What your international education says to employers
So you’ve invested the big bucks, worked like crazy, studied to the point of dreaming about IELTS test questions and taken the plunge to study abroad.
Sure, it’s a great experience but challenging in more ways than you ever expected – new school, new friends, language differences, cultural confusion, studying and working consumes your life but at the end you walk away with the prize – an international qualification.
Unless you’re planning to be a career academic, the qualification is just another step on your journey towards the career of your dreams.
So what does it mean exactly? What does your qualification say to employers?
- First and foremost, your international qualification confirms standard. Your university or college’s ranking, combined with the country’s educational reputation instantaneously tells your employer that you have knowledge of a certain caliber.
- It tells your employer of your language proficiency. Anyone can state they speak English on a CV, but your qualification proves it. And not just verbal fluency but your ability to write academic English and your advanced comprehension of the language in all forms.
- It shows your employer that you are ambitious and willing to go to extreme lengths to succeed.
- It speaks volumes of your ability to adapt to new situations and environments, it tells the employer you’re the kind of person who can face (and conquer) challenges.
- It shows that you have a well-rounded, global perspective. Your time abroad will have shaped the way you think and act. You will be far more likely to be a ‘big picture’ thinker.
- It tells them that you take your profession seriously and are keen to grow your career and develop your talent further.
So it’s not just a piece of paper; it’s a symbol of all of your experiences along your international student journey. It’s not just grades and exam results; it’s real, character building, personality shaping stuff. And whilst your qualification might be the gateway to your next job, it’s the other non-tangible things that will prove why your employer values you most.
KATE HARDEN is the Co-Founder and CEO of International Alumni Job Network. With over 10 years experience in Human Resources in the for profit and non-profit sectors, Kate has achieved success through her contemporary style and business acumen across the Asia Pacific Region.