Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tips For The Expat Job Hunter

I recently told you guys a bit about my job hunt, right? I honestly couldn't have done it without loads of patience, preparation, and making the best of my American experiences in a foreign country.

Every interview I had always brought up the fact that I had never worked in the UK before. Well, you gotta start somewhere, right?!

If you're on the hunt for employment in a foreign country (and have the legal right to... duh), here are 5 tips to help you out!

1. Register with a job agency - I started off doing a lot of applying online and a few people suggested I submit my CV on job sites. However, I also had a lot of luck with a local job agency! They find jobs that aren't necessarily listed online at all and can give you some great pointers about the interview process or your CV. But definitely do your research! Don't just register with anyone. Find an agency that's right for you that works with the types of jobs you are seeking. Obviously, make sure you have your legal right to work in your new country first.

2. Turn your resume into a CV - Did you see the post I did for the Expat Hub? If not, check it out! It's all about how I turned my American resume into a CV! I definitely recommend doing this if you plan on submitting anything to potential employers. It just shows that you took a bit of initiative to do the UK norm.   

3. Get e-mail references - Probably the best bit of advice. If you do anything, seriously, do this. Before my working visa was even approved, I was nervous that no one would hire me because I only had international references. A friend of mine recommended I get a hold of some former bosses, managers, and/or colleagues and have them email me professional references (and include their email address in it). I printed them out and was able to give them to my interviewer. Whether or not they checked the reference (by emailing them), I have no idea. But again, showing a little initiative never hurts!

4. Practise writing/typing with the native spelling (even if it's not your favourite thing to do) - Do as I say, not as I do! I'm not very good at typing in British English. Then again, I don't try very hard to catch myself doing it either. Oops... Someone get on my case please. No but seriously, make sure you practise typing the way your employer would want you to. Sending important emails are going to be no fun if you can't spell correctly!

5. Prepare for harsher questions about your skills - That sounds mean. I'm sorry. But it's what I experienced during a lot of my interviews over here. It's not like they're being discriminatory; it's more like they're trying to find a weakness like they would with anyone they were interviewing. I got questions like, "How do we know you want this job and aren't just looking for any job to be your 'first UK job'?" or "Do you feel your communication skills are strong enough for this position?" Just have confidence and think ahead in case anything like this comes up.

And then..... When you finally do get a job.... Sorry.

First world problems....

Do you have any tips for expats job hunting in their new home?

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