Finding a Job in Ukraine on the Internet
Last update: Feb. 11, 2010 (more links and updated info)
This page is to help those looking for work in Ukraine through the Internet. Now that the Internet use has become very widespread in large cities, it is easier to find employment in Ukraine this way than ever before. Read a success story from a TryUkraine.com reader from 2007 for a taste of what it used to be like. As of early 2010, the author's conclusion is that the best way for expats to find a job in Ukraine is to search Ukrainian employment websites oriented towards Ukrainians. Further down this page you will find details instructions for how to do this.
To begin with, there are no English-language websites with Ukraine job postings specifically for foreigners. There are a few foreign sites with sporadic postings such as EscapeArtists.com, and you can find other similar sites with almost no useful information by doing Google searches for "Ukraine jobs," "Ukraine employment," etc. These sites aren't the places most organizations looking for foreigner employees are posting their vacancies at.
Kyiv Post employment ads
Some interesting job ads in English can be found at the Kyiv Post's website and in the weekly editions of the Kyiv Post newspaper. However, you will notice that the focus is on jobs for English speaking locals, not foreigners. The Kyiv Post's largest audience are English speaking Ukrainians. Positions advertised here tend to be at prestigious companies and organizations. Most jobs are high-profile, and the number of listings seems to have fallen in recent years.
Sometimes foreigners post mini-resumes at The Kyiv Post. This is certainly not a bad idea. If you are not yet in Ukraine, you can send them your ad or mini-resume by fax and agree on a form of payment. Ads go out every Thursday.
Searching Ukrainian employment sites
Other than word-of-mouth, the best way to find work is probably to use Ukrainian job search websites. Here is a listing of these sites found by searching for "job openings Ukraine" in Russian (the language of the biggest job search websites in Ukraine).
I've looked at many of these websites, and a few of them seem to regularly have more openings for foreigners. These are work.ua, jobs.ua, and rabota.com.ua (a distant third).
Here are the results from these and other websites for job openings containing the word "native" or "english", which is a great way to find jobs that either require very good English or are specifically for native speakers. Next to the links is the number of results across Ukraine as of Jan. 31, 2010:
- work.ua: "native" - 79 results; "english" - 948 results
- rabotaplus.com.ua: "native" - 25 results; "english" - 577 results
- jobs.ua: "native" - 15 results; "english" - 466 results
- alljob.com.ua: "native" - 15 results; "english" - 384 results
- jobportal.com.ua: "native" - 7 results; "english" - 218 results
- rabota.com.ua: "native" - 5 results; "english" - 34 results
- jobexpert.com.ua: "native" - 3 results; "english" - 221 results
There are numerous other employment sites, but they tend to be quite redundant. It is free to place job ads on these sites, so employers often post vacancies on several sites at once. Many of the job vacancies in English are not for foreigners but for Ukrainians with very good English skills. You can still apply for these; you might get some responses and interest. Note that job vacancies posted at these Ukrainian sites tend to focus on "modern" professions such as programming, IT, corporate positions, language teaching, and translation. If you are a top-level manager with high salary expectations, consider looking for work through a headhunter or recruiting agency.
To work with Ukrainian job search sites, you will need to either be able to read headings and city names in Russian. Since you will need at least a very basic minimum of Russian/Ukrainian familiarity before you come to Ukraine to work anyway, I recommend getting a dictionary to make sense of the very few instructions and drop-down menus you will need to understand to use the sites.
*NEW!* There is a site called jooble.com.ua that compiles the results of other Ukrainian employment sites. To see what I mean, try entering "native" in the first field at the top of the page and pressing the search button. Or just click on this link.
Contacting Ukrainian employers
Have a resume ready to send, and include at least a small "cover note" in the accompanying message or e-mail. Expect most employers to not reply. A 10% response rate is normal.
Approaching Ukrainian companies and organizations directly
This method involves finding out which companies in Ukraine work in the field you are interested in and writing to them directly, regardless of whether or not they have job vacancies posted. This is a good idea if you are interested in fields that are poorly represented at Ukrainian job sites, or if you have a particular interest in a certain company or companies.
Finding businesses through searches and business directories will be time-consuming, but this could be just as or more effective than going through the job vacancies every few days on employment sites.
General advice for job seekers
Realize that it is unusual for companies to be approached by foreigners looking for work. Use this to your advantage. Demonstrate your value as a foreigner (language, special skills and knowledge, etc.). Some companies might be interested just in having an in-house English language advisor/teacher/expert. If you don't know Russian or Ukrainian, look for companies where you would expect most staff to know some English (or French or whatever).
If you meet employers in person, be sure to dress up a bit. Western-style "casual" dress often comes across as "brazenly unkempt" in Ukraine. Demonstrate your readiness to adapt to their work methods and etiquette rather than imposing your non-Ukrainian behavior styles on them. This can be difficult. Ukraine culture is very different from American or western European. At the same time, if you are a foreigner, they will expect you to be different in many ways. But these differences need to be useful to them and not a hindrance.
Ukrainian employers tend to be impressed by diplomas and certificates and other documents, except for many experienced private language schools that have much experience dealing with foreigners. If you've got good credentials and diplomas, use them to your advantage. Rather than bragging about what you can do, try to present some solid proof or at least describe what you are able to do and how you learned it.
Make sure you are able to explain to employers why you are in Ukraine in the first place and for how long. They need to understand your motives for moving from a wealthy country to a poor one.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the work conditions that are particularly important to expats: visa and registration support, the possibility of getting a coveted work permit, housing allowance (if any), and terms of payment.