The coconut résumé syndrom

Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, California, Mediterranean coast, … so many destinations that make salivating with envy the tourists around the world. But if some benefit of the coconut trees and beautiful sandy beaches, there must be some people who are working! Yet even after months or years to work in these paradises, as you return to France, recruiters look at you with a funny look. Your CV seems like a holiday long overdue

coconutFor several weeks you try to find work in France, after you have worked very hard for years in a company located in a country so “postcard” that all your French friends have passed the word to come to visit you at least once. However, if the beach may be famous in your last hometown, you did not see it as often as you’d hoped. Like thousands of locals, your week was summed up by these words: subway, work, sleep. Little by little, your efforts have paid and you have climbed one by one the hierarchical levels. It is proud of this experience – but not without sadness – that you’ve plunged back into the French labor market. Yet you can’t find a job. After yet another rejection, you boil: “But why recruiters do not take me seriously?”. The reason is well known: the coconut résumé syndrom.

The coconut résumé syndrom…
To acquire professional skills abroad, so deserving they may be, is not necessarily judged in its just value by HR who don’t  have all the keys to understand this totally foreign universe, in the reading of your curriculum vitae. ” I lived for 3 years in Greece. Hanging of this time while I was on parental leave, I received a successful MBA in English accredited by the international association. (…) In my return, my company dismissed me and I look for a work. Companies look at my CV and have fun with this training in Greece. A PRESTIGIOUS diploma became a joke!!!! “, so explains Melissa. The surprise is sometimes such as you become a curious animal. Delebecque experienced it: ” I lived in Seychelles and worked in it. An employer convened me to an interview just to see the head of somebody who had worked in Seychelles and said it! “

… Or narrow-minded HR …
Contact a former employer in a different language to confirm your words can scare recruiters. Like living your life in an earthly paradise makes you look a privileged who will ask for too many wage demands. In the end, seen from France, it is often difficult to evaluate an experience beyond our borders. “I work or live abroad (including Brazil) for 15 years, but I think to go back to France. Guess what worries me most: the narrow-mindedness of some members of the departments of human resources in France, as depicted anywhere on the net: ‘Working too long abroad is not good! You work in college, not good! You installed your own business, suspect! You took an extended parental leave, not good! You are fluent in a language spoken only by a half-million people, crazy! You took a year sabbatical, clear! “, shows Sylvain. A counselor at the job center, however, confirms this lack of decline of some recruiters. “I can attest to the narrowness of mind which is reflected in the ” philosophy” of Pole Emploi. In the computer file of the job seeker, the experiences in abroad do not count! Absurd!”, laments Veronica. Sandra seems slightly more optimistic: “The narrowness hit France like a plague! But do not worry, everything can be cured :)”

Open their eyes!
Your complexion may be a bit more tanned than the other candidates’ – although the neon lights are the same in the offices abroad or in Paris – but that does not mean that you have spent your time to bask in the sun. “Work experience is an experience, and the environment should not change that,” said Sylvain. If your resume is a little erratic, take the time to detail your career choices and responsibilities shouldered during your atypical path in your motivation letter. Your curriculum will intrigue, for sure, but it is also an advantage to get an interview where you can further enhance these skills hard won in the tropical heat. Up to you to open the minds of your future employer! “From the perspective of the business, you have proven your openness, your curiosity. But you will truly make it all a” plus” professionally if you are able to show your value to the company itself. If you want to enhance your experience, you have to find the right words, beyond anecdotes, to describe how you’ve learned your skills acquired abroad directly and effectively. It is a major effort to do.“, said Claude Mulsant, deputy director of Magellan *.

From Dream to Reality
Expatriation obviously enriches your life path and your career. The return to France should allow you to take advantage of the skills and knowledge acquired on the spot. Working abroad, even if the word “winter” does not really make sense in the local language, is not synonymous of a sabbatical year. Remember also when you had to work in a real sauna at the slightest failure of aircon or those evenings when you stayed cloistered in your office when there had been a notice of tropical storm. So bring back to reality the dreamy recruiters, stuck in their hazy weathers. Make them realize that the hard hours of labor are the same in Rio or in Maubeuge, and even more complicated because of the language barrier.
With a bit of explanation and open-mindedness, they will quickly realize the benefits of your arrival in their company. They still may envy you a little, but who could blame them …

* The Magellan Network is a professional meeting, exchange of information and targeting those responsible for International Human Resources, International Relocation and Compensation & Benefits.

Published on Lepetitjournal.com

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