Happy Monday fellow dreamers!
In today's latest addition to my expat series, I wanted to share 4 quick tips that can help when searching / applying for jobs overseas. Like many of you, while working to build my own dream (in my case the QAC webstore), I realized very quickly that keeping my career / day job was still a necessity. I mean let's be real, 9 times out of 10, living solely off your passions right out the gate is extremely difficult, especially if you're living a grown ass life, LOL! Since announcing my move to the Middle East, I've gotten so many questions seeking advice on how I made my recent career move.
For starters, some of the benefits of moving and working abroad include:
- Improved Finances / Savings - Especially if you're paid well in an inexpensive city / country
- Better Work-life Balance - Many countries outside the U.S promote extended paid time off
- Paid Housing - Depending on where your offer, free housing could be a very real benefit of joining a company.
Check out my recent vlog on my free living space in Qatar below!
That said, what better time than now to share what I've learned so far. Check out these easy tips, that can make you more marketable and help you in your search!
Update your Resume & Cover Letters
Like any job, you can't apply if you aren't ready. Using straightforward resume tips can help you avoid classic mistakes and elevate your resume from the bottom of any pile. Also, while creating a unique resume for each job sector might be time consuming, it'll help ensure your resume and descriptors are catering to the specific job at hand. Be sure to add things that would make yourself appear more desirable in the global marketplace - Have you traveled overseas before? ... Speak another language? ... Work with any specific populations? ... Live in a diverse community / neighborhood? Don't be afraid to play up you skills or life experiences to market yourself. What makes you different than the 1 million other people in your field? Share that!
Pro-tip: I know tons of people who struggle with, and honestly avoid writing a cover letter. Huge mistake. While two resumes may look alike? Your cover letter, basically two paragraphs telling your job / career path in story form, is what will separate you. Good experiences or bad, everyone has a career journey. Make yours personal, mention the company's mission, and tell the quick story of why your the man / woman for the job.
Get on LinkedIn
Yes, for many millennials LinkedIn is considered a social media dinosaur. Well I'm here to put that misconception to bed. SO many job offers and first contacts from hiring managers are being made through LinkedIn. Think of it like your personal Facebook account, but for your career. Like your resume, you want to keep your profile as up-to-date as possible with all of your recent accomplishments front and center. On LinkedIn, you can also specify your job industry ... Link to any written work you've published online ... Upload images of your creative work ... Share relevant articles in your niche ... Search / apply for jobs ... And more. While admittedly I am on this platform much less than others, keeping my profile fully updated and current continues to bring opportunities my way, whether I'm in the market for a new job / career or not. Still not convinced? Just know, 7 of my new overseas coworkers were recruited via LinkedIn in the past 6 months .. Trust me, it really does go down in the DMs! ... Don't sleep.
Tweek Traditional Job Search Engines
Many of you have probably already use or are familiar with job sites like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com and are probably thinking, yeah, how is this new? For years people have been using sites like these to apply to jobs / careers in their local area. In searching for a possible international option, I decided to search for my current career by name, then tweak the location by adding the name of the country or international city (rather than state) I was interested in. It's amazing how many international jobs are listed ... And even more amazing how many people don't utilize the search functions in this way. Like google searches, these sites are optimized to show you results in your local state / country, but with a bit of effort you have have it show you so much more.
As a pro-tip? I took my search a step further by creating a free account on a job posting site called Indeed. I then uploaded my newly updated resume to the site to assist others in finding me and kept looking. Remember to post the version of your resume that most closely aligned for the job you're looking for. That said? Just two weeks later, while sitting at my desk hating my current work space, I was contacted via email by a recruiter from London inquiring if I were interested in a medical position in the Middle East. The rest is history.
Contact a Job Placement Agency
This last one I suggest you use with caution. While in the scenarios above, the recruiter was paid by a major company searching for employees ... Here? You are reaching out to job placement / recruiting companies yourself, possibly footing the bill for their outreach efforts in connecting you with hiring companies. In the initial stages of my recruitment process, I found many instances where people paid large sums of money to so-called recruiters or agencies only to never receive assistance. Again, while some have found success using this method, I would definitely use this option with caution. Also note, this doesn't mean not to "shoot your shot" with recruiters on say LinkedIn. I know a few that have and have been quite successful. What I am saying? If they start asking you for money? Flag on the play ... Ask questions. I paid nothing to the London recruiter who reached out to me. Rather my new company paid the firm (and ultimately her) once I started the job.
Alright loves that's all for now. I hope these tips are helpful! As I mentioned, in each step of the application process, make sure to vet and research ALL aspects ... From the company you'd like to work for ... To the recruiter / HR rep you ultimately connect with.
Questions, Comments? Feel free to leave them down below ... Part 3 of my "Expat Series" coning soon ... And as always, The Journey Continues!