Job searches are never without their difficulties, and if you’re hoping to find a job overseas in another country the task can feel even more daunting. Not only do you have to deal with the built-in stress of job hunting itself, but you also have consider the logistics and costs of moving overseas which could easily put off even the most adventurous of girls who want to go international. But if you have your mind made up and are ready to take the leap to finding a job and moving overseas, we have a few tips that can help you with the process.
Will You Need A CV or a Resume?
First things first, you need to understand the culture of the job market that you’re trying to break into. For example, in the UK and in the EU you’ll be asked to apply using a CV (curriculum vitae). But in Australia, Germany and throughout the Americas and Asian countries you’ll typically be asked to apply with a resume. So what’s the difference? A CV is a full record of your professional career. It will showcase your entire work history, all of your credentials and affiliations and can be several pages long.
A resume, on the other hand, is typically limited to 1 or 2 pages and is a concise record of your relevant work history and competencies. You also need to be aware of another major difference when applying to a job in another country: while in the EU, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East it is a common practice to include a photo on your resume or CV, it is absolutely frowned upon in places like the USA, the UK, Mexico, Australia and in many African countries. This is because including a photo can lead to bias and discrimination in the hiring process, and doing so could actually reflect poorly on you in the eyes of the hiring manager.
Play Up Your Skills
Do you speak languages other than your native tongue? Have you ever worked or negotiated with foreign companies? Ask yourself if there are any skills that you might not already have listed on your CV or resume that may be sought after overseas. If you have not worked abroad before, this part is key to showing employers what skill set you can offer. A great way to get your foot in the door and get a working visa in another country is by teaching English; some countries have a high demand for English tutors and they don’t always require a teaching certification before arrival.
Use Your Unique Connections and Resources
You should never underestimate the power of networking! Reach out to your former professors, colleagues and friends and family who may have made an international move themselves. Our Girls Gone International communities are also a great place to ask questions and look for job leads. Many of our local Facebook communities host weekly or monthly threads where people promote their businesses, projects and often post job leads. There are also quite a few career paths you could follow that are fully remote, which would give you the liberty to move abroad and do your work from anywhere.
Share Your International Perspectives
Did you study abroad for a semester? Have you worked with people from different international backgrounds? Or maybe you worked at a summer language camp? Well, now’s your time to shine! These are just some of the scenarios you can play up on your resume or CV to highlight how you have overcome language or cultural barriers, or how coursework or other activities helped you gain a better understanding of a local language or culture. Even something as simple as mentioning that you’ve worked with people in different time zones can work wonders to showing your ability to adapt and collaborate.
Be Aware of Challenges
Making the transition to living and working abroad is not without its challenges; you might only be working abroad temporarily, or you may find yourself facing a more permanent move. A lot of moving parts can be overwhelming so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do as much research beforehand as possible and figure out basics like transportation and living arrangements before you arrive. Sort out your finances — open an account with an international bank, one that we recommend (especially if you plan on doing frequent money transfers to an account back home) is Transferwise. And remember, even if you’re moving to a country with a lower cost of living you still have responsibilities, so be honest with your employer about your financial requirements and as always, negotiate your salary.
By Vianessa Castaños
Vianessa is a producer, actor and culture & lifestyle writer whose love of history and gastronomy has propelled her to travel the world…until she eventually landed at Girl Gone International where she serves as Deputy Editor.