Finding a job abroad is growing increasingly difficult as a result of the global economic crisis. The majority of countries now operate policies that make it difficult for their companies to hire foreigners and the market for overseas skills seems to be gradually shrinking as firms invest more in training home-grown talent.
However, jobs for expats do still exist in many popular expat destinations and providing you’re prepared to put in some legwork to get your resume noticed, there is every chance that you can successful secure a job abroad.
In our handy guide to finding work overseas we share some useful tactics for tapping into new networks and marketing your professional skills in interesting ways that may get your resume the attention it needs.
1) Job Sites
An obvious place to start your job search is local job sites in your host country. Unfortunately, however, while this is one of the easiest places to conduct a job search, it is also one of the most ineffective. Jobs posted on these sites do not always exist in practice and the fact that it is easy to apply to the ones that do, means that each vacancy receives thousands of applications- significantly lowering your chances of actually getting noticed. That said, it is always worthwhile uploading your resume in the hope that a recruiter may spot it.
LinkedIn is an online networking site that focuses on professional connections. It currently has over 135 million members and it can be a really great resource for finding a job abroad. Sign up, complete your profile and add as many connections as you can from your existing network before you start to reach out to professionals in your target industry who are living in your desired location.
3) Blog or write articles
One great way to get yourself noticed is to start your own blog. By writing articles and posts that cover your industry and can position yourself as an expert in your field and share your knowledge. Blogging will also allow you to demonstrate your skills to potential employers and transforms you from a piece of paper to a real person.
4) Go door knocking
Sometimes the oldest methods of finding a job can be the best. Create a professional resume and cover letter explaining your situation and drop them into the receptionists at as many businesses that you can. Target small and medium companies that are relevant to your background and you may find that your resume ends up in the hands of the owner. Although you will get a lot of rejections, some employers may just appreciate your initiative, drive and commitment.
Twitter is another social networking site that can really help when you’re searching for a job overseas. Through conducting searches, following recruiters in your target industry and location, and communicating with them on a regular basis you can learn more about their companies and routes into employment. Make sure you have a complete profile and try and link to another location, such as a blog or a LinkedIn profile, where the recruiter can learn more about your background.
Do some volunteer work in your target country. It will give you some experience of actually working in the local area and will help you to meet people who may be able to help your job search.
7) Use snail mail
The majority of big companies use automated resume scanners to sort through the endless amounts of applications they get. One method of circumventing the system is to send a physical copy of your resume and cover letter to the HR contact. These guys get hundreds of emails a day and only one or two pieces of physical mail. This method will increase your chances of your resume being read by a real person and may just get you the attention you need.
Have you successfully found the job of your dreams overseas? What worked for you? We’d really welcome your stories and input.