Moving to a new country to work is a very thrilling and super exciting experience but when it comes to looking for a job I know from experience that it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. When you first start your job hunt you might find it way harder (or maybe easier 😉 than you thought it would be.
Because I’ve been moved countries a few times I’ve gained the experience of applying for different jobs and on my way I have picked up on a few things that tend to work for me and those around me.
I’d want to share them with you to hopefully make life abroad a bit easier as you start out.
Tips and tricks to get the job
1. Keep a well organised and proof-read CV.
Make sure your CV is in order before you start handing it out. Keep it simple, if you’ve worked a lot don’t put everything you’ve ever done in the CV. Keep it pointed to your experience in the area you’re applying within.
Keep your long a brief explanation of your responsibilities at each job. Relate your skills to the job you are applying for. If you’re looking for a job in a fast paced restaurant then being able to carry three plates and stress resistance should be highlighted.
If you have the country’s language as a second language then ask someone who speaks the language as their mother tongue to proof read your CV before you get it printed. This is very important because it shows that you care.
2. Go scouting.
Explore the area you’ve chosen you want to work in. Look for big shops, bars and restaurants in your area. These are the places that tend to need people quickly, but also make friends with the people working on the small cafe on the corner because when the opportunity arises then you’ll be a great candidate. If not then you’ve found some new friends. Win win!
3. Speak to people.
Mention to friends, people you meet at the beach or new friends in the local bar that you’re looking for a job. A lot of people know of someone who’s hiring and most people are happy to help and give you recommendations of where to go.
4. Walk in with confidence.
Handing out your CV in person is the most successful way to go, especially if you’re looking for a job within hospitality, retail or hotels.
Walk in with your CV in hand, introduce yourself and ask for the manager.
The last part is very important. You want to speak to the manager because she/he is the person who would ultimately hire you.
5. Dress appropriately!
Your appearance and first impression is key.
If you’re looking for a job in a fine dining restaurant then wear a button up white shirt and dressy black pants. If you’re looking to work in a surf shop then wear an outfit that would represent the feel of the shop. If you’re looking for an office job then you can’t go wrong in a suit… and so on and so on.
The point is that when you walk in, you want to look like you already belong there.
You’re not dressed without a smile.
6. Apply for jobs through an agency or website.
This is another way to make sure you’re keeping all doors opened.
Find out the Craigslist, seek or Trade me option for the country you’re planning to work in.
Online is a great option if you’re looking for a qualified job and/or if you want to send out applications before you arrive.
There’s also different job agencies that can help you match your experience with employers.
Agencies and online hunting can however take some time since you’re not the only one in their system so I would really recommend hitting the streets CV in hand as well.
When you get an interview / trial
1. Do your research.
What company is it that you’re interviewing for? What is their story and what services to they supply? What is the
What would you expect as a client or customer with this company? This is important to know because this is what people will expect of you as an employee they walk in the door.
2. Practice & prepare
If you feel nervous then practice beforehand. Have a mock interview with one of your mates. Figure out your best qualities and find out what you could bring to the company. Why should they hire you?
3. Dress appropriately.
I know the nerves may play a role in this but it’s important to listen to what the interviewer or manager is saying.
If it’s a trial and you’re given instructions it is crucial to listen to know what they’re expecting from you and what you’re supposed to do with your time there.
5. Ask questions.
An interesting person is an interested person.
Ask questions about the company, about the team or about the most popular dish on the menu. Keep the questions relative to the job and if you remember something in particular from your research then relate your question to this. In example: “I read on your website that your restaurant has been open for two years on Monday, that’s exciting! Did you work here from the beginning?” or “I really found your menu interesting and I can’t wait to try the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese! Which dish is your favorite?”
Say something that comes naturally to you.
Remember an interview is not only for the employer to figure out if they like you, it’s also for you to figure out if you like them.
6. Pay attention to your surroundings.
If your trial means you’re working with other people, pay attention to what they’re doing; how they behave and how they greet people/serve people. Match their behavior.
Always look for things to do; wipe tables, organize clothes, unload the dishwasher, anything that can be of value to the person managing the shift. Smile.
You’re there to prove why you would be a great asset to the company.
7. Leave a last impression.
Make a sustainable impression and make sure you shake hands, leave your contact details, smile and thank your manager by name before you leave.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
A few more things:
1. Know your worth.
As in any country there will be managers and workplaces that are simply not worth your time and energy. Know this and leave as soon as you can. I wish that this didn’t have to be on this list because it simply shouldn’t.
2. The world is at your feet.
When I got to Australia and was unhappy with my current job a friend of mine told me “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience, people come to Australia and do things they’ve never done before!”
This is something that since then is engraved on my mind, it’s so true. So I encourage you to spend as much of your time abroad doing as many things as possible that you’ve never done before, that’s the only way to grow and develop.
3. Know the minimum pay in your area.
If you know what the minimum pay is then you know what to expect and what you can ask for when it comes down to it.
Have you worked abroad and have some experience about something that is not mentioned here?
Let me know in the comments!