Working outside the country can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but how exactly can you make it happen? Finding work abroad is different from finding work close to home, but a few simple tips can help you land an international job that is perfect for you.
Talk to your current employer.
If you currently work for a large company, they might have an ambassador program or something similar that could get you a position abroad. One great thing about this is that companies that offer something like this tend to help out with moving logistics and expenses. Of course, if you go this route, you may not have as much of a say as to where you end up or how long you’ll be there for.
Use your network.
A strong network is any professional’s best friend. Once you’ve decided you want to find a job internationally, spread the word among your friends, family, and colleagues. Do you know anyone currently working abroad, or someone who has worked abroad in the past? Do they have any helpful connections or advice? Who do you know that lives outside the country that might be able to make an introduction for you? When you tap into your network, you improve your chances of landing a job internationally.
Know where you want to go.
If your current employer doesn’t offer such an option, and you don’t have any international connections, then you get to start from square one. In this case, that’s the “where.” Where do you want to work and live? Consider language, climate, culture, economy, cost of living, cuisine, and so on. Every aspect of life in that new country is going to affect your experience, so do your research. If you already speak a foreign language, countries that use that language should definitely be on your short list, as that can be a huge asset to your job search.
Research the job market in that country.
Use international news outlets to get in tune with what is going on in your country of choice. Maybe there’s a specific region that is attracting top talent in the tech industry. Maybe a prominent company has just announced an upcoming round of layoffs. Information like this can clue you in to the types of positions and/or companies you should pursue.
Become familiar with hiring customs in that country.
Did you know that it is common for Japanese resumes to be handwritten on a special form? Or that a psychological exam is a typical part of the hiring process in Argentina? Different countries have different customs when it comes to recruiting and hiring, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself by not knowing them. Do your homework.
Polish your resume.
A resume is an important tool for any job candidate, but if you’re trying to land a job internationally, your resume really has to impress. Essentially, you have to convince the company that you are worth whatever “hassle” relocating you might bring. That means you should have an impressive and persuasive cover letter, along with a thorough and comprehensive resume (both of which follow that country’s best practices, of course). This is your chance to make a stellar first impression.
If you’re looking for a job on the other side of the world, you’re going to have to be willing to be flexible with your availability. Interviews may get scheduled for “off” hours, you might have to travel on fairly short notice, etc. As the job seeker, it’s up to you to accommodate their schedule.
Finding a job internationally can seem stressful at first, but remember: people do this all the time. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, you can find a job abroad that is the perfect fit for you. Stay committed, be resourceful, and soon enough, you’ll be packing your bags.
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