If you think applying for a job locally is difficult, expect something exponentially more challenging if you are aiming for a job abroad. The experience can become frustrating and discouraging if you are not prepared for the process. The following are five essential information you must know as you seek employment opportunities in a foreign country.
1. Mindfulness of the time and schedule differences go a long way.
You are the one looking for a job, so you should be the one making the adjustments. Set your time based on your potential employer’s schedule. The time difference factor is not something you should only consider when you actually land a job. You need to be mindful of it when setting interviews or making yourself available. Just because it’s a non-working holiday in your country does not mean the prospective employer should also defer an appointment with you. Copyright: Vasin Leenanuruksa
When you are hired for the job, there’s no way you can expect an employer to honour the holidays and work times followed in your country. Even if it’s a telecommuting setup, you will eventually be bound by the schedule set by the company that hired you.
2. Mastery of internet tools is a must.
Technological advancements have created numerous benefits for job seekers. It would be ridiculous to refuse to take advantage of the online tools or services that aid job search. It bears emphasising, however, that you should not only be using these Internet tools; you need to master them.
- When using job search sites, take the time to learn about their different features. On JobisJob, for example, don’t simply browse through the job opportunities posted. Sign up for an account to get regular updates on relevant job listings. Build your credibility with the job listing site by carefully crafting your resume, list of experiences, and skills set. Use the advanced job search filters. Participate in the forums. Use the JobisJob app to easily check the most recent job postings and access other useful features such as the ability to save job listings so you can submit your application for them later on.
- When it comes to interviews, you will likely be asked to do an interview online. Make sure you know everything important about using a chat or messaging service such as Skype. Know how to set up your camera and microphone so you wouldn’t make the interviewer wait, and so you can easily troubleshoot camera and microphone problems if they occur as you are doing an interview. Get acquainted with file sharing, group chats, and teleconferencing.
- The web browser is also an important software you have to be familiar with. Know how to bookmark pages, add note-taking plugins/extensions to your browser, and use hotkeys (shortcut keys).
- Be familiar with file formats and digitalisation. Don’t be clueless if the interviewer asks you for documents in PDF, XLS, JPG, TIFF, GIF, MP4, and other file formats. Be sure that you know how to convert a physical document into a digital one.
- Additionally, practice your keyboard skills. Aim for a typing speed of at least 65 wpm. There are many online tools that can help you train your fingers to type faster. Being comfortable in using your computer keyboard can be very useful in looking for jobs and doing interviews online. In general, mastering the use of modern tools and services is useful not only in looking for a job but also in becoming an efficient employee especially in an office setting.
3. Localisation is advisable.
Thinking of applying for a job in a country with a totally different language and culture? Consider localising your résumé. You may need to change your spelling or choice of words. When applying at a company in a country that uses US English, remember to switch to the local spelling and terminology (examples: colour>color, lift>elevator).
It is recommended doing this to avoid having your resume tagged for simple “mistakes.” Some companies may automatically cull a list of several applicants by examining the résumés they submit. Those with numerous spelling errors, typos, and other issues may immediately be trashed.
Localisation also applies to your attachments or pages you want to submit along with your application. For example, if you are submitting your portfolio of art or literary works, consider having your attachments or site localised. If you are not sure how to do it properly, you can turn to providers of localization services. It’s going to cost you some amount, but it’s a worthy expenditure for boosting your chances of getting hired.
4. As much as possible, don’t be too adventurous.
If your goal is to build a happy professional and personal life, make sure you choose a foreign workplace that you really like. Choose a place you believe you are professionally and personally suitable. Some people desire to work abroad to experience a new environment without taking important factors such as culture and growth opportunities into account. Eventually, they end up relocating or looking for a “better” workplace.
Do your research. Participate in forums for foreign workers in the area you are considering. Ask for insights from friends or acquaintances. Plan everything and don’t go to a new place without knowing the basics about it. Working abroad is not a tourist adventure. The wrong choices can lead to lifelong adverse repercussions.
5. Foreign transfer and telecommuting can open opportunities to work abroad.
Working abroad does not mean having to leave your job immediately. Your company may provide the option for relocation. If you are one of the best-performing employees, you may be given the opportunity to transfer to a branch or subsidiary overseas. Companies may also do rotational assignments. Inquire how you can access these opportunities.
Telecommuting is also an option. You can work for a company online and eventually earn the chance to step up as an office-based employee abroad if you are able to show that you have a lot to contribute to the organisation.
Be prepared and plan your way into a job abroad. Luck is a factor, but it does not mean there’s nothing you can do to improve your chances of landing a good overseas job. Also, remember that you will have to adapt to new people, a new culture, and possibly a new language.
Author Bio: Sean Hopwood loves languages and connecting people separated by the language barrier. That’s why he launched Day Translations, Inc., a company that provides a comprehensive range of language services for clients across the world. In his free time, Sean engages in activities that demonstrate his passion for education, progress, and positivity. Know more about him at his website and his Facebook.