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Preparing to work abroad
By: (justin) 2011.02.10

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Some helpful tips on how to score a job abroad. Work Abroad
1. Your resume. This should be obvious. Any employer, anywhere in the world, will want to know what experience you have. You may, however, want to simplify the language somewhat or clarify your job, as the distinction between Editorial Assistant and Assistant Editor may not be immediately clear to a personnel director whose first language is not English.

2. A suit. You may be in the tropics or the Outback, where it seems ridiculous to wear even a shirt with long sleeves, but a suit always makes a nice impression, especially if your language proficiency doesn't allow your witty interviewing skills to shine.

3. Your diploma. Degree fraud can be a problem (and is apparently rampant across Asia.) But unless you went to Harvard, don't expect anyone to have heard of your school. What matters is that you went to college and graduated. The document is proof.

4. Money, enough to live on for a couple of months. Taking the time to make friends with locals, meet other ex-pats, and learn the language and geography will make you that much more competent a candidate and will get you the contacts you need to find a job

5. Imagination. Just because you majored in English doesn't mean your only option is to teach it. Your most valuable asset is not specialization, but rather your status as an educated, rich foreigner in another country. You can be a Web designer or work in an art gallery or teach yoga or perform acupuncture (assuming you actually know a little bit about how to do those things.)

6. Initiative. You cannot sit in your hotel room and send out resumes. Decide where you want to work, put on some decent clothes, throw the diploma, clips and resume in a briefcase (or backpack), ride a moped to the office and ask to talk to somebody, anybody, about a job. Even if you don't come home with a paycheck, you'll likely get hints about positions elsewhere or the phone number of someone else who can help. Don't give up!

1. Attitude. It can be difficult to find a job, especially if there's economic or political turmoil. High expectations, an inability to cope with the realities of cultural isolation, the language barrier, loneliness, poverty and a sense of entitlement will combine to destroy you. Remember: You can leave at any time. This is not your country. Relax.

2. Shorts. No one wears them outside America, unless you want little kids to laugh at you in the street and employers to spot you as an itinerant backpacker immediately.

3. Letters of recommendation/introduction from college professors, your manager at a fast food restaurant and other respected adults. No one wants to read about how responsible/talented/loyal you are. Though if you can get a letter of introduction for someone specific, or written in the native language, that can be helpful.

4. Your college term papers. No one cares, really. Not even you.

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Student Travel Europe, Global Travel, Paid Internships, Volunteer Overseas, Youth Hostel