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Finding an international position using social networks

 Finding an international position using social networks 

If you know how to use social networks, they can be an excellent method of finding an overseas position. These networks are a wealth of contacts for applicants interested in working abroad.
Today sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Viadeo and Facebook are absolutely key to finding a job. This is not surprising considering that respectively they have 304 million, 332 million, 250 million and 1,490 million users worldwide.
These users include recruiters, managing directors and head-hunters working on every continent and in every business sector.
Therefore, it is not surprising that these sites have become key channels for posting job offers. Ever increasing numbers of companies like L’Oréal, Renault and Thalès launch their international recruitment drives on Facebook and post offers on Twitter that job seekers would not necessarily find on their corporate websites.
However, it is not necessary to open accounts on all of them. It is far better to adopt a targeted approach. So, if you are looking for an international posting, target Viadeo, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you want to work in Germany or Spain use Xing. Recent graduates may also want to consider using Weavlink.
The majority of social networking sites have a search engine, which is used by recruiters. Therefore, when you enter your profile details remember to use keywords that a recruiter might enter in the search engine.
“Tags must be relevant and sum up the applicant’s skills and expatriation project,” explains Christophe Blazquez, a consultant specialising in recruiting and careers and author of the eponymous blog. For example, a young civil engineer looking for a V.I.E. internship in Brazil could use the following key words: “Engineer + Civil Engineering + V.I.E. + Brazil.”
It is also a good idea to modify the job title as this may change from one company to another. “To give yourself the best possible chance of success, you can also write your profile in several languages”, explains the consultant.
In the previous example, you would want to write your profile in Portuguese but also in English as this is widely used in business.
Linkedin, Viadeo, Xing and Weavlink all have discussion groups that you should take part in to increase your visibility especially if you are looking to work outside France. “Word of mouth also works very well”, said Christophe Blazquez.
Again target your searches: choose discussion groups that reflect your expectations. If you are an accounts manager looking to work in Sweden, then join professional groups or hubs as well those in the country of your choice.
Regularly post short messages reminding users of your key skills and the type of assignment you are looking for overseas.
However, it is not enough to simply join these groups. You need to create interest by being active e.g. by posting questions and leaving comments. Don’t just be a spectator.
Talk about your industry’s goals, innovations and challenges. In brief, listen to what the market has to say. This is how you will get to talk to influential specialists working in your domain as well as recruiters. “It is also a good idea to approach employees who have already been sent overseas,” added Christophe Blazquez. In this way, you can expand your professional network and increase your chances of finding a job.”
“There are many applicants looking for an international experience,” explained Jean-Pierre Scandella, Deputy Director of Arrowman in Paris. However, the opportunities are rare.”
To have a chance of success, ask your managers or previous employers to write a letter of recommendation. What are the benefits? It can be added to your profile and be seen by everyone.
Ask them to write a letter focusing on the key skills you have acquired and which could be useful for an overseas posting: independence, psychological soundness, ability to adapt to new environments, etc.


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