Sample Cover Letter For Job Application Abroad Means

A recent Live Q&A on gap years and working holidays had excellent advice on getting work in Australia and New Zealand, but whatever your destination, working abroad brings professional and personal benefits. Gaining wider experience from taking on different responsibilities or developing new skills opens the door to more work opportunities when you return. ImmigrationNZ notes: "as New Zealand has a high percentage of small businesses, you could end up getting a broader range of work experience than you otherwise would in the UK."

Overcoming the challenges of living and working abroad (such as dealing with bureaucracy, accepting different working practices, and surviving without your usual support network of family and friends) increases your resourcefulness and resilience. Experiencing a different culture or learning a foreign language also makes you more marketable to employers.

RealGap says: "In our experience employers are impressed by people who have taken a gap year or career break and this opinion seems to be growing, across the board. By taking time out to travel and explore new destinations and cultures you will also be developing your soft skill set and the kinds of skills you may return with are transferable into the work place; for example leadership, team building, budgeting, negotiation and even determination and patience.

"Employers will also be impressed by the fact you have moved outside your comfort zone, particularly if you have undertaken paid or voluntary work or overcome any challenges during your trip."

TourismAustralia adds: "My personal opinion is that the experience people receive on their gap year makes them a more mature and well-adapted person. Those who've worked abroad are exposed to new work situations and systems meaning they're often more adaptable in the work place and very attractive to future employers."

Making the most of your overseas experience
Whatever work you do, make sure you fully exploit it. CareersRW says: "A gap year that is career focused and targeted at the industry you want to work in in future would be very appealing to an employer within that industry. So when choosing how you want to spend your gap year it would be valuable to keep this in mind. An experience like a gap year could have a huge impact on your employability but it depends on how you spend the time. It would be important to think about what skills are important for you to develop within your industry. Once you've identified these skills (prospects is a useful resource to assist you with this) spend some time researching the opportunities available to you. Do you feel you'll be able to develop and/or enhance these skills through this opportunity?"

But even if your work experience is unrelated to future employment prospects, you can still find highlights to strengthen your job applications. Treat your experience abroad as a career stepping-stone, be open to new working environments, and look for ways to make a bottom-line difference to the company. Note your achievements and successes, and apply the usual criteria to selecting the most relevant for the job you're applying for.

Evaluate any skills or personal characteristics you've developed (such as flexibility or resilience) and include them in your CV. Make sure you have specific examples to illustrate these, either in your covering letter, or at interview. For example, if you've been to a non-English speaking country, one skill you could highlight is fluency in a new language. You can demonstrate that through making the effort to learn the language (to allow you to integrate better into the local culture) you've developed patience, determination, as well as linguistic and mental agility.

In the specific case of someone taking a year to teach English abroad, some new skills would be:

  • You develop planning and organisational skills (depending on the set-up of where you teach, you may have to plan your lessons from scratch, organise groups, classrooms ...)
  • You increase your communication skills (speaking with non-native speakers of English means you'll need to learn how to rephrase, clarify, focus on the most important points, eliminate waffle, get complex ideas over simply and clearly ...)
  • You learn to overcome obstacles, and deal with the unexpected, giving you greater flexibility and creativity in problem-solving. (You may not have course books or teaching materials, your equipment may break down unexpectedly — meaning you need to think on your feet.)

As with any other work experience, downplay any negative aspects of your time abroad, such as job-hopping. You won't need to list all your jobs on your CV. Choose those which are applicable to the job you're applying for now, or where you made notable contributions. Alternatively, write a heading titled 'Overseas experience' with the dates, then note the most impressive companies/titles under that. This would be a good option if you held a number of jobs (but don't want to give the impression you were a job-hopper or that they were all short stints).

Careerscoach adds: "Do you know which particular jobs you intend to use your CV for. It may be that working in (administration) and being able to carry out the duties involved are very relevant to some jobs. Don't overlook the fact that admin work can require you to be methodical, have good communication skills, be a team player, be accurate and pay attention to detail, amongst other things; all skills that are going to be useful in other jobs too.

"Depending on the jobs you are applying for structure your CV so you place more emphasis on the jobs that have most relevance to the ones you are now applying for. List your major achievements (you could also put travelling and working abroad for three years in this section) but also state how they benefited an employer or allowed you to develop as an individual."

CareersRW summarises: "Finally, the best way to present this experience on your CV/cover letter/interview would be to highlight your responsibilities within your position, certainly mentioning any achievements during this time (for example, feedback received, level of responsibility you had, training you completed).

"Employers/recruiters typically assess your competencies so this comes back to identifying skills that are important for the employers you are interested in working for, being selective in the projects you get involved in so that they are enhancing these skills and keeping a record of examples when on your Gap year to use for future applications.

While abroad
Get references and translate them if necessary. It's helpful if your referee can focus on specific skills and the benefits you brought to the organisation.

Being away from your target sector or location makes it harder for you to network effectively and to be up-to-date with current developments. Keep in touch with what's happening in the UK through reading newspapers, trade journals for example.

Finally, remember while you've been able to develop professionally and personally through experiencing new cultures, your friends, family and colleagues will have been busy getting on with their own lives. You may feel they're indifferent to your experiences abroad, but don't let this diminish your sense of achievement. If you've been away for more than a year, be prepared for a possible period of readjustment, or 'reverse culture shock' while you adapt back to life in the UK.

How do you write a cover letter? Don’t worry, we will provide tips on how to write a focused cover letter and supply you with cover letter examples.

A cover letter is expected for all professional job applications and is crucial to finding jobs in Canada. In some instances — such as if you are lucky enough to be referred by an employee of a company — a cover letter may not be completely necessary, but it is best to write a targeted cover letter for each job application as it is a means of demonstrating your understanding of the position and how your skills and experience match the requirements.

Don’t forget to download the Moving2Canada Getting Started Success Program today. We’ve packaged templates for a Canadian-style resume and a cover letter with this download. The guide will give you exclusive access to our proven techniques for accelerating your job search in Canada. It’s a free comprehensive guide aimed at making your move a success.


Important: Before you begin writing your cover letter, think about this scenario.

Boy likes girl, plucks up the courage to ask her out as he knows her through a common friend. He turns up to the date and talks about himself for most of the time.

Do you think the girl wants to see him again? Not likely. Instead of talking about himself he could have researched the girl’s interests through a common friend and then created conversation on topics that are of interest to the girl.

Applying for a job is the same. We see lots of cover letters and people simply talk incessantly about themselves, which is a turn off to anyone.

Why do this when you want to impress an employer? Put bluntly, the company only cares about solving its business problems and not about your academic records and your “strong work ethic and reliability”.

Take the time to understand the company and talk about how you can help them. That’s how to make a strong first impression and write a successful cover letter.

Generic cover letters that state “I have always wanted to work for {insert company name} . . .” don’t cut it, so differentiate yourself by showing the company you are genuinely interested in them.

Write a Cover Letter:

  • Always attach a cover letter that states your relevant skills and reasons why you are right for the role in question. A cover letter is not all about you. Ensure you spend at least 30 per cent of the document talking about what you know about the company — recent projects, company values, company news. Make the company feel special and they will want to invite you for an interview.
  • Do not repeat all the information from your resume. Focus on showing your potential employers why the skills and experience you have would be a fit for the role in question. Many people tend to list their resume in long paragraphs, but this will not suffice. Zero in on discussing how your skills and experience are suitable to meet each of the specified job requirements. It makes sense to address each requirement in turn, then the company know that you understand the requirements and feel that you meet these requirements.
  • Do your research on the company and demonstrate this in your cover letter to ensure you make a good first impression.
  • Reminder: The two documents — resume and cover letter — need to complement each other, so keep your resume brief and then write a cover letter to pad around the key skills and attributes that the role demands. Ensure you “tick all the boxes” that are outlined in the job description.

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