How to Support International Job Seekers
As an experienced career professional, you may be approached and asked to work with international job seekers from all around the world. They might be looking for help in a variety of areas such as résumé writing, employment consulting, and interview preparation. They may need your guidance as they strive to achieve career clarity. Understanding the challenges they face in the current economy and world situation will be key to successfully supporting them each step of the way. Don’t let geography stand in the way of offering to support international job seekers — and growing your business at the same time!
Step 1 – Gain Career Clarity
Working on career clarity with clients located outside of your country can be daunting. Following the first contact with the potential client, research the culture they live in, their customs, and their language. Doing so will make future interactions much more comfortable and productive as you explore career goals together. The internet is filled with resources that can help you build your cultural awareness. One of my favourite sources of information is the website everyculture.com. Another is Hofstede Insights.
Step 2 – Create a Résumé Meeting International Standards
Writing a résumé for international job seekers is a little different than writing one for locals. Unless the candidate has worked at a multinational firm recognized worldwide, there is little chance that a local employer will recognize the name of a company located abroad. In order to overcome this barrier, add a line under the company name that briefly describes the industry and the major products or services they provide. Add some details to provide context and scope, such as the number of employees/branches and a link to the company’s website.
Step 3 – Develop an International Job Search Plan
One of the main concerns when it comes to carrying out an international job search plan is work authorization. Working with clients who are looking to relocate to a different country means that this topic cannot be overlooked. Whenever a candidate is hoping to secure employment sponsorship in order to obtain an employment visa, it’s a good idea to focus the job search on multinational companies that have the ability to sponsor. Some countries even post online lists of companies who have permission to hire foreigners. It’s important to explain to candidates that not all companies are able to offer sponsorship because it costs a substantial amount of money to do so. If the client has their heart set on working for a company that cannot offer sponsorship, I advise them to build and maintain strong connections with companies and employees in their industry and destination country of choice.
Step 4 – Build an International Personal Brand and Network
With a solid value proposition in place, you can encourage your clients to work on building a personal brand with international reach. They should seek out opportunities for informational interviews to create connections abroad. The more people they speak with, the bigger they’re able to grow their network, the greater their visibility, and the higher their chances of finding employment! One of the most important activities I encourage is content creation as well as active engagement on relevant social media platforms.
Step 5 – Deal with Stress and Re-adjust the Plan
It may take longer for an international job seeker to land a job than a local candidate. Clients may come to you expressing all kinds of stressed-out comments and anxieties. It’s important to keep checking in with your clients, listen to them with empathy, and continue to support them. Celebrate small wins and re-adjust the plan as many times as needed.
Step 6 – Prepare for the Interview
Making a good first impression in an interview is crucial. Supporting an international job seeker with interview preparation will require an assessment of existing communication skills as well as a thorough understanding of the protocols of the country and company they’re interviewing with. Encourage the client to remain authentic as trying to be someone they are not never plays to anyone’s advantage.
Step 7 – Follow-Up
Depending on the country they live in, clients may be facing one or more issues you’ll have no way of anticipating. I recommend keeping a line of communication open, staying up-to-date on the news in your client’s country, being sensitive, and using a trauma-informed and hope-centred approach. International job seekers need to feel heard, seen, and appreciated, so celebrate all the small wins they’ve had — from the smallest LinkedIn message to the biggest interview! Encourage debriefing sessions and frequent check-ins to see where they stand in their job search journey so that you can continue to offer relevant and effective support.
In Conclusion — Supporting International Clients is Rewarding and Can Grow Your Business!
Although working with people from different countries may be scary at first, I invite you to look at it as an exciting learning opportunity that will expand your horizons. Each international client comes with a wealth of interesting experiences and skills, as well as an inspirational ambition to relocate and give their career a global direction. By taking on international clients, you are giving your own business a chance to grow and be recognized globally.
To ensure that you are equipped to work with international job seekers, sign up for courses with Career Professionals of Canada. Successful completion of these courses guarantees that you will have the tools you need to support all your clients in achieving successful outcomes.
Rita Kamel’s mission is to empower international job seekers by providing tools and information to help them generate career opportunities. She has extensive experience in recruitment with local, regional, and multinational companies spanning a diverse range of industries. Rita holds a master’s degree in marketing, is a Career & Employment Consultant, and recently earned her Career Development Practitioner (CDP) designation through Career Professionals of Canada. You can learn more about Rita’s practice at her website, Dossierpro.co.