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Expat Career: Megan Fitzgerald - Are you managing your career abroad?

Things every expat job seeker or expat professional should be thinking about in 2011.
With the ever-changing employment and economic climates worldwide, it is important that expat job seekers stay current about what is going on in their target country, target markets and target organizations.

With the Internet the flow of information between people and across borders is so rapid that we must also be able to react and respond quickly when opportunities present themselves.

In order to stay informed and promptly react in the global marketplace in 2011, every expat job seeker should also understand and have a handle on these critical elements of a successful job search:

•    Understanding and Communicating Your Unique Value - It is no longer enough to say what you can do and what results you have created. If you want to be taken seriously and not overlooked in a sea of qualified candidates you must convey the value you can bring to an employer in a form and language with which they can relate.

•    Branded Career Marketing Materials - One of the critical ways of communicating your value is through cover letters, resumes, CVs, leadership addendums and other career collateral on and offline that effectively conveys your compelling, differentiating assets and competitive edge in an efficient and powerful way.

•    Social media - It is critical in developing your network authentically and strategically, accessing job opportunities and "getting found" by those who need what you offer most.

•    Your Online Reputation - Many employers will consider what is said about you online almost as important as what your resume or CV communicates. Care must taken to insure you are not unknowingly hurting your chances for the perfect job because of 'digital dirt'

•    Online and Offline Networking - As an expat online networking is essential to building your global network and extending your reach into non-local networks and markets. However whenever possible, taking relationships offline is also a critical to cementing and strengthening relationships in many cultures. Sometimes steps must be taken to create those opportunities, but the time and effort invested can be the critical piece of the puzzle for being selected for certain job opportunities.

•    Cultural Differences - There is no one size fits all in any part of the job search when it comes to looking for a job in a new country. Do your homework and find out how culture will affect your job search if you want to secure a new position in your country of choice.

•    Career Management - In today's marketplace with assignments becoming shorter and shorter, every expat professional is a job seeker - even if you have just taken on a new job. Keeping your eye on and working towards that next opportunity means that your career must be managed on a regular basis - not just tended to when you want to make a change or if you were unfortunate enough to lose your job.

If you are a job seeker and any of the seven items above is unfamiliar to you, then it is important that you carve out time to educate yourself about these issues critical to the success of your job search. Without understanding these things you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in the very competitive and crowded global marketplace.


 Article by Megan Fitzgerald, Expat Career & Personal Branding Coach

Megan Fitzgerald helps expats use their personal brand on and offline to build careers and businesses that fit who they are and their international lifestyle. Named 1 of the top 50 personal branding consultants worth working with, she's been featured in Fortune Small Business Magazine, CNN Money.com, Wall Street Journal Online and several expat and career books and publications. Sign up for her Expat Career & Business Success Tips at www.careerbychoiceblog.com.

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