Spending a year abroad always seems like a thrilling prospect for a recent college grad.
However, not all of us have the funds to afford a studying abroad during college or taking time off to travel straight after college. Teaching English abroad is one popular option to receiving a paycheck, while at the same time experiencing a foreign culture.
But recent grads shouldn’t limit themselves to this one option. In fact, landing a job abroad isn’t as tricky as most think. I picked the brains of a few young professional friends successfully employed abroad, and worked out this step-by-step framework to help you do the same.
Find Companies That Actively Hire Foreign Workers
The first thing you should do is a bit of ‘recon’ on overseas companies in your field. This means finding out which companies actually hire foreign workers. These companies generally fall under one of the following categories:
- Large technology and manufacturing that operate on a global scale – Bonus points if they have operations in the U.S., too.
- Fintech Companies And Consulting Firms
- Multinational Retailers
- Software Development Firms
Also, research the largest businesses based in the U.S., and discover which ones have big enough operations throughout the globe.
Upon Moving, Join up With Local Expat Social Groups to Find Hidden Openings
It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to move to foreign soil without having a long term job lined up. However, sometimes it is necessary to move prior to the job search. Some of my friends moved once without having an offer at all, as many companies will only hire prospects with established, local addresses.
This meant that upon landing in a new country, you should seek out with other expats in order to get some word-of-mouth information on job openings nearby. Fortunately, social media is full of expat social groups. After some Googling, you should be able to find one on Facebook or another social network. If you have problems making connections, I recommend looking into social media groups that focus on entertainment, food, culture, and other things associated with your country of origin. This will get you into the same circles as others who may be more familiar with the local job landscape.
Polish Your Resume & Focus on Your Advantages Over Locals
If you are an expat, do not sell yourself short. Not only are there companies all over the world who are willing to hire foreign workers, many recognize that there are distinct advantages in doing so. Instead of downplaying the fact that you are a foreign worker, use it to your benefit.
First of all, you are a native language speaker. Many companies with international presence (or plans for expansion), likely need someone to work on their communication or basic things like proofreading/editing their content. Small gigs like these can definitely lead to full-time employment.
Here’s the easiest way to go about creating your “foreign” CV. Take a standard free resume template for Word with some generic information filled in. Next, look at the key skills/points listed there and think how you can “polish” them up with your foreign flare e.g.:
- Are you multilingual?
- Do you have international business experience?
- Have you ever applied your understanding of multiple cultures to help negotiate deals?
- Can you be the person who bridges the gap between an outsourced team and a team of employees?
Any positive answers to such questions should go on your resume as proof that you can be an asset in a global economy.
Study Country Profiles & Understand Where Your Skill Set is Needed Most
Your best chance at finding a job in another country is to identify where your skill set is most in-demand. Do this by studying country profiles and tracking the most marketable skills in each location. For example, if you have a strong understanding of manufacturing, jobs in China are always plentiful. Textile experience will work to your benefit in Southeast Asia. Do a bit of research and you will know where to direct your resume or CV. You may be surprised to find a need for your skills in markets you were not expecting.
If you dream of living and working in another country, you are not alone. It is perfectly natural to want to explore new parts of the world and make your professional impact as an expat. Follow the tips above, and landing a job overseas might prove to be much easier than it seems.