Artyom is a digital marketeer from Ukraine who already found his third job in Belgium. This means that he’s a real application expert on the Belgian job market. Definitely worth interviewing to learn more about his experience searching for a job in Belgium.
Hi Artyom, thanks for talking to us about your experiences with job applications in Belgium. Why did you come here in the first place?
I came here through AIESEC. Years ago, I joined the AIESEC organisation in Ukraine. They helped me find an internship in Belgium when I was looking for an opportunity to work abroad in 2011. So basically, I came here for work.
That’s handy that you already had work when you came here! Did you have any previous job experiences in your home country?
Yes, I worked for the first time in 2008, so I’ve had a few years of experience in Ukraine. I worked there as a project manager and marketing specialist for different companies. This made it easier to find an internship in Belgium.
What was your experience when you were looking for jobs in Belgium after your internship ended? Was that difficult, as you already had experience?
It was certainly difficult, definitely as an expat. And it’s even more challenging if you don’t speak the local language. Even though I was already working in Belgium for a year, companies still asked for more experience. I applied for a lot of job advertisements online, like Monster or Stepstone. I even made a short application video in which I presented myself and shared it with profiles of companies on LinkedIn.
But the thing that helped me the most was going to career fairs and broadening my business network. I found my second job here through a friend who worked at the company. He told me that there was a vacancy that wasn’t online yet. They nearly employed someone else, but they thought that my profile fitted the vacancy more. They really liked my proactive approach and I got the job.
I’ve found my current job two months ago on the Internet. It was already much easier than before. I was more experienced and I had more references from Belgian companies. Recruiters really like to see those things on a CV.
Gathering work experience and good references are useful to find a job, as you say. Do you have any other tips for job seekers? Some things that might be helpful for inexperienced expats?
- First of all, a good CV is very important. Take care of this, always adapt it to the job so that the recruiters will like it. You need to be able to change your perspective a bit and now some keywords of the industry that recruiters look for.
- Secondly, you should always work on expanding your network. Go to business events so that you know what’s going on.
- A golden tip linked to referral programs: via LinkedIn, you can ask employees of a certain company that you would love it if they passed your CV through to the HR department. A lot of companies actually have these referral programs where employees get bonuses when they refer a person that gets hired. They will be willing to give your CV to the recruiters. And you also get a reference by doing this.
- At last, I can only encourage you to learn about the company once you get invited to an interview. If you’re motivated and interested in them, they will be more likely to see you as a member of their team.
That were some pretty useful suggestions, thank you so much Artyom! And good luck in your new company!
I thank you too. The job search gets easier once you made the first experiences. People just shouldn’t lose faith. I guess that’s crucial.
Make sure to also check out Alex’ tips on finding a job in Belgium.