5 tips on how to find a job in a foreign country3 min read

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How to best use all the available tools and channels to find a proper job abroad

Moving between European countries has probably never been easier. Open border’s policies that allow free movement of people between nations has almost completely eliminated the rigorous procedures one had to take in the past to start living and working abroad.

In Germany, for instance, a simple registration that takes 15 minutes is enough for a person to legally get a job or find a place to stay.

While the administration has been thoroughly simplified, allowing millions to cross borders with ease, relocating to another country usually still brings plenty of hardships. Finding a proper job can prove to be especially daunting. Luckily, there are ways how to significantly boost your prospects of finding one. Let’s look at some of them.

  • Take advantage of online job boards

After a short Google session, you’ll quickly stumble upon different websites that list language-specific jobs. We fell in love with the simplicity and resourcefulness of Europe Language Jobs. The platform is one of the fastest growing and most popular ways how to find a job abroad in Europe. It specializes in matching candidates and companies that are interested in hiring people with knowledge of a particular (their native) language.

The platform is easy to navigate and allows users to quickly filter out jobs that they find most relevant. You can search by language, country, city, and sector. As they point out, more than 20.000 new candidates register on ELJ ever month while 150 new job offers are published daily. Especially popular are jobs for teachers, workers in tourism, and translators.

  • Leverage your network

LinkedIn profile, your primary online CV that everyone can see, should be up-to-date. Explain what are your strong points and how you bring value to any company that might consider hiring you. List all relevant working experience and education that you have acquired. Scour LinkedIn to also find international gigs or just learn what companies expect from the candidates.

Building an “offline” network with other expats is also a good strategy. This way, you might find about foreign-friendly positions like working in hospitality or English education. Use Facebook groups and meetup pages to discover events that are relevant to achieving your goals.

  • Research rules and adjust

Cultural differences are important. Ignoring them and expecting that everything will be exactly as at home can have unwelcome consequences on your job hunt quest. It is, therefore, important to first learn the customs that govern business relationships and then use them to stand out.

This means, for instance, that you should prepare your CV according to the expectations and standards. Be as diligent as possible and research whether you should include the picture, who to address the cover letter to or what are your salary expectations.

Make sure you also fully understand the rules on how to behave when having a 1 on 1 interview. Germans, for instance, highly regard punctuality (this one is probably international but Germans do take it more seriously) while Italians will assess the dress code and use it as one of the evaluation criteria.

  • Learn the (local) language

It is obvious that your chances of landing a good job dramatically increase when you can add a local language to the CV. What is the easiest way to learn one? In addition to enrolling in a language school try to expose yourself to a foreign language in everyday life as well. You can hang out with native speakers, listen to local radio and visit events in the local language.

Learning a language does not only increase one’s employability, but it also enhances travel prospects, brings more money (multilinguals earn 8% more than monolinguals), strengthens cognitive abilities and apparently makes you even more attractive.

  • Don’t be afraid to try

Leaving your home and the comfort it provides almost inevitably brings a certain level of uncertainty and risk. And this can often bring people down. The best advice against being overwhelmed by negativity is to apply some mental jiu-jitsu (mediation and sports help) and convert the “bad energy” into motivation to go out, network or finish that portfolio you have been talking about for weeks.

Last modified: October 19, 2018

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