify your strengths

To find the job that’s best for you, you first have to understand what skills or expertise you possess. Skills can be divided into:

  • Soft skills
    Soft skills are the skills connected to your personality and behavior. Maybe you are sociable and lively. Or maybe you are patient and thoughtful. Perhaps you are punctual or adaptable. Or maybe you are a good listener and quick to learn new things.

    Soft skills are very important to employers. They may choose you for our soft skills because they believe these skills will make you a good employee. Your employer can train you in specific skills if you have good soft skills, like being willing to learn! So do not forget to include your soft skills in your resume.

  • Hard skills
    Hard skills are the skills you have from your studies, training courses, or work experience. For example, knowing how to use a forklift or a sewing machine are hard skills. So are language skills and computer skills. Many newcomers speak more than one language and this is a very important hard skill.

    Think back to everything you had to do in your past jobs, and write down the skills you used. You will use this list later when you write your resume.

2. Evaluate your past experience

Try to understand what you enjoyed in past jobs and how you used your skills. For example, perhaps you enjoyed working with customers or colleagues because you like to help people. Or maybe the opposite is true: when you worked alone, you felt more independent and engaged. If you can identify what is the best work for you and your skills, it will help you to prepare for a job search.

3. Think about your training

If you have a diploma or a specific certificate for a professional training course from abroad, think about whether it could be useful for your search. Not every certificate or diploma will be automatically accepted.

However, not all employers will require certification. So first, find out if your diploma or certification is needed. If it is not necessary, then you can save time and money. But if you do need to use your certification from another country to get the job you want, you can learn how to get your foreign educational diplomas validated.

4. Decide what kind of job to look for

Know what kind of job you are looking for and what role you want to have at work. Knowing these things will make your search easier and help you use your time in the best way possible.

5. Be clear about your availability

Decide how much time you can dedicate to a new job, when you can start, and what kind of schedule you can have. You should also decide if you are willing to work shifts, and how flexible you can be if shifts need to be changed.

6. Have proof that you can stay legally in Italy

Job applications might ask if you can work legally in Italy. You will need to show:

  • a residence permit or
  • a receipt for a residence permit renewal or
  • a receipt that shows your application for a residence permit is being processed

The residence permit says you are allowed to live in Italy. It says you have certain rights and obligations as a worker and as a resident. The police headquarters (Questura) in your province regulates your stay in Italy and issues residence permits.

7. Think about possible references

A reference is a letter or other information about you from someone who can give an opinion about you and your work in the past. Your future employer might ask you to provide references.

Think about who might be willing to give you a reference. It could be:

  • your previous employers
  • people you’ve previously worked with
  • people you have met in your work, such as customers or members of a family you worked for

Try and avoid getting references from your own family members. They will speak well of you, but a new employer will think they are prejudiced in your favor! To prepare for a job search, learn how to present job references  for your job application.

8. Create a job network and email account

A job network is a group of people you know who can help you find a job. To make your network bigger,you can create an online profile. The best-known online platform for professional is LinkedIn. You can create a profile on LinkedIn.

You can use your profile to follow the work of other people and keep in touch with them regarding job offers. An online network is important for certain kinds of jobs. But if you can’t create an online network, don’t worry. Network with the people you already know. Keep in touch with them and make sure they know you are looking for a job because they might hear about new job opportunities.

Even if you don’t create an online job profile, try to create an email address that you can give to your contacts. It is the best way for people to send you any new job offers. You can also use your email address to register at job agencies and answer online job notices.

9. Make a good resume

What is a resume? It is a summary of all the information about your work life. Some people call it a curriculum vitae, or CV.

Your resume will help you introduce yourself and let people know who you are. It will explain your work experiences, training, and interests. You will use it to respond to job vacancies. You can also send it to companies even if they have no job openings to let them know you would like to work for them.

Your resume is the first impression you make when you apply for a job. So you need to prepare it carefully. You can learn everything you need to know about how to write your resume.

10. Prepare a cover letter

What is a cover letter? It’s a short message that accompanies your resume when you apply for a job. The aim of the cover letter is to invite your future employer to read your resume. You can also use it  to mention useful things that personalize your application: for example, mention specific things about yourself, or about the job. Learn how to write a cover letter to send with your resume.

You have a lot to do to prepare for a job search. We will help you! And when you have all your documents ready, we will help you look for a job.