Finding a job abroad can be a real challenge, at least it was for me. Firstly, there is always a lot of competition, people who have years and years of experience are applying to the same position as you are and also language can be a barrier. Secondly, based on my experiences, in some countries, for example, the US, a lot of the companies are still not open to employing foreigners mostly because of the large amount of money they have to pay for work and internship visas. Also, the hiring process is longer than usual because of all the bureaucracy. So if you’re considering moving to the US, you have to be aware of all of that. If you want to find a job in Germany, you have to be prepared that most of the companies are looking for someone who is fluent in German and if you are that person then you’re lucky and you already have a big advantage!
However, don’t let these obstacles scare you. It’s challenging but it’s worth it at the end, believe me! You will also learn a lot in the meantime and maybe start to notice stuff about yourself that you haven’t in the past. I definitely learned how to be more patient with the things I want to achieve in my life and also that being confident about myself and my work experience is one of the most important aspects while looking for a new opportunity.
In this article, I want to shortly overview all the steps that can help you find a job internationally and don’t worry, I will go over every step in detail in the following blog posts. Even if you’re looking for a new job in your home country, you can easily use this information and start that career you’ve always wanted.
1.Get your LinkedIn Profile, Resume, Cover Letter and Portfolio ready for job search
First things first, before you start looking for a job, you have to make sure that your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and your LinkedIn profile are on point (I will prepare a separate blog post on how to create an attractive resume and cover letter). Most probably you will have to edit a cover letter a couple of times along the way and adjust it for different companies, but that’s all the part of the job search.
Having an impressive LinkedIn Profile is also a big important first step towards getting the job you’ll always wanted. Most of the companies today are present and active on LinkedIn and they are checking new potential employees all the time, so you have to take time and really build a good profile with relevant information. As a part of this step, I would also recommend preparing an email template that you can send to the companies you want to apply to directly, including a short introduction about yourself and why are you so interested in working there. Don’t forget to attach a resume, cover letter, and portfolio (if you have it).
2.Best Job Search Websites
Ok, now you have all the documents ready. It’s time to start looking at different job search websites. Whether you want to find a job in Europe or overseas, LinkedIn will always be your number one friend. LinkedIn is a great platform where you can connect with people from different industries and different backgrounds and start building your network. Their job search tool is easy to use and job listing is updated daily.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity in the US, I would also recommend using Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Google for Jobs. These are all very user-friendly and include job postings for different industries and positions.
For finding a job in Europe, Linkedin, Glassdoor and Indeed are your best options. For most of these job search engines, you will have to sign up and create a profile where you can put more information about yourself and attach relevant documents, so it will be easier for you to apply and to be found by your potential new employer.
3. Job & Career Trade Fairs
Many people don’t consider going to a job trade fair when they’re looking for a new job opportunity but it can actually be a really useful thing to do. It helped me find my internship in Chicago. At the job trade fairs, you can directly introduce yourself and chat with potential employers, you will receive information about the company firsthand and get to know what their interests are and what do you need to consider when applying.
Right now, in the Coronavirus time, it is a bit difficult to actually attend events like this, because of all the restrictions but it is definitely something you can consider doing after the situation gets better again.
On the other hand, it can be a bit tricky when you, for example, live in Europe and you want to find a job in the US but simply cannot afford a trip there just because you want to visit a job trade fair. So it might not be for everyone, but if you’re able to do that, then that’s what I would highly recommend you to do.
When I visited Chicago for the 2nd time, I stayed there for 2 months and I was attending Project Management Course. In my free time, I was really focused on finding the new job there and found out it would be a good thing to attend a job fair. Chicago's Technology & Entrepreneurship Center called 1871 hosted the Internship fair and it was for free. I spend the day there, networking with different companies and 2 weeks later I got an interview invitation from one of the digital agencies.
You have to be ready for an event like this, but I’m planning to write a whole blog post about this topic in the future.
4. Contact companies via email, phone or over LinkedIn
Like I mentioned before, LinkedIn is your best friend, when you’re applying for a new job. You can start contacting people directly through this platform. Find people who are in the same industry as you are and companies that you want to work for. Start a conversation with their employees and ask if they are currently looking for someone with the experiences that you have. People usually do respond and even if you don’t get the answer you wanted, it can be a good connection to have for the future.
When I was looking to work in US and later in Germany, I also contacted different companies via email. Send them a short unsolicited introduction with your resume, cover letter and portfolio. Let them know that you’re interested. If they don’t reply, you can always send them a follow-up email a few days later. You can also give them a call and ask if they have any new positions open in your area of expertise.
5. Be patient and confident about yourself
The last and probably most important step is that you have to be patient and confident about yourself when you’re looking for a job abroad. It took me 6 months before I got the job in Chicago and 4 months before I received a skype interview invitation for a new opportunity in Germany. It is not always like that and people can get jobs internationally pretty quickly too but you have to be mentally prepared for everything. It is always good to have support from family and friends. They can lift you up when you’re ready to give up and it’s important not to. Something amazing will come to you along the way and you will get what you deserve! In the end, everything will be worth it, I promise.
These are the 5 steps that I took when I was looking for a job abroad. You will have to put a lot of time and effort into searching for the perfect gig, but that just the way it is. Don’t give up and if you ever need any advice or more information about these different steps, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or just leave a comment down below.
More posts are coming…