A quick guide for applying to IT work in Vienna from abroad

This article is for people that are considering living and working in Austria, specifically in Vienna. Good choice btw. It has again been named the #1 city in the world, for the 8th time in a row.

Beautiful Vienna

So let’s get to it.

Working permit

If you want to work in Vienna, and are already an EU citizen, you don’t need a working permit (unless you’re Croatian. Special rules apply for Croatian citizens…). For everyone else, you will need to request a red-white-red card (why the name? it’s the Austrian flag…). Who is eligible?

  • very highly qualified workers
  • graduates of Austrian universities and colleges of higher education
  • self-employed key workers
  • skilled workers in shortage occupations
  • other key workers

The first three categories apply. The last two usually don’t fit into IT. The process from submitting the papers to getting a permit takes up to 3 months so I suggest you read up on the topic. You can get all the details from the Austrian migration website. Unless self-employed, you’ll need a work contract and the application has to be done with your employer.

Job application

The best places to look for an open position:

Most of these have an option to create your profile and upload your CV. I highly encourage you to do so as you will probably get contacted by recruiters.

CV

The Internet is full of advice on how to write your resume, so we won’t get into details here. You can find millions of very nice templates on Pinterest, and if you’re looking for a quick solution to a ‘different’ CV I suggest you try out https://www.canva.com.

Some things I’d still like to point out:

  1. Add a photo to your resume. It’s part of the culture here.
  2. Suggest you would need to get a working permit by noting your citizenship somewhere
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself with your language grading. B1 or C1, just write — fluent. Most of the jobs don’t need B2 or C1 level English. So even if the job ad says ‘proficient in English’ and you sound more like Borat, apply anyway. It can only get better :D

Do I need to speak German?

There are plenty of companies in Vienna that have English as their office language, or at least as their IT R&D language. Just make a quick search on karriere.at and you’ll see what I mean. However, if the job ad is in German, then they probably want you to speak it. Not only that, but in that case your CV application should also be in German. Same goes for a job ad in English. Apply with a CV written in English.

Interview

If you’re not in Vienna, you’re probably going to do it over some video system. Don’t make it weird. Have the room for yourself and try to eliminate background noise. Try to have a static background (turn the TV off…), dress nicely and be online on time. If something does distract you (like happy kids walking in), excuse yourself and address the situation so once it’s solved you can continue the interview in peace. The interviewer will appreciate it. Also, have alternatives ready in case of bad video quality. Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco WebEx, a phone, whatever works. Be prepared.

And yeah… be ready to state your salary expectations on the first interview. Some even ask to send them with your application, but you can ignore it since you will be asked again anyway. Job ads will usually state something about a minimum expected salary going up from something around 2100€ per month. That’s written because it’s legally required by the IT Kollektivvertrag (collective agreement). Salaries are usually way beyond this minimum. See for yourself in this survey from 2016. If you’re still not sure how much to ask for, contact me and I’ll give you a rough range based on the job your’re applying to and your CV. Salaries are usually the ones before taxes. You can calculate how much you would get in the end using online calculators like this one. Austrians have 14 equal salaries in a year (one for each month, and one for the summer and winter holidays) so be sure to multiply or divide by 14.

And that’s it with the hints and advice! Good luck with your search and thanks for reading

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