In becoming an international professional, one of the most difficult dilemmas you’ll face is how to successfully win your first job offer through the many stages of interviews. In order to apply for roles all over the world, you need to establish a profile as an avid and knowledgeable traveling professional. Here’s how you can do that.
Job applications should always be squarely focused on the employer’s requirements. Employers want someone that is confident and capable in their role, passionate for success, and readily available to commence work. Does your resume currently achieve that? As someone who is applying internationally, you have additional advantages and disadvantages to consider. To begin with, most companies appreciate diversity in culture and skillsets – something you’re likely to offer. However, companies can also be apprehensive in hiring without a face-to-face meeting. The latter is where you need to ensure you have a water-tight strategy; if any doubts are introduced about your capability to conduct an international interview or relocation, you’ll be selling yourself short.
To emphasise your eagerness to relocate for your new employer, everything about you must scream “my bags are packed!”. This means you’ll need to update a few things to reflect your future plans, including:
– the cover letter you send to employers
– your CV/resume
– your LinkedIn profile
Create an international resume
Your resume or CV will need some important additions. As it will be difficult for employers to see you in person, you need to convey a clear image of yourself and how accessible you are. A good recommendation is to include a professional but charismatic photo of yourself, next to a link to a short but friendly bio video. To demonstrate how approachable you are, include a skype address with your international phone number, alongside your location and timezone. Your timezone is important as you don’t want recruiters to be calling you at all hours of the night, which can be a rough experience. I once conducted a pre-interview at 3am local time, without any prior warning.
Next, as part of your summarised first page profile, include information on your work arrangements, career goals and passions. If you already have a work permit in your intended place of work, include this prominently as it will work in your favour. If not, check if you’re eligible and mention it anyway – you can discuss the details when you receive the interview invitation. As for your profile description, begin by focusing on what is unique about you, your techniques, your skill set that the employer will value, and sets you apart from other candidates. Continue as normal by describing your passions and career goals.
Lastly, be sure to include any information of prior career relocations or client trips to showcase your prior professional travel. Anything that shows your experience in traveling professionally is perfect.
To demonstrate the ideal international resume layout, I’ve created a fantastic template for you. I have used this myself to successfully land a number of positions all over the world. Get your copy below.
Reword your cover letter
While not every company requires a cover letter, it’s important that you supply one where possible. Every recruiter has different criteria they look for, and you need to have every angle covered for a flawless application. Your cover letter should bear resemblance to the theme in your resume profile summary. However, it should include more personal details about:
- Your motivation for applying for the role
- Your reasons for relocating (it’s for travel and adventure, right?)
- A brief blurb of your recent relevant experience
- The value you eagerly expect to add to their company
- Your (estimated) firm arrival date in their location (remember, your bags are packed!)
Polish your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is an important public display of your professional self. In most industries, it’s also great way to attract recruiter contacts, effectively bringing job opportunities to you. A good profile can net you anywhere from a couple of messages a month to several a week. In many ways, your LinkedIn profile provides prospective employers with more detail than your resume does. A resume is focused on experience and skills. LinkedIn takes this further by including the groups you follow, your connections, your latest updates and more.
To improve your prominence in search results, be sure to include all detail from your resume. However, transform your LinkedIn profile into an international profile by adding:
- Future plans for travel, including candidate locations
- Professional interests, and relevant personal interests
- Companies and large discussion groups that match your areas of expertise
- Linking or commenting on articles that show your passion and capabilities
As your LinkedIn profile is public, be careful not to reveal too much about your intention to relocate – you don’t want to surprise your current employer. Use flexible phrases such as “In the future” and “My goal is to”, which indicate that one day you’d like to relocate and not necessarily actively looking. Above all else, try to be active on LinkedIn with as much time as you can reasonably spare. LinkedIn is a useful professional networking and profile tool that will return your time investment by delivering good knowledge and exposure within your field.
Overall, there is much value in transforming your resume, cover letter and online profile. In doing so, you will certainly establish the profile of a charismatic and attractive international candidate. If your target organisations are open to international staff and your skills match the applied role, you’ll be sure to receive a call. Good luck!