Perhaps your sense of adventure has gotten so overwhelming you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and live abroad, or maybe you need to find a job to supplement the income of your new spouse who’s from another country. Whatever the case is, it’s important to realize getting hired outside of your home country is sometimes difficult, but not impossible. Keep reading to get some helpful pointers.
1. Tap Into Unpublished Sources
If you start your job search when you’re still in your home country, it’s tempting to rely on classified advertisements and websites. However, statistics say only 10 to 20 percent of job postings are ever published. That means you need to rely on word-of-mouth and networking events very heavily. Social media is a great asset if you’ve not yet moved to the other country.
2. Get Acquainted With Foreign Media
It’s useful to become aware of foreign media sources even if you don’t intend to focus on them too much throughout your job search. Doing so can help you stay informed about industry trends that could help you land a job more quickly, or at least show you’ve stayed educated if a current events topic comes up in an interview.
3. Research Relevant Groups
This ties into the first point you read, but it’s effective for more than just job searching. Moving to another country almost inevitably causes strong emotions, and one of them is homesickness. Nothing can completely prevent you from missing what’s familiar, but it should be much easier to cope – plus stay upbeat for your job search – if you begin to build a group of friends who have something in common with you, whether they are also newcomers or peers from your respective industry.
4. Do Your Research
Take time to find the leading companies in your industry, or even the ones that are most likely to hire expatriates. Data has shown that 31 percent of interviewers like to see candidates who have initiative. Part of showing initiative involves making it clear you know what the company’s about.
5. Sharpen Key Skillsets
Your new job may require you to speak in a language other than your native tongue, or maybe get more familiar with different cultural norms. After you have a good idea of the type of job you want to pursue abroad, dig deeper and discover what kinds of skills you need to make a good impression and be an asset.
6. Reconnect With Old Acquaintances
Because so many companies and educational institutions have international connections, it’s a good idea to reach out to former superiors or professors. Let them know your plans, and see if they can lend a hand with your new career aspirations.
7. Be Willing to Fill a Need
You may have better luck in your job search if you’re willing to do whatever poses the greatest need, whether or not you have past experience. For example, English teachers are frequently required in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Some employment packages for qualified people include perks like annual trips back to a home country and free housing. An English degree is not always required.
8. Prepare to Be Patient
Even if you carefully follow well-intentioned job tips, finding work can take months. If possible, have a plan prior to leaving your home country about what you’ll do if you’re unable to find immediate work in your desired profession. Places like hostels often have postings for short-term work, and opportunities like those could work in a pinch.
9. Beef Up Your Interview Skills
If you’re fortunate enough to have some job leads before departing for the new country, you’ll soon realize how necessary it is to prepare for interviewing situations that are slightly impersonal. Video chats and telephone conversations are just two examples, but they’re common, especially when there’s distance involved. Practice thriving in those challenging circumstances so you’ll be able to do your best during the real thing.
10. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Describing Your Work Experience
Having an updated resume is particularly important when looking for a job abroad. If you have the skills and work experience an employer seeks and can clearly convey that, the fact you’re from another country shouldn’t be a major issue. You may also find it helpful to hire a professional from a company that specializes in polishing resumes for international job seekers.
11. Check Visa and Work Permit Requirements
Understanding what sort of documentation you need to work in your new country is extremely important. In China, for example, a university degree is necessary for getting a work permit. However, the same is not the case in some places throughout Europe. Knowing what you need ahead of time minimizes stressful hassles.
12. Don’t Let Your Age Deter You
If you’re deciding to move abroad relatively early or late in life, you may feel age is a factor that will make it more challenging to find a job. However, an article from The Guardian which featured insight from international job search experts indicated that’s not always the case. Often, you can challenge possible age-related prejudice by proving you have the motivation and ability to succeed in the position.
13. Show Evidence of Your Education
Depending on your desired position, you might need to do more than just list educational qualifications on a resume. An academic evaluation offers comparative data about how the education you’ve received stacks up to what’s offered in other countries. It’s often very helpful for people to have if they are trying to get a job in the United States after being educated elsewhere.
14. Study Country Profiles
Country profiles are very worthwhile in giving career-related insight about a destination. For example, the Prospects website is based in the United Kingdom, but has information relevant to job seekers in other places. It’ll tell you that being able to speak German is the key to landing a job in Austria, and that agriculture and gas are two of the biggest industries in The Netherlands.
15. Consider a Short-Term Trip Before the Big Move
Provided your financial situation will allow for it, think about taking a relatively short, but very purposeful trip to the place where you want to move. Use it to start making face-to-face connections, and hopefully take part in interviews. In-person meetings can be effective for helping you highlight what you can bring to a company, and a shorter trip shows you’re serious about making a permanent move.
16. Go With the Flow
As a final point, remember how finding an international job can be a lengthy process that may not be straightforward. Before getting too deep into your job search, set goals and decide what your minimum expectations are from moving abroad. When you’re able to form and keep that perspective, it should be easier to stay grounded and upbeat, even when challenges arise.
17. Hit the Country Job Sites
Collect all the relevant country job sites and get familiar with the most popular ones that can help you expand your job search remotely. The Jobmaster app lists hundreds of job boards for many countries across the globe. There are also job boards for Expats who want to work abroad. Find them and use them.
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer, blogger, and aspiring world traveler. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site for young professionals navigating the work world. For more advice on the job search and career development, follow Sarah @sarahlandrum
For a related post see: 15 tips to find job in another state.