How to Get a Job Overseas: A Complete Guide to Landing a Remote Role
Remote Job Hunting
Have you been wondering how to get a job overseas?
If you’ve been working remotely due to the pandemic, you may not see any reason to limit yourself to one small corner of the world.
You can take a remote job abroad to earn a steady income and progress in your career while exploring every country on your bucket list. It’s a total win-win!
And the best news?
It’s not as difficult as you may think, especially if you follow the five tips we’ve outlined in today’s guide.
We’ll show you everything you need to consider and share a step-by-step game plan to get you there.
So let’s jump in!
How to Get a Job Overseas Working Remotely: A Step-by-Step Guide
To fully understand the process of how to get a job overseas, you need to know the challenges you may face along the way and how to overcome them.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream remote role abroad:
Step 1: Understand What You’re Really Getting Into
Before we get any further, you’ll need to do a bit of research to make sure you can legally earn and accept payments for work performed overseas.
So check your local laws about payments and your tax responsibilities first.
In our guide on how to do your taxes when working remotely, we discussed the different types of remote employees and how these classifications affect tax liabilities. Understanding those should give you an idea of the types of jobs you can accept and where it may be best to work.
Speaking of that, do you have a specific locale you’ve been daydreaming about? Or do you plan to travel from destination to destination as a digital nomad in your new remote life?
These answers matter for a few different reasons.
First, you’ll need to know the cost of living wherever you wind up. This will ensure you find a remote job that covers rent, food, transportation, and other expenses.
Another factor to consider is the potential language barrier.
This won’t be a problem if you speak another language fluently, but it could pose a challenge if you decide to work for a local company whose employees work from home.
So when applying for remote roles, be sure to look for the language this company prefers and which other languages their team members speak. Check for this in the job ad or on the company’s website to see whether the position is a good fit for you.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the possibility of working across different time zones.
If you work for a US-based remote company but live in Germany, for example, your employer may want you to overlap hours in their time zone at least part of the day. So you may be working much earlier or later than you originally planned.
You may also decide to live somewhere that’s 12 hours ahead or behind the rest of the team, which means you and your remote coworkers may be communicating on completely different workdays.
Collaborating and team bonding may be more challenging with such a significant time difference, but it’s certainly doable with the right know-how.
So think about the hours you’re willing to work and narrow down the locations and time zones that would best suit this schedule. After all, one of the perks of working remotely is creating your own personal work-from-home schedule so you can explore all your new hometown has to offer.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Remote Work Skills
You must take an honest assessment of your job skills to see what you can offer potential remote employers.
So have you worked remotely before? What technical skills do you have that prove you can handle your workload autonomously? Are you proficient in remote tools for project management, collaboration, and communication?
These are all must-haves fully remote companies will be looking for. And if you highlight them during your applications, you’ll gain a leg up on your competition.
Potential employers won’t have to waste time training you or wait until you’re over the remote work learning curve. You’ll be able to hit the ground running on day one!
However, you can still land a remote job with no remote experience -- as long as you have the skills a role calls for and the drive to deliver.
So write down your most impressive or attractive work skills. Then, make connections between your experience and how you think your skills will translate for the remote position you’re eyeing.
Competencies you picked up in a traditional office setting almost always transfer when you start working remotely. So think about how you’re going to be using your skills differently to benefit your future remote employer.
Show them why it’s in their best interest to take a chance on you, and they just might.
In the meantime, it would also help if you started brushing up on the remote work skills you may be lacking.
For example, you could teach yourself how to use asynchronous communication tools and workflows. This would show you’re a disciplined self-starter serious about leveling up your career. Who wouldn’t want someone like that on their team?
When the time comes, you can use these skills to build out your resume and position yourself as a qualified candidate worth scooping up.
You should also think about creating a cover letter template to use when applying to each remote position, which happens to be the next step.
Step 3: Apply to Remote Positions Overseas
If you want to land a remote job overseas, skip the traditional online job markets and head over to a remote-specific job board like We Work Remotely.
You’ll find a wealth of employers who are specifically looking to hire remote team members from across the globe, making it the best place to search for and apply to jobs.
As you start browsing remote job listings, you may be surprised by all the opportunities in your field. That’s why it’s smart to use a spreadsheet to keep your remote job search organized and efficient.
Create columns at the top to chart your path, such as whether you wrote your resume, cover letter, applied to the position, etc. Then, add each job to its own row in the first column. Once you apply to these jobs, update your spreadsheet and set follow-up reminder dates to show potential employers just how interested you are in the role.
Before you send off your resume and cover letter, carefully read the job ad several times. Highlight specific keywords the company used, especially if they pertain to your experience.
Hiring teams use applicant tracking systems that automatically scan resumes for specific keywords. If your resume contains these, you’ll move on to the next round (a real person reading your resume). If you fail to include these, your resume may wind up in a folder never to be seen.
That’s what experts mean when they say you should tailor your resume to your dream remote job (and that guide will show you how!).
This may seem like extra work, but it will definitely pay off when you land the role that’s right for you.
Step 4: Nail Your Virtual Interview
While you may think “winging” your interview makes sense, we’d caution against doing this. You only have a short window of opportunity to impress potential employers and show them why you’re the best fit for the role.
Psst! Check out these 5 tips to ace your virtual interview next!
To ensure you don’t waste any time, it pays to practice some basic interview questions beforehand. You can prepare thoughtful answers that hit on all your best selling points.
So consider how you’d answer common virtual interview questions like:
- Tell us about yourself
- Why did you leave your last role?
- Why are you looking for a remote job overseas?
- Why do you want to work with us?
- Where do you see yourself in three, five, or 10 years?
It’s also a good idea to come prepared with the top questions to ask remote companies in your virtual interview. Asking these also shows you’re interested in the company and position and did your homework.
Finally, thank your interviewer for their time and send a follow-up thank-you afterward to leave an excellent first impression.
PS: Your virtual interview is not the place to negotiate your salary. So if you hear a number that doesn’t work right off the bat, sit tight until you have an official offer. Then use the tips in this guide to negotiate a better salary later.
Step 5: Start Out on the Right Foot When You Land the Job
Once you land the remote job of your dreams, it’s crucial to start this new working relationship on the right foot. We covered this topic in a previous guide, so we’ll share a brief overview here and encourage you to check that out next:
1. Prepare for your new role by ensuring you have the right equipment and access to the remote tools you’ll be using. Try to fill out important hiring documents ahead of time so you can start working on day one.
2. Get up to speed. Read your new company’s blog and press releases, check out industry newsletters, and stay abreast of the latest trends in your field. When you know what to expect, you can make meaningful contributions as a new team member.
3. Learn more about your managers and coworkers. Check out the company website and personal LinkedIn profiles to read about who you’ll be working with. This can help you find common ground and makes it easier to break the ice when your first day rolls around.
4. Find a dedicated office space so you can show up each day ready to work. You can use this guide to setting up your dream home office space for inspiration. However, if your overseas abode doesn’t have this room, try to find a local cafe, library, or coworking space with reliable, fast internet before your first day.
5. Practice a dry run to eliminate potential technical difficulties that will only add stress and pressure to your first day. Log in to your remote software, test your camera and microphone, and make sure you don’t have to install updates the day of.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have a smooth transition that makes a stellar introduction to your new team.
Final Thoughts on How To Get a Job Overseas and Work Remotely
There’s no reason you can’t achieve your goal of landing a remote job overseas, especially now that you know the process. The steps are almost identical to finding a job locally, except that you’ll be using a remote job board and remote software tools.
So keep this step-by-step checklist handy, and don’t forget to check out the We Work Remotely Learning Portal. You’ll find everything you need to grow in your dream remote career, no matter which country you decide to call home.
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