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Finding a Job Abroad: A Guide for Expats

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Moving to another country for a higher standard of living or better career prospects is quite common but securing employment before moving is crucial to making your international relocation successful. However, it isn't as easy as scouring the classifieds and setting up an interview. So, if you want to ensure financially stability as an expat, it'll be helpful to learn some tips to find a job abroad.

Finding a Job Abroad: A Guide for Expats

Tips to find a job abroad

  • Look for internal opportunities: If you are already working for a company, inquire about positions abroad. Your employer might have offices in other countries and be willing to transfer you. Speak with your boss or human resources department to find out what overseas job opportunities are open to you so you can move temporarily for work. Some companies will even offer you a RELO package if you are transferred internationally.
  • Research the job market: If you have already made up your mind to move overseas, you should do thorough research before choosing your destination country. It's important that you research the economy as well as the job market of a country to make sure that there are enough employment opportunities in your desired field.

    Also, look up each country's laws, policies, and requirements regarding employment before carrying out an international move. Some countries may require you to stay for a minimum amount of time and get residency to acquire a work permit. You may also need proper documentation and a work visa.
  • Tap your network: Networking is one of the most effective ways to find a job anywhere in the world. To get a job abroad before moving, try tapping into your network and using all of your sources, whether they be online or via word-of-mouth. If you have just graduated, use your alumni association to form contacts and talk to your fellow alumni regarding job opportunities overseas.

    Build connections through your LinkedIn profile or join Facebook groups to get notified about job vacancies posted online. Additionally, you should post your resume on platforms like CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster, RecruitNet, and OverseasJobs. You can also check out opportunities listed on any potential country's government website or the U.S Embassy homepage.
  • Attend international job fairs: Finding a job in a new country is easier if you stay abreast of job fairs nearby. You can look up where these overseas job fairs are taking place on Google. Job fairs will help you find out about companies that are providing jobs for expats. If you go prepared, you might even be able to attend interviews on the spot.
  • Make your resume stand out: To get a job abroad, you will most likely face stiff competition. To overcome that, you need to focus on building a good resume. Improve your resume by characterizing all the details of your career in a flattering light. It's even better if you are skilled in a foreign language other than English. That will not just make you a promising candidate but will also help you overcome the language barriers when moving abroad.

    If you don't have the required skills, spend some time acquiring those skills. Depending on your field of interest, you should also get acquainted with the latest trends in the industry and stay updated with any ongoing developments. This will give you an edge over your competitors.
  • Be open to different avenues: If you are planning to relocate to a foreign country for a dream job, you need to be patient and diligent. You need to realize that you may not secure employment in your desired industry - at least not right away. Be open to different opportunities to get your life started in another country before you get your dream job. You can try working with a temp agency or explore alternative options for transitional work. Look for internships and other unpaid positions - you may still have to supplement your income with a side job, but it will be excellent experience for your resume and will hopefully get you a great professional reference.

    Service jobs such as waiting tables, bartending, or hospitality are usually available and are often well-suited to expats because of their contact with tourists. Jobs in sales or retail may also be easy to procure. If you can find a job in a new country that pays your bills so that you can establish residency and actively search for more favorable career opportunities, it can only benefit you. Be open-minded and explore all potential avenues.
  • Explore the option of working remotely overseas: For certain jobs, it may be possible to work remotely. Jobs such as blogger, web developer, or graphic designer often allow you to work from anywhere in the world. You can always travel back home for occasional meetings if the need arises.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on July 12, 2013

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