Finding a job in Italy should be a simple process for English-speaking expats, particularly those from countries within the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). However, your success in securing long-term gainful employment may depend on your field of work and skill set. For some jobs, including those in the service industry, a working knowledge of Italian will also be required.For EU citizens, there are few requirements necessary to obtain work in Italy. Unlike non-EU citizens, you will not need to wait for a visa (or any other permit) to be granted before you can start your job search. Typically, all you will need is your passport and a tax number, known locally as your codice fiscal. To acquire a tax number in Italy, you will need to submit a request to the Agenzia delle Entrate. You may also need to provide a criminal records certificate when applying for jobs.
Whilst as an EU citizen you will not need a visa to work in Italy, you will still need to register yourself as resident in the country. To do this, you need to report your presence at a police station and complete the necessary paperwork. If your intention is to eventually achieve permanent residency, it is important to register your arrival in Italy as soon as possible.
Once registered, you will have the same rights as Italian nationals when it comes to working conditions, pay and benefits. UK citizens have the further benefit of a double-taxation agreement, which ensures that workers do not need to pay tax on the same income in both the UK and Italy.
Tourism is one of the biggest providers of employment for expats in Italy, alongside teaching English as a foreign language. However, both opportunities are highly sought-after and therefore each vacancy can be heavily oversubscribed, meaning competition is fierce.
It is perhaps wiser to initially focus on the job vacancies that Italy regularly struggles to fill. Engineers are in short supply in several industries, including textiles, mechanics and food. Those with a background in computing may also find job-searching productive as there are usually plenty of vacancies for software and app developers, and computer equipment designers.
Once you have found a relevant job to apply for, you will need to update your CV to fit the Italian market. Keep your personal information at the top of the page, including your name, contact details and date of birth. In this section, you can also add details about your eligibility and availability.
Your professional experience should come next, starting with your most recent job history and ending with your qualifications. Your CV should be written in English or Italian, depending on the requirements of the job you are applying for. Include details of any language skills you have even if they do not include Italian – knowledge of other languages is generally seen as a positive skill.
You will need references, but these can be listed towards the end of your CV and should be limited to the name and contact details of one or two relevant individuals. Supplying a photograph is not necessary unless otherwise stated. Try not to follow the European CV template, as this model is increasingly unpopular with Italian employers.
Covering letters are not essential in Italy and depend on the job you are applying for, so check the advertisement carefully. However, even if the vacancy requirements do not include a covering letter, sending one along with your CV could make your application stand out.
Once you secure an interview for a job in Italy, you will need to prepare accordingly. Dress formally, greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and arrive punctually for your interview – aim for 10-15 minutes before your appointment to make a good impression.
Even when you have secured employment in Italy, networking is an important skill to learn. There are numerous ways to establish professional connections, including attending networking events, making yourself visible on LinkedIn, and joining an Italian business group. Some of the biggest groups in the country are:
• CNA (National Confederation of Artisans and SMEs)
• CONFAPI (Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises)
An average salary in Italy is around 1,800 EUR (£1,500) per month or 25,200 EUR (£21,000) annually. Naturally, this figure will vary depending on your qualifications, experience and where you are living and working in Italy. There is no minimum wage in Italy.
If you are interested in setting up a business instead of working for someone else, opportunities in Italy are readily available. Self-employment is especially popular with freelancers including teachers, engineers and web developers. For EU nationals, the process of registering as self-employed is straightforward and simply involves registering with the local authorities upon entering the country and making a declaration of self-employment. Freelance work remains the easiest means of self-employment rather than setting up a limited company, though both options require the individual to pay income tax.
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