7 Things You Should NOT Do As an Immigrant Job Seeker

When I was a new immigrant job seeker, I made some mistakes which I regret today, but little did I know what I was doing wrong then…

Back then there were no avenues for finding advice and assistance like there are today – there was no Facebook where I could ask questions and get replies from people who have already done what I was about to do; there was no LinkedIn where I could connect to key people in my industry on the other side of the world – there was hardly any internet access at all!

Since then I have helped many people and through my own mistakes and observing the mistakes others made, I have learnt many things, but the most important things I have learnt are the mistakes that immigrant job seekers make that will keep them busy applying for jobs, but will get them nowhere!

Today, from my own and working with others’ experience, I can advise which mistakes to avoid:

These are the 7 things you should NEVER do as an immigrant job seeker.

  1. Neglect to do proper research about your new country, your industry, the field of interest, who the prospective employers are, their market share, company culture, work culture, job market, wages, skills shortages and so forth.
  2. Use the usual scattergun approach. Using the “scattergun” approach to find a job in your destination country is the worst mistake ever.  You need to make use of a network of connections who will know and trust you.  Sending CV’s through the scattergun approach can be compared to knocking on doors as a cheap vacuum cleaner salesman – you will have doors slammed in your face!
  3. Think that a CV alone is going to get you a job as an immigrant job seeker. Usual job finding rules do not apply when immigrants are trying to land a job.  You need a 3-tiered approach – strategic immigrant’s CV, unique immigrant’s LinkedIn profile and connections and relationships to tap for job opportunities.
  4. Not having your qualifications recognised. You need to have your qualifications verified and compared on your CV and LinkedIn profile with comparable qualifications in your home country to make it easier for employers and recruiters in your destination country to verify and compare your overseas qualifications with their qualifications framework.
  5. Not having an immigrant’s strategic CV. If you have your CV rewritten at great cost to a “correctly formatted” CV for your destination country, also make sure that it is a strategic CV – which is different to a general CV.
  6. Not having an immigrant’s unique LinkedIn profile. An immigrant’s LinkedIn profile differs from a usual LinkedIn profile and has to be created and used in a very specific way to create visibility, bring jobs from the destination country and expose you to the hidden job market.
  7. Neglect to use other job finding strategies. There are a myriad of job finding strategies available to immigrants, which works much better than the scattergun approach.  You should research and implement them and spend time and effort continuously improving them instead of spending time flinging CV’s around.

Immigrant job seekers do not immigrate every day and do not look for jobs as immigrant job seekers every day so they cannot be blamed for making these mistakes, but that does not mean that they cannot fix their mistakes and become successful at landing that crucial job that will secure a visa or permit in their destination country.

Zarélsie Van der Merwe is the Migration Mentor.  She inspires, guides and educates new immigrants globally to find jobs and overcome the common job finding obstacles as immigrant job seekers and helps them deal with the psychological and emotional factors of immigration to become thriving, successful citizens of their new country.  
– Join her on 
– sign up to the 
Q-Jumper Factor – the programme with which immigrants can land a job in their new country in record time – to receive free training, updates, and notifications about job finding for immigrants.
– join the 
Facebook group for immigrant job seekers.