All you have to do is tell your story

Helping an expat partner to apply for a job – and prep them for an interview – is not simply a technical process but an emotional one, too, says Flor de Maria Paredes-Mattos, an intercultural corporate coach.

Opening up

“I always try to get my clients to open up and discuss both the past (how did you get to this point?) and the present (what are you looking for?),” says Flor, who recently helped Global Connection member and expat partner Eóin Kearney to find a job as head of marketing in the Netherlands. “The aim is to identify their target and build a story around them to get there.”

Catch their attention

“Of course, we will always look at the CV and cover letter. With someone like Eóin, I could see the content was amazing. He just needed to have the right layout and keywords for the local job market,” says Flor, whose motto is ‘Let’s unlock your potential’. “The purpose of the CV and a cover letter is to catch the attention of the HR department and get to the interview stage. From there, you have to show your passion and belief. You want to answer the question in the interviewer’s head: ‘Why do I choose you? ’”

Less is more

When it comes to applying for jobs, Flor urges careful consideration (no matter how eager you are to find work). “If you apply for jobs that you are not really suited to then you will receive rejections. You can lose confidence as a result. At times I have asked my clients to stop, look at their CV and identify jobs they really want,” says Flor. “Even when you are offered a job. You don’t have to say yes! You can take a step back and consider if it is the right job for you.”

Boosting confidence

As expat partners will always be entering uncharted waters – new country, different culture, a multitude of unknowns – Flor has observed there is often an insecurity or a lack of confidence when it comes to interviews. “I always remind people that the interview is about a subject they know very well: You!” says Flor. “It’s reassuring for them to think going into an interview: ‘I know all the answers! All I have to do is tell my story .’”

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