In today's competitive employment climate, you must be able to stand out and attract the attention of your target employers if you want to be considered for your target jobs.
This is even more true for the international job seeker.
Clarifying and communicating a powerful personal brand is critical for the international job seeker for several reasons:
Due to the demand for certain skills and experience, employers are now sourcing the global talent pool to meet their hiring needs.
This is good news for those in international job search as their target employers are likely more open to hiring them even though they are not located locally.
However this also means that they are competing with potentially thousands rather than tens or hundreds of people who are located close to their target companies and have similar profiles and goals.
Without a compelling and differentiating personal brand, it is easy to get lost in this global talent pool and never be considered for those desired roles.
By definition in an international job search you are not co-located with your target organizations. So unless you are travelling quite frequently to your target country, you will have few to no chances to network or be visible to your target audience in person.
This means your primary - and possibly only - way of connecting with and being found by employers is online.
If you were to add up all of the members of the top online professional networks worldwide you'd come up with over 900 million people. Of course you won't be competing with most of these people as their profiles and goals are different from yours. But those profiles still provide online data with which you must compete for top search results. This is why differentiating your online profile from others is essential to international job search success.
Online search is not just a sourcing tool. It is also a reference check.
When you do not have local contacts or a common network with decision makers, the recommendations on your online profiles will serve as references.
Since credible references have an impact on both the strength of your candidacy and credibility, your unique value, results, and endorsements online must be sufficiently numerous and strong to compete with those candidates who have local and known references.
It is imperative that you craft a compelling, differentiating message of value or personal brand both on- and offline if you want to be found in the global talent pool, attract hiring employers and establish the credibility you need to land work abroad.
About this author...
Megan Fitzgerald is an expat career and personal branding coach, CEO of Career By Choice, and your guide to the world of international careers. With two decades of experience supporting professionals and entrepreneurs in 40+ countries across 6 continents, Megan uses a 360°approach to help expats and international job seekers become highly visible, sought after, and land work abroad. You can read about expat careers at CareerbyChoiceBlog, and also find her on Twitter as @ExpatCoachMegan, on Facebook and Google+, and, of course, on LinkedIn.