work abroad

February 9, 2018, by Carla Froggatt

Want to Work Abroad After Graduation? Build Up These Vital Skills Now!

By Mark Costa-Rising of Gerson Relocation

Gaining international employment is something many graduates crave — and for good reason. Landing overseas work can provide a real boost to your career, helping you move up the ladder faster and gaining valuable experience. The problem is, though, that acquiring an international placement is far from easy. Just finding a role is difficult, but then you have to do something even harder: impress recruiters.

Recent research has outlined some dire statistics when it comes to graduates and international work. While 92% of those leaving university would like the opportunity to work abroad, only 19% of human resource (HR) managers responsible for making those critical hires believe their graduate candidates are up to the task.

Fortunately for students and soon-to-be graduates, these HR managers have been rather vocal in the reasoning behind their lack of confidence. In this infographic, we’ve explored exactly what employers are looking for in their international employees, along with what steps you can take to be a graduate worthy of an overseas hire:

work abroad infographic

Achieving international job success

This infographic outlines, in basic terms, the skills international recruiters are searching for when looking for a candidate; graduate or not. If you’re really considering working abroad after university, you may be itching for a little more detail on how to gain and progress these skills.

Making the most of travel opportunities

Employers are looking to hire those they are confident can adapt to local culture, settle in without issue and become a part of the foreign landscape. Being able to demonstrate that you have the capacity to do this is crucial. 40% of overseas assignments end in failure and many are down to cultural differences. Long-term travel, such as gap years or foreign exchange programs, are powerful tools in this area. However, they are not your only option. Any form of travel is positive, although it is essential you use the opportunity to dive into local customs and culture, showing recruiters you can integrate yourself with the global stage.

Working under pressure

Working abroad requires operating outside of your comfort zone, so employers want to be sure you won’t snap under pressure. It can be difficult to demonstrate that you’re good at working under the gun and, unfortunately, tight university deadlines won’t cut it. A good way to gain these skills is to identify personal weaknesses and challenge them. For example, those who are shy or reclusive should consider volunteering for a public-facing community role; one that forces you to engage with people. The idea is to find something that tests your limits, offering skills that are transferable to a working environment and showcasing your ability to handle stressful environments, while effectively completing tasks.

Boosting your own confidence

Confidence isn’t always about owning the room; it can also be about confidence in your own abilities and conveying that message to employers. Take the time to understand the role you are applying for and how working abroad will affect you. If you are certain you can achieve good results, that this position was made for you, you’ll have enough confidence in yourself to inspire it within others as well. If you aren’t fully prepared or are uncertain of how things will go, you won’t be able to convey that same confident message.

Any student can acquire the skills they need to impress international recruiters. It just takes time, energy and patience. Working abroad isn’t just an opportunity for other people, and if you work to meet the high standards required of global HR managers, you stand a very good chance of falling within the 19% of graduates they believe are strong candidates for international employment.

If you’re interested in working abroad, use Passport Career to find out more about the opportunities in over 80 countries and talk to an adviser about how you can build your experience and skills during your time at Nottingham.

Posted in Applying for jobsEmployersInternational