*Given current travel restrictions and the uncertainty of the global economy post-coronavirus, it’s important to fully research any international job opportunities. At the moment, many countries, including the United States, have warned residents against traveling abroad. You should keep track of these advisories as they could interfere with future interviews.
If you dream of a passport full of stamps and an international Instagram grid that is sure to make your high school classmates green with envy, an overseas job might be the perfect opportunity for you.
Bucket lists aside, working abroad could broaden your corporate experience. In fact, getting international experience is one of the top tips to land a job after college. Having worked abroad will make your resume stand out when you apply for future positions.
Whether you’re adventure-minded, career-minded or a combination of the two, you’re ready to take advantage of the robust job market and book a one-way ticket to your new life abroad. Your metaphorical flight will likely be a full one considering that, according to a survey from the Boston Consulting Group, 51% of U.S. respondents said they would be interested in working abroad.
But before you apply for visas or pack your bags, you need to find a job abroad. Prior to moving abroad, you must first lock down your job overseas. That flat overlooking Hyde Park isn’t going to pay for itself.
After this article, you’ll have practical advice and suggestions on how to obtain a job overseas.
Why Young Americans are Working Abroad
In comparison to the global average, Americans as a group have been less willing to work abroad, according to the BCG survey. However, that attitude is changing rapidly especially among young Americans.
Survey results revealed that willingness to work abroad is particularly high among Americans younger than 30. Americans with master’s and doctoral degrees are also particularly interested in working abroad.
The majority of Americans named the United Kingdom as their top work abroad destination. Australia and Canada round out the top three. Other best destinations to live as an expat include South Korea, Portugal, and Switzerland.
So why are young Americans looking abroad for job opportunities?
The BCG reported that American respondents put a “higher-than-average emphasis on the financial stability and values of their employer.” This, according to the BCG, could be related to lacking worker protections and job stability in the U.S. compared to other countries. Furthermore, Americans said they seek work-life balance and are willing to go abroad to find it.
How to Find a Job Overseas
If all those late-night email notifications and early mornings at the office have you craving better work-life balance, it’s time to start looking for a job overseas. When you start the job hunt, you’ll see that opportunities are everywhere.
Glassdoor contributor Jessica Thiefels warns job seekers that not every country is the right fit for their particular industry or lifestyle. It’s important to do your research and investigate the job market. Thiefels recommends learning about the number of jobs available, the average salary, and the cost of living.
Finding a job overseas doesn’t necessarily mean looking for an entirely new position.
Forbes contributor Alexandra Talty writes that, if you want to work abroad, don’t overlook opportunities to get transferred overseas through your work. She advises new graduates to look for employment with international companies, many of which have exchange programs that send their employees to offices abroad.
Use These Tips When Applying for an International Job
To improve your chances of either getting a job with an international company or securing a new position abroad, these tips can help you with the application process.
Depending on where you’re applying for jobs, take the time to localize the language of your cover letter and resume. For example, if you’re applying for a job in the UK, make sure to change words like “color” to “colour.”
Your resume is also a good place to highlight your experience with international regulations as they pertain to your industry. An accountant who is applying for a job overseas should point to their background in international financial regulations such as International Financial Reporting Standards and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
If you want to move to a country where English isn’t the first language, you should make a point of highlighting your language skills on your resume. Proficiency is especially important if you’re applying for a job in a business-related field where you may be required to conduct meetings in another language, according to Talty.
A prime spot on your resume to note your proficiency is the key skills section. According to Arielle Executive contributor Irene McConnell, the most effective way to organize the key skills section of your resume is with a grid, table or bullet point key assets.
You should be prepared to prove your fluency via a Skype interview. Even if your language skills aren’t required for a position, perfecting your Skype skills is a crucial step when applying for an international job. Use a neutral background and dress as you would for an in-person interview.
When you’re applying for international jobs, it’s imperative that you understand the visa process and be aware of any travel restrictions that might be in place. Thiefels suggests logging onto the US Department of State’s website to educate yourself about how to obtain a temporary work visa. You should also check out the visa website of the country you’re interested in working in to be sure you fully understand all the requirements and costs as well as how long the visa process takes.
With these tips, you’re on your way to obtaining a job overseas. Searching and applying for a position abroad will take time, but the rewards are worth it. The experience can provide invaluable opportunities to hone your self-reliance and can expose you to lesser-known cultures.
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