5 Tips for Finding and Obtaining a Job Abroad
Finding a job in America can be difficult enough, but finding and getting a job in a different country can be even more difficult and time consuming. First, you have to find a job, and jobs that are open to citizens from other countries can be difficult to find. Once you find a job you want, you have to apply, and application standards vary depending on where you want to work. The interview process can be especially confusing and difficult if you are trying to get the job while living in a different country as well. Just like the job process changes depending on where you are applying for in America, other countries will have their own requirements. However, there are some ways you can find and get a job abroad, while easing the stress of the search and application a little bit. Here are five tips for finding and getting a job abroad.
1. Do your research
The best way to dive into the search for a job abroad is to start researching what it is like living and working abroad, and which jobs are available. The U.S. Department of State has a website devoted to working overseas, which has many helpful links, including sites that allow you to search for jobs and inform you about living abroad. Your search will be a little easier if you can narrow down your ideal location to one, or at least a few countries. However, if you keep your options open, your search base for jobs will be bigger.
The Federal Jobs Network provides information on working for the federal government overseas, and according to the site, administrative, technical, professional, accountants, and several other job types are needed overseas. If you have experience in one of these fields, you might have a better chance of getting a job abroad. Once you narrow down your search, you can also contact different embassies to determine exactly what you need to do to apply, and to later live, in specific countries.
2. Consider teaching abroad
Teaching English in another country is one of the most accessible jobs if you want to work abroad. If you have strong second language skills, you will have an advantage over other applicants, and English teachers are needed in many different countries, which sometimes makes getting a teaching job easier than certain other jobs abroad. Another benefit to teaching abroad is that there are many companies that help facilitate these programs, which can make the application process much easier. InterExchange is one such company. Teaching English in another country will also benefit you in many ways: it will help boost your language skills, help you meet new people and experience a new culture, and will potentially boost your resume.
3. Use your network
Many companies have small (and sometimes big) offices in other countries, but job opportunities in these countries may not be as widely publicized as local opportunities. Contact your human resources department and ask about jobs abroad; you may be able to take a job abroad without leaving your current company. Many people don’t want to work abroad, or they can’t because of family or other obligations, so being willing to work abroad actually might help fast-track your career.
If your current company has no overseas offices or openings, use any other contacts you can. Ask family, friends, business contacts, and anyone else you can think of if they know of jobs or have any advice. If you went to college, contact the person who is in charge of study abroad and see if they know of any full-time positions.
4. Make sure you stand out
Once you find a job (or multiple jobs) that you want to apply for, you need to make sure you stand out. First, start by learning as much as you can about the country you want to live in. Although application requirements will vary depending on the country and the company, showing that you researched and care about the culture of the country, as well as the specific company itself, always helps. If you have specific skills that might not be as common in the specific country, be sure to highlight those too. Explain why you deserve to be hired over someone who already lives there. Also be sure that you meet all application requirements; these should be listed under the job position or ad.
5. Be ready for the interview
Many companies won’t willingly pay for you to fly out to interview with them, at least not in the initial round of interviews. Unless you have some very special skill set, you probably will need to interview via telephone or Skype. Make sure that you are flexible and open to whatever they suggest, and understand that you might have to interview at an unusual time of day depending on the time difference.
Hopefully you shared why you want to work for the specific company (or in a particular country) when you applied, but you need to reiterate this during your interview. Especially if you are interviewing over the phone, you won’t have the same chance to wow with your personality and make a good impression that you normally would. If possible, telephone the company and ask current staff what it is like to work at the company before you have an interview; also, prepare questions ahead of time, and be aware of your posture (even if you are using Skype.) Remember to dress professionally, even if you are sitting at home in your living room!
Finding a job overseas can be challenging, but if you are able to do it, there can be many great rewards. Even more emphasis will probably be put on your resume (or CV, depending on the country), and your initial interview, so be prepared.