First Steps in finding a job

Finding a job can take 2-5 months depending on your level of seniority and expertise.

If you can – wait until you are half way through Ulpan, so you can impress with at least basic Hebrew, get settled and start understanding how it all works...

Israelis are often worried about hiring someone who is still overseas. Unless you have a specific skill or expertise and / or have your flight ticket in hand, it’s going to be difficult to be given a contract before landing in Israel.

Start learning Hebrew, start looking for jobs that might be a good fit and see if there are gaps in requirements – you could take a course.

Please see here for a list of professions that require (re)licensing and information on the process.

Unfortunately, that is true. However, there are jobs to be had based on your knowledge, skills and experience and there are ways to improve your chances: learn Hebrew (people who have at least basic / conversational Hebrew) have a better chance to be hired. If you like teaching (especially if you have taught before) you can teach English (or – if your Hebrew is good enough you can teach other subjects). If you have an academic degree, you might be accepted to a special Government program that will train you as an English teacher in Israel. If you do not hold an academic degree, we suggest you get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification.

It is an option, however, schools such as Berlitz, Wall Street and others pay almost minimum wages and don’t guarantee you a number of students. You could tutor privately but, you’d have to find students which can be difficult.

Hebrew is important if you don’t want to limit yourself. If you are in high-tech (e.g. programming), fund raising, content writing, international sales you might be able to get by otherwise most jobs for English speakers with no Hebrew will be sales / customer support / customer success in call centers working US hours. Most qualified (and interesting) positions will require you to have at least conversational and basic reading and writing skills. Team meetings will be in Hebrew…

The bulk of Israeli industry and commercial activity is located in central Israel between Hadera and Gedera – in the center of Israel. There are high tech parks in Tel Aviv (which is also the financial centre), Haifa, Rehovot, Ra’anana and surroundings, Yokneam.

Your CV

While your resume should be short and to the point, if you have more than 10 years’ experience, limiting it all to one page is going to be difficult and may result in not describing your expertise, skills and experience in a way that is understandable to the recruiter. Also – English is 30% longer than Hebrew (because of the vowels) so it’s quality over quantity – focus on describing your areas of expertise through achievements under each position. Using the STAR method will help you write a better CV and prepare for the interview (see here)

In word format, easy to read (font no smaller than 10 and spaces no less than 1.15) up to 2 pages, with an emphasis on your role, achievements and expertise here is a document which explains and includes a template you can use.

Yes. Your CV is a marketing tool and you should present yourself through it focusing on those skills that are relevant to the specific job. You not only should have a tailored CV for different positions, but change it to fit the specific job you are applying for. Just make sure the emphasis is on those skills you see emphasised in the ad.


Searching for a job

Social networks: LinkedIn, Facebook groups (join Telfed’s FB page here, LinkedIn Group here) Networking meetings (MeetUp), Job boards.

LinkedIn is a very important tool for most recruiters to look for candidates. Often, they’ll approach you if you are a good fit for a job. It is an excellent way to find jobs, follow companies that you’d like to work at, interact with other professionals and learn about the market, new skills etc.

See here for tips on how to update your profile and here for tips on using LinkedIn effectively  

Ask your friends and relatives to help you find relevant positions at their places of work. Even better – ask them if they can put you in touch with someone who holds a position similar to the one you are looking for – ask for their advice on how to get there and who you should meet. Connect with former colleagues. Join meetups on and off line such as MeetUp.

The first step is usually a phone call. Don’t treat this lightly – it is in fact an interview. Make sure you are prepared and know what you want to answer when they ask you – “tell me about yourself” and “what type of job are you looking for”. Keep an excel sheet with a few details about each job you applied to and write answers to those questions in bullet points in the Notes app on your phone so they are always at your fingertips.

If pass the phone interview you will be called for one or more face-to-face interviews. These will usually be with the HR manager, your direct manager, department manager, VP, CEO – all depending on the role and seniority level. There could be as many as 5! Interviews in the process, so this could take some time.

NOT until you have a signed contract. Until then, you should continue to send your CV and go to interviews. It’s ok to be candid and tell a prospective employer – I am in the final stages with another company, so I would need and answer from you soon / by… as I need to let them know too.

No need to list recommendations or contact Information of references in your CV. Bring a printed list with the contact information of 2-3 references – title, name, email and phone number.

Usually, if you have been asked for references – you are on the short list. Most employers will not bother asking for them unless they need them to make a final decision.

If you have good Hebrew and are looking for jobs that emphasise that AND the ad is in Hebrew – yes, you should have a CV in Hebrew. (Let us know and we will put you in touch with a volunteer who will help translate it for you.

If you are only applying to ads that are written in English and / or your Hebrew is poor – send in your CV in English.

Job interviews

You can never go wrong with business casual – no need for a tie but certainly no sandals, shorts, sleeveless blouses etc. For more details, see here.

Most recruiters just want to know if you are a good fit for their needs on both a professional and personal level. They therefore tend to ask questions that originate in behavioural psychology such as – tell us about a positive experience or tell me about a time you failed. See interview Q&A here.

By law you may not be asked questions relating to your gender, marital status, age, religion, nationality, country of origin, politics, pregnancy. You will however find that these are sometimes (naively) asked out of curiosity – why did you make Aliyah is often one of them. It is up to you if and how you want to answer. For example you could prepare a diplomatic answer: if I thought my marital  status / being a parent would in any way hinder me from performing well in my job I would not be here.

be prepared to respond effectively to the questions that employers typically ask. Since these questions are so common, hiring managers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation.

You don't need to memorize your answers, but you should think about what you're going to say so you're not put on the spot. Your responses will be stronger if you prepare in advance, know what to expect during the interview, and have a sense of what you want to focus on.

Global companies such as Google, Amazon etc, as well as many leading Israeli high-tech companies use the STAR technique or CAR method which, if you embrace it, are an excellent way to phrase you experience.

Contracts and salaries

Look up salaries here:

Israeli law sets out a 43-hour workweek. This was reduced to 42 hours as of April 1, 2018. For those with a five-day workweek, the length of a work day is set out as 8.6 hours, while those with a six-day workweek have a work day of 8 hours, with a half-day of work on Friday. Those with a work day of at least six hours are entitled to 45 minutes of rest, including an uninterrupted 30-minute break, although with a special permit those working in non-manual jobs can have full workdays without breaks. However, in practice, additional time is added to make up for these breaks, leading to a maximum 45-hour workweek. As a result, many employees in Israel work 45 hours a week, or 9 hours a day for 5 days. Any work beyond these hours is considered overtime. Overtime work is illegal unless a permit is obtained from the Ministry of Labor, and is subject to certain conditions. The first two hours of overtime must be compensated by a 125% wage raise, and any overtime work beyond that must be accompanied by a 150% raise. No more than four hours of overtime work can be performed in a single day. Those with a six-day workweek cannot work more than 12 hours of overtime per week, while those with a five-day workweek cannot work more than 15 hours of overtime per week. Those who work during a religious holiday are entitled to a 150% raise and an alternative day off. Employers are prohibited by law from compelling their employees to work more than 47 hours per week.


Compromise but don’t settle. Be firm with your requirements, but also be willing to try new positions.