3 Resume Tips to Get Hired For International Graduates
“I can’t get interviews. I can’t get a job.” I’ve heard it a lot from international graduates and skilled migrants. I agree that it’s more challenging to get a full-time job when you’re on a temporary visa. In this video, I’m going to share 3 challenges you’re facing when looking for jobs as someone from overseas and the strategies I used to get full-time job offers for my clients and myself. Let’s dive in.
TIP 1. INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE
I know the biggest concern companies have for an international graduate is your experience. As a graduate, you may have just a short period of working before your degree or you may not have any experience at all if you’re a Bachelor’s graduate. Now, you may say “But Thea, I’ve got a Master’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree”.
Are you the only one who has a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree? No, all of your friends at uni also have it. And now they’re competing with you for the job. So you’re not outstanding. How about experienced candidates? They not only have a degree, but also many years of experience, real work experience, not just academic knowledge.
So, how to fix this problem when you just have a degree, or a degree and 1-2 years of experience? Actually, the problem is not your lack of experience. The problem is you don’t know how to present the experience you’ve already got. Do you agree with me that you can’t wave a magic wand and immediately add a few years of experience into your resume, don’t you? That’s why you need to focus on what you’ve already got.
Talk about the projects you’ve done at uni. I’m sure you also have a problem to solve in the project, some actions you took to solve the problem, and the results you achieved for that project. It’s exactly the same as work experience when you’re working in a company. Now, some graduates think it’s not experience. Yes, it is. You can get experience from work, and from studying. You still solved a problem and got results in that experience. You also gain new skills and learnings from it. It’s good enough to talk about in your resume. And it’s still way much better than talking about irrelevant part-time jobs like working in a restaurant. I hope it makes sense to you.
Similarly, if you’ve got some internships, part-time jobs, volunteering jobs during your study, it’s perfect to highlight them in your resume. Just make sure they’re related to your professional background. My graduate clients only have 2 positions on their resume, one is a project at uni, another one is an internship or another project at uni. And they got 5-figure full-time jobs and became a software engineer, an account manager, etc. It doesn’t matter from where you’ve got the experience, but it does matter how you present the experience in your resume to impress the hiring manager.
If you’ve been applying for jobs for a while and still haven’t got any interviews or only 1-2 interviews, not enough to get an offer, it shows that your resume isn’t working. Stop applying and fix it if you don’t want to waste your time. I’ve got a solution for you. Head to https://theaho.co/training. I’ve got a free training for you. I’ll show you 3 secrets I used to get multiple interviews and job offers for my clients and myself. Yes, you heard it right. Some of my clients only need resume strategies and got an offer without using my interview strategies yet. You can do the same. Check out https://theaho.co/success to get some inspiration.
TIP 2. LOCAL EXPERIENCE
If you’re an international graduate and you’ve applied for jobs, I’m sure you’ve heard about this and can’t ignore it – local experience. It means the experience you’ve got when working in the new country, not your home country.
But why do companies require this? Every country has different practices in a professional area. For example, tax laws and accounting rules in the new country may be different from those of your home country. Accountants here apply a different set of practices and you need to be aware of them if you want to deliver your job or get hired.
How can you get local experience while you just come here to study and haven’t worked here yet? Is it too much of a requirement? I know it’s unfair for you but you should think from the perspective of the employer. Between a local candidate with local experience and an international graduate without local experience, who do you think they would choose given they’ll pay the same salary. The obvious answer is the one with local experience so that they don’t need to spend time for training and that person can hit the ground running immediately to get results for the company.
If you’re a graduate, it’s a bit late for you to start getting local experience now. It should be done during your study with internships, apprenticeships, part-time jobs, volunteering, etc. No worries, it’s not too late. If you can’t get local experience from real work, then you can get it from research. Get yourself updated on all professional knowledge in your background, the products/services, companies, market, practices, laws, rules, etc. And then, this is important, reflect this knowledge on your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and in the interviews.
You can also obtain knowledge from short-term courses. Like the example earlier, if you’re an accountant, you can take courses about accounting, tax, payroll, etc. And don’t mistake it to only get certificates. I agree that certificates do help but knowledge decides you can get the offer or not. So enroll in these courses to get knowledge, not just certificates. They’ll know whether you’ve got the knowledge or not by asking you just a few questions in the interview. so, focus on knowledge, not certificates.
TIP 3. GRADUATE VISA
Let’s talk about the sensitive topic – your visa. You’re a graduate so you’re on a temporary visa or you haven’t got the work permit yet. And your visa is limited, 1, 2, or 3 years. When you apply for a job, you may receive some rejections due to your temporary visa though you have full work rights, you can legally work for a company. Companies don’t openly accept it but it still happens, very, very often.
Haiz, I know, it’s frustrating, it hurts, it’s unfair. It happened to me as well. I was on a temporary visa just like you, no PR, no citizenship. I got so many rejections from it. And when I got some interviews, they asked for local experience and I got zero local experience. See, I was exactly like you, so I completely understand how you feel.
So, how to solve this sensitive issue? No worries, friend. I’ve got solutions for you. You need to address it in both your resume and interview. In your resume, you need to show that you’ve got full work rights. And in the interview, show that you’ve got a plan and you’re taking action to get PR. You can’t change the truth that you haven’t got PR yet but a strong action plan towards that goal can help the employer build trust in you.
If you’re an international graduate or skilled migrant and you’re struggling to get an offer, let me give you a hand. I’ve got a free training at https://theaho.co/training. It’s just an hour but I’m sharing 3 secrets I used to get a $132,000 full-time job as a migrant without local experience, without network, and I was on a temporary visa, just like you. I’ve got a bonus “10 deadly mistakes to avoid to 10x your success rate and get the offer”. So join the training and grab it now. Head to https://theaho.co/training.
IN A NUTSHELL
So there you have it, 3 resume tips to get hired for international graduates. I don’t talk about getting hired for part-time jobs but I talk about a 5-6 figure full-time job that can help you get PR and live indefinitely here. If you want more free resources, head over to my free training below.
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out my FREE resources!