Finding a job abroad can be extremely difficult and, unless you are transferred internally with a company you already work for, the lack of a network in your target destination can mean that you just can’t get a foot in the door. This is where LinkedIn comes in handy. It is an absolute gold mine of useful contacts and information about jobs all over the world and it can be a really invaluable tool for people who wish to target job opportunities in countries within which they do not have an existing network. Using LinkedIn can really put the power back in your own hands and help you to proactively seek out that dream job abroad. Here are 10 top tips for using LinkedIn to target the right people in the right area.
1) Create a profile that outlines your objectives.
Start the job search by creating a comprehensive profile that specifically points out your desire to work abroad or in a given country. It may sound obvious but the very best method of achieving your goals is to actually tell people what they are. Ensure that the profile is completely comprehensively and that you provide as much information as possible. Specify the countries that you are interested in working in and the skills and experience that you believe will be of value to organizations in those countries.
The one thing that LinkedIn allows you to do that many other online job search resources do not, is to network and connect with people. Look up people from your past and connect with them. If any of them are working in your target location, or have successfully secured a job abroad, make contact with them and enquire as to how they secured the position and if they have any tips to help you. You never know, they may know of opportunities in their own company.
3) Identify the right people.
Look through forums and discussion groups and try and find individuals who have a similar background to your own but who are now working in your desired area or country. Target people with big networks and try and connect with them. The point here isn’t to add as many connections as possible, but to add valuable connections. Once you have identified a set of potentially useful people, look at what groups and forums they have joined and…
4) Join in.
Join as many groups as you can that operate in a field relevant to you, in a country within which you are interested in working. Openly network in the forums and participate in as many discussions as you can. You never know who may come across the group and, if you’ve demonstrated advanced knowledge and skills through your participating, you may find the job comes to you. At the very least, joining in groups will keep you abreast of developments in your area and will offer you an opportunity to network with the right people.
5) Start your own group.
If there is a lack of groups relevant to your own area of expertise or country of choice, then consider starting your own. Again, search for individuals who have experienced some success in your target destination or target profession and invite them to join. If they do, welcome to your new group and encourage their participating by asking them a direct question. This will get the conversations flowing and will help you to build up your own knowledge of the state of play in your area of interest. Who knows, if they are experiencing problems, you may even be able to help them.
6) Find out who’s looking at you.
Look at the people who have viewed your LinkedIn profile and consider adding them to your network. If they are recruiters, you will then have a direct line of access to them and can ask them if they have any job roles abroad that may be suitable for you.
7) Help others.
The more value that you add to your network, the more highly you will be regarded and the more trust you will build with relevant people in your area. If you see someone asking a question or for assistance with research be sure to help them. Always try and be proactive and go one step further; the more useful you are, the more likely they will remember you if a suitable opportunity arises.
8) Perform an advanced search.
Use an “advanced search” to find relevant individuals in your destination of choice. Click on the word “advanced” that you can find at the top right-hand corner of your LinkedIn screen and search for people who are working in a given role in that particular city. This will help you to establish a network of peers in the right area of the world and may even lead to more thorough introductions.
9) Search for jobs.
Use LinkedIn’s job search facility to find out about job openings anywhere in the world. If you find any that are of relevance to your background and career objectives, select the “apply now” button and apply online. If there are opportunities that are not a perfect match but are in a similar area, get in touch with the recruiter and send them your details; there may be jobs in future that are of a perfect match.
10) Follow companies.
As well as networking with individuals, you should also network with companies that operate in your target destination and/or industry. Find relevant companies and see if you have any first, 2nd or third degree connections with any of their staff members. Don’t forget to follow the company to be notified of their news and updates on a regular basis, as this information will be of use to you if you ever are invited for an interview.
Finding a job abroad is never going to be easy and your chances of success are very much dependent upon the effort that you put into finding the right opportunity. LinkedIn is an extremely valuable tool for people who are searching for jobs further afield, outside of their physical network; make sure you make the most of it.
Here’s to your success abroad!
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