Here I am sharing my Personal experience on navigating talent market in Sweden as a 28-year-old Non-EU Expat.
Little introduction about me if you are new to my network. I am an analyst in my profession and working in HR System configuration and implementation. Specifically, Workday!
I knew Workday is a Global Giant and entering the European Workday talent market is highly competitive plus entering the Swedish talent market is highly challenging.
But I have a transferrable skill!
As a woman, the first doubt I had was how I am going to find a job in Sweden from a tiny island in south Asia, Sri Lanka. I felt it will not be easy but as always I like to prepare beforehand.
A year ago, I started my ‘Plan A’
I looked at job openings in LinkedIn, gathered and analysed the most common job requirements and responsibilities.
As a system analyst, my role evolves around a particular system and its configuration. Therefore, I started studying more and more while performing my day today work load.
Then I figured the knowledge gaps that I need to work on and soft skills that I should show to recruiters and hiring managers.
“How do I let them know my passion when I am not a programmer in the IT industry?” The biggest question.
I analysed my strengths and weaknesses, emphasised more on the projects and the features/functions I configured in the Workday System.
Reflected on everything I did for the past three years in the Workday ecosystems and lessons from my team.
Prepared my CV to showcase the value I added to my previous companies.
Highlighted the impact and the importance of my role.
Then the Cover letter to explain a bit about my legal background on working in Sweden. Because a family member of an Expat in Sweden receives the same privileges.
I waited for the right time to shoot my CV and the cover letter. But I started my trial round while waiting for my husband’s work permit decision.
I got amazing responses from recruiters and Interviews from Polestar, Cognizant, FocusCloud, Schibsted, Intertrust Group, etc while other companies ghosted or rejected directly.
I learnt about what they are looking for and the structure of the interviews as I had no reference of what it looks like being interviewed for an international level Workday role.
- Pitch yourself — Certain companies asked to pitch myself to standout from the crowd upon submitting a CV and cover letter. An example: “As a young professional, I am well aware <Company Name> develops the world’s best <their product can be cars or music> and am excited to apply for this position, just like you focus on details when developing <product name>, I focus on how users experience every detail in their HR system.”
Isn’t it cool? The Tip is always lookout for the company mission statement.
- Interview with Talent Acquisition team member or the recruiter (Internal/external) — This stage is to introduce self and impress them about why you are suitable for the position, why are you interested in the company. Matching your experience with what they are looking for.
- Interview with the hiring manager or a team member of their offshore unit or onshore unit. — This will vary from technical to functional questions about the system, implementation, maintenance and project experience. Bring on your all to this!
- Personality Test — long list of questions to measure your ability to fit in the team and company
- Logical Thinking/Logical reasoning Test — used to measure problem-solving skills
- Interview with the CEO/Head of the relevant department — In this stage you know you have come so far but focused more on your understanding of HR Tech role in the company and final validation to offer.
There was a one opportunity that I was really closer and excited but the permit decision didn’t come in time.
Therefore, I took a break, came back a fresh after landing to Sweden.
This time I focused on job roles that most matched with my experience and qualifications. I was happy to see things turning around my way and I had a demand! Hence I leveraged LinkedIn to the best including a free one month LinkedIn premium.
My Plan B was also running simultaneously, Learning Data analytics. My Plan C was, well it’s a deeply personal goal so, I prefer not to announce it here.
Of course the process was sometime tiring and failed hopes, I cried when I needed. But All thanks to the strong mental ability to resist difficulties until I achieve what I want like a warrior.
I enjoyed the entire process and grateful for many new people I met in this platform who guided me, helped me, shared interview tips with me, and if you are reading this, you know that it’s you who helped to navigate the unknowns.
Finally, I would say believe in yourself. Learn and explore the world in your own way. Prepare yourself to move out of your comfort zone. Doesn’t matter where you come from, what matters is your consistent commitment and dedication for your career goals. ❤
With lots of Love
Nimasha Rashani, MBA
Why I am sharing a picture? To celebrate myself since I still can’t believe I am living in a happiest country in the World