How to Find a Job in Israel

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Israel is one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia, in terms of economic and industrial development. The country has been ranked highest in the region on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index and in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world, after the United States, and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America. The country's leading exports include pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds, making the country a great place for people to work. There is a wide range of industries and career paths for one to undertake in Israel. Microsoft Corporation built its first overseas research and development center in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Cisco Systems, and Motorola, have opened facilities there as well. In July 2007, U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought an Israeli company, Iscar, its first non-U.S. acquisition, for $4 billion.Tourism, especially religious tourism, is another important industry in Israel. The country's temperate climate, beaches, archaeological and historical sites, and unique geography also draw tourists and provide a tremendous opportunity for employment. Israel's security problems have taken their toll on the industry, but the number of incoming tourists is on the rebound.

Things You'll Need

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Working visa
  • Recruiting agency
  • Before moving to Israel to work, you must determine which occupations are open to migrant and professional workers. They include:Nursing careAgricultureConstructionWelding and industrial professionsHotel workEthnic cookeryHigh technology, professional positions

  • RecruitmentYou may be recruited through employment agencies, both in Israel and in your native country. If recruited in your native country, you may be required to pay a recruitment fee, which will cover overall payments to agencies both abroad and in Israel, plus travel expenses. If you are already in Israel, then it is forbidden to charge you any recruitment fee.You will almost always want to physically meet the key people with whom you’re going to be in close contact at work-- your boss and colleagues. Budget for at least one trip to Israel to meet them and sign the contract.The higher your level of Hebrew is when you begin your job search, the higher your chances of finding work in Israel quickly. This is true regardless of whether you begin your Israeli job search in Israel or halfway around the world. Different jobs require different levels of Hebrew fluency.

  • A curriculum vitae or résumé is widely used and is typically one or two sides of A4 in length. It is common practice to include the following:1. Name, address, telephone numbers (home, mobile, work and fax) and email address;2. Age and place of birth;3. Date of entry to Israel (usually referred to as date of "Aliyah." Making Aliyah means Jewish immigration to Israel);4. Marital status, including children;5. Current career objective--a short description of the type of position that you are seeking, in what type of company/industry;6. Professional experience--start with your most recent job and work backwards;7. Education--list the highest general degrees and schooling, plus any that relate to the job for which you are applying;8. Languages/mother tongue--this is important as Israel is a multi-language society. You should indicate your level of ability with each language that you mention;9. Computer skills--including competence with programs, internet, email and word processing.

  • Finding Potential EmployersMany candidates, especially in high-tech, can view job offers in online newspapers, including the Jerusalem Post. The Internet also offers several free databases of Israeli companies from which to select potential recruiters. Israemploy is another job search site. You may also request a transfer if you work for a multinational company that has offices in Israel, such as IBM, Microsoft and Google, Inc. You may also visit the public employment service's website--Taasuka.

  • Finding Work Before Arriving in IsraelThere are cases in which you may find employment in Israel before arriving.Internal transfer from your current multinational employer - for example, if you work for Google in California, you can try to be relocated to Google Israel.Freelancing for an Israeli company--using a website like Xplace you can begin working for an Israeli company today. You’ll start learning about the Israeli sector of your industry right away and make contacts that can help you transition into a full-time, salary-paying job later.Aliya organizations’ placement programs. the Jewish Agency was pushing an employment program aimed at bringing people to Haifa and the northern regions of Israel. The program promised to help you find work in your field with employers who were willing to wait up to six months for you to begin in their offices. Contact your country’s aliya organizations for information about similar initiatives.

  • Immigration StatusYou must have a working visa to work in Israel. The working visa may be obtained either when you are still in your home country or already in Israel with a tourist visa. Your designated employer (including employment agencies) needs to obtain a valid work permit for you, certified by the Ministry of the Interior. Your passport will be stamped with a working visa carrying the name of your employer.The working visa will be limited to the period set out in your employment permit and must be extended after a year, even if the permit is for a longer period. The Ministry of the Interior alone has the authority to issue and extend visas. Your working visa will be valid only for one specific trade, and it is illegal for you to work in another trade.

Tips & Warnings

  • Employment opportunities for graduates in Israel are good because of the country’s sophisticated and strong economy. Employers look for workers who have a strong academic background and good work experience. It is essential that international applicants have good language skills.
  • If you have been required to pay undue or extra recruitment fees, you can file a complaint with the Supervisor in Charge of Registration of Manpower Companies: Tel: 03 5613461, Fax: 03 5613428.
  • The combination of highly skilled workers and innovative techniques has led to massive foreign investment, making the country a great place to work.
  • Most employers will not hire without meeting you face to face, so plan to take a trip to Israel before you actually move.
  • Israeli employees work approximately 43 hours per week. The legal maximum working week is 47 hours, although many workers exceed this limit.
  • Benefits such as travel allowance to and from work can be expected. Extensive legislation exists for the protection and welfare of workers, including compensation for overtime and holiday work, paid annual vacation and sick leave, as well as severance payments and pension plans.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Israelis hold university degrees, so competition for graduate level jobs is keen.

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  • Photo Credit Elal Airlines
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