Have you been thinking about moving abroad? Do you want to work in Argentina or another Spanish-speaking country? If so and you’re thinking about the next steps in pursuing your profession abroad, make sure you are properly prepared for your Business Spanish adventure.
Below are a list of 10 tips we’ve compiled to help you along your Business Spanish journey.
Spanish Course Preparation
Going abroad to work is a great experience for many people looking for personal and professional advancements. The first step to getting a job in Argentina is to make sure your language skills are up to par. Even though many Argentines have a high level of English, it’s also extremely important that you are able to speak and understand Spanish, as business is mostly conducted in the country’s official language. Expanish’s Business Spanish course will prepare you for all of the vocabulary needed for interviews and potential conversations in the workplace. Whether addressing a manager or talking to your coworkers, you’ll be able to fully understand and participate in the conversation.
Spanish CV Preparation
Possibly the most important element of landing of job is having your CV properly prepared for your profession. First and foremost, if your CV is in a language other than Spanish, you’ll need to have it translated. This is a great translation opportunity for you to use your skills from Expanish’s Business Spanish Course.
Make sure you have your CV proofread by a native Spanish speaker after you’ve translated it, to ensure that if there are any mistakes, they are corrected.
An Argentine CV also has a very specific outline:
- A professional photo of yourself, usually in the upper left hand corner;
- Personal information (first and last name, contact information);
- Academic achievements (degrees, courses, etc.)
- Work Experience (jobs, professional practices, internships, volunteer experience, etc.).
Just like any CV or resume, it’s very important for the job hunt that your CV is clear, concise and simple. No potential employer wants to read three to four pages of a potential employee. Make sure your CV is easily readable in one page.
Websites for Job Hunting
Updating your CV also means updating your LinkedIn, as recruiters do use LinkedIn profiles to find potential candidates. Just like in most countries around the world, the job hunt is becoming more and more a digital game. Two of the most popular sites to find work are Bumeran and ZonaJobs. Employers do occasionally post on Craigslist however, it’s not as popular and applicants should be careful of companies offering what seems like a contract that’s too good to be true.
It’s also advisable to do a general search on a potential job or profession. This will help you get a general idea of what average and benefits are when searching for a specific job position.
The Power of Networking
Networking is a very powerful tool, especially once you are in Argentina and are actively looking for a job. Let all of your friends know that you’re on an active job hunt and ask to spread the word. You’ll be surprised how fast and effective word-of-mouth is in the business world.
Facebook expat groups are another great way to network without leaving the comfort of your home. There is a large community of expats living in the country who are always willing to advise you how to find your first job, recommend open positions, and guide you on bureaucratic employment issues, since the majority have already gone through the process.
Make a Personal Visit
If you’re looking for a more casual position, perhaps at a restaurant or a hair salon, it’s a good idea to print your CV and make a personal visit. Ask to speak to the manager and get ready to shine and charm. Try to avoid going at peak hours as they tend to be quite busy and it may not make for the best first impression.
Local Phone Number
This is definitely not a mandatory step but it definitely helps to get quicker answers and potential job offers. Get a local, Argentine cell phone number as recruiters and potential employers will be able to directly contact you to set up an interview. They’ll most likely want to test your Spanish level a little bit, talk about your current situation in the country, and organize a time for an interview. The most common cell phone companies are Claro, Personal, and Movistar; usually buying a SIM card and charging it when you need is the best option for people just starting out in their Spanish abroad adventure.
Get a Side Gig
In Argentina, salaries are paid on a monthly basis, meaning you won’t get your first paycheck until the beginning of the following month. For this reason, we recommend getting a side gig to help you along until that first paycheck arrives. Many expats offer language classes as most Argentines want to learn other languages such as English, Portuguese, French, German, and more. Websites like Tus Classes or Craigslist are great ways to freely get your name in the teaching sector.
Consider an Internship
Although usually unpaid, an internship in Argentina is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company and see what working abroad in really like without the commitment of a full-time, contract position. In addition to gaining work experience in the Argentine market, you’ll also be able to ask for a recommendation letter, which is a valuable asset in the Argentine business world.
Update Papers and Documents
Coming to Argentina with a work visa already awaiting you is not necessary, and usually doesn’t happen to most people. Expats commonly arrive on a tourist visa and begin looking for a job once in the country. However, after you’ve secured a job and are ready to start the official work visa process, it’s important that all of your documents and work papers are up-to-date. We recommend talking with your future employer and finding out if they provide work visa assistance. If not, it might be best to find a different company, as your future employer and company will need to provide a few crucial documents to secure the work visa.
Patience is Key
Finding work in a foreign country can be a challenging, but very much worthwhile task. Almost all expats in Argentina have found work sooner or later. That being said, job hunts usually take longer as, in most situations, the interview process can last a month or longer. It’s important that you come to Argentina knowing that a job is not going to be immediately attained and you may be without a secure income source for a few months. Make sure you bring enough money for housing and living expenses until you do find a job.