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A Practical Guide for Expatriates

A Practical Guide for Expatriates


A Practical Guide for Expatriates : Succeeding in Job Search Abroad

Seeking employment abroad is an exciting endeavor for many professionals in search of new challenges and international opportunities.

Whether to broaden your horizons, gain multicultural experience, or simply pursue professional aspirations, the adventure of expatriation holds many promises.

However, succeeding in your job search abroad requires more than just submitting applications. It demands a strategic approach, meticulous preparation, and adaptation to a professional environment often different from what you're accustomed to.

Here is a Practical Guide for Expatriates where I offer a series of practical tips to help you navigate this complex and exciting process successfully. Whether you're an ambitious recent graduate or a seasoned professional seeking new challenges, follow these steps to maximize your chances of success in your job search abroad.

 Understanding the local market

A practical guide for expatriates

The first step to success in foreign employment is understanding the local job market. Let me explain: this involves thorough research into the sectors that are hiring, the required qualifications, and the cultural nuances that could affect your chances of success. Since each country has its own peculiarities, I'll explain what is essential to do:

Study the dominant industries

In Paris, for example, the fashion, finance, marketing, and technology sectors are particularly dynamic.

Know the required qualifications

Standards and requirements can vary significantly. Some professions may require specific local certifications or validation of your foreign degrees.

Learn about the local corporate culture

Practices regarding CVs, interviews, and professional communications vary greatly. In France, discretion and formality may be crucial, while creativity and innovation are also highly valued.

Using expatriate networks

Absolutely French

I assure you, expatriate networks can be an invaluable resource for finding employment abroad. Indeed, they not only offer support and advice but also professional networking opportunities. To fully leverage these networks, I'll share some tips:

Join specific groups

Discover dynamic expatriate communities on platforms like or Le Petit Journal des Expatriés. Join groups matching your interests and remember, you are welcome to the Absolutely French community, dedicated to facilitating your integration and success in France.

Participate in events and gatherings

 Regularly attending professional and social events can greatly increase your visibility and expand your network of contacts.

Harness social media networks

LinkedIn can be particularly useful. Join groups related to your industry and participate in discussions. This can expose you to hidden job opportunities.

Understanding and adapting your skills

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During my expatriation, it was important to adapt your skills to the needs of the market. This can involve acquiring new skills or simply adapting your existing skills to better match local expectations. Here are the steps I followed and I'm sure they can help you too:

Assess and adapt your skills

 If some of your skills are not transferable, consider taking local courses or certifications to fill the gaps.

Highlight intercultural skills

Your experience as an expatriate is a valuable skill. Emphasize your ability to navigate different cultures and work with multicultural teams.

Adapting your CV to local standards

If there's one thing I've understood, it's that every country has its own peculiarities in terms of CV and cover letter formats. It is therefore crucial to:

Customize your CV

 For instance, employers in France generally appreciate a clear and structured presentation, highlighting the most relevant skills and experiences for the position. A CV often needs to be concise and fit onto a single page.

Include relevant elements

In France, academic degrees and qualifications are highly valued. Make sure to emphasize your academic and professional qualifications, as well as any relevant experience for the targeted position. Language skills, particularly proficiency in French, are also important to mention.

CV language

A CV in France is typically written in French, unless stated otherwise. However, in certain sectors or for international positions, an English CV may be accepted. It's important to verify the preferences of the company or employer before submitting your application.

Understanding legal aspects

Working in a foreign country often involves navigating through a complex set of immigration laws and regulations:

Work permits

 Familiarize yourself with visa and work permit requirements. Some countries may have special agreements that facilitate obtaining a work permit for expatriates.

Tax compliance 

Understanding tax obligations in your host country is also crucial. It may be wise to consult with a tax or immigration expert to avoid any complications.

Maximizing the use of local job search platforms

 Succeeding in Job Search Abroad

In addition to expatriate networks, utilizing local job search platforms can greatly increase your chances of finding employment :

Local job sites

Every country has its own preferred platforms for job hunting. Using these sites will help you access a greater number of job listings and understand the specific skills in demand in the local market.

Recruitment agencies

Some agencies specialize in assisting expatriates in finding employment. Their local expertise can be a major asset.

Preparing for interviews

Job interview

Interviews can vary significantly from one culture to another. Therefore, it is important to:

Practice your presentation

 In France, for instance, your manner of presentation, non-verbal communication, and attire can have a significant impact. French employers often appreciate a professional and formal demeanor during interviews.

Know typical questions

Familiarize yourself with the types of questions commonly asked in interviews in France. This can help you better prepare and appear more confident during the interview process.

Follow-up strategies after applications

Strategies applications

After applying for a job opportunity, it's important to manage follow-up professionally:

Appropriate follow-up

 Understanding local norms for follow-up can help you stay engaged without appearing pushy. Sending a thank-you email after an interview and a measured follow-up a few weeks after the application are often well-received.

Managing expectations 

Be patient, as hiring processes can vary in length depending on the country and the company. Inquiring about typical timelines can help manage this wait.

Cultural adaptation

Cultural integration

Cultural adaptation doesn't only apply to work but also to your daily life:

Understanding customs and traditions

Getting acquainted with local customs, holidays, and social practices can help you integrate more easily. For example, in France, understanding the significance of public holidays like Bastille Day or observing cultural practices like kissing on the cheeks as a greeting can facilitate smoother interactions.


Even if you work in an environment where English is predominant, learning the local language can be a major asset for your social and professional integration. In France, proficiency in French can greatly enhance your ability to communicate effectively and build relationships with colleagues and clients.

Benefitting from

previous international experiences

International experiences

If you have already worked abroad, highlighting these experiences can strengthen your CV:

Intercultural skills 

Emphasize your ability to navigate different cultures and work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

Adaptability and resilience

These traits are highly sought after by global employers and should be clearly illustrated through your previous experiences.

Using career coaching services

Job coaching

Some services can help expatriates prepare for the foreign job market, which is something that has greatly helped me:

Career coaching

Specialized coaches in assisting expatriates can provide personalized advice for CV writing, interview preparation, and effective networking strategies.

Workshops and seminars


 Participating in workshops can be an excellent way to develop specific skills needed for the local job market.

In conclusion, This article "A Practical Guide for Expatriates" serves as an invaluable resource, empowering individuals to navigate the complexities of international job searching with confidence and success.

Absolutely Talented

Absolutely Talented was created by Absolutely French to facilitate the integration of expatriate spouses:

Absolutely French is the only French school designed for expatriates. 

You will learn French through immersion with activities that allow you to speak quickly, and also learn all the practical things necessary for your independence in France. It’s an immersive cultural experience!

 Are you an expatriate or an expatriate spouse looking to master the French language and embrace the local culture? Become Absolutely French! 

Contact us! 

Phone: 01 83 73 98 49

Address: 15 rue du Colonel Moll, 75017, Paris.


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