Rio de Janeiro

Working in Rio de Janeiro?

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Working in Rio de Janeiro

Expats working in Rio de Janeiro benefit from one of the largest economies in Latin America. The steady economic growth of the city is just one of many reasons for working in Rio de Janeiro. To learn about Rio's business world, read our expat guide for info on the economy, the job search, and more.
Rio de Janeiro has the second largest economy in Brazil.

Economy of Rio de Janeiro

Expats thinking of working in Rio de Janeiro will be happy to hear that it has the second largest economy in Brazil, right after São Paulo. The city is indeed an important economic hub with its major port and international airport. Even the city’s tourism sector seems to be bouncing back after being in decline for several years. In 2013, Rio’s economy accounted for about 12% of Brazil’s GDP. Thus, Rio de Janeiro is the fourth richest metropolis in Latin America, right behind Mexico City, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires.

Working in Rio de Janeiro means contributing to a highly diversified economy with heavy and light industries, commerce, manufacturing, trade, finance, and other service sectors. However, the city is also one of the leading banking and financial centers in Brazil, with the country’s most active stock market, the Bolsa da Valores do Brasil. While the service sector dominates the city’s economy, Rio de Janeiro’s industries manufacture a wide range of products, including processed foods, petroleum products, metal products, pharmaceuticals, ships, textiles, and furniture.

Rio’s Work Force

In recent decades, Rio’s society has slightly changed, making the labor market not only more diverse but also much more competitive. Shifts in the occupational structure have led to the labor force reinventing itself. This means that working in Rio de Janeiro is currently an attractive option for expats between the ages of 25 and 39.

But because working in Rio de Janeiro is so popular among a young, well-trained work force, it can be tricky to find employment. Most expats who move to Rio are transferees working in a branch office of their company. Many self-made expats find work in the engineering sector, the high-tech sector, or the petrochemical industry.

The Job Search

However, while finding a job in Rio is difficult, it is not impossible. You should keep in mind that in Brazil, networking is at least as important as a good resume. It is rather common to get employment recommendations from friends, family members, or business associates. Other than finding work through networking, there are different employment resources you should make use of when getting ready for working in Rio de Janeiro.

Job Search Resources

Aside from the usual networking, online job databases are the perfect place to start. Empregos is only one example of these databases. Another is Jobsin Rio, which advertises jobs for companies in which English is the main working language. However, there is a variety of websites which allow both employers and recruiters to post their job announcements. Most of these websites are indeed free for job seekers who plan on working in Rio de Janeiro.

Alternatively, you may contact and visit the work-placement office in Rio de Janeiro or attend job fairs and career events. At these fairs and events you get to directly interact with potential employers and convince them of your potential.

Resume and Interview

When putting together your application for working in Rio de Janeiro, try to pay special attention to your cover letter and, most importantly, your resume. Aside from the usual contact and education information, it is important that you add additional qualifications and specialized training you have received. When you begin listing your employment information, do not hesitate to mention your position, responsibilities, and achievements.

Once you are invited to your first interview you move one step closer to your dream of working in Rio de Janeiro. If you have applied for a job with a smaller company, or one located in a more remote area of the country, you should prepare to be interviewed in Portuguese. Luckily, in cities such as Rio the labor force is a more cosmopolitan one and your interview might be conducted in English. Throughout the interview it is important that you remain modest and refrain from bragging or aggressiveness. 


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Ben F. Bagley

"The offline get-together in Rio really convinced me of InterNations. It is so much more than just an online plattform. "

Marielle Depois

"What I really like about InterNations? It makes meeting other expat women in a pleasant atmosphere so easy."

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