Motivation

Aiming for a Dream Startup Job in a Foreign Land? These Steps Will Help You Strengthen Your Case

startup job career abroadFinding the right opportunity is one thing, but the more important thing is how the applicant prepares for the job application.

Modern tech companies today, fill their technical skill and diversity gap through expatriate assignments. From startup, accelerated scale up to corporate, companies seek expatriate generalists and specialists mostly in the managerial and technology industries for a short 3-month work period to full-time employment. To fill in the gap, specialized job portals disrupt the traditional job market to facilitate global talent outsourcing effectively. Specialized job portals are a good avenue to find niche opportunities.

BrainGain, a job portal for international start-up careers, target young professionals and also offer free work visa to talent migration consultation- the first of its kind. Jobbattical, caters to start up opportunities for short work period, ideal for travelers’ lifestyle. For seasoned professionals, job portals like AngelList and Escape The City post volunteer to full-time international start up opportunities predominantly based in start-up metropolis cities.

Finding the right opportunity is one thing, but the more important thing is how the applicant prepares for the job application. Here are some advice to keep in mind when applying for startup careers overseas:

1. Identify the right work location

According to Startup Genome Project, the best startup ecosystem for 2017 list are Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Beijing, Boston, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Seattle, Paris, Singapore, Austin, Stockholm, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney, Chicago, Amsterdam and Bangalore.

The report measures the best ecosystem according to the following criteria: performance, funding, talent, attraction, market reach, startup experience, global connectedness, corporate involvement, and founders. Employment in these metropolis cities is highly competitive and comes with obvious high cost of living (except for Bangalore). But if you want to gain more experience in the startup industry, emerging markets would be the best option.

2. Pick a company

First and foremost, applicant must always read about their company of choice especially the company practices and reviews, after all some companies online are not regulated. To counter check a company online, there are non-biased reviews in Glassdoor or other third-party company review sites which would make a good reference.

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Linkedin is also a good tool to verify current employees and job roles of the company. After counter checking, narrow down your options and list about 5 target companies for application. Why 5, you may ask- simply because it is best to prepare for only a few companies. Applicants’ understanding of the company should not be limited to certain job role, understanding the nature of the business and operations of a company before applying is important. After researching and understanding the company, bear in mind all your questions for the interview. Yes, preparing for the questions is crucial, the hiring manager would know if you are genuinely interested with their business based on your questions.

3. Tailor your resume

After researching the business nature of the company, applicants must align their skills to the demands of the job. The applicant’s expertise should reflect on their written resume, to do so, highlight your best asset as well as your skill set that the company needs. For young professionals to inexperienced applicants, emphasize your potential and show the hiring manager that you can do the job despite the lack of experience. In terms of writing, your resume should be as concise as possible while showing all the necessary details. Most companies actually prefer a single page resume. Lastly, proofread your resume, always check the grammar and spell check especially the name of the hiring manager!

For cover letter writing, one must keep in mind that it’s better to have a cover letter, even when not required. In this particular letter, can only the applicant show their knowledge of the company and their interest for applying (prior the interview) which would go a long way in the application especially for short listed applicants. In the Philippines, most companies do not ask for a cover letter, but if you’re applying abroad it should be standard. Remember, in writing both resume and cover letter, never submit generic application that could pass for any position. The hiring manager would know if it is your 10th application of the day! For review, ask a friend if they can explain why are you applying for the position based on your resume and cover letter.

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Braving a different city for work entails tons of preparation from application process, work permit to migration, aside from which, being mentally prepared is just as important. Here are some friendly advice to condition yourself before working overseas:

4. Learn to adapt to your new environment

Let’s say you got the job in a startup overseas, sure it’s an exciting thought but, adjusting to another culture will take time. Chances are you might not like the local food, experience language barrier, get lost, get sick, and be constantly on your own. Living in another city is like being born again, except you’re in your 20s or 30s but you’re going to learn a lot. Being abroad is about embracing the unknown and learning from different people.

5. Aim for work-life balance

Once you get a job abroad never take it for granted. Always grab any opportunity to learn and improve your skill. Always challenge yourself but also enjoy as much, working overseas is not all about work. The fast-paced and constantly changing culture of startups is quite a challenge and the more pressure that you are living abroad too. Unlike corporations, startups promote work life balance and camaraderie in the work place.


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