Applying for a job

Curriculum vitae and interviews

Applying for a job

The first step to applying for a job in Israel is to send an employer your curriculum vitae (CV). In Hebrew, it is called a korot chayim. You will also need to send a cover letter with your application.

You should send your CV to companies in both English and Hebrew. Some companies may only accept CVs in one language, while others may accept them in both languages.

In addition to typical things such as your name, contact details, professional history and education, your CV should include the languages you speak. Although some companies do not require you to speak Hebrew, a high degree of proficiency in the language increases your chances of employment. Additionally, the more languages you speak, the better your chances for employment.

You should adapt your CV to the company and the position for which you're applying. For example, put relevant work experience first when you write your professional history. If you have had specialised training for the job, put this at the top of your educational qualifications. If you have worked or studied in Israel, make sure that your CV shows this.

A standard Israeli CV is only one or two pages long. The CV should be short and concise while still providing essential information.

You do not need to attach any copies of your diplomas or transcripts to your CV. However, you should include your references and their contact information. Israeli companies are notorious for contacting your references and asking for recommendations.

Sending your CV to companies

Most Israeli companies will accept your CV by mail or email. As with most job searches, you should contact Israeli companies and ask if they received your application (generally 10 to 14 days after you sent it). Call them and ask if they received your CV. This shows your companies that you are interested in getting an interview. They will contact you if they wish to interview you.

Job interviews in Israel

Interviews are crucial to getting a job in any country, and Israel is no different. If possible, schedule several trips to Israel and let prospective employers know you're coming. If they are interested in interviewing you, they will usually make arrangements to interview you during your visit.

Companies might interview you up to four times before they offer you a position. Phone interviews are possible, but most companies want to meet you in-person.

You should bring official documents like diplomas, transcripts and identification cards to an interview. Have these documents in English and Hebrew, and make sure to make photocopies beforehand. The company may ask for photocopies to place in your file.

Arrive at an interview 20-30 minutes early. Companies will make you fill out several forms about your education and employment history. Arriving early also makes a good impression on your potential employer.

The interviews themselves are relaxed affairs (and usually don't start on time). Your interviewer will ask you a series of questions about your experience and why you want to work for the company. Do not be surprised if they ask you personal questions such as your age or family status.

It is not uncommon for your interviewer to have a casual attitude towards the meeting – in many cases, your interviewer's phone will ring or a secretary will interrupt a meeting. Do not be offended if this happens and remain relaxed throughout the interview.

What to wear

Business casual is acceptable in Isreali job interview (e.g. open-collared shirts and slacks). Suits and pant-suits are reserved for formal occasions in the Israeli work environment. Religious dress is also acceptable. Wearing a yamaca (religious cap) or a headscarf should not affect your chances as a potential employee.

Further reading

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