Top Tips for International Applicants Applying for Charity Jobs

4 minute read

For many of us, our dream charity job lies abroad. But how easy is it to land a job across borders? Finding and applying for these positions has never been straightforward, and the advent of Brexit has brought with it further complications for applicants to consider.

Before you apply for a new position in another country make sure you take these essential steps to get noticed and land the international charity job of your dreams.

Top Tips for International Applicants Applying for Charity Jobs

1. Do your research

Thorough research is key to any successful job application, but when the job you’re going after is an international position, there’s more to consider than usual.

When you’re researching a position within a charity abroad, your research should include more than the company, its successes and the job itself. Instead, you need to understand their actions and accomplishments within the context of their culture and country.

The issues the charity covers may have a completely different standing than within British society that you need to have a greater understanding of to do the job properly. You are no longer just researching a potential employer, but the influence of their mission and the part you’d play in society. Charity review websites such as GiveWell have vital information on a charity’s work and efficiency, so that’s a good place to start.

You also need to have a strong understanding of the country’s culture and whether or not you’d fit in there as a working professional. It’s vital to look into the cost of living, crime rates and how employee rights work within your potential new country of residence.



2. Have your admin ready

While not the most exciting part of looking into moving abroad for work, what documentation and legal requirements you will need to fulfil is an essential part of your preparation process.  

There is still some confusion surrounding how Brexit will impact the process of moving abroad to work as a British citizen in the long term. However, as it currently stands you will have to apply for residence status to legally work in any EU country from 2021 and still apply for a work permit for any jobs outside of the EU.

If it looks like your application has been successful or you’re being invited out for an interview, it’s vital to protect your wellbeing and belongings. Travel insurers generally offer an annual package that covers you for a full year, which is much more affordable than renewing on a trip by trip basis if you intend to stay in this position for an extended period. For applicants who have been successful and have a position secured for a long period of time, this is an essential step.

Missing out on your dream charity job because of documentation or right to work issues can be embarrassing and show you don’t do your research properly, which can cost you future opportunities.

Top Tips for International Applicants Applying for Charity Jobs

3. Boost your CV with volunteering experience

Volunteer experience helps when applying to any kind of charity position. But when you’re looking to stand out amongst a stellar list of international candidates, it becomes essential.

International volunteering experience shows an understanding of all levels of the sector you want to work within. This tells an employer you aren’t just interested in moving abroad after reading a couple of articles but are engaged with the issue and actively pursuing working within it in any way.

Volunteering is something you can incorporate into your travelling so that you don’t have to take a dedicated trip to gain vital experience. Spending a portion of your trip volunteering and learning about the work charities already do in this country is a fantastic way to make contacts and directly show off real-world experience. It will tell anyone reading your application that you’re in a position to hit the ground running within the role and have a familiarity with the ground operation already in action.


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4. Learn the language (and localise your CV!)

Moving to a new country for work without knowing the language is simply setting yourself up for failure. While most charities will be accommodating at first, they will expect you to make an effort to learn the language as you would the country’s culture. Without even a simple understanding of the language, you’ll find it difficult to succeed in the position and perform to your expected standards.

There are now more tools than ever before to help you learn languages quickly. No matter your age these are accessible and can be distilled into key phrases for beginners or a more thorough experience. You don’t need to arrive on the day speaking the language fluently but knowing key phrases and showing a willingness to learn will tell your employers a lot about you. Having this skill on your CV will also instantly move you into a select number of candidates they’ll automatically give time to.

Localising your CV is another great step to getting it noticed. Don’t expect everyone who may have an interest in reading applicant’s CVs to be fluent in English. Likewise, you should re-work your CV to prioritise any similar roles you’ve had, your knowledge of the culture and volunteering experience, rather than hiding them at the end of the page.

Top Tips for International Applicants Applying for Charity Jobs

These are just a few steps you should take before applying to work abroad. Networking, freelancing and establishing your own non-profit side projects are other brilliant ways to make your application stand out. Follow these tips and make the most of this amazing opportunity.

Rodney Laws

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsior.

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