Are you interested in conducting a European job search? The key to successfully landing a job overseas is to do your homework first. It's not enough to be well qualified for a position; you also need to learn how to present yourself to a foreign employer properly.
Making Yourself Attractive to a Foreign Employer
When you apply for a job in Europe, you will need to distinguish yourself from the pool of local candidates to be seriously considered for the position. Put yourself in the employer's shoes and ask yourself, "Why should Employer X hire me?"
Once you have some ideas about what you can bring to the table, you can start to figure out how to draft your application to showcase your education and achievements.
Speaking Multiple Languages Helps
If you are going to be working in a foreign country, it probably isn't enough just to be able to speak English. You will need to be fluent in at least one other language to work effectively, and if you have competence in several languages, that may get you an interview.
Preparing Your Resume
When you are getting your resume together as part of your European job search, you need prepare one that is considered appropriate in the country where the job is located.
- If you were applying for a position in Great Britain, you may want to include your hobbies on your resume, especially if they are unusual, since that is considered acceptable there. In other parts of Europe, like Italy, this information is not included.
- In some European countries, it is considered normal to include a photograph with your resume, while this is not done in North America.
- You will also need to find out whether your resume should be submitted in American or British English.
Your Cover Letter Counts
Your European job search will also include a cover letter, just like it would if you were looking for work in North America. The idea of what is considered acceptable varies, depending on the country involved. Here are some examples:
- A cover letter for a job in Italy would be very short and to the point; just a few lines are considered sufficient.
- When you are applying for work in France, many employers expect you to write the cover letter out by hand. You need to be prepared to have your handwriting analyzed by experts who will attempt to find the best candidates for the position.
- Job seekers in England tend to write cover letters that are far more lengthy than those used by people looking for work in North America. Having a cover letter that takes up a full page there is not uncommon, whereas a Stateside employer would likely stop reading after the first couple of paragraphs.
European Job Search: Where to Look for Work
One place to start your search for available positions in Europe is by visiting web sites of international companies with a North American presence that you are interested in working for. They may have job postings for their European branches listed there or you may be able to find links to their European operations.
Monster.com has job listings for European countries. Just click on the location you are interested in to see local job listings. This is a good choice for job seekers, because it also includes job search advice, including resume/CV templates so you have an idea of what format is acceptable in the country where you are applying for work.