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International Careers

The Networking Guide for International Employment: Part 4

How to Reach Out to Get for a Job Hired Overseas

Eventually, you will get contact info for people who have the power to hire, or what is often called a "Bullseye.":


Organization and Contact Info

Who Referred Me?


Actions and Communications

Sra. Portabella

Parque de las Monanas, Costa Rica

Prof. Caramelo

She hires park rangers, interns, and other staff at the park. She leads tour for Caramelo’s study abroad students.

Email cover letter and resume in Spanish then call.

Sr. Cardinez

Mariposas Global

Prof. Caramelo

He is the director and makes all hiring decisions. Has hired U.S. graduate students in the past.

Email cover letter and resume in Spanish then call.

For each Bullseye contact, you should have a personalized strategy. In general, I suggest an email followed up by a call (check local time zones and load up your Skype account). Before you write the email, do as much research as you can on the person you are writing to. Here’s a sample:

(This following letter would be sent in Spanish of course.)

Dear Sr. Cardinez,

Greetings. I am writing to you on the recommendation of Professor Carmelino, who sends his regards to you from our cold campus in northern Ohio.

I am a dedicated environmentalist and I seek to work in Costa Rica. Professor Carmelino has informed me about the mission of your organization. I am interested in both your broad mission of protecting butterfly diversity, and your strategy of youth education programs. As you can see from my attached resume, I have extensive experience with conservation efforts and teaching.

It would be a delight to have the opportunity to work with you at Mariposas Global. I will call you next Thursday to see if you might have any opportunities to put my skills to use in forwarding your mission.

With many thanks,

Isaac Minter-Smith

Here’s the vital thing to remember about the Bullseye approach: You will probably have to contact several people before you get an offer. My rule of thumb is that if you reach out to 10 people, you’ll probably get an offer. Remember, each of these contacts is labor intensive. The key is to not take rejection personally. Think of each “NO” as a stepping stone to cross the river to get to a “YES.” Each time someone says, “Sorry, we do not have a position for you,” thank the person very politely for considering you (or responding to you), and move on to the next.

I also encourage you to be flexible. Never put your salary requirements in your initial letter to a Bullseye. If you are offered an unpaid internship, don’t immediately say no. Ask questions such as

  • “Could the organization assist me in finding a place I could live for free, such as a local family that wants to practice English skills (or needs a few hours of childcare a day)”
  • “Could you assist me in finding paid work I could do on the side, such as tutoring?”

The “unpaid” internship might end up being a better deal than a paid job at the level of a local teacher, for example.

 Read Other Sections of the International Networking Guide
Part 1: The Networking Guide for International Employment
Part 2: Clarify Your Networking Goals: Your International Job Search Statement
Part 3: Who to Contact about International Jobs: Getting to the Bullseye, The Person Who Can Hire You
Part 5: Case Studies in Success: True Stories of Networking for International Work
Part 6: Ethical Networking: The Ten Commandments of Reaching Out in a Principled Way
Part 7: International Networking for Shy People and Introverts
Part 8: Resources for Networking for International Jobs

Related Topics
International Careers
Jobs Abroad
 Related Articles
Finding Your First Paid Job Overseas: Five Proven Strategies to Find International Work
Leveraging Your Volunteer Experience To Find Paid Work Abroad
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