Do you want to transition from expat to valuable candidate status, in a competitive market like Zürich?
Moving to a new country. Jump starting your family’s new routine. Learning a new language. Helping in your community. Navigating the cultural differences one can face anywhere, even on the tram. Does this sound like ‘doing nothing’ to you? According to international career coach and job search strategist, Rebeca Gelencser, “sometimes women underestimate what they do in their daily life, while off an official job. However, they can add value and make this time count. ”
Your expat life counts as valuable work experience!
We’re excited to pass along the essential tips Rebeca shared with us.
Tip #1 Cover the gaps in your CV with grace. You might have gaps because you stopped working to relocate or for family reasons. Make sure these are covered with grace: use anything and everything to your advantage. Be creative about how you describe yourself and what you have accomplished while out of the professional workforce. For example, have you been active in your new community or volunteered for a cause? This can translate into community leadership, an essential skill in today’s work environment.
Tip #2 Get LinkedIn working for you. LinkedIn is definitely the best platform for job seekers. You can publish, follow relevant people, apply for jobs, get endorsed, recommended and, most importantly, raise your visibility so that recruiters come across your profile. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the more visible your profile becomes. (The magic number is said to be 500 + 1 connections). However, beware! Now recruiters check profiles online and form an opinion before even considering an interview. So polish your profile before applying for any job!
Tip #3 Network online and off-line. Lean In is this Zuri Girl’s go-to-networking group here in Zürich and has no membership fee. Social media can help you get in touch with like-minded people with whom to network. Be proactive in your off-line networking approach as well: talk to people even when you don’t know them; become active in your community; even by joining a group of women from your homeland, you might find the link needed for a job here. Give yourself resources that are important in the new job landscape.
Tip #4 Do your research. Be prepared to ask smart questions and not only about the company or the position you are seeking. Interviewers are an important piece of the puzzle, so it does not hurt to know how did they progress on their own careers or articles they might have written and you can reference during the interview. If meeting a recruiter, gather salary data beforehand. They will typically ask about that on the first call but never say how much you make. Concentrate instead on how much you think a person in this job, this industry and this city makes a year.
Tip #5 No interviews or call-backs? Consider a career coach. Think of it as part trainer, cheerleader and mentor who will help you focus on your skills, set ambitious career goals for yourself and teach you how to achieve them.
Article by Zuri Girl Bruny Nieves…This Puerto Rican balances her mommy duties with freelance work in Public Relations, her Juice Plus franchise and writing about living in Switzerland from her tropical perspective in her TropiSuiza blog. Bruny likes to run, read and travel.