Israeli Job Search Myths Debunked

When the job market evolves, what once was true can become myth. Here is how some of those old truths look today.

Army Service Is Required

Myth: It used to be that you couldn't get hired unless you had served in the military – the Israel Defense Forces or IDF – regardless of whether your service was related to the proposed job.

Fact: If this was ever really true, the Russian aliya of the early '90s put an end to it. In addition, the rate of exemption from army service for Israel's eligible youth continues to increase so it would have ended anyway. There will always be some jobs that require specific army experience but nowadays the reasoning will be clear from the job description.

You Must Be In Israel Already

Myth: It's impossible to find work in Israel while you still live abroad.

Fact: It is possible and it's never been easier, but job hunting is hard enough without this extra dimension so it's still not recommended. If you're thinking of making aliya, you should check with the shaliach from the nearest branch of the Jewish Agency about the programs they have to help olim find work before moving to Israel (up to 6 months in advance, even). For anyone else, you will first need to convince recruiters and hiring companies that you are able to move back to Israel quickly enough for them (1-2 months usually) otherwise your job search will not get far. Later, you will also need to fly in at least once for a face-to-face interview and hopefully, a contract signing.

Hebrew Is A Must

Myth: No one will hire you unless you speak Hebrew fluently, a particular concern for potential olim.

Fact: Israemploy founder Chaim Fox-Emmett probably won't like my saying this but different jobs require different levels of Hebrew, and some jobs don't require any at all- but their interviewer might. If you can, learn Hebrew as much as possible before coming to Israel and after you have arrived but Chaim makes a good point when he says that it's better to work than sit in Ulpan during those critical first months.

This article is part of Dakars' Myths Group Writing project.

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16 Comments

  1. Jacob Share old-fashioned guy! June 1, 2007
  2. Jacob Share moshe June 7, 2007
  3. Jacob Share Jacob Share June 7, 2007
  4. Jacob Share old-fashioned guy! June 8, 2007
  5. Jacob Share old-fashioned guy! June 8, 2007
  6. Jacob Share Jacob Share June 8, 2007
  7. Jacob Share Manvi Singh March 13, 2008
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  9. Jacob Share alisa majer January 7, 2009
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