Processing of personal data when applying for a job in the Foreign Service

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs advertises its vacancies mainly in the (Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)service, where applicants can also submit their job applications. In the service, we collect data which is essential for the recruitment process and which you provide when submitting an application. Alternatively, if you are not able to use the online service, you can submit your application on paper at the Registry of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, observing the instructions given in the job advertisement.

Job vacancies and openings in the missions abroad are usually advertised on the missions’ own websites and via social media. In the recruitment phase, your application will be received by the mission to which you have addressed your application.

If you are a Finnish citizen, you may also express your desire to be appointed to OSCE or EU election observer tasks via the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In these cases, we collect personal details for communications, annual statistics and election observer recruitment purposes. 

What information do we collect about you in connection with recruitment?

  1. Identification data: name, address, telephone, gender, possible other identification data.
  2. Other information about you: education, work experience, languages and other necessary information relevant to the job application, such as additional skills and details of your driver's licence.
  3. Contact details for references
  4. For applications for election observer positions, the following information is collected: roles that you have applied for, roles for which you have been selected, whether you have held short-term observer or long-term observer positions, and whether you have completed an OSCE/ODIHR e-learning course for election observers.Applications are removed from the to another website.) (Opens New Window) service 12 months after the end of the recruitment process. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the storage periods of data related to the recruitment process are determined specifically in accordance with the Archives Act (831/1994), the regulation of the National Archives (AL 16465/ and the Ministry's data management plan. 

When you apply for an election observer position, we will update your email address based on your own notification. Your data will be used for recruitment purposes for long-term positions (where the storage period is five years) and for statistics (where the storage period is ten years).

Why we process your data

We process your personal data in order to carry out the statutory duties related to the Foreign Service (vacancies) and to carry out tasks in the public interest (election observers).

The processing is based on Article 6, paragraph 1, points c and e of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU 2016/679).

Provisions on the tasks of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland's missions abroad are laid down, for example in:  

  1. The Act on the Foreign Service
  2. The Government Decree on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  3. The Public Servants Act and Decree
  4. The Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life
  5. The Security Clearance Act

Transfer of personal data

We do not disclose personal data on a regular basis. However, we may disclose your personal data to the authorities, upon request, in accordance with the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. Data and documents are public, unless special provisions on their secrecy have been laid down by law. 

Information submitted in connection with applications to Foreign Ministry posts is not disclosed outside the European Union or the European Economic Area.

We may occasionally use the services of external recruitment consultants. In such cases, we draw up an agreement with the third party to make sure that they process personal data in accordance with the GDPR.

When you apply for a job in a Finnish mission abroad, we may use the services of local law agencies or recruitment services and, if necessary, transfer data from the application to them.

We do not disclose personal data for purposes such as direct marketing, market surveys and opinion polls.

Your rights

Remember that under the GDPR you also have rights relating to the processing of your personal data. More information about your right to data protection is available here.

For more information

If you have any questions concerning the processing of your personal data in the Foreign Service, contact the Ministry’s Data Protection Officer by email at tietosuoja(at)