As PubAffairs Bruxelles aims at creating an open platform to foster debate, information exchange as well as the development of ideas among its members, we are pleased to dedicate a specific page for professionals at every level of seniority who would like to work in Brussels, as well as to improve your chances of networking and to provide for the possibility to keep track of EU policy and politics mainstreams by offering an EU press review available at the bottom of our home page, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. These tools are already used by a great number of professionals form both the public and the private sector in Brussels and beyond. As a result, we have also created this section in order to offer the best use of publicly available information on what concerns the challenges and the opportunities of a job search in Brussels.
Finding a job in Brussels: a mission which requires competence and confidence
Brussels has become a vital point of reference for those involved in public and regulatory affairs within the European Union. The importance of the city with regards to this process offers a variety of opportunities regardless of your specialisation, the sector you are involved in and your level of seniority. In addition, beyond the positions at European Institutions, the public affairs sector, which encompasses a vast range of organisations and domains with its extensions in Europe and around the world, has significantly increased the number of people who are working or are seeking a job here in Brussels.
As we are aware that every job search must be tailored to every single individual specific background, as well as that finding a job in town can be a challenge which needs to be carried out with the best use of information possible, we have created this page in order to give you some hints to facilitate your search.
We have divided this section into different parts which we consider essential in order to both self-assess and position yourselves as best as possible, touching upon the matters of where to find advertisements and notices of competitions and listing other useful sites and guides where you can benefit from some advice. We could not avoid inserting a section with EU-related news sites, as well as hints on how to build a CV.
Once again, the rationale of this part of the site is to put at your disposal a useful selection of information sources. These should not be considered as exhaustive nor imply any sort of qualitative judgement or politically-oriented choice.
Getting a job within EU institutions
In order to understand the different positions offered within European Institutions, there is nothing better than the Commission’s civil service page on job opportunities, while on the EPSO website you will find all the published notices on upcoming competitions both for permanent and temporary posts.
Furthermore, we strongly advise you to look at the list offered by eu-testbook, where you can find quick links to the competent offices in order to apply for an internship at EU institutions, as well as externally published vacancies for middle and senior managers.
We would also advise trainees in particular to check out the vacancies offered by the European Council and by EU Delegations around the world, as both have specific rules and timelines for hiring stagiares, while the latter offer opportunities for graduates and professionals which are published only in their pages.
Public Affairs Jobs sites
With regards to public affairs sites, EuroBrussels.com and Jobs.EurActiv.com are essential starting points which do not need any presentation; a great number of job ads correlated to EU affairs can be found there regardless of your level of seniority and your specialities.
However, there are some other sources which can amplify the range of possibilities within the sector available here in Brussels and elsewhere. Public Affairs Networking.com, Work4anMP and Public Affairs Jobs for example, offer a variety of tips and opportunities for a career in Brussels, in the UK and the US, whereas BrusselsJob.com offers vacancies mainly for the private sector, though not exclusively regarding public affairs positions.
We would also like to mention some sites which are specifically dedicated to the NGO sector and to international organisations, such as EPLO and ReliefWeb.int: while the former has more strict links with Brussels and with Europe in general, the latter provides some offers for the Belgian market.
Last but not least, do not forget that National, Regional and Territorial Representations to the EU can also offer jobs in public affairs based in Brussels. Herein where you can to find updated lists of these organisations on the web.
If the ancient Romans’ motto “repetita iuvant” is correct, please, take into account that this page is meant to be only a tool, as many organisations publish their vacancies simply on their site. Hence, the more you engage yourself in investigating, the more information you will be able to obtain.
*The importance of networking
If you asked how your profile, your information gathering and your CV construction could be exploited in order to find a job, our answer would be always networking, networking, networking. Brussels has plenty of organisations holding events and networking evenings with different reasons and aims. Being able to select and attend them, you will not only have a personal impression of who is doing what, but you can also utilise these occasions to make new acquaintances.
*Stay tuned and informed
It could sometimes be useful to bear in mind to connect the circle of job-news-events as this could be of great importance in finding a position which suits your aspirations. EUobserver, Le Monde, Politico.eu and/or EurActiv.com, in addition to other internationally relevant media such as The Economist, The Guardian or the Financial Times are a must for those who want to understand what is going on in Brussels.
As an additional small hint we would recommend having a look at the pages dedicated to press releases of EU Institutions such as the European Commission, the European Parliament or the Council. Once again, any job search in Brussels, as elsewhere, must be tailored to every single individual’s background, experience and personal skills, as well as the market’s needs. It would thus be difficult to give a one-size-fits-all tip.
For an extensive guide for job seekers, we recommend the “Career Guide” of the website EuroBrussels.com, where you can find a structured path towards a self assessment on your CV and your attitude during an interview, while the best “tip for success section” we have found is on the website of the Public Affairs Council. Finally, we suggest you to have a look at the “Guide to Public Affairs” of PublicAffairsNetworking.com for a comprehensive explanation of the roles, the tasks and the routes towards a career in the Public Affairs domain.
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