An exciting start with EntryPoint Mentoring Program

by: Alice Tien Tran

Looking for a job is definitely a challenging journey. Through a bunch of stories on Facebook and LinkedIn, I saw so many complaints about how difficult Finnish job market is.

Does the problem really lie in Finnish language? Do recruiters look for something else under the job description?

In any case, could jobseekers be the problem as well?

After 2-desperate-months of applying for internship position, I realized something was not right when I received too many rejection letters from positions that I was most confident about. I started to ask from myself:  What is wrong here? Why don’t I match with the position? Is there problem with my CV, doesn’t it impress the recruiters? What does this market need? Which skills can I offer, which should I learn?

Insight on Finnish job market through EntryPoint

The concern about the job market in Finland led me to EntryPoint mentoring program organised by Chamber of Multicultural Enterprise (COME) project. I entered the program with very simple ideas of expanding my network; find out the underlying message of Finnish job market and learn some tips on how to apply for jobs. However, the first phase of the program brought me far beyond my expectations.

The program has been organized so well, starting with an orientation where I had an introduction about the program, got to know other mentees and say the first “Hello” to my mentor via a postcard: cosy, traditional and memorable.

The Kick-off event was so amazing. We had a chance to meet all other mentors and listen to presentations about international talents and Finnish job market, and some interesting topics such as a discussion between the representatives of University of Helsinki and Finnish companies in how to create more cooperation opportunities. I participated in a group discussion about Finnish company culture and learnt about delegation and communication.

My mentor, Tiina Holappa, is working at Human Resources Department of YIT Group. The first pair meeting was assisted by the COME EntryPoint toolkit with very detailed instructions on how to get the most for both of us.

The first pair meeting brought me a huge question: “Am I really good at the position which I am applying for?”. This topic hopefully will be resolved after the program. Tiina also shared with me some tips from HR’s point of view. For example, experience is the first thing she will look at when skimming the CV and applicant’s motivation to work for company.  We agreed on the next meeting before Christmas and I cannot wait for further talk about how to impress recruiters with CVs and interviews, and what skills, knowledge and attitude could recruiters expect to see from applicants.

Talent Boost lessons

COME project took part in Talent Boost Summit which was organized in November 2017. The conference brought up many topics about talent attraction management and introducing the upcoming project “International House Helsinki” which provides service for companies and employers about international experts and provides consulting services for immigrant recruitment and language training services.

Furthermore, from Talent Boost Summit’s panel discussion, I learnt some valuable tips for job seekers:

Firstly, know what you want to do. You have to know what are your strengths, how you can bring value to the company. Do not reflect on your inabilities. Try to show your great skills and knowledge.

Secondly, attitude is the key. Even if you aren’t capable of doing some tasks from the job description, do not worry, show your attitude and willingness to learn, show the ability that you are a quick and proactive learner.

Thirdly, do not hesitate to send an open application. You never know if you do not try.

Lastly, try to learn Finnish. Your future job may not require Finnish but getting to know the language is always a magical key to get to know about the society and be a part of the group faster.

After 4 months with Entry Point Mentoring program, I am not only able to get what I am looking for, but also figure out what I should do to make better myself. The journey is still long I am ready to break the myths about Finnish working culture and labour market.


Alice Tien Tran, author of this blog, is currently participating in EntryPoint 2017 mentoring programme as a mentee.