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What International Employers are Looking for (And the Things That Put Them Off)

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An overseas job takes a lot of preparation. Depending on the country you’re going to, you may be required to take and pass examinations first. There’s also the visa application, which can be a grueling process for some. But if you’d be working in a country like Australia, your visa application and approval process will be considerably easier. In fact, Australia’s visa approval process only takes about 18 months, a relatively shorter period compared to other countries.

So you’ve already passed your exams, submitted all your requirements, and are finally ready to apply for a job. But no employer would hire you. This means no one can sponsor your visa, and you’d stay in your home country until someone finally hires you.

When faced with problems like this, some people still fly abroad regardless and live with a relative until they can get a job. If you decide to do the same, grab the opportunity to complete a course, like the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) course in Australia. This will enhance your existing skills, increasing your employability in turn.

But in the meantime, let’s run through the things that can make or break your potential career overseas:

Skills International Employers are Looking For

You don’t have to be a math wiz, science junkie, or tech geek to land a high-paying job overseas. A few soft and organisational skills like the following will already make you a strong candidate:

1. Fluency in Two or More Languages

Being bilingual or multilingual has numerous benefits in both your social life and career. It makes you a suitable company representative or liaison for international clients or suppliers. In addition, it makes you more open-minded, especially to other cultures, which helps in making friends within your organisation.

2. Interview Etiquette

First impressions go a long way in a job interview. Show up in inappropriate clothes, and you’ll instantly be rejected no matter how competent you appear in your CV. Therefore, find out the company’s dress code and show up as if you’ve already got the job.

3. People Skills and Work Ethic

Even if you’re introverted, that doesn’t mean you lack people skills. You don’t need to be a persuasive person to charm an interviewer into passing you unless you’re applying for a sales job. People skills only refer to your ability to work in a team, whether you thrive in it or perform better alone. Even simple acts such as greeting a co-worker with a smile or offering to help a colleague already counts as people skill.

However, different countries have varying definitions of people skills, so do your research before showcasing yours. If you’re applying for a job in Japan, for example, greeting with a bow, as opposed to a smile or hug, is the social norm and will therefore get you plus points from a potential employer.

4. Technical Acumen

While you don’t need to be a computer geek or genius hacker, technical acumen and a willingness to learn more will increase your chances of getting hired. Being familiar with industry-specific tech shows that you’re ready and suitable for the job.

5. Leadership Skills

You’ll be competing with thousands of other applicants, who are potentially brighter and more experienced than you. But if you’re able to prove that you have exceptional leadership skills, you might make the cut and get the job.

Things That Reduce Your Chances of Getting Hired

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Some employers will look at your resume once then throw it into the bin without even contacting you. If employers in your home country do this, those from other countries will definitely do it as well, and you might even be in a riskier position.

1. Lying

Naturally, lying about your skills and experience will put off employers. Even if they can’t prove that some information in your resume is false, they’re going to find out the truth anyway, so don’t risk it. Plus, exaggerating your skills but being unable to demonstrate it will trick no one but yourself, so be 100% honest.

2. Talking About Your Jobs 15+ Years Ago

Your jobs from decades ago are only relevant if you’re still working in the same field in the present. But otherwise, your employer doesn’t want to hear about it.

3. Mentioning Your Desired Salary

Many job applicants think that putting their desired salary in their resume, or talking about it with their interviewer, makes them appear more professional, but it’s actually the opposite. The purpose of your resume and initial interview is for the employer to get to know you, not for them to decide how much to pay you.

4. Mentioning Why You Left Your Previous Job

Unless your employer asks you, don’t talk about why you resigned from a previous job. Besides, you’re a foreign applicant, which makes it obvious that you’re applying to boost your career growth and increase your income.

By noting these things that make or break your employability abroad, you can prepare better and manage your expectations. Don’t assume that it’ll be easier, though; you’d still be adjusting to a new culture and environment, so prepare for yourself for those, too.

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