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Job-hunting in Italy: The Italian words and phrases you need to know

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Job-hunting in Italy: The Italian words and phrases you need to know
Knowing a few basic phrases could help ease your nerves before embarking on the job hunt. File photo: baranq/https://deposi"

Embarking on a job hunt in a new country, not to mention a new language, is daunting to say the least. It is possible to get a job without speaking Italian in Italy, particularly if you speak fluent English, but knowing a few phrases can go a long way.


It shows you're serious about living and working in Italy, and will reassure employers that you're committed to adapting to the country. Understanding the basic vocab will also help you navigate job adverts – and, later, contracts – much more easily. So here are a few of the words and phrases to get you started on the Italian job-hunt.

The basics

First thing's first: a job is 'un lavoro', and 'job hunt' translates as 'ricerca di un lavoro'. If you're seeking work a freelancer however (come libero professionista or simply 'come freelance'), you would say you're looking for 'incariche' (or 'un incarico' – a one-off job or project). 

There are several terms for a company (un'azienda, un'impresa, una ditta) or you may prefer to look for a position in a startup (simply: 'la startup'). And a job centre is 'un centro per l'impiego' or 'un ufficio di collocamento'.

'If you want to move to Italy, brace yourself for things not going the way you want'Photo: Pexels


The term for a job vacancy is 'opportunità di lavoro', and position translates as 'la carica' or 'il posto'.

Once you've found one of these, you'll want to send off your CV ('il curriculum' or simply 'il CV') along with a 'lettera di accompagnamento/presentazione' (cover letter) in order to apply for the post ('fare domanda di lavoro a' + name of company).

And if that goes well, it will be time for the interview ('il colloquio di lavoro').

CV fodder

Even if you're applying for an English-speaking role, it's a good idea to get your CV translated into Italian – make things as easy as possible for the employer!

READ MORE: Ten tips for the perfect Italian CV

Here are some phrases you might want to include.

Esperienze lavorative presso... | Work experience at ...
Ottime capacità comunicative | Excellent communication skills
Sono un(a) madrelingua inglese | I am a native English speaker
Disponibilità a trasferirsi/viaggiare | Available to relocate/travel
I miei punti di forza sono... | My main strengths are...
Sto cercando di approfondire le mie competenze come... | I'm hoping to deepen my skills in.. 

Starting out

If you're a recent graduate or starting out in a new sector, you might look for an internship ('il tirocinio' or 'uno stage'), or a temporary role ('un lavoro temporaneo') before searching for a full-time position. Other options are applying for seasonal work ('un lavoro stagionale'), shift work ('un lavoro con turni'), or even taking on some voluntary work ('fare volontariato') to boost your CV while you keep searching.

Alternatively, an employer might request that you start with a probation period ('periodo di prova') which will be followed by a review ('una valutazione') to see how you're fitting in. 

READ ALSO: 'If you want to move to Italy, brace yourself for things not going the way you want'

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When you get a job offer ('offerta di lavoro') you like the sound of, it's tempting to sign the contract straight away, but there are a few details you should clarify first. Most importantly, does the salary ('lo stipendio') match up to your salary expectations ('le aspettative salariali')?

When it comes to hours, will you be working part-time ('un lavoro part-time') or full-time ('a tempo pieno'), do you have the option of flexitime ('un orario flessibile'), and what are the arrangements regarding overtime ('ore straordinarie') and annual leave ('ferie annuali')? The term for benefits is simply 'i benefit', and may include health insurance ('l'assicurazione sanitaria') or a staff discount ('sconti per i dipendenti'), for example.


This article was first published in 2017.





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