UW-L Career Services

Job candidate skills sought by international employers

Computer science, health education, international marketing, biotechnology, sciences, and teaching have been the best UW-L majors for students seeking international opportunities. There are certain experiences and transferable skills that will benefit individuals attempting to work in another country. You will be hired first and foremost for your industry knowledge and practical skills. Obviously, having fluency in a foreign language and multiculturalism as a result of overseas cultural immersion will improve your chances of getting hired. Knowledge of geography, logistics, and U.S. Trade and Foreign Policy will be desirable.

The importance of researching world economics and events
Read international journals and refer to international news media in your country of preference.  Broad reading of what's happening on the international economic front is also important, especially in your major.

Preparing a resume with an international focus
Marketing your employable skills on a resume will be more important than where you have traveled or studied. Some skills used frequently in international scenarios are problem solving, independence, flexibility, adaptability and awareness of cultural differences. Your resume should consider the local customs and present a global picture of your qualifications. When applying for jobs in countries where English is not the first language, it is important to remember to translate your resume into the official language. 

For sample U.S. format, English resumes: 

Resume standards of the European community are available here:

Ways to network with international individuals and groups
Networking with people in the international area is a logical approach to successful job searching. Seek out professional associations that have an international interest. Some include:

  • www.aiesec.org  - a student association with 50,000 members in 87 countries at 800 universities that offer opportunities for students and recent grads to develop leadership skills for a global society.
  • http://irex.org/careers/ - IREX (the International Research & Exchanges Board) is a U.S. nonprofit organization specializing in higher education, independent media, Internet development, and civil society programs in the United States, Europe, Eurasia, the Near East, and Asia. IREX's mission for over 35 years has been to foster democracy in transitioning societies.

Obtaining legal authorization to work in another country
An important aspect of finding a job in a foreign country is to research proper work visas and permits required to live and work in the desired country. Most countries require a valid U.S. passport, but all of the other permits and visas differ from country to country. Each country has their own laws dealing with different types of visas, work permits, and permanent resident permits. There are organizations that take care of all of this for a fee. These organizations are membership supported, non-profit and non-political. Two such organizations that have been operating for years include www.bunac.org  and www.ciee.org . It is important to evaluate the fee since it may be less costly and time intensive than independently trying to work through all of the paperwork for work permits or visas. For individual processing the embassy/consulate is usually the lead agency, www.embpage.org.

Back  |  Next