Many people dream of living and working in Spain. Although there might always be personal, financial, political and economical reasons to consider, it is definitely not impossible to achieve!

But how to get a job in Spain?


There are some things, you should have in mind before starting to organise your job search. In our daily life in Tenerife we often meet with people, who would have had an easier beginning if they would have known those facts, that can be summed up in three major advices.

However we do want to emphasize: those advices are neither official, nor do we intend to give you a unfailing, complete guideline. We do not guarantee anything or promise you something. We just want to help you with some practical recommendations for your step into the Spanish labour market.  

So, here they are, our advices about how to get a job in Spain:

First – Be on the spot

Depending on your profession and the desired field of work, it can be of big advantage to be already on location when searching for a job in Spain. Sure, there are people, who successfully manage to get a job in Spain, while still living in their country. But usually they tend to be the minority, as candidates from other nations often experience disadvantages when applying for a job.

Besides the more difficult situation of getting to know the applicant personally, companies in Spain do not know, if you are really going to show up for the work. They are aware, that you will still have a big step to make, which is leaving your home and your beloved ones behind. So probably a local candidate, who also has subjects such as accommodation, registrations etc. already sorted out, might be a step ahead.

The last-mentioned is another reason, why being on location is beneficial when searching for a job in Spain. The period of time from accepting a job until starting with the job is usually quite short in Spain. In some areas it is not easy, to find a suitable apartment in a matter of days. Also there are bureaucratic matters, that you will need to take care of, such as applying for the NIE Number (number of identification for foreigners in Spain), being registered in the Seguridad Social (Social insurance system in Spain), enroll in the population register and so on – and those will take some time as well. Being on location and taking care of some of those steps before starting a job can save time and reduce stress.

Therefore, if you want to be considered because of your skills and not of your address and if you want to start the new job without having to manage too many steps at the same time, try to be on location when applying for a job in Spain.

Second – Be prepared

This is a step, we cannot stress enough – you need to be well prepared to make your way to a job in Spain! Basically this is about two aspects:

First, make sure to have skills and experience, that might be of interest for your future employee. Spain is a manifold country, though there are some business fields, that are more promising than others. Being able to present the right combination of hard skills and soft skills can be crucial for a successful application. Also make sure in advance, if you need any working permit and if your former education can be accredited in Spain.

Second, learn Spanish! If you have already some knowledge, improve it and if you don’t have any knowledge, try to learn it as quick as possible. Yes, there are foreign companies and there are jobs, where you can get along without even using Spanish. However, those are not many and they are rare – and in the end there is still the daily life you will have to manage.  

In general, working and living in Spain means the need to speak Spanish. So do not consider “getting along with English somehow” – consider immersing yourself in the country and its language!

Third – Be everywhere

Many people asking on how to get a job in Spain refer to the actual job platforms or channels, so that they know, where to search. Our recommendation in this aspect is, to be present everywhere. Get out there, communicate in all ways possible, that you are in Spain and that you are searching for work.

You need some inspiration? Here are some ideas where to start looking for a job in Spain:

  • Search in online job exchange (such as,,, etc.)
  • Contact companies of your desired working field directly. You might find useful results in search engines and with the help of the Spanish Yellow Pages called “Páginas Amarillas
  • Search for local groups and job groups in Social Media like Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin
  • Have a look at the job section of local newspapers and magazines.
  • Contact the local employment office to see, if there are suitable offers.
  • As funny as it sounds: Go there! Print a number of your CV’s and then visit interesting companies to present yourself. You would be surprised how many find a job in Spain this way  

Your next steps will be patience, optimism and – hopefully – a big smile on your face! 🙂

Things to have in mind

Before starting your big adventure of searching for a job in Spain, please have a look at the following To Do List, which might help you with the organisation:

  • Bring all necessary documents such as your ID card or passport, insurance confirmation, driving license, important papers etc. to be able to apply for NIE number, Seguridad Social and registration office
  • Make sure to have sufficient protection by suitable insurances (European Health Insurance, Private insurances), as you will probably not be fully covered by the social framework of Spain
  • If you are not a member of the European Union, investigate which type of visa or work permit you might need and where you can apply for it
  • Check if you need to sign off from any registrations or subscriptions in your country
  • If possible, have some savings to be able to manage the first weeks of job search in Spain       

We hope we could help you organising your idea of how to get a job in Spain. If you need support with the part of learning Spanish, we will be glad to help you. Come to Tenerife for some weeks and improve your Spanish quickly in our intensive courses whilst practising your new knowledge on one of the most beautiful islands in the world! And maybe you might even find some work over here, you never know!

See you soon,

Your SMS Spanish Experience Team