Many of today’s young graduates often go abroad to work and develop their professional careers. It is no longer a dream to pack up and go to a different country or a continent and start anew as a professional.
However, one notable difficulty is finding the said employment. Employers are prone to hiring people whom they can talk to and relate. Local professionals will take precedent over newly-arrived foreigners most of the time.
We said “most of the time” because it is possible to land a position reasonably quickly if you play your cards right. It all falls to the resume you send in your application form. Let’s take a look at several important factors and tips to consider when writing a resume for an international employer somewhere abroad.
The Key Difference
One of the significant obstacles of applying for work in an international environment is the cultural difference present in your application. Depending on where you would like to work and live, you should prepare for some adjustments to your personal and professional life.
The same rule applies to your resume and the subsequent application form you will present as your official ticket to international employment. Not everyone will be welcoming of foreigners, no matter the country you target. People in China, Russia, Germany or Greece may not be interested in hiring someone from India, Japan, Spain or even the USA.
The only rule to this is that there are no rules – it is all based on individual internal cultures of each company. It is far easier to land a job at a local company than it is at an international one. We will thoroughly name and expand on significant issues; opportunities and advice which can help you get hired in these situations in the following points.
Different Cultures, Different Expectations
Each country possesses a cultural ideology specific to that region. A Japanese company has very different expectations and general rules about their employee’s profiles than a German one would. Unfortunately, the first thing your future employer will notice about your resume is your country of origin.
To that end, it is important to gauge your own “appeal” to that particular company. Is a Swedish programmer necessary in a Canadian startup? Why would someone want to hire “you” if they can hire someone local to do your job for them with fewer growing pains?
Keep in mind that the company you apply for will have to adjust to your country’s culture just like you will have to do the same for them. The first step in improving your resume for an international company is to figure out where that company is, and how the internal culture works.
Choose Your Target Company
Not every company in your target industry and country will want to hire international employees – it is a simple matter of convenience. Be prepared to get polite, negative responses from a lot of these companies. Their businesses are usually not developed sufficiently to accommodate an international work environment (yet). Focus on the companies with foreign subsidiaries, mixed internal culture, and a cross-cultural ideology.
Companies such as Coca-Cola vary in their employee’s profiles and ideologies. However, smaller enterprises with several dozen employees on the roster will be unlikely to hire you due to obvious reasons. Don’t let this fact discourage you and only turn your head to the companies that matter to you as an international employee.
Once you narrow your list of companies, make sure to go through their job openings and expectations. Seemingly similar opportunities might have huge differences based on a single line of the job description.
As you narrow your list further, you will be able to start writing your resume for those specific countries, companies, and positions respectively.
Translation and/or Localization
To go the extra mile, make sure to consider translating your resume for added effect. Many employers like to see international candidates who are forthcoming and knowledgeable of their local culture.
You can translate and localize your resume from its native language (usually English) into some different styles based on your needs. It’s good practice to check out The Word Point as it represents a website for translation of 40+ languages. You will find a professional translation expert willing to help you write an effective resume in the language of your choice if you are not proficient at it.
While it is a good idea to do it yourself (which is the entire point), some help is always appreciated, even for small editing purposes. Use every tool at your disposal to prepare your resume for a favorable reception from the international company to which you chose to apply.
Your Personality Traits
What separates you from local employment candidates isn’t the education or expertise itself. Most programmers, designers or even medical personnel share the same skills and attributes as their overseas colleagues. The difference lies solely in your personality traits, dreams, goals, opinions and individual contributions to the company.
This is the point of the resume you should emphasize no matter what country you are targeting. International employees love adding “exotic” team players to their organizations because they change things up and make the work environment more dynamic.
Don’t focus solely on your professional experience and development. Even a simple hobby such as horse riding can go a long way to paint a vivid picture of who you are to your potential employer.
Linguistic Expertise is a Must
International employment usually entails different languages as a must. You need to be able to communicate in the language that the company considers native. For example, a native English employer won’t hire a French data analyst if the said analyst doesn’t speak or understand a word of English.
Additionally, the more languages you speak, the higher your chances of employment will be. International companies love to see bilingual candidates who aspire to move to a different country and work in their respective fields. So, it might be a good idea to start learning a new language or two. Especially if you plan on applying for work in a company outside your country.
Career Development Details
Your personality takes center stage when it comes to international job applications. However, your career development represents the “meat and potatoes” of why you should get the position over someone else.
Education, employment and references play a considerable role in whether or not someone will hire you. This goes both for local and international jobs. To that end, make sure to review the company’s standards when accepting resumes before you apply.
Some companies like to see historical events of your life leading up to the point of your application. Others prefer focusing on important “milestones” in your career without additional details. Make sure that you understand what is expected of you before you add unnecessary details or omit important ones.
Include Contact Information
To contact an international employee, an employer should have access to specific information. For example, a phone call wouldn’t work for obvious reasons, so what else is there? You should include your email address as well as the address of residence.
Make sure to link any social accounts to your resume for added discrepancy and transparency in applying for new work. You would be amazed as to how much a Facebook account and a LinkedIn profile can help in you getting hired.
This type of forward thinking is uncommon when candidates apply for work in their local area. Since it isn’t necessary to go beyond what companies request, candidates offer barebones contact information. Give your employer as many options as possible when it comes to contacting you. You will appear forthcoming and willing to go outside the box to get hired.
Calls to Action Help
A bonus in international resumes can be to include CTAs in your application. Calls to action in resumes work differently than their digital marketing counterparts. You need to be subtle and inviting about your CTAs if you want the employer to follow up on them.
For example, a “click here” wouldn’t be as effective as “check out my work over at…” with a link attached to it. Your calls to action need to be organic and serve the purpose of representing your persona such as it is, both professionally and on online platforms.
Don’t overindulge in CTAs and limit them to one-to-two per page. If placed correctly, they will ensure that you are a viable candidate for whatever opening you are applying.
In Conclusion, An Understanding Goes a Long Way
One of the biggest reasons for a negative response to international job candidates is a lack of mutual understanding. Some candidates misunderstand or misinterpret culturally-affected requirements and questions. This leads to confusion on the company’s side and an inevitable refusal of the employment application.
Take every language and country-specific requirement into consideration before applying for international work. If you play your cards right, you can easily land a job abroad. From there, it’s simple to really develop your professional career somewhere far away.