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How to get a job in the EU

There are many vacancies waiting to be filled in EU bodies

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment

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Irish people are successful at getting EU jobs because we have good language skills; particularly in English, which is the main language of business in the EU. And it’s a huge employer- there are around 50,000 jobs between the 10 different EU institutions. Even though we only make up 1% of the EU’s 505 million population, Irish people occupy 2% of all jobs within official EU bodies.

If you have experience and skills in the following areas, there’s probably a job opening for you:

  • Proofreading
  • Translation
  • Communication
  • Administration
  • Law
  • External relations, auditing and much, much more

To fill their vacant positions, the EU looks for people with competencies in seven key areas. You’ve got to be:

  • Highly skilled
  • Resilient
  • Communicative
  • Motivated
  • Result-driven
  • Analytical
  • And have the potential to lead

For many EU jobs, a second language is a huge advantage, and anyone involved in translation has to have reasonable fluency in a third language as well (Irish counts as an official EU language).

What’s the best way to get an EU job?

Generally speaking, you’ve got to have a lot of experience under your belt to get a full-time position. Usually, people take part in traineeship programmes or become stagiaires (a intern) in EU institutions to start. They’re fully paid, and last around five months.

EU institutions have a presence in all but five member states, so there are opportunities all around the continent for those who are interested (including in Ireland). The work is relevant and rewarding, looks really good on your CV, and gives you the option to work in a broad range of policy and administrative areas inside and outside the EU.

You’ll get to work in multi-cultural teams, meet lots of interesting people, and make fantastic contacts which could come in handy in future years. The programmes are open to both graduates and undergrads (spring and summer are graduate application seasons, while winter is reserved for undergrads).

For further information on EU jobs and traineeships available, visit: have handy guides to finding employment in the EU, as well as their Green Book guide to jobs and internships for Irish people.

EU Careers is a one-stop-shop for information on jobs in the EU.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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Published Octo­ber 9th2014
Tags employment work jobs eu
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