Excerpted from International Jobs Directory by Ronald and Caryl Krannich, Ph.D.s,
with permission from Impact Publications.
If you have few international skills as well as little international experience, your chances of getting an international job should be better by pursuing entry-level opportunities with nonprofit organizations, education institutions (teaching languages abroad), and the travel industry rather than with government, international organizations, and businesses. International positions with government and international organizations are designed for individuals with strong international qualifications. Businesses tend to promote individuals from within the organization to what are considered to be senior international positions rather than hire international specialists directly for such positions. The first and foremost consideration for a business is that the employee knows their business. Becoming internationally competent - foreign language ability, knowledge of countries, cross-cultural adjustments, living abroad - is something experienced employees can learn once they are overseas in their assignments.
At the same time, you may want to monitor international job vacancy announcements that appear on home pages, key Internet employment sites, and in several reliable publications. Electronic and print job listings and vacancy announcements only represent a portion of international job opportunities available at any particular time.
Except in the case of some reputable teacher placement services, you need not - indeed should not - pay someone else to find you an international job. If you become drawn to so-called international employment firms that promise to find you an international job for up-front fees, you may quickly discover unscrupulous firms that take advantage of individuals who are highly motivated to work abroad but who are basically "job dumb." These firms are notorious for extracting fees-ranging from US$300 - US$10,000 from individuals who mistakenly believe these firms have an inside track to the international job market. Our basic rule of thumb for weeding out the good from the bad is this: If a firm requires up-front fees without written performance guarantees, even for conducting preliminary employment testing, avoid them. This is often a sign that you are about to be taken down the familiar road so many other disappointed international job seekers have traveled - to your bank account only!
At the same time, there are many reputable firms involved in the international employment business. A few are job search and placement firms, but most are "executive recruiters" or "headhunters" who are paid by employers to find qualified employees for particular positions. Rather than recruit employees directly, many international employers prefer hiring such firms to do the necessary recruitment and preliminary screening of candidates. Remember, these firms are paid by the employer - either on a retainer or contingency fee basis - and not by the job seeker. Any firm that tells you they have been retained by employers to find them employees, but then requires you to pay them, is probably ripping you off with an up-front fee requirement. Reputable firms get paid by employers on the basis of their performance which is measured by recruiting the necessary skills required by the employer.