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A Guide To Finding An Overseas Placement Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

by Stuart Cooke about a year ago in advice
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Finding an overseas placement right now isn't easy. Lots of businesses can't open due to lockdown and jobs are limited. Here are some useful tips to find an overseas placement amidst the ongoing pandemic.

With COVID-19 still spreading and lots of uncertainty surrounding travel, now might feel like a strange time to be looking for a placement overseas. But despite the pandemic, life goes on and you shouldn't have put everything on hold for the foreseeable future, especially as we hope to return to some sort of normal next year or so. What’s more, there are still lots of businesses across the globe still hiring and plenty of organisations still looking for people to fill placements and internships.

However, because of lockdowns and travel restrictions, plus the fact that many organisations and establishments remain shut right now, finding a placement might be trickier. That’s why we have put together this article of our top tips for optimising your search and finding an overseas placement amidst the ongoing pandemic.

1. Don’t expect to find a placement overnight

You might be keen to get the ball rolling and find yourself a placement. After all, 2020 hasn't been the year we were all hoping for and it’s nice to have something to look forward too. That being said, you can’t expect to find a placement overnight. In normal circumstances it can take a while to find the placement and location that is right for you and this is more true now than ever before.

With the virus still taking its toll on countries around the globe, many are reluctant to welcome non-natives. Not to mention that many businesses are having to pause trading, shut down or let go of some of their existing employees. This can make it trickier to find the ideal placement in a location and company that suits your needs.

However, this does not mean you won’t eventually find an overseas placement, you just need to be patient and keep a positive attitude. Don’t expect this to happen instantly and instead take your time to find the work placement and destination that is going to be most effective for helping you on your chosen career path. Even if it takes a little longer to get there.

2. Be strategic and choose your placement and destination wisely

Because of the challenges that COVID-19 has created and because of the impact it’s had on the global job market, you need to make sure you're conducting your search strategically. It’s likely you’ll have a good idea what you want to do for your placement, but if not, think about working for an industry that has been less impacted (or perhaps even thrived) during the pandemic, as there will likely be more opportunities in these areas.

For example, industries such as digital, e-commerce and IT could be some of the safest to choose, where industries like hospitality and tourism have been hit the hardest by the virus.

Similarly, you need to choose your destination wisely. Some countries have been more adversely affected by COVID-19 than others so you need to think not only about where you’ll be happy living and working, but where it is going to be safest for you.

3. Keep an open mind

Following on from our above point about being strategic, you also need to make sure you keep an open mind when looking for a placement overseas. The result of the pandemic is that lots of businesses are unsure about their own future and many have seen hard times recently. This means, those businesses you had your eye on might not have the capacity or budget to take on a new person right now.

As such, you might need to be a little bit more flexible about what it is you want to do and who you want to do it for. Keeping an open mind will mean you're more likely to find a placement and you might be pleasantly surprised how much you still enjoy it, even if you do have to compromise slightly. What’s more, being flexible is a desirable trait and something employers look for - particularly during these unprecedented times. So keeping your options open could actually make you more employable.

4. Show off your skills

And flexibility isn't the only trait you need to demonstrate. Throughout the recruitment process you need to show off your skillset. This is of course always true for the job search but in light of the virus and the impact it’s had on the labour market this is even more important now. You need to make sure you sell yourself and let businesses know why they should hire you even amidst an ongoing pandemic.

If you’ve got experience in past roles, that’s great! If not, use this chance to shout about any transferable skills you have from part-time roles, education and hobbies. You should also highlight any relevant qualifications, especially if you’ve got any language skills to shout out because these can be a real boost to your CV when you're looking for an overseas placement.

5. Be prepared for the online recruitment process

Even if the placement is overseas, most (if not all ) of the recruitment process will take place remotely. Therefore you need to prepare yourself for the virtual/remote recruitment process. First on your list will be creating a killer CV that explains why you're looking for a placement overseas and why you’d be a great fit for the position.

Next, you’ll need to know where to look. There are lots of great job boards and websites out there that can help you find overseas placements. For example, PlacementYear.org, Go Abroad and Indeed. The job advert should be able to tell you more about the current situation with regards to the COVID-19 virus and regulations.

Finally, if you’ve been invited for an interview, it’s most likely to take place via video platforms such as Skype or Zoom. This means you’ll need a secure internet connection and the means to attend the interview. You’ll also need to brush up on your interview techniques.

But a phone or video interview can be understandably nerve-wracking. Lucky for you, there is plenty of advice out there online that can help you to succeed in a virtual interview and a quick Google search will throw up plenty of helpful tips. The same also applies for putting together an interview-winning CV.

Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at MyBaggage.com a luggage shipping service that helps take the hassle out of relocating.

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