How to Apply for a Job Abroad

Three Parts:Researching OpportunitiesPreparing to ApplyApplying For a Position

If your dream is to travel, experience other cultures, or start over again in a whole new country, an overseas job may be the choice for you. While there are many things to know about how to apply for a job abroad, it's not as difficult as it was in previous generations. Technology makes it easier to find and apply for work opportunities in other countries. You will need to do your research and ensure you meet all the requirements before you apply for a position.

Part 1
Researching Opportunities

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    Research the countries you would like to work in. You'll need to find out practical information like what kind of visas and immunizations you'll need to relocate there. You should also get a grasp of the culture and living conditions of the country you choose. Find out what the cost of living is to make sure you get a job that is sufficient to live comfortably. Be familiar with safety information, medical facilities and travel alerts.[1]
    • Contact the embassy of the country you wish to work in, or visit the website, to find out more information about what is required to work there.
    • Look for websites run by expats working in the country you are interested in. Things like blogs can be good ways to find out what daily life is like for an expat worker in a foreign country
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    Investigate the different routes to a job abroad. There are many different ways to pursue a job and career abroad which will appeal to different people in different circumstances. There are possibilities for short term work, as well as more permanent positions. Once you have an idea about which country you would like to work in, or even if you are undecided, you should spend some time researching the various ways to find a job abroad.
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    Look for jobs with the United States government. One option for US citizens who are interested in working abroad is to search for positions working for the US government. There are a wide-range of professions employed by the government to work in countries across the world. The largest employers are the Defense Department, followed by the State Department.[3]
    • Social service organizations like the Peace Corps also provide job listings and opportunities to work abroad. Peace Corps positions are voluntary, but can give you excellent experience of working in another country.
    • The US Department of State has a website with information about vacancies for US citizens at the UN and other International Organizations.
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    Consider teaching English. One popular way to work abroad for native English speakers is to teach English. There are many opportunities for short term and long term work in language schools and education institutes across the world, where native English speakers with sufficient training are highly sought after. The requirements will vary, but often you will need a bachelors degree as well as a qualification in teaching English.[4]
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    Consider working for a local company that has foreign offices. Many corporations in the United States have offices in other countries. There also may be small organizations in your area that are satellite offices for international companies. Working in an organization that has international reach can lead to an assignment in an overseas job.
    • Sometimes looking closer to home can reveal possibilities to work abroad that you hadn't realised were there.
    • If you are apply at a local company, it will be more straightforward than applying to a distant foreign firm directly.[5]
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    Search for international job postings on regular job sites. As well as the specialist sites that deal with finding jobs abroad, you shouldn't neglect the major jobs listing sites and recruitment companies. Many of the largest of these organisations will operate internationally and may advertise for posts abroad alongside domestic ones.[6] Search some of the recruitment sites and check the listings.
    • The sites for recruitment companies will also often have helpful tips for those looking to apply for a job abroad.
    • Consider calling up your local office or paying them a visit in person if you think a recruitment advisor may be able to give you some good tips.

Part 2
Preparing to Apply

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    Apply for a visa and/or work permit. Many overseas jobs will not consider you for a position unless you already have a visa or work permit organised. Be sure you understand the requirements for a visa or work permit and know that you will be able to meet them before thinking seriously about applying for a job abroad.[7] The embassy of the country you want to work in will provide information for applying for a Visa.
    • Ensure you have a full and valid passport before inquiring about a visa.
    • You can also look online for visa requirements and application cycles for different countries.
    • Country specific information is provided on the website of the US State Department.
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    Make contacts and use your networks. Finding a job abroad can be a difficult prospect. You have to demonstrate not only that you are a good person for the job, but that you can offer something more than the prospective local candidates who will most likely take less time to adapt to the new working environment. Because of this, and the difficulties of breaking into a foreign working culture, it is especially important that you utilise your contacts and networks as much as possible.[8]
    • Use online networks as well as your college alumni association to create contacts with people working in your field abroad.
    • Once you find people who have made the move abroad successfully, ask them for advice and guidance on how you can do the same.[9]
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    Consider the language requirements. The language requirements will vary depending on the type of job you are interested in getting. For example, if you are working for the US government abroad you may find that the majority of people in your office are American and business is conducted solely in English. If you are applying to work in a foreign firm you will probably be expected to be able to work in the native language.
    • Ensure you know the expectations and can meet them before you apply for a position.
    • Even if you do not need to be fluent in the local language to get a job, having a command of basic phrases at the minimum will make life abroad easier.
    • If you are not required to speak the local language you should make it clear in your application that you are keen to learn and will take evening classes once you arrive.

Part 3
Applying For a Position

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    Get your resume in order. When you are ready to apply for a job abroad you need to do all the things you would do when applying for a job in your home country. This includes ensuring your resume is in good order and up to date. When you are applying for a job abroad you have to consider the specific requirements of a resume in the country you are applying to work in.
    • This could include your marital status and the number of children you have. You need to research the requirement in the country you are applying to.[10]
    • An international resume is more likely to be focussed on your cross-cultural skills and how your personality matches the employers ideal profile.[11]
    • In Europe a resume is called a CV or curriculum vitae.
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    Stress your skills and adapt to the local culture. Applying for an overseas job is similar to applying for any job. Employers will look at your skills to make sure they meet the job requirements. If you don't have a preference for what foreign country to move to and have specialized skills, do some research to find out which countries are in need of applicants with those skills.
    • When writing up your resume keep in mind the culture of the place you are applying to work and try to adapt to that.
    • Working cultures vary hugely across the world so it's important that you can demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the working culture in the country you are applying to work in.[12]
    • If the jobs was advertised in a foreign language you should generally apply in that language.[13]
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    Prepare for your interview. If you are applying for a job abroad there is a reasonable chance that at least the initial interview will be conducted either over the phone or through Skype. If this is the case you should prepare as you would for a face to face interview. Dress up smartly to help get you into the appropriate frame of mind, and consider standing up to keep your voice sounding strong.[14]
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    Conduct yourself appropriately during the interview. If you are going to have an interview in the country you have applied to work in, do some research on interview customs and expectations. For example, if you have an interview in Japan you will bow deeply when you enter the room, but you wouldn't do that in any other country.[15] In China it is not the custom to shake hands when you meet someone so do not initiate a handshake, but if someone offers you their hand follow their lead.[16]
    • If you are in an international business environment there may be a range of nationalities and a mix of customs so pay attention to how people interact.
    • Be sure to check with the Human Resources department of your prospective employer if you are uncertain about the expectations of you for the interview.

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Categories: Job Search | Work World