find job abroad
Featured, Freelancing, Professional Development, Success Stories

How to find a job abroad

Many people want to find a job abroad but before we dive into it, here is a little background on who I am.

I am a web engineer, working at Volvo Car Mobility in Stockholm, Sweden. Before starting with Volvo this year, I was working with a Swedish Startup, Natural Cycles. I was born and raised in Pakistan where I completed my studies and started working as a freelancer while I was in university. I worked very successfully as a freelancer for many years and also conducted training in an attempt to help other people, especially women, to work from home as a freelancer. For many years, I did many things with the knowledge I had. I worked with clients from all over the world, I helped people learn to program, created more opportunities for learners, and most of all grew up professionally. 

Me, holding a seminar at Women in Tech Conference, Amsterdam in 2018

I moved to Sweden in 2017 on a work permit sponsored by my employer and since I have moved, so many people ask me the same question, “How to find a job in Sweden?”. I have helped a few by answering questions, personal recommendations, etc but every passing day, the number of people asking this question is rising. So, I have decided to write it down here so I can share this article as a guideline for everyone. 

Before you move abroad, there is a basic list of things you should do such as making research about the place, opportunities, living costs, weather, culture, and all things that matter to you. Many inline resources can help you with this, but if you need help with this pre-job hunting checklist, let me know and I will try to do a separate post on that. For this post, I am assuming that you have already made up your mind to move abroad and have done all the research. So let’s get started.

You might be in the phase where you have no clue where to look for jobs or you might be applying randomly to all the jobs you find online but to no success. Here are some things you can do.

1- Level Up on your LinkedIn game

Even though I always knew LinkedIn was a great way to showcase your profile and network with like-minded people for career development, I saw a huge difference in how recruiters and companies abroad look at LinkedIn profiles compared to how it was in Pakistan. While CV was something I would expect to spend most of my job hunting time on in Pakistan, companies here and abroad do not even ask for it as long as you have a Linkedin Profile. 


Your LinkedIn is your resume and what you have put out there as interests, skills, languages, project descriptions, endorsements, and connections are very important for recruiters to fully understand who you are. Many (almost all) the companies here advertise their jobs on Linkedin and you can apply in a few simple clicks by sharing your profile with the recruiter. Linkedin, based on the skills that you have added there, calculates how well fit you are for that job, by comparing your skills to the required skills the job publisher adds when posting a job. I will do another post around what makes a good Linkedin profile.

2- Sign up with Recruitment agencies

Using Google and LinkedIn, find out the most notable or popular recruitment agencies in your country of choice. Many companies outsource their recruitment to the agencies that gather a pool of talented people whom they contact whenever they have a relevant job. 

It’s always a good idea to submit your profiles and reach out to the recruitment agencies so they can keep you updated if they have a job that suits your profile.

3- Look for startups that are growing fast

Startups are a very good way to start your journey abroad. Fast-growing startups often have investor money that they invest in finding International Talent that could take them to the next level. If you are creative, prefer a fast-paced environment with a small team that necessarily doesn’t have a lot of processes in place, a startup is a perfect place to start. 

My experience of working in a Swedish startup went great and I enjoyed my time there. It was a small team with closer groups and I got an opportunity to take my own pace, and make my own decisions and be a part of process making and development that taught me a lot about the culture, workplace habits, and way of working. 

An ordinary day at work

However, startup life is not for everyone so make your research well before you decide.

4- Look for International Companies

Most of the time people rely on websites like to find jobs and apply to them. When finding a job abroad, especially in a country where they speak a different language than yours, you must find and apply for jobs in companies that have International teams. 

This will not only increase your chances of getting hired but will also help you perform better at your job after you are hired. Remember that cultures are different and what works here in Pakistan, might not work anywhere else abroad. When you apply to a job in a company that does not have international people, they might worry about the cultural shock and language before they invest in hiring you. With companies that already have International people, not only it is easy for them to trust international talent, they also have SOPs and processes in place to help you with visas, onboarding, and support you need to move to a new country.

5- Look for Job Banks dedicated to International talent

Many countries are always looking for International talent to contribute to their economy. Most of the time, they have a special platform where the advertised jobs are only meant for people outside of that country. These jobs will most likely result in getting you hired if you fit the role since they are looking for people outside their country. Europe, for instance, has where they advertise most of the jobs intended for international people. I also landed on my first job from the Eures website.

Job hunting can be as short as getting the very first job you applied on, which happened in my case, or could be years of the hunt before you land on your first one. It’s very important that you keep your patience and hopes high and never give up. As much as you are not suitable for every job, not every job will be suitable for you. Be honest, put your values above everything, and always be vigilant to spammers and frauds. 

For any specific questions, feel free to leave me a question by filling out this short form.

Happy Job Hunting! 



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