How to get a job overseas

by Andrea Byaruhanga
March 1, 2021

We’ve all seen it in the movies before. The main character is ready for a new life adventure, so they decide to move to a new country. They grab their passport, pack their bag and they’re off. Before long, they find a job and a nice place to live, and their new life begins!

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. There’s a lot more involved when you want to work and live overseas. You can’t (usually) just walk into a business in a foreign country and convince them to hire you.

If you really want to know how to get a job overseas, keep reading!

How to get a new job overseas

Now, what we describe below isn’t the only way to get a job overseas, of course. However, following these steps will keep your job search organised and as stress-free as possible. 

1. Figure out what you want to do

While it’s great to be flexible, the best thing to do when you’re starting an overseas job search is to have some idea of what you want. Narrowing down the specific type of work you want to do will help clarify the course of action you’ll need to take. For example, you’ll be able to identify the required skills, whether the qualifications differ from those in your country and which countries offer the most opportunities.

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2. Choose a country

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, you should think about where you want to do it. Not every country will have the same job openings and opportunities for foreigners, so make sure to do your research. Knowing where you want to go will allow you to prepare right from the start. For instance, you can make a habit of following industry trends to see whether you’ll be able to find the position you’re looking for.

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3. Start your job search

Now, you can start looking for a job in your country of choice. Just like any job search, you can go about this in a few ways. For example:

  • Regularly check online job boards.
  • Network on social media sites like LinkedIn
  • Do Google searches to locate companies’ websites to see their open positions

4. Begin the visa process

You might find it strange to be applying for a work permit or visa before you have a job offer, but it’s not as unusual as you think. First of all, the approval process can take a while. Second, many companies you apply to work for will turn you away if you don’t already have a permit to work in their country. For these reasons, it’s best to start your application as soon as you can.

The work permit application process is not always straightforward, however. Sometimes, in order to be issued a visa, you’ll need sponsorship from the company you plan to work for. So when you find a company you’re interested in, make sure to inform them of your visa status.

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5. Make sure your CV is specific to the country and job

Depending on which country you plan to work in, the way you format your CV and cover letter will vary. Every country has its own way of doing things. For instance, some countries expect you to include your date of birth and a photo, while others would never request this. 

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6. Submit your job application 

Now that you’ve done all the research and preparation, it’s time to apply. Double-check to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything on your application, hit ‘Send’ and hope for the best!

Some other things to think about

If you’re considering how to get a job overseas, you’re probably full of excitement, imagining all the possibilities – and that’s great! But it’s also important to be realistic. Moving to a new country isn’t always easy, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

Research the country

Before you even think about relocating, you should know as much as you can about the place you want to live:

  • Read everything you can – from travel guides to news websites 
  • See if you can find locals on social media who are willing to have a chat with you to answer some of your questions
  • If possible, travel to the country you’re considering to decide if you can see yourself living there

It’s crucial to know as much as you can about the country’s culture, its customs, work-life balance, languages, climate and more. You might find that your ‘dream destination’ just isn’t a good fit for you after all.

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Learn the language

Depending on where you want to go (and, of course, the job you want), language skills can make or break your job search. In many cases, your job and visa applications won’t even be considered if you can’t demonstrate strong communication skills in the local language. Not to mention, your daily life will be a struggle! 

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Get started today

If you’re already picturing your new life once you get your job overseas, it’s time to get prepared. It’s never too soon to start building up your language skills – from English to German to French to Spanish, Lingoda’s native-speaking teachers are here to help! Take a step toward starting your new life overseas today!