Gaining international experience may be the next step for your career; and as the international talent pool becomes more aggressive, it’s important to equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge for landing a job overseas. Understanding the job market in the country of interest is essential for your resume or CV to stand out - and having that local insight is important.
Here’s our 5 tips for moving overseas and finding international job opportunities.
International Resume or CV for a Job Abroad
Localize your Resume or CV
This is the first tip for expats moving abroad and finding international employment. Different countries have different employment approaches when hiring international talent. Even when most companies seek similar experiences and qualities in their applicants, CV and resume formats may vary according to the location, culture, and purpose. Some countries may expect personal data, yet some others may not suggest them at all.
Three things to look at when trying to localize your CV:
Different countries format their CV differently. A quick google search into what a country’s standard CV structure is enough information to start changing your layout. This includes the number of pages, amount of content and expected personal details on your CV.
Depending on whether you are interested in relocating, you may be expected to know the local language or present your CV in the local language for their HR department to review. Understand which language your resume should be in - even to the extent of dialects. For instance, should your CV be in American or British English?
If you’re expected to translate your CV into the local language, then work with a professional translator to ensure your experience and skillset are translated properly, because they can also utilize the cultural tone. You can find professional translators on our expat moving platform.
Many countries use a CV that is more personal and includes a photo; whereas, in Australia, the UK, and the US, it’s not very encouraged to do include a photo or personal details. It’s best to perform some research into your preferred country’s standard CV details and expectations regarding personal detail.
And if you are open to relocating abroad to any foreign country, then it may be recommended to have multiple options available on hand in case you need a short, personalized CV or a long-winded resume.
Network, Network, Network
While online employment networks like LinkedIn, Indeed and other sites are commonly used for job searching opportunities abroad, 80 to 90 percent of job postings are not published. So how can you find such opportunities if they aren’t published? It’s all about your network.
Just as important as sending your CV everywhere is to find backdoor routes into companies, reach out to friends and colleagues in your chosen country about job opportunities or join online communities for expats to get warm introductions. If they work in a company with an available job posting, their endorsement of you would be valued very highly by the company.
If you haven’t built many networks in your chosen country, try using resources that your school or former employer has to offer. Your alma mater probably has a global alumni network which could be much aid in your job search. An international relocation might mean minimal networking in that foreign country, attend networking events and participate in the local communities to increase your exposure.
Reach out to Recruitment Agencies
Recruitment agencies know the local job market better than you do - it’s what they do best. They help bridge the international talent gap, which you can utilize to your advantage. You can start looking for overseas employment firms or your chosen country’s local recruitment agency.
These recruitment agencies are likely to have established relationships with top-tier companies and businesses which you are trying to apply for. Don’t forget to find a recruitment agency that’s comfortable with placing expats and look into opportunities that offer relocation packages, as that may be a great way to negotiate upfront for assistance in your relocation. Also, a recommendation from these agencies may help push your application forward.
Consider Immigration Requirements
Understanding the documentation needed to work in your country of choice is a crucial step. Different countries grant different types of work permits and visas -- and the different rules that come with them. Be sure to know the steps required to get a visa, evisa, or permits to legally work in your chosen country, and do not delay your visa application. Also, check about the conditions of taxes for expats.
If you’re on a student visa, be sure to check the amount of hours you are legally able to work abroad per week. In Australia, international students can not work exceeding 20 hours per week; whereas, in France, non-EU students need an Autorisaion Provisoire de Travail, obtained at the department of work, which authorizes temporary employment.
If you’re looking for a job overseas, some countries need you to have an employer-sponsored work visa. Keep in mind when you’re applying for jobs on whether or not the company you’re applying for has the budget and capacity to sponsor you.
Perfect your in-person and Video Interview Skills
Once you’ve lined up interviews for your dream job abroad, be sure to improve your in-person and video interviewing skills. In some countries, it’s quite common to conduct video interviews to avoid the additional effort and streamline the interviewing process - so be ready for a video interview.
Test your camera, check your background (make it neutral!), and look just as sharp and polished as you would in person, regardless of the time of day. If you’re fluent in other languages, perhaps even the target country’s language, be prepared to show it during the interview - not just speaking, but also listening.
As companies continue to expand and have a global presence, it’s great to get international work experience. Working abroad is a wonderful opportunity to learn and understand a foreign market; but as you’re competing with local talent, be sure to take into practice the tips provided so that you too can enjoy a new international work experience.