Opening up your Euro Career in Brussels

For the ambitious newcomer

Finding your first job in Brussels?

How do I find my first job in Brussels? For most graduate students the immediate answer is an internship or a "stage" - most likely in one of the EU institutions. There are also numerous internship opportunities in other types of organisations. (See our list of current internships)

To be considered for an internship or your first job, your academic and work experience should be relevant for the policy area and the job function. A student job and being involved in a political or interest organisation can also help catch a recruiter's eye.

Further qualifications relevant to your area of interest will also look great on your CV. See our Education and Courses page.

Build your network of contacts

It helps to quickly build up a network within the European Affairs community in Brussels. You never know when you will hear about a new opportunity - it might even be when you're out for lunch on Place Luxembourg.

Brussels is at the heart of European politics and getting your foot in the door is a major achievement.

While job hopping can be a way to build a lot of experience quickly, and is not unusual in Brussels, it is still necessary to avoid creating a 'messy' CV with a lack of direction.

Applying for jobs that are not advertised

Although lists a large number of jobs in Brussels, many jobs in Brussels are filled without ever being advertised, especially in industry associations and NGOs. So even if you do not see an actual job offer advertised, in many cases unsolicited applications should not be disregarded when looking for a new job. Applying to a focused group in your area of expertise gives you the best chance. A major advantage is that you will not be competing against hundreds of other hopeful applicants as when jobs are advertised. And who knows, you might be the right person for when the organisation needs to take someone on.

Preparing for an EU concours?

Well, what is an EU concours? The concours is a recruitment competition and examination to select staff to all institutions of the European Union. All permanent staff for the EU institutions are recruited through open competitions. These attract a considerable number of applicants from all over Europe.

How do I prepare for the EU Concours? The competitive examinations held by the EU institutions consist of tow different stages. The testing is now largely competency-based, however general knowledge of the EU institutions is also required, so reading up on factual knowledge with reference books like e.g. Penguin's Companion to the European Union, and keeping yourself updated on EU political news, is important.

  • On the internet you can find various EU bookshops selling textbooks of eg. multiple-choice tests to prepare for the concours
  • There are also online EU Tests offering EPSO-style exam simulation, test simulations and learning resources
  • See also more information on European Institutions

Find out more about the EU concours in our next section, selection procedures for the EU Institutions.

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