How to Find a Job Abroad After College

Posted by on in Travel

If you're getting ready to graduate from college — and looking to cast an international net for a job — you need to do much more than book a plane ticket to Paris, Buenos Aires, or another city of your dreams.

Your to-do list should include determining visa requirements, researching global job markets, drafting a worldly resume, and determining how much it will cost to live in a particular country or region.

Here are some resources and tips for realizing your goal of working abroad:

Where to Get Advice

There's a wealth of great advice available online to help you with your pursuit of an international career. Working Abroad, for example, provides links to jobs and a chat feature to connect you with prospective employers.

Another site, Go Abroad, is especially geared towards those seeking internships or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) positions, while Easy Expat offers continent-specific work and lifestyle tips, as well as classified job listings.

Not sure how to choose the right destination for you? Check out these 7 things to consider when moving to a new city after graduation!

how to find a job abroad after college

What Jobs Are Available

For a recent college graduate, teaching English in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and other non-English speaking parts of the world might be your best bet, Mike Profita writes in About.com Careers.

Younger job seekers looking for positions in their professional field of study may lack the “unique talents and abilities" that immigration authorities in many countries require of employers to “justify why they should be hired over a native worker," Profita writes.

Another popular way to work abroad is to become an au pair for a family. These positions typically include housing and a stipend and time off to explore your host family's base.

Interested in working and traveling? Here's how to work (while traveling the world)!

Add Global Appeal to Your Resume

Standards for resumes vary widely, so you will likely have to revamp your U.S. version to appeal to companies in other countries. In many places outside the U.S., resumes include a photo and personal information that might not be considered relevant back home, writes Elaina Giolando in Go Overseas.

Generally, the global standard is a two-page resume that includes the following:

  • Some personal information
  • Details and GPA for secondary and college and university-level education
  • Bulleted sections about work experience
  • A summary of technical and language skills
  • A professionally-done photo

To prepare for varying foreign requirements, Giolando further recommends drafting a four- to five-page “master" resume that can be tailored to individual jobs and countries.

What Are the Challenges?

how to find a job abroad after college

Working abroad, particularly if it will be your first professional position, may pose unique challenges. Unless you're moving to a country where you are proficient in the language, you are likely to experience communications barriers and some "culture shock," according to GiGoing.

You should also expect to have to confront varying levels of bureaucracy and a professional culture that may differ greatly from what you know in the U.S.

On a personal level, you will need to think of ways to build a network of friends and contacts, including taking classes or pursuing your hobbies to find a sense of home, wherever you are.

Don't Forget to…

  • Check visa, paperwork requirements: The U.S. State Department's Americans Traveling Abroad microsite offers information for each country's entry and visa requirements.
  • Calculate the cost of living: Websites, such as Expatistan, provide calculators to compare the cost-of-living where you currently live to places you're considering moving.
  • Get health insurance: Atlas Travel medical insurance offers customizable plans to ensure you have coverage for hospitalizations and emergencies during short-term assignments, internships, or the period before your employer-sponsored coverage kicks in.

For more information, check out Working Overseas: 5 Websites to Find a Job Abroad.

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