September 8, 2014

So, you’ve made the decision to start looking for a job in Brazil, now what? The following guide suggests five of the best ways to improve your chances of getting a job in Brazil.

After a decade of low unemployment, decreasing income inequality, a growing middle class, a quicker recovery from the Global Financial Crisis than any other emerging market, and sky-rocketing hiring of foreign workers, Brazil’s economy seems to have slowed down and stagnated. This is particularly apparent in the job market.

Further, bureaucracy is slow and complex, which negatively impacts visa applications and taxes. Nevertheless, there are opportunities if you’re prepared to make the effort to find them. Read on to find out where to look.


If you’re lucky enough to work for an international company that has offices in Brazil, this is the easiest way into the Brazilian workforce. The visa process is much simpler for a transfer employee than if you move to Brazil without a job. Moreover, your employer will usually help you with things such as finding accommodation, transportation, and health insurance.


Brazil’s younger population is becoming increasingly educated so the competition for graduate positions is intensifying. If you’ve worked and gained some experience before moving to Brazil, it will be a huge asset. The major industries in Brazil are the large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors.

The growth industries include the renewable energy sector (in particular biofuel), water and waste management, and the automotive industry. Appropriate qualifications and work-experience in any of these industries should serve you well. More so if your occupation is one of those in short supply: engineers, environmental management consultants, and IT professionals.


While the international companies in Brazil often use English as their company language, you may have to deal with Portuguese-speaking clients, partners, advertisers, etc. Furthermore, knowing how to speak the country’s language is greatly beneficial outside of the office.

Don’t forget: even though the written language is very similar to European Portuguese, the spoken language is different, and unique to Brazil.


If you aren’t able to simply transfer to a position in Brazil, then networking with the expat community in Brazil is the second best thing. Connecting with expats in your industry will give you an idea of what local demand is like, what positions are available, and which companies are currently hiring. They may even be able to personally submit your CV to their company’s HR department.

From a social point of view, fellow expats can also help you settle into the Brazilian lifestyle, deal with any culture-shock you might experience, and meet other friendly expats and locals.


Some industries, such as oil and gas, are big recruiters in the region. Others, requiring specialists to operate modern technical equipment, also make an effort to recruit foreigners. Current growth areas for foreign recruitment include: 4G telecommunications, business development, industry, and insurance and reinsurance.

Nevertheless, finding a job in Brazil as a foreigner is difficult. If you don’t fall into these categories, consider submitting your CV to a global recruitment agency. The labor laws are rather strict in Brazil so make sure the agency has offices in Brazil or a good understanding of the relevant legislation.

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