How to Conduct an International Job Search

Working overseas is an exciting opportunity; however, you need to know how to conduct an international job search to succeed.

Working overseas is increasingly sought after by professionals, especially graduating students or those who have been in the industry for many years and want an exciting change.

Unfortunately, many job seekers find overseas job hunting confusing and complex. Job hunters can relieve this feeling if they research before beginning the job search process.


Searching for an international job is much like searching for a local position. It involves planning and effort; after all, “looking for a job is a job.” Job hunting can cause tension and anxiety, so it helps to think of the search as a challenge and a great learning experience.

Before undertaking your job search, be sure to read and research to find opportunities. Talk to international recruitment or placement firms to learn about job possibilities and obstacles you may face during your search.

There are unique considerations in conducting an international job search. The market is extremely competitive. While some job seekers will land jobs with ease, many will need to be persistent and thorough to get what they desire. To be successful, you must be determined not to give up.

Here are some important points to consider and research before you begin your search:

Foreign Language Skills:

Depending on what country and what type of company you are applying to work for, you may be required to speak the native language. Knowledge of the language required could range from possessing basic skills to being fluent. This is a definite necessary qualification to check into before applying for a position.

Networking Application Procedures:

Before beginning the application process, it is wise to research what will be required from you. Some application procedures can be lengthy and involved, so it is best to look into what is needed in documents, records, and qualifications beforehand.

Overseas Experience:

Some hiring companies prefer to hire professionals who have already worked overseas in the past. With that being said, there are plenty of opportunities for new professionals or those new to working overseas. To avoid culture shock and feelings of homesickness, make sure to research the areas you are interested in working.

Read both the positives and the negatives to ensure that you will be comfortable adjusting. Within a country, focus on specific areas that interest you the most. This will help narrow down your job search and ensure that you will like the area you are sent to.

Differences in Resumes and Correspondence:

Before sending in your resume and other documents, it is proactive to research the proper format for your career documents in certain countries.

Requirements for resumes definitely differ from country to country, including style, content, and formatting. To get your documents noticed by the hiring committee, take the time to find out what they’re looking for.

Interview Process:

The interviewing process can be quite different than a local hiring process. Interviews are often conducted over the phone, via the web, or regular face-to-face interviews with travel agents connected to the company. These interviews will normally be conducted in a hotel and may require you to travel to a nearby city.

Visas and Work Permits:

Next, you will have to look into applying for the correct visa or work permit to work legally. Some countries and companies will specify which permit is necessary; ask your hiring contact beforehand. There is a variety of visas and permits.

Check with the company to confirm you are getting the correct one. It takes time to process your visa, so give yourself enough time, as you will not enter most countries without one.

Salaries, Taxes, and the Cost of Living:

When looking for a job overseas take into account the cost of living. Many countries may offer quite low salaries but could have low costs of living and tax rates. Some companies will offer to pay for your room and board, which will allow your salary to go towards food and spending money.

Finding employment is not the only way to expand your overseas experience and not the only way to build your skills. Studying and traveling can be a marvelous way to follow your interests overseas while gaining credentials future companies will value.

Check industry or trade journals, which list available employment opportunities. Ensure your resume and cover letter are up to date and position you to secure an international job.

Have you landed an international opportunity before?

Do you have any tips you can share? Comment below!

If you need additional help, reach out to Candace for assistance.