What skills should you look for in candidates seeking to work abroad?

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Nowadays many people travel abroad to work, especially in the IT, Tourism and HR sectors. With this also comes the stress of wondering what skills are needed to get a job abroad, whether our degree will be recognized in the new country of residence, or how to go about making the best out of what we have. Working abroad requires certain skills in the youth so that they can have fulfilling international careers. Which skills should you look out for when hiring someone from abroad?

First and foremost, the willingness to learn the language and culture of the country is important to working abroad. Knowing at least a little bit shows that the individual has a broader mindset when it comes to dealing with the locals of that particular place, and enables them to communicate effectively. Lacking such basic knowledge can create misunderstandings among locals and may get an applicant to be rejected from the job they are applying for. If more than one language are spoken in the country and one is able to master these languages gradually, this person is usually looked at with admiration and is respected in the host country; not to mention that this can be the key to securing a good international position and standard of living. Mind Tools even goes further to say that individuals should “embrace the new language as soon as [they] arrive and use every opportunity to practice it, from [the] first taxi ride from the airport or [the] first encounter with the office receptionist.” Cultivating the language and lifestyle first hand will earn the person respect, and facilitate their integration in the new community.

With a life outside a person’s usual setting, adaptability is of immense importance. Somebody may be great at learning the host country’s language and lifestyle, but may not necessarily be comfortable with it. Adapting to the latter can be a challenge as forced interactions, fake accents, and social anxiety can easily be noticed from a foreigner by the residents of a particular country. Flexibility can thus be helpful here, as any flexible person knows how to adapt to a new way of living, without losing his or her own habits and culture. There needs to be a balance between the culture of the foreign country and that of the individual. Having such skills will indeed impact positively on landing a job position itself, and can greatly help in team building or simply getting to know colleagues at the workplace.

Social media marketing or social media knowledge, in general, can boost someone’s international experience. A study conducted by Business News Daily found that this one skill is the first to be recognized by those who have moved abroad in the past. Next come engineering, IT and the sciences. Social media itself is used everywhere nowadays, and the marketing aspect of it is needed in any job market, whether it is in business, IT, fashion, journalism, manufacturing or others. It is important then to start developing one’s social media skills while upgrading other competencies in order to move abroad. The importance of social media in our world is further highlighted by Chris Young, who says that social media “gives power to tools” instead of social media being a tool in itself. Its onus is due to its amazingly fast reach and large expanse from the last decade or so, which makes it impossible for anyone not to learn the skill.

Cross-cultural understanding is another skill a person needs in order to work abroad. It helps in dealing with people from different backgrounds and shaping our own thoughts through others’ perspectives. It also shows how we can adapt to those who are different from us and who probably have opposing views than those we would have. Career Addict favours cross-cultural understanding as such individuals “won’t be overcome by culture shock” since they know that people from different cultures have “different ways of working, different lifestyles and different outlooks on life.” It is hence an important asset to have when looking to be employed outside of one’s own borders and cultural roots.

These are some of the skills you should keep an eye out for when searching for young individuals interested in professionally being better and landing internationally stable positions. If you are interested in hiring young people from abroad, visit us here.


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