A common surprise many expats face when returning home to Australia according to the latest Advance research, is the lack of value the local recruitment market places on international experience. It is easily the number one challenge I discuss with Insync members and the number one contributor I believe to the barrier expats face finding work. If you have experienced this, you are not alone – around 85% of returned expats feel the same way.
Pointing the finger at attitudes of the recruitment market is a natural response – but it doesn’t fix the problem for the returned expat looking for a job back in Australia. There is a gap that needs to be bridged by both the recruiter and the returned expat to better understand and value the candidate’s global experience.
Key for the returned expat, is being aware of the barriers you may face coming home and being prepared to build your part of the bridge.
Here are my top three tips
Localise your language
Be really conscious of your previous titles. Seems such a small detail however using a title that is not recognised in Australia can either confuse a hiring manager or send them a message that you don’t understand the local market and naturally you want to avoid both scenarios.
If you have worked for a brand overseas that does not have an Australian presence, look for like-for-like Australian companies that you can reference when talking about your experience.
Similarly. when writing and talking about your experience, be conscious of not using terms or scenarios not well known in Australia.
Refocus your achievements
Working overseas means many of your achievements will be in countries that may or may not have specific relevance in Australia and it can be all to easy for a hirer to lean towards someone who has Australian specific experience just because it is easier for the hirer to relate to.
Trick for the expat is to focus your achievements around your ‘universal skills’ rather than focus on the countries and brands. For example, if you have had experience working with the merger of two big European companies, steer the narrative around your achievement to working on highly complex transactions and company transformation.
Re-position your network
The Australian market is often described by returned Australian expats as ‘parochial’ with a big focus on local networks. This is tough for many expats who have been overseas for many years.
There are a few things expats in this situation can do in this situation. Firstly, many Australian expats are part of Australian networks overseas – don’t forget them! Often when candidates are asked about their networks it is because hirers want to be confident that you know the local market and can hit the ground running. If you have been regularly following Australian news and part of an overseas Australian network – don’t forget to highlight this.
Also, if you are applying for a role with a global brand or an Australian company that works globally, your overseas networks could be potentially be very valuable to your new organisation and could be worth highlighting.
And finally, like many expats, you probably had to build your overseas network from scratch and this could be a good way to highlight to a hirer your ability to quickly build a network.
If you are interested in knowing more about how to best localise your global experience, look into our membership packages with both individual and group coaching opportunities available.