The EU Institutions
Being the European capital, Brussels is dominated by European Institutions. They tend to favour English speakers, but given their reputation and good salaries, your application is one of thousands. If you want to work within the European institutions, you should start by perusing the listings on the European Personnel Selection Office website; this is the official agency set up to recruit for the institutions and is the only way of securing a long-term position at the European Commission or Council. Candidates must pass a competition or concours, which comprises a series of tests and interviews over several months.
Temp agencies are a great way to get your foot in the door, and are often used by larger companies (like the Commission) who prefer grooming their employees through a long recruitment process before committing to them long-term. Browse and apply for a specific post on their websites, or just drop by one of their offices with your CV. The key is flexibility. Major Belgian recruitment agencies can be found on the website of Federgon.
Unknown to many is the option to work as a secretary or administrative assistant on a short-term basis at the Commission. Every few years, a different recruitment agency is selected to fill these roles. Roles last from a week to six months and are ideal for people looking for experience at the Commission.
International Organisations, Embassies And Companies
Many international companies place their European headquarters in Brussels and employ large numbers of expats. These organisations usually seek people with strong English skills, but still desire proficiency in other EU languages. Euractiv and EuroBrussels are great resources for those specialising in European, public and international affairs and Brussels Jobs publishes expat jobs in the secretarial, ICT, HR and management domains. Looking for writing or journalism opportunities in English in Brussels? JournaJobs, the job website of the European Journalism Centre, is your best bet. The Bulletin’s job announcement page offers jobs that are specifically aimed at the expat community.
(Photocredits: K. Rogers)
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