Secrets of finding a job abroad from a practicing headhunter

I think that it’s no secret to anyone that in our digital age, absolutely everything becomes more and more virtualized. Almost everything that we do in our daily lives can now be done online, and this trend will only increase.

So, the most popular way for job seekers in any industry was to respond to a vacancy posted on the Internet, regardless of where it is placed: on job sites like HH, Glassdoor, Monster, or any other similar ones. Many job seekers also monitor and respond to LinkedIn jobs. Unfortunately, in rare cases, only faceless automatic replies come in response, and most often the applicant does not receive any answer at all, and the experience of the applicant, his level of professional training or the degree to which the vacancy is relevant do not matter. The lack of a response from a potential employer company in response to an appeal has become familiar to both the senior candidate and the job seeker without experience. This is especially true of vacancies in other countries - where relocation is required.

As the analysis of the numerous responses of job seekers shows, in the vast majority of cases at present these methods do not bring the applicant closer to receiving an offer, and the lack of feedback causes disappointment and a decrease in self-esteem, which further aggravates the position of the applicant.

What to do?

In fact, there is a solution, but for a start, let's figure it out: why responding to every job posted on the Internet is a priori a bad idea.

Few applicants know that the process of screening applicants for online vacancies has also been overwhelmingly digitized in recent years.

What does this mean and does it affect your chances of getting the coveted interview invitation from your employer? It influences in the most direct way, as I will tell you in more detail now - how automatic candidate evaluation systems ruin your chances of getting a job.

For most companies, the way of initial screening of online applicants through the ATS candidate tracking system algorithms is becoming more and more common - this way companies optimize the costs of generally recruiting internal recruiters very often. What is it and why is this system needed by the employer company?

ATS is a system that scans keywords from your resume to determine how accurately you are suitable for a given position. This happens before a person’s eyes can see your resume. If your resume or even a cover letter does not contain a certain number of words or terms from the job description, ATS will automatically recognize you as an inappropriate candidate and block you. Unfortunately, this works exactly the way few applicants know about it. In this case, you are lucky if you get at least an automatic message that the company has chosen to move on with other candidates. As a result, your application did not fall and will not fall into the hands of a person, since you were filtered by the machine at the very first stage.

To get around ATS, many candidates try to take keywords or professional terminology from job descriptions and add them to their resumes. This seems like a good idea, but unfortunately it doesn't work either. Since this has become the practice of most job seekers, companies have now begun adding keywords to the ATS algorithm that they don’t even list in the job description in order to filter out more “inappropriate” applicants at an early stage. In my humble opinion, this makes it difficult to obtain high-quality job applicants for a company that uses this system in its work. Alas, even if your resume is correctly compiled, you have really relevant experience and you are ideally suited for this work or project, you can still be filtered by the machine, and most often it happens.

As a result, so many candidates wonder why they are not being considered, since there is no response from the company. Do you like the vacancy and the company, you absolutely know that you have all the necessary skills and experience to successfully complete the tasks from the job description. Having not received any response to your resume, you can even send a cover letter directly to the HR manager / director in order to try to draw their attention to your resume, to evaluate your experience and competencies once again, since you are confident in your perfect match with this vacancy. But the problem is that most often they really can’t do anything. Even if they liked your cover letter, resume, and / or portfolio, and would really like to invite you for an interview, they will not be able to move on with your candidacy, because you have already been rejected (or more simply rejected) by the system. And far from every manager wants to go contrary to the prescribed and approved processes in the company, especially in large system companies.

What to do and how can you change the situation to get results in your job search?

In fact, if you have already sent your resume to a specific vacancy and did not receive an answer, most likely, the situation will not change here.

And perhaps right now, if you apply for a job on the Internet, send your resume and cover letter there, you will expect a response from the company. At least some. But I’m not afraid to say that you are very lucky if you receive an invitation to an interview in this way. Alas, the chances that the system will filter you out and put them on the stop list far exceed the chances of your resume going through these filters. This has been our digital reality in the labor market recently.

What is the right - and most importantly effective - way to look for work using the Internet? What can and should be done BEFORE applying online for the vacancy you are interested in, that is, before getting into the stop list of the company?

First: correctly use the keywords from the job description in your resume for absolutely every job you want to apply for.

Yes, this means exactly what you thought: for each vacancy, your resume must be adapted. If you approach the matter even more competently and in the way that applicants in developed countries have long been doing, then you need to start communicating with company representatives on sites such as LinkedIn, XING or Viadeo in order to find out who is the hiring manager and / or direct line manager manager and who, in fact, decides to hire in this case. Having received this information, you must correctly contact the decision maker and competently propose your candidacy directly to these representatives of the employing company. But not immediately, but after a positive “pre-sale” communication is built up - yes, it is sales and the “product” here is your head, achievements and market knowledge.

But this is not the most important thing. How to make you appreciated and want to know more about you, what tools are needed for this is a topic for a separate discussion, and in each case it will be individual.

Thus, if you really want to find a good job, you need to do more than just fill out an online application or click on the “send resume” button. To get a real result, you need to prepare, start communication in order to arouse interest in yourself, and only then directly contact decision makers in the companies you have selected, as well as the heads of HR departments in these companies with a well-written cover letter and a good resume (at least without grammatical errors and to begin with). Ideally, before direct contact with decision makers in the company you are looking for, you should know as much as possible about the activities of this company and at least become familiar with it. And the highest aerobatics - if you know about the current problems in this company and can offer lively ways to solve them.

Important: all this must be done BEFORE responding to an online job. After a response to a vacancy on the Internet, in most cases, any actions can be simply useless, and I have already described in sufficient detail why.

So: please stop sending completely useless job postings on the Internet, especially if the job is open in another country!

Stop sending the same resume for every job, save your time and reputation. Stop sending the same cover letters, as this will not lead to anything other than getting into the stop list. Instead, start talking with companies and senior hiring managers who are responsible for at least the region as a whole, and this is best done through LinkedIn, XING, or Viadeo, depending on which country you are planning to leave for.

Think about what is written here, get together, and finally, begin to consciously approach your job search via the Internet. And most importantly, before any appeal to a company for a position that is really interesting to you, collect all the possible information about the activities of this company, and if your intelligence and search experience are enough for this - gather information about pressing problems in the company’s activities in order to be able to offer competent and informed decision.

Believe my 26 years of experience in international recruitment: only this way will give you the desired and worthy result.

In the digital age, everything changes very quickly and you and I will also have to change and adapt in order not to remain on the bench. The time has come to change our attitude towards finding a job and to show a lively, human initiative in finding a job. Be active and be able to show the companies why you are ideally suited to their team, what benefits you want and can bring to the company. Why are you better than the others from hundreds of potential applicants to the same Amazon or Cisco Systems?

Do not allow a situation where your resume will be rejected by the company's automated system, blocking all your chances of getting into this company now and in the future.

Begin to relate properly in the job search process, learn how to competently bypass the automatic screening system of candidates, and you will get the desired result - your new wonderful job in the country of your dreams

Dare! And may good luck accompany you.

* Well, for the most ambitious and talented, there is an even more effective way to get a job in the USA by applying for an O-1 visa, which also involves obtaining a Green Card.
But there will be another article about the intricacies of this program - please write in the comments if you would like to see such material.

About myself
International Executive Search Expert, major IT / Hi Tech / Telecom, Finance & Banking industries. One of the most connected recruiters on the world (via Linkedin Rating). Professor, Doctor of Science (Social Psychology and Crisis Management), Linkedin Expert, Career Development / Careeer Profiling / Personal Branding Expert, work experience: USA, Cyprus, Singapore, Hong Kong, Emirates, EU. I actively participate in international events as a lecturer / speaker, give on-site lectures on my own program Smart Job Search in Hidden Markets for MBA students in two schools (Malta and London), I live and work in the EU.

Please feel free to connect to me on Linkedin (Dr. Larisa Varenikova)

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