5 Strategies to Gain Credibility with Employers in Your New Country

Posted on Jul 20, 2015 | 5 comments

5 Strategies to Gain Credibility with Employers in Your New Country

Moving to a new country means creating a new network of contacts and oftentimes it feels like you have to prove yourself over and over again. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Here are five strategies you can start using right now to make employers want to hire you!


1. Volunteer.

Want that job planning fundraisers? Wondering how to show the school that you’re the teacher for them? Try the most practical way possible: by actually doing the job they want to hire you for. Volunteer for the employer you are targeting or another organization in order to showcase your skills. Employers may actually see how well you’ve done or, at the very least, you will be able to put actual experience, doing that exact job (or something similar) in your new country on your résumé.


For example, if you’re a teacher and you’d really like a position at an international school, you have a few options. Your main goals are for the administration at the school to get to know you and to show them your skills as a teacher. This way you will gain their trust and they’ll be one step closer to hiring you. Here are a few options you can try:

  • Volunteer to plan an event, field trip, or a guest lesson plan for a class at the school. Preferably this will be at the grade level you’d like to teach.
  • Offer tutoring services for kids who need a little extra help. This can be either on a volunteer or paid basis. Get to know the parents and get to know the kids, which will give you another connection at the school.
  • Volunteer to help at an event. Schools often need volunteers to help with sports tournaments, theater productions, or even bake sales. Connect with the person who plans these events and offer to give them a hand.


2. Sprinkle work references into regular conversation.

When moving to a new country, not all our conversations clearly fall into “professional” or “personal” because we are meeting so many new people and it’s not always clear which of our interactions will lead to a job. For this reason, it can be helpful to mention work even in personal conversations.


Let’s say you are at the park with your kids and you strike up a conversation with another parent. You begin talking about the kids’ school and an upcoming event. You can mention that in your previous position, you used to manage budgets and you are impressed with how well the school is doing with limited funds. (Being positive is important!) This is the first step in demonstrating that you know your field and puts you on the path to establishing your credibility.


3. Be reliable and responsive.

When people first meet you, one of the easiest ways to convince them that you are the kind of person they want to work with is to be reliable and responsive and to do it quickly. When you meet someone at a cocktail party who mentions a job they may know about and asks you to send your CV, don’t wait a few days or weeks to follow up with that person. Send them your CV the next day as well as a brief paragraph citing a few reasons you would be a great asset to any employer. Knowing that you will do what you say will do on time goes a long way to creating a great first impression and establishing credibility.


4. Create a portfolio.

Creative types like graphic designers, artists, or writers commonly have a portfolio of their work that they are able to share, but most of us don’t. When moving to a new country where you might not have any connections at all, showing concrete examples of your work can make a huge difference. Pull together pictures, videos, documents, and planning tools that show you knew what you were doing in your last job.


Here’s an example: In your home country you worked in marketing. In your new country, you’d like to continue doing something similar. Make a list of all the brands you worked with in your home country and some examples of what you did to help them. Did you design the logo? If so, include that in your portfolio. Did you plan the media buys? If so, provide a sample of how much money or percentage of the budget was spent on which buy and how successful they were. Did you manage a team? If going for a management position, include organizational charts and the written plan of how you mentored your team members to success.


5. Make it easy for them to hire you.

As an expat, one of the most frustrating things can be your work visa status. It can also be a big turn-off for employers as it requires them to do a lot more work to hire you than they have to do to hire a local. You’ll be doing employers a huge favor, and convince them that you can tackle any bureaucratic problem, if you’ve done your research and know exactly the steps they need to take to hire you. If they need any additional paperwork from you, make sure you have a complete list of what they need and copies of your documents. The simpler it is for them, the more likely they will be to hire you, and the more thankful they’ll be that you’ve done their work for them.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: info@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.


Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant


  1. It’s important for companies to give feedback and coaching to employees so that their efforts stay aligned with the goals of the company and meet expectations. During an employee’s first few weeks on the job, an employer should provide intensive feedback.

    • Hi Dyson! You are so right. Feedback and coaching is extremely important. Thanks for checking out the article and thank you for your comments!

  2. Hi Grace! Awesome example! Thanks for your feedback! Good luck with your global career! – Anna

  3. Hi Anna,

    This was really helpful, thank you! I really think that these are good strategies.

    No. 1 is especially good. When I volunteered to help at an event for a company that I did not know before, I was actually just signing up to see what the event was like. In the end, I became one of their interns! In a new country where business may not be accessible for several reasons (language, laws and regulations, etc), volunteering is a sure way to get a taster of the job you are interested in and to make some useful contacts!

    • Hi Grace, I’m so glad you could relate to Anna’s article! Sounds like you had a fantastic volunteering experience abroad. You never know what can come out of it. Thanks for sharing and we look forward to hearing your feedback in the future! – Kayla

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!