If you have dreams of working abroad, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Before you start packing your bags, you need to get your job application materials in order. You’ll do best in your oversea career journey if you have interviews scheduled before you get there, or better yet, you already have a job! Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your job search in a foreign country:
Apply for an Exceptional Talent Visa
If you are planning on working in a country where you are not a native citizen, you are going to have to apply for a visa. However, if you feel that you are particularly skilled in your area of work or specialism, you should consider taking tier 1 exceptional talent guidance. Any individual who is considered to be particularly gifted or competent in any area of the sciences, arts, humanities, medicine, digital technology, or engineering is eligible to apply for a tier 1 exceptional talent visa.
There are two categories when it comes to this visa. If you already established in your field and have proof of your worth to the new nation’s economy or culture, you count as a recognized leader with exceptional talent. If you are still emerging in your field, you are an emerging leader holding exceptional promise and will also be eligible. Securing this type of visa will show potential employers that you have been granted a visa solely on your merit and will encourage them to take you on.
Craft a CV
In the USA, we predominately use resumes as our introductory “here’s my career story” document. Our resumes are edited down to just what matters for the job at hand. We keep it focused, short, and to the point. However, in foreign countries, you may be asked for a curriculum vitae, or CV for short.
A CV lists all of your experience, education, awards, presentations, and other career experience. It can be quite lengthy—most are 3-5 pages. Be aware, though, that not every employer will want your CV. Read the job ad carefully and decide whether you should submit at CV or a resume.
If you do need to submit your resume, keep it neat and succinct. Ditch your resume’s objective and replace it with a professional summary or profile. If you include too much information on your resume, employers are likely to feel inconvenienced and miss the important information that you need to get across. So, make use of online resume templates to ensure your resume is easy to read. You find templates for CV’s, too.
Write a Polite Cover Letter
Your cover letter is exceptionally important when you’re applying for a foreign job, especially if you’re submitting a super-long CV. It’s your introduction to the employer, and it should be culturally sensitive. Some cultures expect a “softer” introduction, where others expect a direct approach witha call to action.Do you research before you submit your application materials.
No matter what, keep your cover letter polite. Use “please” and “thank you,” always.
Your cover letter should highlight how your work experience meets the needs the employer listed in the job advertisement. If you have a visa already, you could include this information in your concluding paragraph.
Line up Your References
Not all positions require a reference. However, it’s a good idea to have some ready. A good reference will essentially give the employer a green light to hire you. No matter how competent or qualified someone may be on paper, there is still a chance that they may not be a good employee. Perhaps they are unreliable, not turning up to shifts or arriving late regularly. Maybe they have a poor work ethic or a bad attitude. They might simply not work well with colleagues and always bring tension or a negative atmosphere to the workplace. A good reference will prove that you are none of these things and that you will form a valuable part of your potential new employer’s company, giving them confidence in offering you a position.
You Need a Portfolio
Without a doubt, you need an online portfolio that makes you shine. Foreign employers will want to see your talents before taking a chance on you, and they aren’t likely to wait for you to take a week to put something together.
However, you don’t want to rush through just throwing something together. Your portfolio should show off your achievements in their best light. So, make sure that it is ready before you are even asked for it.
Focus on Specific Countries and Know Their Customs
If you’re sitting in front of your computer dreaming of escaping your current work situation, you need to get clear on where it is you want to go, and then you need to research as much as you can about your chosen countries. Just wanting to go anywhere at all will make your job search difficult. Instead, narrow your search down to 2-3 countries, and make sure you know everything there is to know about those countries’ professional etiquette.
For example, in some countries, it is customary to spent the first ten minutes of a meeting talking about non-work related topics. If you know this custom, you can prepare ahead of time to talk about neutral topics before jumping into why you’re the perfect person for the job. Strategy is everything in finding a job abroad, so make sure you understand your target countries before you apply for a job.