Landing a job in a good economy has always been difficult. With changes in the job search paradigm, finding a job today is even more difficult than ever before. Getting hired abroad today, is about as challenging a task as you’ll find; but take heart, it’s not impossible. If you are looking for a job in a foreign land, you should take heed to the advice I’m about to share. The endeavor will require skill, out of the box thinking and likely a concerted effort. You will not likely find a job by spraying your resume to hundreds of job postings through multiple job boards.
As an important side note, the days of using one resume to apply to every job have ended, not just here in the United States, but everywhere. Job seekers, I ask you to please stop treating job submissions as one size fits all. Update your strategies and win the position you really want.
Are you ready for the three step process? The solution to finding your new job on foreign soil is as simple as:
- Study the Local Job Market and Fill A Void
- Visit / Relocate the Desired Location
- Networking with Professionals from that Area
Let’s take a closer look at each as I break down some specifics on how to implement the strategy in detail.
Study the Local Job Market and Fill A Void
One of the first principals in college I learned was one of supply and demand. I remember sitting in a business class and hearing about how price was set by these two factors. When supply is low and demand is high, the economic factors allow for higher prices. Conversely when demand is low and supply is high, the economy dictates that prices will fall and be low. Why in a post about jobs, am I talking about price? Because the hiring process for foreign workers is similar to the model I just described.
Consider a local market flooded with skilled pastry chefs. When a bakery or restaurant is looking to hire, they have a large selection of local talent and can pay relatively low wages to fill their opening. They don’t have to pay top dollar because they have a lot of readily available laborers to choose from. A foreign applicant, especially one that requires sponsorship and other acquisition costs has very slim to no chance of penetrating into this market as a pastry chef.
The outlook would be much different if we change the scenario however and the same local market now finds itself with sparsely any pastry chefs and a local restaurant or bakery needs to fill an opening. The chefs available in the local market can demand a higher wage. This is where a foreign worker has a good chance to win a job. Especially if the overall cost of acquiring the foreign worker is lower in total, than hiring the local applicants.
Research is Key
If you want to relocate to a foreign field, look for areas where your talents are in short supply. As you can see from the chef analogy, supply is a big factor in winning a job when you’re from out of the area. Where do you find the data? Researching can be done a wide variety of platforms. Use Google, ask Alexa, search on LinkedIn or Wikipedia. There are many places to check and see what industries are hot in a market, and where labor is in short supply. Doing the research will take a bit of work, but it isn’t hard work.
I just typed in “What jobs are in short supply in California” into Google and it told me something I already knew. Skilled construction jobs are in dire need of qualified laborers to fill them. If you’re looking to come to the USA and have construction experience, you are sitting on a golden ticket.
Want to move to the UK? If you are an Engineer, Nurse, Developer, Recruiter, Teacher, Administrator or Chef, you’re in high demand. Let’s say you’re in South Africa and you want to move to the UK, but you don’t have any of these skills. Pick the one you like best and start taking on-line courses, or perhaps training in your local market as an apprentice. Work on getting experience and start applying to entry level jobs in the foreign market.
Knowing what jobs are in demand and working towards building your resume can make a huge difference in your attempt to relocate.
Visit / Relocate the Desired Location
Beyond Research, a great way to get hired in a foreign field is to visit or move there, if you can, before you have the job. Why? Building rapport in an interview is much easier in person than on line. Nearly every employer wants to get to see a potential candidate in person before they make the decision to hire. There are a lot of answers to questions about communication, culture and aptitude that can be answered or satisfied with non verbal communication. A foreign candidate brings higher risk than local candidates for failure because of homesickness and cultural differences.
An interview done in person allows the employer to not only get to know yo
u, but assures them that you know the area. If you’ve visited the area and you’re there for the interview, you have a higher chance of landing the job. That remains true, even if you have yet to finish the visa process.
Visiting or relocating also allows you to get a true feel for what you’re looking at. What does it cost to live in the new area? How will you get to work? How do the locals treat people from other parts of the world? What kind of worship, school, recreation and commerce options are there in the area you’re thinking of relocating to. You should check into this not only for cost reasons, but also to help minimize the chance that you will actually enjoy the area you’re thinking of moving to. One major risk companies take when hiring foreign labor, is the chance that homesickness will get an employee to resign. On boarding is expensive and time consuming. You can help minimize this risk for everyone, by visiting or relocating before you take a new job.
Networking with Professionals from that Area
Visiting is expensive and relocating is nearly impossible if you’re unemployed, but this next idea is free and everyone should do it. Network like your livelihood depends on it. Seriously, you need to make as many good connections as you can, with people from the area you want to live. You should also work on connecting with people in your desired field. In the era of social media, this is not hard to do.
First, search for groups in both categories (region and vertical market) on LinkedIn, SPN, Facebook and other platforms. Join them and start engaging in conversation. You want to make friends. The new friends can help with all kinds of information and they can even help give you insight into who’s hiring.
Do more research. Who have you worked with in the past, or gone to school with that has relocated to that area? Who do you interact with now, that had previously lived in that area? These people can be tapped for information and provide very helpful insights.
You should also look through your business contacts and try to identify people who are from the area you want to be. Seek out advice on everything from where to live, what pitfalls to avoid, recommendations on where to live and more. The better you get to know contacts, you can ask for references and even see if they can get you hired on at their companies. People like to help their friends, especially when it doesn’t cost them any money. Look for ways to help those who you want help from. Win-win relationships will always produce more fruit than when you’re simply standing with your hand out.
Study, Visit, Connect and Get Hired!
Getting the job is as easy as one, two, three. One, study the area. Two, visit or relocate to the place you want to work. Three, connect to as many business professionals in the foreign market as you can. If you follow these steps, you have a great chance of being hired.