Top ten tips for getting a job abroad
With jobs remaining relatively scarce across Europe and a slow recovery in Western job markets more and more people are looking elsewhere to find a job. The emerging economies in particular have grown in popularity and regions such as Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are all looking westward for skilled workers. Here are some of the Expat Hub’s tips to help you find a job overseas.
1. Develop a strategy
Before you start randomly trawling through websites and newspapers you should create an overall job-search strategy. It’s vital that you plan your job search; if you don’t then you are likely to get frustrated and miss possible opportunities. As they say, getting a job is a job in itself, and finding one abroad is full of extra challenges.
2. What job do you want?
Where to begin? First, go back and think about why you are interested in a job overseas. Second, review your qualifications and develop a list of the skills at your disposal. Third, assess your accomplishments from various work and volunteer experiences. Fourth, analyze the results of the first three steps and see if you can develop a profile of the types of jobs that interest you and that you are qualified for. The most in-demand jobs abroad tend to be skilled professions such as plumbers, fitters etc.., and professional jobs such as nurses; teachers and executives are also in high demand in most foreign countries.
As with any job hunt research is vital. Take the time to learn about the cultural, political and economic situations in each of the places you are considering moving to. You don’t want to end up moving to a warzone after all. By learning the laws and customs of a country you can prepare yourself accordingly. Carefully researching the visas and work permits for each country is essential, and you should do it early, before you apply for any position. If you don’t already have a visa, your application may not even be considered. Many companies can offer you employment only if they can prove that there is no one suitable who already has a visa.
4. Develop your language skills if needed
Depending on the country you want to move to, you may need to speak a foreign language. The main three things that global employers are looking for in potential employees are; technical knowledge in your chosen field, an ability to adapt to a new culture and language fluency skills. Being able to speak a foreign language could also help you land a job in your home country as well.
5. Write a CV
Before you start writing a CV you need to research what sort of CV your chosen nation typically uses. The style of CV varies from country to country. Employers in the USA tend to favour shorter CVs (or Resumes as they call them) whilst some European and Asian employers expect a fully detailed one. Your CV is your passport and your personal marketing tool when seeking international employment. It tells an employer who you are, where you have come from and whether you are qualified for the job. It is critical that you consider how you want to present yourself. While your CV should always be honest and accurate, you must avoid any cultural or lingual nuances that may reflect negatively upon you.
6. Make use of the internet and social networks
To help with all of the above points make sure you use the internet. All of the world’s knowledge is pretty much available at your finger tips and by using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you should be able to get in contact with other expats. The Expat Hub forum is also a good place to meet other expats. Use other peoples experience to help you prepare for your own move; chances are that there is someone online that has already done what you want to do. Ask them for advice!
7. Make your application stand out
Once you’ve sorted out your CV and learnt all you can about your chosen country you then need to decide what employers you want to work for and make an application that will make you stand out from the crowd. Your application will be far more attractive if it bears a local address or a fixed date of arrival, if, say, you’re applying from Newcastle for a job in Berlin. Even if all you do to start is connect up with someone local to use their mobile phone number or home address, you’ll be more in line with local job candidates.
8. Fully prepare for an interview
As with any job interview the key to success is to fully prepare and practice. Also be ready for the unconventional. As you are hoping to get a job abroad interviews could be carried out over the internet or via telephone. If this is the case than be sure to speak in a calm clear voice. An interview could also be a big test for your language skills so make sure you have learnt enough to a satisfactory standard. Whatever form the interview takes you still have to articulate your skills, accomplishments and education in order to show that you are the ideal person for the job. It also pays to research your chosen employer as many companies ask you questions about themselves, and be prepared to ask questions yourself.
9. Follow up on all job leads
Make sure to follow up on all possible job leads. Make phone calls and send e-mails to all your prospective employers and enquire about the status of job openings. You have to be a bit more assertive in your follow-up, but be careful of sounding too aggressive or desperate. Again, know the culture of the country, and be sure to send thank-you notes after all interviews and other contacts. After all if you don’t ask you don’t get.
10. Are you certain you want to emigrate?
Finally, it is vital that you are personally and psychologically ready for the move. Even if you’re going to a country where they speak the same language, you’ll encounter differences in everyday life that require flexibility, patience and a sense of humour.