Combat Employer Assumptions

Dealing with Employers with No International Experience

from “Marketing Study Abroad: How to Sell Your Overseas Experience to Employers” 

by Jean-Marc Hachey of    


Employers with little or no international experience may have misconceptions about job seekers who have international credentials such as study abroad and international travel. While not all employers believe the following myths about returnees, you may want to keep them in mind.

Employer Assumptions:

  •  Returnees have emotional re-adjustment problems.
  •  Returnees are too exotic. They have adopted alternative lifestyles and can’t be team players. They are excessively individualistic and independent. Their differences are threatening.
  •  Returnees are flighty. They don’t really want permanent jobs or long-term responsibilities. They will soon be off traveling again.
  •  Returnees have health problems. They may have strange tropical diseases.


Your Solutions:

  •   Do not overstate or dwell on your re-entry adjustment problems. Stress positive aspects of your overseas and re-entry experience.
  •  Do not say that you plan to return overseas.
  •  State that you are happy to be back. This is your home. You are anxious to join your peers in the world of work.
  •  Demonstrate your business acumen. Draw attention to your effective work habits, adaptability to new technologies, willingness to be a team player, understanding of Western leadership style.
  •  Avoid wearing souvenir clothing or jewelry. Dress in smart, businesslike clothing. Focus on fitting in.
  •  Show your attachment to home. Mention your enthusiasm for things like home cooking, a particular university, or a sports team. Talk about the pleasures of finally reading home country newspapers again.
  •  Mention the clean bill of health you received for your recent physical.
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