As a foreign job seeker trying to find work in your new country, the odds are stacked up against you. Not only are you competing against other foreign job seekers, but you’re competing against domestic job seekers who share similar skills and experiences. After working with foreign job seekers from all over the world in every type of industry, I have found that the most common excuse these workers use to explain the lack of interview requests is the fact that they don't have “local experience”.
It frustrates me so much when I hear this, and I know how depressing it can be to a foreign worker trying to get a foot in the door of their new country. Rather than being put off or depressed by not having "local experience" (and how hard must it be to put on a brave face and carry on), let’s prepare strategies that can improve the chances of finding a job as a foreign visa holder.
With no local experience you need to become an expert in networking and become an expert ASAP. Use online networking websites such as LinkedIn to make contacts with as many people as you can. Talk to people in your industry and find out comparisons (and differences) between the role you performed in your country of origin and the types of roles you are applying for in your new country. This way you can incorporate this into your resume and interview preparation. The more you understand about your new country, the greater chance you can prepare yourself for finding a new job.
Think outside the square:
There are many ways to search for job openings – don’t get stuck with just applying for roles online. My advice is to seek out hiring managers and people in positions to help you. Don’t be intimidated to approach these people directly. Although there may not be a current role open at their organisation, there is a possibility that they may know of other job openings or other areas within their business that is looking to hire. Finding the perfect job takes time and people appreciate pro-activeness. I have heard of stories of hiring managers keeping resumes in their database for over 12 months before positions come up.
Step away from the computer and begin to enjoy your new country! Again, the more you can learn about your new country, the more help you will have with your job seeking. No matter what your hobbies are, you can always find other people who share the same hobbies and interest. You can begin to gain local experience by participating in extracurricular activities or even by volunteering. This is a great way to begin to gain local experience.
One of the least favourite words a job seeker likes to hear. Patience. Unfortunately, job seeking takes time. Do not get despondent if you can't find immediate success. Moving abroad takes a lot of guts, determination and courage. Be proud of your efforts in doing something that many people wish they could do but never try. Finding success may take time but will definitely be worth it in the long run.
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