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In part 1 and part 2 of this article, we understand the attitudes and the process that lead you to have an international career in Engineering. Now let’s discuss the professional profile the engineer needs to have to “try to dominate the world”. As every article was written by an engineer, we will have a flow chart at the end so you do not get lost in your planning for an international career.

In my last consultation, I found 35 different types of engineering degrees in Brazil. Knowing that, according to the UN, there are 193 countries, claiming to put on paper professional profiles that want to go abroad, we will have to deal with at least 6755 different professional profiles. Not to mention the issue of seniority, which completely changes the professional profile; with the specificities of performance within each type of engineering; and with the formulation of higher education curricula, where each country makes its own. For these reasons, detailing these profiles is an insane job that no engineer is going to get involved in.

It is important to understand that a hiring with the intention of expatriating the professional occurs most of the time with senior professional profiles within their area of operation. Understand senior as someone who has extremely relevant experiences in the field of activity, which for a resident civil engineer works would be managerial experience in several significant works. Moreover, going abroad as an expatriate without having a senior profile is rare and happens more in multinationals that have trainee programs. A more in-depth understanding of what this international professional profile should be its biggest goal today and there are some tools that can help such as LinkedIn.

By the way, do you have a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile ?

If you do not have a profile yet, or if it is incomplete and / or outdated, immediately stop reading this article and go to work on your profile right now. The reason is simple, the vast majority of hires (in Brazil or abroad) invariably pass through LinkedIn.

I’m not an expert on LinkedIn, but I’ve already done some sign-ups through it and I also enjoy reading and talking to HR professionals about it. This is by far the most visited site by companies and recruiting professionals when they are hiring. So here are some very important points for a good profile in this tool:

  • 1 – Required profile in English. Profile in Portuguese is completely secondary.
  • 2 – Put a professional photo on your profile. If you do not have one on file, refer to a professional photographer.
  • 3 – Customize your URL to find you more easily and show professionalism.
  • 4 – The ” Summary ” and ” Headline ” section are the most important of your profile. We could do an article dealing only with these sections, but I’d rather you read some tips in the links below:
  • 5 – Complete the experiences section including all your professional experiences. Describe the reader in an interesting way and go straight to the point (do not be wordy). Put the website of the companies you worked on too.
  • 6 – List your skills in the Featured Skills and Endorsements section . Do not stick to tools (Office, AutoCad, etc.) because they are unimportant for a senior profile, list the real competencies of your professional profile, such as: Corporate Finance, Project Management, Team Leadership, Business Development, etc.
  • 7 – Follow some professionals you admire and who have the qualifications and positions you crave. Follow and connect also to headhunters as they always post or replicate open positions.
  • 8 – Connect, connect and connect. Explore the tool and have your entire professional network connected through LinkedIn. Also, follow the companies you admire or would like to work with.
  • 9 – And do not forget, get recommendations from people who have worked with you (suppliers, colleagues, bosses, etc.). The best strategy for this is to write a recommendation for them first.

Ideally, make your profile as complete as possible. Here are some interesting articles about it:
Forbes – How To Update Your LinkedIn Profile To 2017
Forbes – Ten Ways Your LinkedIn Profile Is Hurting Your Credibility
JT O’Donnell – Don’t Write Your Profile In The 3rd Person

The search for a vacancy

Now that you are a professional on LinkedIn with an up-to-date and written profile in a language the business world will understand and read, you can start thinking about taking the definitive step to becoming an international professional, the search for a vacancy abroad.

Recalling what has been discussed so far, especially the legal issue of working abroad, seeking employment abroad is exactly the same as seeking employment in Brazil. The only difference is that it is done in the language of the company you are hiring, which is most often English.

There are basically two places where open positions are available. The sites of the contracting companies, usually in the careers tab , or in the companies specialized in executive search , also called headhunting companies .

And how to find them? On my friend. There is no better tool.

Of course, for this quest to be assertive you will need a certain focus on the place you want to work. Find out that executive search companies often hire expatriates to work in a wide variety of places. Visit Spencer Ogden’s website or EWI’s both engineering recruitment companies, and you’ll understand that although they are English, they focus on expatriate professionals to take international positions.

On the other hand, you can access the Michael Page UK website and check that the open positions are almost in full to the UK.

Here you will find the 20 biggest executive search companies in the world .

Job description

More important than checking the open positions and hiring conditions is to check the profile of the positions available, or the job descriptions of each job. In it you will find all the information to understand what kind of profile they hire most often in the place you want to work. With this information you can work your profile so that it is adherent to the positions you want and thus greatly increase your chances of being hired abroad.

LinkedIn can also help in this journey of understanding the ideal professional profile to be hired abroad. You can check the profiles of the professionals who already work in the companies and in the positions that you seek, since the tool offers openly and for free this information.

The advantage of focusing on an international career and preparing your professional profile to compete for a position outside Brazil is the principle of diversification. While some local labour markets may suffer some setbacks – see the Brazilian engineering market in recent years – others are growing and requiring skilled professionals.

Clicking here you download a flowchart that will help you understand which way to go to have an international career.

Luiz Junqueira