International talent boost has recently become a catchphrase in Finland. There is a governmental programme #TalentBoost; cities like Helsinki, Espoo or Tampere and probably many more initiated their own local programmes. Finland and its municipalities have realized that to thrive in the global markets in the near future they need a highly educated foreign workforce.
As a foreigner (with a higher education and a long work experience) living in Finland I know how much we need such programmes. Whenever I attend any network meeting for so-called international talents (I know that some people do not like this expression, arguing we are just immigrants), I encounter dozens of outstanding – yes – international talents: professionals with great education, skills and excellent work experience, speaking many languages. They usually lack only one skill: Finnish language. Or maybe two. The second is a network in Finland.
Many of them came to Finland because their spouses got a high-level job here (my own example). The next step for the country is to open for those people and to change the mindset. To think how much Finland can gain thanks to their presence and expertise.
I am writing all this because just yesterday I attended a workshop that was a part of Expand2eBusiness project run by Laurea UAS. I have learnt about this project before I started my traineeship at Laurea and I got involved and have done my small part in it. Later on, already as a Laurea communications trainee, I wrote an article for our web pages. Out of my own interests and because I like how the programme owners are engaged in their job, I follow the upcoming events.
Expand2eBusiness is about helping SMEs from Uusimaa region to expand internationally. Who can help? International talents, who might know foreign markets, who speak languages, who have skills and who need to gain some local work experience. Hence, it is in mutual interest to match both parties and work together. It meets well the Laurea’s message “Together we are stronger”. It meets also the national and regional level actions to boost international talents.
The workshop was about personal branding. How to brand your personal competences to differentiate yourself in the Finnish work culture. Asko Mononen has explained what is a purpose of a resume. We all know, right? Well, not really. The main purpose is to raise an interest in me and to get to the interview. To be different from others. How?
Asko showed us his own creative resume examples. They were very brief. Not elaborate descriptions. They were visual. He strongly advised to make a visual CV, because too much plain text is simply boring and no one wants to search for the hidden gem. He also said that while writing a resume for a Finnish job market we should focus on our skills, expertise and not so much on education. In Finland people don’t care much about your diplomas, they want to know, what you can do.
All the resumes had photographs. It is interesting, that a photo in a CV plays such an important role. Asko, to my surprise had a very casual, even relaxed picture. According to him, we should judge, what kind of style we want to present to an employer. The chosen photo is part of our personal branding.
We talked about LinkedIn profiles. For those who are familiar with SEOs it might be good to write a profile using words that recruiters search for. Asko told us that right now in Finland about 80 percent of jobs are advertised on LinkedIn, hence it is the medium and we should present ourselves well. On the other hand, 70 percent of jobs are never advertised and they go through internal channels. The magic of networking is what really counts in Finland. And LinkedIn is again here to help you with this.