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Turn Social Networking into International Job Contacts

When seeking a job in another country, consider social networking to develop international job contacts and to track interviewing conventions in the chosen country. The secret to your global search success is preparation and practice. In addition to getting the country-specific environment right, you still have to sell yourself as an ideal candidate for the position you seek.

Reaching across national borders and oceans to get country-specific networking and interviewing tips wasn’t a practical approach a dozen years ago. Today, tapping into personal and professional online networks to discover the rules of the road in foreign interview rooms is much easier.

Here are a few suggestions about tracking international interviewing conventions the digital way. A marketing professional who wants to work in Denmark would take the following steps:

  • Start with contacts you already have. Your contacts know people you don’t know and their contacts know people they don’t know, and so on. Send a brief e-mail message to each contact stating your desire to prepare for a job interview in Denmark and request assistance.

    Say that you would appreciate it if the recipient is able to lend any of the following kinds of assistance:

    • To help you directly or to forward your message to one of their contacts in your quest for knowledge about the interviewing protocols and customs common in Denmark.

    • To help you arrange a substantial informational interview with a resident of Denmark who, like you, is a professional or business person. In an online informational interview, whether by e-mail or two-way videocam, ask a series of questions you write out before the interview. Remember, you are exploring only typical job interviewing in Denmark at this informational interview — not every aspect of the job or employment there. You can, of course, arrange for a follow-up interview if your Denmark contact is agreeable.

  • Check out professional member organizations. Focus on organizations in the field of work you seek, such as the International Association of Marketing Professionals.

    Post your request for assistance for current information about interviewing protocols in Denmark for your profession on a forum, chat room, or blog. You probably have to be a member of the organization to access the organization’s site.

  • Try popular business-oriented social network tools. Conduct a keyword search on a site such as LinkedIn or Xing. Use a term relevant to your objective — say, “Denmark corporate marketing” or “Denmark human resources” or “Denmark manager” — to see whether you can connect with LinkedIn or Xing users who could prove helpful by providing the latest interviewing information.

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