Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hunting: A Job Abroad

In an attempt to keep myself motivated in searching for a better means to an end I've compiled a list of a few things I've learned when applying for jobs in a foreign land.

Connecting and Networking

To use the old adage, "It's all about who you know".  Sadly, this is a universally true statement, it's not just about your qualifications; maybe 90% skills and 10% who you know, but that 10% can sometime make or break getting an interview. 
When I first got to England and began looking for work and not just in my field, I met a friend of a friend who worked for a company that was always looking for support staff. I wouldn't have got an interview with them had it not been for this initial contact. In the end I didn't get the job, but now when someone says, "hey, send me your CV I might have something." I put something together as quickly as I can. You never know what it might lead to.


Temp Agencies 
I found temp agencies a great starting off point. They can find you work quickly which helps boots your CV with in-country experience, you now have a local reference and there's no real obligation to stick around once something better comes your way. I currently have a steady job, but I have played with the idea of returning to a temp agency that specializes in my field so that I can maintain some form of consistency when I have to return home.


And also, read this post.

Revamp your CV
It's good practice to tailor your CV to each job you apply, but this is especially important when looking for work abroad. CV's in Europe are formatted slightly different than CV's in the UK which are formatted slightly different that the ones in North America. Do some research as to what are the vital details required on this document. You want to standout, but not for the wrong reasons. 


Spell Check
English is my mother tongue so you'd think that my spelling wouldn't be horribly off (ignore the fact if you know me and know I'm the worst speller in the world). Canadian English is kind of a mash up of American spelling 'ize'-ing everything and British spelling adding 'u' after 'o' in oour words. I'm in England and should be using the British spelling for everything, otherwise it just looks like you didn't spell check, you don't pay attention to detail and you didn't proof read. All bad things when applying to a job.


Don’t give up!
Life is hard sometimes, but don't give up. Everything is an experience and a lesson. I will have moments where I want to break down and cry (and sometimes I do) and take it personally that I didn't even get an interview to the job I knew I was perfect for. Take that moment, but then stop and keep pushing forward.

What would be your tips for job hunting abroad?


  1. I totally agree with it's who you know. I have been temping for a company now for about 6 months and they have finally offered me a contract position. If it wasn't for the fact I had already been working here, I never would have been given a look in! Job hunting is so draining!

  2. Congrats on the contract, Sammy!
    I agree, it is so draining. I do currently have a job, so that's good, but I dream of getting something more relevant to my field and it can just be so discouraging and hard to keep at it.

  3. Wonderful post for someone like me who is still unemployed three weeks plus in town. :( I will be relooking at my CV and those temp agencies

  4. Three weeks is nothing, said the outsider. I know how that can feel though. Do look at temp agencies, if nothing else it gives you something to do with a bit of cash until something better comes along. And register with a bunch. They will all be all promises and big ideas in the beginning, but in reality you have to keep on them to find you something good. :) Good luck to you!


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