If you’re considering a career abroad or want to explore your options further, this post is for you! I will discuss some of the best online resources to help guide you on your journey. This article covers the challenges that visa holders or their dependents (spouses) face in finding a job in any foreign country and how to overcome them. Most views covered apply to any new visa category or country. However, the UK’s Tier 2 ICT dependant visa has been chosen as a use case.
Many people have high hopes for immigrating to a new country. They envision more significant opportunities and better lives, but it can be challenging to find work even if they are qualified and experienced. It’s discouraging when you’re looking for jobs constantly with little success or response from employers; sometimes, the hardest part is maintaining hope that things might eventually get better. Ultimately, this fuels doubts and insecurities about their skills and qualifications.
Let’s examine these issues by phase.
The problem could be the type of visa you have. Typically, it will be a work visa or work permit, as it is called in some countries, such as the UK. If you are a Tier 2 ICT visa dependent, it does not lead to an ILR (indefinite leave to remain or permanent residency), depending on when it was issued. Employers view this as an unattractive option for a long-term investment to hire and train employees only to lose them as their visa allows them to work only for a specific timeframe. Visa extensions depend on numerous factors, so employers avoid investing time and money in hiring and training. Applying for short-term contracting jobs may not work because recruiters and clients prefer local experience. Some contracting jobs also involve background checks requiring at least five years of work history. Most public sector roles in the UK need an SC clearance level, which means new immigrants may not be ineligible. If you hold a student visa, you can work only a specific amount of hours per week. Such visa holders may only be hired for part-time jobs, so your visa category may offer or limit opportunities.
In your target country, search for job portals suited to your industry. For instance, educational jobs are listed primarily in job portals frequented by academia rather than global giants like Indeed or Monster. There is a portal for each industry. Google them to find at least 3–4 relevant outlets and upload your CV to them. Frequently monitor the sites for new jobs and avoid looking at unsuitable job portals that do not provide enough listings for your industry. This may give you the incorrect impression that the ‘market isn’t good or ‘there aren’t enough jobs in the market at this point. Applying at the right place is vital. Check the privacy settings of such portals, as most allow you to let recruiters view your CV. Place your CV on ‘public’ to gain the most views. Recruiters search by CV and sometimes may contact you regarding jobs that have not yet been advertised. Update your CV regularly and frequently submit it to all the portals, as most recruiters tend to view the most recently updated CVs. An older, outdated CV indicates you may no longer be active.
Never apply from outside the country where you intend to work. Not having a local physical address or contact number can significantly reduce your response chances. Living in an EU country and applying for another EU location is slightly different. However, if you do not live in the country, recruiters are less likely to spend the time and expense dealing with foreign candidates regardless of whether you are eligible to work there.
Using the wrong introductory approaches
Use professional language when approaching someone for a job or writing a cover letter. Never write phrases like “here is my CV, please review” or “if you have something, then let me know”. The recruiter is there to hire someone for a specific position, so write something that clearly defines who you are, what you do, and how you are suited rather than generic statements. Anyone committed to finding a job should set email alerts rather than ask someone to “let them know when there is a match”. It is frustrating for recruiters to deal with such unprofessional applications, and your CV can be rejected. Writing good cover letters is covered in more detail in this article, and be mindful to avoid these mistakes.. When applying, be clear about your job to avoid confusing the recruiter. Otherwise, they may proceed with their already shortlisted and qualified candidates pool. Please remember that yours is among many applications, so introduce yourself to sell your skills above other candidates.
In 90%+ cases, the first rejection line is a poorly written CV. Due to cultural issues, a format that may work in one country may not work in a western country. Please do not add a few more lines to your older CV and send it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Choose the proper CV template. There are some professionally written CVs free to download in the jobsRmine portal. Write a clear and concise CV. Avoid filler and flowery language. Writing a simple sentence like “seeking a mid-level Java developer position in London” works perfectly. Include achievements and accomplishments rather than mundane roles and responsibilities. Do not include personal details like your DOB or marital status. They are irrelevant, and offers are not made based on this information. Include statistics like “improved memory footprint of an application by 200 MB” rather than “improved performance of an application”. Such achievements backed by statistics catch the recruiter’s attention, and ATS software quickly and shortlisting becomes easier. Getting shortlisted by a recruiter is one of the most significant challenges of the process. Once you get past the recruiter and reach the interview stage, you can impress the employer and get an offer, but you need a stellar CV to get you there. Use a professional CV writer to revamp your CV if necessary. Customise your CV for every job you apply for with relevant keywords correctly highlighted. Include your visa status on the CV to confirm that you can legally work in that country. It is critical to assure the employer that you are qualified and can work in the country. Otherwise, you can be setting yourself up for rejection. Be prepared and organised.
A well-written CV reflects care and attention to detail. If an employer asks for a CV, don’t send a resume, and vice versa. They are not the same. This infographic explains the differences.
Your qualifications acquired in another country or certifications to practise a particular profession may not be enough to perform the same job in another country. Not having the required credentials or training could be a reason for rejection. This is particularly important in professions like accounting, teaching, or healthcare.
Having no or an incomplete presence on professional forums like LinkedIn will not help you. Nowadays, most recruiters look up your LinkedIn profile to check your connections and verify any recommendations. Besides job portals, many jobs are listed exclusively on LinkedIn, so use its search and apply feature. There is an option on LinkedIn’s privacy settings that alerts only recruiters looking for a job and not your current employer or colleagues. Make sure you enable it in your profile settings. Be aware of unprofessional behaviour to avoid on LinkedIn that may hinder your job search.
Check if you are targeting the wrong kind of job. If you were a ‘Team Leader’ in another country, in the western world, it has more meaning and involves more technical responsibilities. An architect outside the country is equivalent to a senior software engineer in the world of the west in the software industry. This could be a failure if you consistently applied for the wrong jobs. Scale down and apply for a slightly lesser job than you have done to be more competitive.
You may have been working in your comfort zone on skills classified as legacy technology. However, the western world is at the forefront of adopting emerging technologies. Check if you need to upgrade your skills to compete with the market demands. For example, manual testing is becoming obsolete in roles such as testing. Instead, learn automation skills, which lead to increased productivity. Many online portals are available for training, like Udemy, which provides affordable courses. Course users have even rated them. Making an informed decision to choose the proper training is easy. In some jobs, certifications add significant value rather than merely stating that you have specific skills.
Once you reach the interview stage, seize the opportunity to make your best impression. The first question in most interviews is, “what do you know about our company “. This will indicate to the interviewer how much you have researched the company and its goals and objectives and how its line of business aligns with your career objectives. If you have not done your homework and cannot correctly answer the question, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Most permanent positions in the UK will be competency-based, so prepare to give specific examples when replying. Do not give vague answers but give particular examples from your recent job. In the end, you will be asked if you have any questions. Prepare a few good questions about the company and its operations. These can impress the interviewer and give you an advantage. Read articles like the following to help you prepare for tough interview questions: Avoid overly-emphasising salary expectations.
Once the interview is over, write a Thank, you note for the interview opportunity and express your interest. Avoid nagging the recruiter for updates. Once they have an update, they will inform you, as it is their job to place you and get their commission. If you do not get an offer, stay in touch with the recruiter. If they receive positive feedback about you, they will continue to try and place you with other clients.
Now that we have discussed the challenges you will face when looking for a job, let’s take some positive steps to overcome those challenges.
Can you switch your visa category to another, less-restrictive type? In the UK, in rare cases, if employers can’t find suitable job candidates within the EU, they may be willing to sponsor a Tier 2 general visa. Search the internet with keywords like ‘visa sponsored jobs’ to find out who sponsors such visas and switch to that category. Such visa categories lead to ILR (permanent residency). Review the visa options in the country where you are trying to find a job.
Write an effective CV, even if you have to use a professional CV writer. Do not simply add more pages or mundane content to your current CV. Get creative, use the correct vocabulary and keywords to catch attention, and properly format. These career infographics are helpful references. Always include your local address and local contact number.
Some primary reasons employers avoid hiring foreign workers are the lack of trust in the worker’s qualifications or vague references from local employers. Volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience and confidence and generate local references. It keeps you occupied, makes new contacts and references, and demonstrates your commitment to social causes. Whether it pays a little or nothing, it is a valuable asset.
There are often positions for temporary contracting or part-time jobs in many businesses. This could be due to heavy workload, covering for workers on holiday or maternity leave, or requiring specific skills that none of the current employees has. Since you are immediately available and have the right skills, you have a good chance of being hired. In addition, if the company is happy with your work, the temporary position may lead to a permanent one.
You will have more success starting a new life in a foreign country if you are flexible with salary, location, and working hours. Residents may be less willing to work elsewhere as they are already established through work, family, and social ties. Also, if your suggested salary is reasonable, that may give you an advantage over local candidates seeking higher wages. After your first job, you can use local references to help you obtain future jobs. You may also find fixed-term contract work that includes benefits that are hard to fill because locals may not prefer those jobs. Explore all options.
There is a saying, “You don’t get something unless you ask for it”. Everyone needs help sometimes, so why not ask for it when you need it? It could be as simple as changing your LinkedIn headline to “Available immediately for new positions”, pinging your network to inform them you are looking for work or posting a message on LinkedIn. Tweet about it or post in relevant FB groups describing your situation and ask for help. Professional people are generally beneficial, and they will tag someone or provide leads that can help you in your case. You have nothing to lose by asking. Just do it!
Always be pleasant, positive, and confident in all interactions with recruiters or potential employers. Sometimes recruiters might talk to you to challenge you to determine how you react or respond to stressful situations. Without taking it personally, answer politely and confidently.
Find out what local exams you need to pass in your profession or additional training to compete with local talent. This is an absolute must.
Not all jobs are advertised on job portals or at agencies, e.g., start-ups. Instead, many jobs are advertised directly on company websites in their ‘careers’ section. To find employment in your profession, make a list of employers you would like to work for, visit their website, and search the careers section to apply for suitable jobs. These jobs are not advertised elsewhere because they may involve higher costs and recruiter fees.
To summarise critical recommendations, follow the below:
* Prepare a good CV
* Apply on several job portals and employer website career sections
* Apply only from within the country with a local address and contact number
* Maintain an active presence on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn
* Thoroughly prepare for interviews by researching the necessary skills and information about the company
* Try volunteering, part-time jobs, or temporary jobs
* Price your skills correctly by studying the market
* Apply for the right job
* Retrain to add additional skills
* If possible, change your visa category to a visa type allowing more flexibility
* Remain positive and pleasant, and never lose hope
When an individual has been out of work for some time, it can be challenging to get back into the workforce and land the first interview. Therefore, job seekers may need to consider other options, such as freelance or contract positions to continue working on their skillset while looking for full-time employment opportunities.
As you can see, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome when it comes to finding employment overseas. It’s not an easy process and takes time and effort from the candidate and their employer. However, we have made this process easier for both parties with our job seeker portal. Candidates worldwide can set email job alerts so they don’t miss out on work opportunities in their desired field or location. Then, you need your resume uploaded onto our database, and you’ll be ready! So sign up today if you’re looking for a job outside your home country!