When looking for a job abroad, it's best not to put all your eggs in one basket, as the more job applications you make, the better your chances of finding a good job. Contact as many prospective employers as possible, either by writing, telephoning or calling on them in person, depending on the type of vacancy. Whatever job you're looking for, it's important to market yourself correctly and appropriately, which depends on the type of job you're after. For example, the recruitment of executives and senior managers is handled almost exclusively by consultants who advertise in local newspapers (and also abroad) and interview all applicants prior to presenting clients with a shortlist. At the other end of the scale, manual jobs requiring no previous experience may be advertised at government employment centres, in local newspapers and in shop windows, and the first suitable, able?bodied applicant may be offered the job on the spot.
When writing for a job, address your letter to the personnel director or manager and include your curriculum vitae (CV), and copies of all references and qualifications. Note, however, that writing for jobs from abroad is a hit and miss business and it's probably the least successful method of securing employment. If you can attend interviews abroad, inform prospective employers when you will be available for interview and arrange as many as you can fit into the allotted time. Your method of job hunting will depend on your particular circumstances, qualifications and experience, and the sort of job you're looking for.
Your best chance of obtaining certain jobs abroad is to apply in person, when success is often simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Many companies don't advertise but rely on attracting workers by word of mouth and their own vacancy boards. Shops often put vacancy notices in their windows and newsagents may also display job advertisements from employers on a notice board, although these are generally only for temporary or part?time help. It's advisable to leave your name and address with a prospective employer, and, if possible, a telephone number where you can be contacted, particularly if a job may become vacant at a moment's notice. Advertise the fact that you're looking for a job, not only with friends, relatives and acquaintances, but with anyone you come into contact with who may be able to help.
The Internet provides access to literally thousands of websites for jobseekers, advertising millions of job vacancies, including recruitment companies, corporate websites, and newspaper and magazine job advertisements (you can use a search engine such as Google to find them). The rapid development of the Internet has also led to a big increase in the number of online recruitment agencies and job search sites and job boards. Some sites charge a subscription fee to access their vacancy listings, but most permit jobseekers to review and respond to listings free of charge.
Millions of people use the Internet to find a new job and many companies do most of their recruitment via their own websites.
It's also possible to post your CV online (again, usually free), but it's wise to consider the security implications of this move. By posting your home address or phone number in public view, you could be opening yourself up to nuisance phone calls or even worse. Some websites allow you to exclude certain companies, such as your present and previous employers.
Further information is available in our Living and Working series of books.