Looking for a job overseas isn’t the same as in the States. Things like visa complications, language barriers, and distance can stand in your way. Check out these eight savvy strategies for landing a job abroad.
LinkedIn is a great tool for finding work in the U.S., but not every country uses it as regularly. To find lesser publicized jobs, check local and international job boards. There are boards based on locations, like Monster’s many offshoots, and industry-specific boards, like globaljobs.org for those interested in NGO, think tank or private sector work.
Apply for jobs at multinational companies — especially ones that have global exchange programs. During your interview, express your interest in working abroad down the line. Once you have been there for a few months and have a relationship with the team, you can inquire about the relocation process. Making your intentions clear can help make the transition happen faster.
Research the market you’re trying to enter and identify gaps in demand for specific skills. Acquiring or fine-tuning a specialized skill, whether it’s graphic design or free-diving, enables you to fill a void. Learning another language can also provide a competitive advantage.
Do research on the differences in the application process in the country where you’re applying. These nuances can make or break your application. For example, while one-page resumes are standard in the U.S., employers in most other countries expect a two- to four-page C.V. Applicants in many European and Asian countries also include a photo and personal information on their resume.
As the saying goes, getting there is half the battle. Embedding yourself in the country you’re pursuing a job in increases your chances for networking and learning about jobs that you can’t find online. Carry a business card wherever you go and bring a copy of your resume to all networking meetings, both formal and informal. You never know who can provide a job opportunity or has a connection that can get your foot in the door.
Study abroad programs expose you to international work experiences, build your network of overseas contacts, and often lead straight into international job prospects. Studying in another country is also a great way to test out the abroad experience and decide if it’s right for you.
With modern technology making it possible to work from almost anywhere, it’s no surprise that the international freelance economy is on the rise. If your work isn’t dependent on your physical location, the opportunities to work abroad become endless.
Look into countries where you can obtain birthright citizenship or explore countries with freelance visa options.
Speak with people who have successfully found employment overseas. Current and former expats have been through the process and may be in touch with the expat community or companies open to hiring expats. At the very least, they can lend you advice based on first-hand experience.
Should you accept a job abroad, you’ll have to consider the logistics. You may be paid in a different currency or need to transfer funds between your home and abroad accounts regularly. Make sure you have plans in place before you take the leap.