The Value of International Experience

Is some of your experience from outside of Canada?  Do you wonder if Canadian employers will see the worth in your international experience?  The truth is that employers will not see the value in any of your experience unless you spell it out to them.  It is your job to clearly outline how your international experience makes you an excellent fit for the position.  Here are some of the points that you can cover when making the argument to employers:

Flexibility.  Working in different countries demands flexibility.  Your international experience shows that you are able to successfully adapt to new environments.  Since organizations are now forced to evolve more quickly than ever before, they are looking for employees who are willing to embrace change.

Communication skills.  Working in different countries shows that you are able to interact in a multicultural environment.  This is essential in Canada, because customers may be coming from all over the world.  The employer will be particularly impressed if you can speak a second or a third language, because it will help them better serve their customers.

A broader perspective.  Working in another country opens your mind to new ways of doing things.  It changes your perspective and allows you to approach situations in a different way.  Your fresh ideas will be useful to employers as you will be able to come up with creative and unique solutions to problems.

An interesting story.  International experience helps to make you a more interesting person.  People love to learn about different countries and cultures.  When you’ve spent some time abroad, you always have a story to tell.

Employers may have no idea of how your international experience can add value to their organization.  It is your job to show them.  Clearly articulate what you learned while working abroad, and how you will apply that knowledge to this position. Like any other asset or skill, international experience is only valuable when you can clearly show its worth to employers.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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