by Darlene Zambruski, CPRW, SME
Unlike times past where being an American meant knowing only about our country and speaking English exclusively, an increasingly global economy means that additional skills are valued.
To ensure that your overseas work receives the attention and consideration it deserves from American hiring managers, showcase the following:
1. LINGUISTIC CAPABILITIES:
If you worked in a non-English speaking country and are already fluent (or have perfected your skills) in a foreign language, mention that in your cover letter and in the opening summary of your resume. In many American locales (especially the South and Southwest), fluency in a foreign language is desired, and in some instances, required.
2. KNOWLEDGE OF A FOREIGN CULTURE
Again, if you’re applying for positions within a major metropolitan area where there are numerous foreign nationals and immigrants, knowledge of their home country’s culture and mores is indispensable. This would be especially true if your chosen career is in HR or any other discipline in which you’ll need to interact with staff.
3. YOUR ABILITY TO DEAL WITH OVERSEAS CLIENTS, VENDORS, ETC.
This is a valuable skill that you can bring to a prospective employer. Rather than having to guess at what will make the wheels of commerce work, they’ll have an in-house subject matter expert (you) to guide them through the intricacies of dealing with individuals in overseas locations.
4. YOUR ADAPTABILITY IN WORKING WITHIN DIFFERENT CULTURES:
Switching from one country’s set of rules to another can be bewildering and exhausting. However, if you excelled within the social and professional milieus of a foreign country, this provides ample evidence to a hiring manager that you are adaptable to changing environments. This is especially valued as the global economy is ever changing.
5. LIST THOSE SKILLS THAT ARE VALUED BY AMERICAN EMPLOYERS:
Even if your religious or political activities were lauded in your overseas assignment, don’t make the mistake of bringing that cultural preference to this country. If you respect what’s valued in America (while here), just as you respected what was valued in another nation (while there), you’ll do well to impress a hiring manager with your expertise.