Finding A Job Abroad – A #TRU Story

TRU (The Recruiter Unconference) is an unconventional recruitment industry event series started by Bill Boorman in London in 2009. I first heard of these events when I started working for a recruitment software start-up called Innovate CV in 2010 and followed industry thought leaders such as Bill on social media. Having a cosmopolitan upbringing and education I was attracted to the nascent global community that was being spawned by these events.

Consequently, being married to a lady from Cape Town and having roots in Southern Africa, I took a great interest when it was announced that TRU was going to be held in South Africa for the first time in the autumn of 2011. Back then events were still being listed on LinkedIn, and I took the time to go through the list of attendees for both the Johannesburg and Cape Town events and invite them to connect with a view to finding out more about the recruitment and recruitment software industry in my second home. I followed #TRUSA on Twitter and interacted with the other attendees live-tweeting from the events, gaining more contacts and insight into the local industry. These contacts included Ryan Bantich and Vanessa Raath, managers of recruitment agencies in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively, and Wesley Madziva, sales developer for a national recruitment agency.

When I took the decision to emigrate to South Africa in the autumn of 2012 and started looking for work, my first thought was to call Shane McCusker, organiser of #TRUSA and fellow recruitment software provider. He advised me to join his South African recruiter and job groups on LinkedIn and reach out to connections based in South Africa. It was not long before I saw an ad posted in the South African Jobs group by Ryan Bantich who was looking for his replacement as branch manager of Teleresources in Cape Town. I spoke with him to find out whether this was the right opportunity for me, then he organised a Skype interview with his MD and Sales Director, after which I was offered the job without even having set foot in the country or been granted a visa.

Now advising jobseekers in South Africa through the Twitter chat and community #JobAdviceSA along with Vanessa Raath and Wesley Madziva, I was recently contacted by a South African ex-pat looking to return home from Europe and struggling to find work despite having a very impressive CV. He had been contacted by head-hunters and invited to meet with potential employers, but only if he was in the country. Although his CV was very impressive, his LinkedIn profile was not, and he was not a member of any groups for South African jobs or recruitment. My advice to him, and to anyone looking to find a job abroad, based on my experience is:

  • Research your industry in the country you want to work in to identify suitable companies and contacts
  • Follow those companies on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and connect with HR and recruiters
  • Join relevant industry groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and interact with their members
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and up-to-date
  • Use social media to follow industry events and interact with attendees
  • Be comfortable with online video as you may be interviewed by Skype or Google Hangouts

Finally (and most importantly), if you work in HR or recruitment and there is a TRU event near you, make sure that you attend and/or follow the conversation using the #TRU hashtag and join the TRUmunity!

Originally Posted here

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