The Swedish job market is changing. As globally mobile Swedes migrate back to Stockholm, the pool of candidates has become much more internationally-focused than it used to be.
“A lot of Swedish people have worked in London for a few years, getting skills from JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley…..and then want to return to Sweden”, says Sebastian Wegner, a researcher at Alexander Hughes Stockholm Office.
This international influence is spilling-over into CVs. If you want a job, you’ll need to adapt your CV to reflect it – and to focus on the particular job you’re applying to.
Keep it simple
“Thirteen years ago I used to get CVs in the form of posters or videos” says Michaela Blomquist, CEO and Partner at Michael Berglund Executive Search. “I prefer the international CV style. It’s clear, structured and easy to follow….Now CVs are more boring but more professional”
In the US and the UK, financial services CVs are concise and to the point: think bullet points and limit the length to no more than one or two pages.
“You just need to put your jobs, then your education,” says Marten Adolfssen, a partner at Alumni Executive Search (Harvey Nash).
Keep it factual
Both Blomquist and Adolfssen advise against structuring a CV around your skills and for structuring it chronologically and keeping it short and to the point.
“Just make it fact-based” says Blomquist. “I’m not really interested in people’s charity work.”
I want to know: “This is my position, this is how many people I have responsibility for,” says Adolfssen
Keep it (slightly) Swedish
However international you make your CV, you also need to remember that this is Sweden and that things operate a little differently here.
I’m looking after my children for the day” says Adolfssen, partner of Alumni Executive Search (Harvey Nash). “It’s seen as a good thing to have a solid family in Sweden….I say to my clients with international CVs that they need to be more humble, and more personal.”
“The professional head hunters, recruiters and the main Swedish banks are used to American and English style CVs….but if you are applying to a smaller company then you will need to make your CV more traditionally Swedish,” he adds.
Blomquist advises against being too boastful: “It’s not necessary to put a European-style description of your personality and skills….English CVs seem to use the word ‘excellent’ a lot. In Sweden it doesn’t have the same value.”