In today’s job market, no matter where you are in the world, developing a personal brand is critical to successfully networking and finding job opportunities. Whether you are publishing on Medium, networking on Twitter or creating posts on LinkedIn, it is important that you have something more to show employers about who you are as a professional than a PDF of your resume.
Being on the ground in the country that you may want to work in after college is a huge advantage when it comes to exploring the local job market and potential employment opportunities. What we are talking about really is content marketing, and the thing you are “marketing” is yourself. Essentially, what you want to be doing is sharing your ideas about your industry with professionals and “influencers” in your field, asking them questions, and using your content as a reason to reach out to them and begin a conversation with them about your industry. And better yet, targeting professionals in the country you are studying abroad in.
To ensure your time is well spent, be specific about the industry and type of companies you might be interested in working for. This is going to help narrow your search so that you can do more in-depth research on your companies of interest.
Once you identify a few companies you might be interested in, start reading through their blog and social media accounts to get a better feel for what they do, their approach to the industry and their role in it. Remember, information is power, and this is especially true when networking and exploring job opportunities.
Once you know the specific companies you are interested in, it is time to get even more targeted in your research, namely, finding specific employees of the company (ideally expats) to reach out to. You can reach out and request to talk to them to get information for a post you are working on, or about life as an expat or about how their career led them abroad or any industry specific questions. But it is always a good idea to have a specific reason for wanting to speak with them.