In Denmark, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)* account for 99% of all enterprises. SMEs are ordinary companies with many job opportunities for academics. However, not all positions are advertised in the traditional way, so if you want to approach one of the exciting jobs, it often requires that you are the one who reach out.
This guide tells you about why the SME segment is a good place to look for a job for you as an academic. Firstly, SMEs make up the vast majority of the private labor market in Denmark, and there are more than 200,000 companies you can contact when you are looking for a job. In addition, there is a lot to gain in these companies, which we elaborate on in the following.
3 good reasons for applying for a job in an SME:
You quickly gain influence
You get a good breadth in your tasks
Your work means something to others
How do you find SMEs?
In the vast majority of cases, it applies that you should apply unsolicited when applying for a job in an SME. But how do you find the SMEs? There are a variety of methods you can use when you are looking for an SME that matches your dreams and desires in an upcoming job.
You can, among other things, use Jobindex, which has archived previous job postings. This way, you get access to a long list that might include your next employer.
LinkedIn is an obvious place to place to find SMEs, and here is a special trick that can help you along the way. On LinkedIn you first need to find RUC’s page, and then click on the “Previous employers” function. Here you will have access to a list of over 44.000 people who, with a background from RUC, may be your way into the labor market.
Another method of finding SMEs is through Børsens Gazelle List and Vækstliste, here you will find SMEs that are experiencing growth and who may therefore be looking fore more hands and new forces. These lists are in Danish, but you can Google the companies, and see if they are a match for you.
It can hardly be said too many times: Your network can be crucial in your job search. Therefore, reach out to your network; they can both support your process, provide inspiration and useful information and perhaps a relevant contact.
Job taker or job maker?
There is a marked difference between being a job taker and a job maker. One is no better than the other, but the two require different efforts from you who are looking for a job.
As a job taker, you primarily respond to the job postings that are available on the job platforms, and thus let others define the tasks for you. As a job maker, you work proactively by researching the current issues that exist in the individual company and thereby you define the tasks yourself.
When you apply for a job in an SME, you will find that you become a job maker rather than a job taker. In practice, this means that you must:
Research about the needs of the company
Define how you create value for company
Reach out and show initiative to the company, which is probably not aware of why they are missing you as an employee. It is YOUR job to show them that they cannot succeed without you as an employee
When positions are not being advertised, it is important that you are curious and familiarize yourself thoroughly within the company. Here you can use websites, newspapers, and LinkedIn/network. In this way you can get to know the company and learn about their challenges.
It is also important that you are sharp on what you can bring to the table. We have several exercises and competency descriptions that you can use to become wiser about yourself and your competencies. Find them here (link to guide “Know your competencies)
Follow upcoming events for exciting inputs and workshops regarding your course of study and guidance in career opportunities here.
*SMEs refer to small companies with up to 50 employees and medium-sized companies with 50-249 employees. In addition, there are the large companies that are defined as 250+ employees, which is outside the SME category.