Episode 50

How to Land a Job in Finland with Carl Nykopp

Tune in for an informative chat with Carl, an executive consultant and headhunter in Finland. Carl decided to pursue a career in recruitment, a process that had always intrigued him, after a long career in banking and leisure.

In his role as a headhunter, Carl conducts targeted searches for candidates that fit a specialized profile. Although many might imagine that headhunters only seek high-level executives for large companies, Carl works for companies of various sizes looking to fill a wide range of positions.

Carl explained the difference between headhunting and general recruitment by explaining that headhunters take a more targeted approach. First, he builds a profile based on the company’s needs. Then, he uses online and personal networks to seek individuals who may fit the role. Finally, he organizes multiple rounds of interviews and assessments to find the best candidate for the role.

Rather than looking for candidates with general experience in a given role, Carl seeks candidates with a track record of performing specific duties. For this reason, he often relies on personal networks rather than networking platforms like LinkedIn. Although such platforms are useful, Carl explained, common user mistakes mean that it is not always the best tool for the job.

For example, Carl often sees professionals in the medical and IT fields with profiles that are not up-to-date; when he is seeking candidates in these fields, he may need to look elsewhere.

Other common mistakes include not listing specific accomplishments on your profile. He noted that titles such as “Vice President” may be culture-specific, so it is more important to him that you list specific duties and accomplishments. Carl observed that younger candidates seem to be better at updating their profiles regularly, while those who have been in a career long-term tend to let profile maintenance slip.

“Maybe we could call them old school, like myself,” he joked. “You have just your titles there and maybe how long you’ve worked for… you could actually classify that as a mistake. By not using the correct keywords in your profile, then you might not be found.”

Carl shared some useful tips for getting noticed by recruiters and headhunters. You may have heard the first one on our podcast before:

“Unless you’re here for a certain period of time only, then do learn the basics in the Finnish language as soon as possible.”

However, Carl clarified, you are not expected to become fluent in order to land a job. Simply showing that you have put time into learning the basics of Finnish can be a huge asset. This is because, while companies may not expect you to work completely in Finnish, being able to follow along in a meeting with primarily Finnish speakers is a useful skill.

Another tip Carl shared is to reach out personally to companies, rather than simply emailing your CV. He explained that Finnish companies are often receptive to personal contact. Send your CV, he says, but follow it up with a phone call.

Finally, Carl encourages candidates to not be shy about emphasizing personal strengths. He suggests detailing your capabilities, and making clear what exactly it is that you have to offer as a candidate. He noted that this may feel arrogant to some, but suggested that minimizing your abilities will not leave a strong impression in the mind of the interviewer or recruiter.

For tips on how to emphasize your strengths while still appearing humble, tune in to this week’s episode. Be sure to listen to the end, so that you don’t miss Carl’s responses to listener questions. Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next week!