How to Get a Job Overseas With No Experience Top 9 Job Opportunities Abroad Without Experience for Foreigners How to Get a Job Abroad Without Experience Practical Considerations for Beginners Whatever You Choose, Kill It
How to Get a Job Overseas With No Experience Top 9 Job Opportunities Abroad Without Experience for Foreigners How to Get a Job Abroad Without Experience Practical Considerations for Beginners Whatever You Choose, Kill It
Updated 09/12/2020

How to Get a Job Overseas With No Experience

Many recent graduates find themselves entangled in a Catch 22 – all jobs require them to have work experience, but to get experience, they need a proper job. To deal with this baffling paradox, many young people opt to have a gap year or two to go abroad to look for a job elsewhere. These tips and strategies for getting a job overseas with no experience will help.

Many recent graduates find themselves entangled in a Catch 22 – all jobs require them to have work experience, but to get experience, they need a proper job. To deal with this baffling paradox, many young people opt to have a gap year or two to go abroad to look for a job elsewhere. These tips and strategies for getting a job overseas with no experience will help.

Whatever your reason for getting a job overseas, you can get it through thorough preparation. The modern landscape is constantly changing. Although state borders are not transparent yet, it is already possible for anyone to choose a place of living and employment.

Especially now, when Covid has changed people’s perspectives on life, many have decided to move abroad, at least for the sake of a change of scenery. For example, The Guardian reports about Britons moving to France and Italy in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown: “The attraction of living in London is the city and what it offers. Remove that and the ability to socialize with people who matter, and the appeal dies pretty quickly.”

While experienced professionals have broad career opportunities overseas, what about recent graduates and novices in the job market who cannot expect to land high-paying jobs? If you cannot yet boast the 1 to 5 years of experience after college required in many job postings, this is not a reason to give up your dream of finding a job abroad. In this article, we'll show you how to make your dream come true.

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Top 9 Job Opportunities Abroad Without Experience for Foreigners

Most foreign countries can offer you manual labor (like construction jobs in Israel and Canada; farming in Poland or Costa Rica), trade jobs (like serving or bartending in Australia), or skilled jobs (like teaching English in Asia). Your main task is to explore up-close career opportunities and try to choose your development path.

  1. Construction. There are many countries with booming construction industries all over the world. New Zealand offers construction jobs in Christchurch. Canada also welcomes construction workers, but only if you have at least $1,900 in cleared funds. Israel has many entry-level construction jobs, but you may need to look for them on the site.

  2. Farming. Cacao and banana in Costa Rica, grapes and olives in Israel, strawberries in Poland, and crops in Australia, farming jobs are aplenty all over the world. You can get into a country of your choice through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), which offers volunteering gigs in exchange for food and accommodation. It is not a job per se, but it gives you time to look around and find something more suitable for your entry-level ambitions.

  3. Ski resorts. If you know how to ski or snowboard, you can work as an instructor at any winter resort. If you don’t, there are always many jobs in restaurants, hotels, and ski lifts. Ski resorts often sponsor visas and work permits for their workers for the season.

  4. Cruise Ships. Although cruise ships and superyachts have the same jobs, hotels and restaurants will require a bit more of an investment from you into certificates and permits. In particular, you may need to get your STCW 95, a one-week introductory training course, and ENG 1, a health exam. The former will cost you $1,000-$1,500 while the latter is usually around $150.

  5. Teaching English. To become an English teacher, you will need to get your TEFL license or CELTA. The TEFL course will make sure you know how to teach, provide some lesson plan ideas and some basic cultural sensitivity training. The CELTA course takes longer and is more pricey. So, find out beforehand what kind of certification a country of your choice requires.

  6. Serving and Bartending. This sphere allows getting a job overseas without a degree. However, to serve food and alcohol, you will need to take a course. For example, in Australia, it is a Responsible Service of Alcohol course which can be done online. You will learn hospitality skills, dietary restrictions, and the basics of making cocktails.

  7. Hospitality. Hospitality jobs include working as a receptionist dealing with check-ins, check-outs, reservations, etc. and cleaning and washing duties in hotels, hostels, and resorts.

  8. Care-taking. It’s a vast field that can entail caring for seniors with failing health as much as pets and houses. For some live-in-care positions, you will need to get some nursing and disability support courses and certifications, while others can be obtained with basic skills.

  9. Aupair. In some way, an au pair job is a mixture of care-taking and English teaching to kids. Many agencies match families with live-in nannies, aka Aupair. Pick a country and how many children you are willing to take care of. Typically, you will be offered accommodation, board, and some pocket money. Work duties include childcare and light housework.

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How to Get a Job Abroad Without Experience

After you figure out what you want to do and where you want to work, you need to think about how to present yourself. Even if you have little or no work experience in the field where you’re applying, a polished and well-written resume and cover letter make all the difference. The golden rule of any job search is to align the application documents to each job description. However, before looking for a job, examine what you have, and spin it to potential employers.

Highlight your high school and college achievements

Let’s start with your formal education. Can it be used in your new role? If you majored in a field far from the scope of a new industry where you intend to work, you might have had relevant coursework. For example, you majored in English, but you took first-aid training in college; use it in your resume for a care-taking position in Italy.

Spin your extracurricular activities

Many entry-level job seekers worry that they have nothing to put on their resumes if they never worked as a bartender or a ski instructor or in any other capacity from the list above. That is where you have to redefine your experience. You may have never taught anyone English, but your communicative skills are strong because you had a summer gig as a call center representative and know the basics of behavior management. So don’t wrack your brain about how you can get job experience without already holding a job. We bet you have some volunteering experience or side projects that qualify as ‘experience.’ Studying abroad provided you with cultural sensitivity training and improved your foreign language fluency. Participating in student government or campus events equipped you with people and event management skills. Working on a college newspaper taught you to work in a fast-paced environment and solid time management skills. Make a list of all clubs, internships, courses, and volunteer stints you had in your college years and see what matches the job description.

Don’t be put off by job requirements

Whatever job duties you see on a job application (meaning the reasonable ones), they often refer to what employers would like to see in their dream candidate. In reality, hardly anyone that will work overseas with no experience can check off every requirement on the job description. Simply do your best to tailor your experience and skills to their needs.

Don’t lie on your resume

Spinning your accomplishments is not the same as lying about your experience. You are never encouraged to tell lies in your job hunt. It is highly unprofessional. However, selling yourself is not lying. Look at yourself and your skills through an employer’s eye and find in your life what they want to see in a candidate: passion and a willingness to get your hands dirty (for farming and care-taking); attention to detail and creativity (for English teaching).

Remember about a cover letter

Indeed, job seekers often find jobs right on the spot. It is much easier to arrive at a resort and drop your resume at each restaurant, bar, or hotel around. It is common practice, and business owners expect many candidates to come and introduce themselves in person. In such a case, you can make do without a cover letter. In all the other cases, if you’re looking for a job online and are sending your resumes in response to job postings on job boards, adding a cover letter increases your chances of landing a new job abroad more quickly. It can be a bit trickier than you imagine, so read about how to make an attention-grabbing introduction in a cover letter and a cover letter greeting and more detail on the cover letter format.

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Practical Considerations for Beginners

Even before you sit down to prepare your resume and cover letter, make sure you are familiar with the list of documents and permits you need when you enter your destination.

  • Visa. Most countries require all comers to have some kind of visa. There is usually a 12-month visa or a 24-month visa (like New Zealand for UK citizens). Canada provides working visas by quotas. For example, Canada welcomed 14,000 caregivers in 2019. However, visa restrictions are different in different countries. Within the European Union, EU nationals can travel for work without visa restrictions. In contrast, American citizens can enter any European country without an employment visa and then apply for a work permit within 3 months. The US is more stringent in terms of visa requirements for Europeans and requires a job offer before applying for a working visa.

  • Second Passport. Forbes argues that obtaining a second passport is a viable option for many who want to work abroad more than for a year:

    “There are a number of countries where you can obtain citizenship-by-naturalization in five years.”

    In Europe, there is the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Turkey. Other places include Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Jamaica, Panama, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Belize. Although it is not an option that you can carry out right now, it is worthy of contemplating in the long run.

  • Academic transcript. Some jobs may require a copy of your qualifications. Prepare beforehand and gather an academic transcript from your college or school. It may need to be certified by a notary.

  • PayPal Account. Think beforehand about how you will get paid. A company may transfer your payment to your bank account, but it is also possible to set up a PayPal account to make money transitions easier.


Whatever You Choose, Kill It

When deciding to work abroad, pay special attention to jobs in care-taking, hospitality, or farming. The job market can be challenging for people without experience, but after a year in a new capacity, you can take advantage of your job overseas and turn it into something you really want. Your teaching experience in Asia can bring you a career in marketing in Beijing, or you can parlay your construction job in Canada into something more skilled.

Securing any job in a new country can be a step up your career ladder. You learn some hard skills, but at the same time, you hone your soft skills through experiencing a new culture and understanding the world better.

Pay special attention to the application process. It is always time consuming, and your perseverance will pay off.

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