How To Get a Job Abroad

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In 2023, the motivations for moving abroad are as diverse as the expatriates themselves. A significant 15% found jobs on their own, highlighting work as a primary reason for their relocation. Whether it's for the thrill of international recruitment, which accounts for another 10%, or for the pursuit of a better quality of life and personal challenges, the drive to move is strong. Interestingly, 9% were sent by their employers, underscoring the importance of global mobility in today’s workforce.

People usually move abroad for two big reasons: they've got a job offer with better pay, or they're looking for a change in lifestyle and new experiences. While living in a new country can definitely change you, like giving you new insights or helping you meet a bunch of different people, those perks are often just a bonus. What really pushes most people to pack up and go is the chance to up their game career-wise and dive into a different culture. 

How do you start applying for jobs abroad? Read on, as we’ll guide you through the precise steps to begin your application process for jobs abroad. Let's get started!


Step 1: Determine the Type of Job You Want

Before packing your bags and jetting off, take a moment to really zero in on what you're looking for in your international career. Approaching this step strategically will help you make those dreams actionable. Here's what to clear up before your job search:

  1. Pick your dream job and industry: Figure out what job you really want. Is it in tech, education, health, or something else? Knowing the sector and role you're after helps narrow down your search to jobs that really fit what you're good at and want to do.
  2. Check your skills and be real about salaries: Look at what skills you've got and what you want to learn. Remember, jobs might pay differently elsewhere, and if you're early in your career, finding work might be harder. Be ready for the idea of earning less at first to get international experience.
  3. Think hard about where to live: Where do you see yourself living? Consider the culture, language, weather, and legal aspects of working there. If your top choice seems tough for jobs, consider similar places that might be easier to get into. Like, if Spain's your dream but it's hard to find work, Portugal could be a good backup.
  4. Work duration: Thinking about how long you want to stay abroad is key. Whether it's for good, a couple of years, or just a short period, this will guide your job search. While aiming for a permanent job but planning a short stay, consider keeping that detail quiet, as companies prefer longer commitments. If you're not set on a specific plan, working holiday visas are an option. They're usually valid for a year and have a salary cap, making them suitable for those wanting to experience living abroad without a long-term commitment.
  5. Short-term work as a gateway: Short-term roles such as teaching English, working in hostels, or freelance projects serve multiple purposes. They provide a source of income and allow for cultural immersion, but they also help you build a local network. These experiences are invaluable for exploring various locations, aiding you in finding the perfect place to eventually call home.


Step 2: Decide what country you want to work in

Selecting the ideal country for your overseas career isn't just about flipping a globe and pointing; instead, you should make a few key considerations. Let's break down how to approach this decision:


Professional opportunities

Start by zeroing in on markets where English is dominant, as these hubs often offer the most work and a sense of community. If you're highly skilled, smaller cities might also present unique opportunities. In Europe, cities like Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, and Lisbon are popular among expats, with Germany hosting a significant number. Focus on where your skills are needed, looking at industries booming in these locations. Also, consider the local business landscape, whether it leans more towards startups or corporates. For instance, Berlin is known for its vibrant startup scene, while Munich tends to be more corporate.


Personal happiness

After looking into job opportunities, think about what makes you happy. What lifestyle suits you best? Whether you like busy city life or quiet country living, check if the weather, culture, and language fit what you want. Consider if the social norms match your values. Remember, having a community matters a lot. Expat groups can help you make friends. People in smaller cities might feel lonely, so finding a place with a good support network is key.

Moreover, understanding the legal requirements for working in your chosen country is crucial. Assess the ease of obtaining work permits or visas, as countries with more straightforward processes might be more appealing. If circumstances allow, plan a visit to experience the culture, connect with locals, and potentially scout job opportunities firsthand. This reconnaissance can provide a clear sense of whether a country feels like the right fit for both your career aspirations and personal fulfilment.


Step 3: How to find jobs abroad

When it comes to finding the right job overseas, it's best to combine traditional job search methods with modern networking techniques. Here's how to cast a wide net and increase your chances of landing a job abroad:

Leverage social media: Specifically, use LinkedIn. Set up alerts for countries you're eyeing—like Berlin, Amsterdam, Munich, and Hamburg. Customise your profile for international roles, making you more visible to overseas employers. Connect with managers and recruiters from tech companies of interest. Follow major players in your sector, like fintech firms, to uncover new opportunities and similar companies. Sending connection invites to hiring managers can open doors to jobs that aren’t widely advertised.

Explore online job boards: Platforms like are goldmines for jobs that offer relocation support, streamlining your move. Sign up for newsletters from job boards like for UK opportunities, Relocate, and WeAreDevelopers to get job alerts directly in your inbox. It's a time-efficient way to discover roles with companies ready to help you relocate. Additionally, check out multinational corporations’ career pages for chances of internal transfers to their overseas branches.

Moving abroad ranks up there with life's biggest stressors, like divorce or illness. But with the right support, this daunting task can feel much more manageable. Users who've landed jobs via often report far less stress related to their move. This is because many companies on our platform don't just offer a job; they provide comprehensive relocation support. This means handling logistics and covering moving costs. 

Finding a job with relocation support through is, undoubtedly, the best way to embark on your move abroad.


Step 4: Apply for a visa or work permit

Now, onto a part that often feels overwhelming: sorting out the legal requirements to work in your dream destination. While the idea of navigating visa or work permit applications might seem daunting, it's usually more straightforward than it appears.

Here's how to navigate the visa or work permit process:

  1. Start early: Begin the visa application process well in advance. The earlier you start, the smoother your journey will be, avoiding any last-minute hiccups that could delay your plans.

  2. Ensure timely company assistance: It's a given that securing a job offer and employer sponsorship is necessary for obtaining a work visa. However, emphasise to potential employers the importance of their prompt support in navigating the visa process, especially if you're from a country with a less powerful passport. Inquire if they provide in-house assistance for this process or if they're willing to cover the costs of professional legal help if needed.

  3. Do your research: Check the immigration laws and work permit rules for your destination on embassy or consulate websites. Remember, you might need to visit the embassy in person to submit documents, so make sure to plan for possible travel to the consulate. Also, be ready for extra paperwork or several visits, especially with EU countries. Germany, for example, often requires lots of documents and might ask you to come back more than once.


Step 5: Localise your resume

Make your resume shine: Highlight remote work experience and your international background to assure recruiters of your smooth transition. If you've previously worked in their market, even as a contractor, emphasise this to show your understanding of local nuances. Also, mention any dual citizenship — it signals an easier process for moving you to the country.

Here's how you localise your resume:

Use keywords: Add relevant keywords from the job ad to your resume and LinkedIn profile. This makes it easier to get through automated screenings and shows recruiters, who often use keywords to search, that your skills fit the job.

Consider translation: Only translate your resume if you're applying for a position that requires dual language skills, and you're fluent in the local language. Otherwise, it's best to stick with English, especially if the job doesn't require another language. This approach ensures clarity and avoids any potential miscommunication during the hiring process.


Step 6: Apply for the job

Once your resume is in tip-top shape, it's time to take the final steps:

Finalise your application: Make sure to apply early. Jobs abroad get a lot of applications quickly, and if you wait too long, you might miss your chance. Check your resume and cover letter to make sure they're perfect, and consider reaching out to the recruiter directly. Applying early can really make a difference in getting noticed. Remember, being quick to apply can be just as important as how good your application is.

Submit your application: Before applying, it's smart to touch base with the recruiter to make sure the job is still up for grabs. A quick check can put you ahead of the game. If all looks good, go ahead and submit your application on the company's website. This direct approach helps make sure your application lands in the right hands and shows you're really keen on the job.

After you hit "submit," brace yourself for a bit of a wait. Hiring abroad can be a longer haul, with companies often running extra rounds of interviews to make sure you're the right fit for a role that's more complex to fill. Particularly in Europe, where getting everything sorted can stretch out for months. So, keep your cool and stay engaged. While you're waiting, keep broadening your job search, building your network, or sharpening your skills.


Make your international job hunt easier with

Tackling an international job search can feel like a burden, from sifting through countless job listings to figuring out visa requirements and managing relocation logistics. That's where steps in to make your life easier. makes it easier to find jobs that are ready to help you move and give practical help with the tough parts of moving to another country. You can bypass the usual hurdles of finding companies willing to sponsor visas, offer relocation packages and help you arrange your move. 

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