PART THREE: The International Job Search

What is different about international interviews?

Hi Jason,

The skill set that’s required to succeed in a cross-cultural or international environment is different, and more extensive than for a regular domestic job. Not only does an employee need to know about their field and the practicalities of their job, they must also have excellent cross-cultural communication skills, knowledge of the international goings-on in their industry, an understanding of the issues particular to the region they will be dealing with in the new international position, be highly personally and professionally adaptable, etc.

Can I contact an international employer when they have no job posted?

Hi Tim,

The short answer is: Yes. The international job hunt is an ongoing process, and in all likelihood, you will find that by building professional networks and connecting with international employers and experts in your field, you will begin opening doors to future success. Did you know that most international jobs are never actually posted to the public? Word of mouth, networks and personal connections are still important for professional success, even in this interconnected, online word.

Is international experience only important for international business and diplomacy jobs?

Hi Ana-Maria,

A significant proportion of US-based jobs already require international experience, and the trend is only getting bigger. With each year, Internet technologies move us further and further towards a new global economy, and students in all fields are going to have better job prospects if they have international skills when they graduate. Almost every profession will soon require workers to have global career skills.

Can I trust this job offer from Spain?

You should definitely question this offer. There are similar situations in which unsuspecting new employees are asked to process financial transactions to ensure their position. This, of course, turns out to be fraud. Your offer contains none of the normal parameters expected from an international employer. Even though it looks attractive, you should proceed with much caution and undertake a thorough background check, including references from other recruits. My first reaction would be to ignore this “to good to be true” offer.

How much research should I do before traveling to find work in Italy?

Thanks for your question, Paloma. I need to start off with a warning: Don’t limit yourself to one country! It's almost impossible to do a country-specific job search unless you are looking for low-skilled work in the service or retail industries. If you're looking for professional work, you'll need to do a sector-specific job search with North American organizations (private firms, NGOs, or government). When looking for an international job, the most important approach is to stay open and flexible.

How can I satisfy my career goals abroad when moving from the USA to Germany with my German boyfriend?

I have bar membership in two states and will soon be starting my career as a lawyer. My partner is from Munich and I’d like to move there with him for a period of time. I don’t want to start all over and qualify as a lawyer in Germany, but I’m determined to do something I am passionate about. I don’t like corporate law, so working with a big American firm’s Munich office doesn’t excite me. How would you suggest I explore work possibilities? What can I do besides teach English? I feel that I have more to offer than that at this point in my life.