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How international experience can benefit your CV


With the opportunity to explore different parts of the world, experience new cultures, and gain new skills and insights; it's easy to see why moving abroad is a popular trend. This is especially relevant with younger people who are fresh out of university and looking to land their first job.  

The current job market is competitive and with more firms looking to bring a variety of experiences to deal teams, it is beneficial to have something that sets you apart from the crowd. International exposure is typically highly valued by employers and can give you the upper hand against your competitors. It shows you're driven and have the determination and courage to take a chance. This experience can come in many shapes and sizes from an Erasmus semester, internships, moving away for university, or experience gained post-degree.

There are numerous reasons why employers value candidates with an international profile. For Nordic clients it tends to come down to competencies and experiences such as:

  • Agility
    When faced with challenges one must adapt and find solutions, be creative, take initiative, and think outside the box. Working in finance is a highly dynamic environment, these skills show that you are agile and forward thinking. These competencies can often be gained faster when exposed to an international environment. 
  • Confidence
    It requires confidence to work independently and to voice one's own opinion in working scenarios. Living abroad can help boost your confidence, create a stronger sense of independence, and make you self-assured in your actions. 
  • Global network
    Living abroad enables you to meet people from all around the world. A network is always important but having an international network in an increasingly global environment is a huge advantage. It allows you to gain insights into trends that could be in your favour to know about. It is, however, very important to maintain a connection to your home country and make sure you know the players in the industry. For example, a concern with our clients and candidates who have spent too much time abroad is that they have lost their Nordic touch, which can be a problem given that most deals done in the Nordics have their own unique angle. 
  • Intercultural competencies 
    Communicating with people from different cultures is an essential skill. Some cultures have a very direct way of communicating, others are indirect, and it is all about understanding how to tailor your communication to suit different individuals to avoid misunderstandings. 
  • Global perspectives
    Having lived somewhere other than your home country gives you a more globalised approach. You will likely be more international in your mindset, which enables you to come up with new ideas and solutions that gives you a competitive edge.
  • Challenged and fast pasced environments
    Working in finance is known for being demanding. Dealing with extremely tight deadlines, long nights, and numerous live deals for big clients creates a unique learning environment and provides a training experience that is hard to get anywhere else. Our Nordic clients see these skills candidates have gained from a fast-paced working environment as great assets as the candidates often have great overview, can work efficiently under pressure, and have valuable experience working on high profile international deals. 

It‘s important to say that a candidate  with international experience won't automatically get the job over candidates without - it will ultimately come down to your hard work and ability to demonstrate your value add.  Factors such as years and type of experience, grades, interpersonal and technical skills, and cultural fit will always be very important elements. However, diversity of thought is seen as valuable and having something on your CV that sets you apart from the others will help you stand out in a competitive job market.

At Dartmouth Partners, our Nordic team covers M&A and Private Equity across the Nordic region. Our experience and knowledge in this area enables us to provide our candidates tailored pieces of advice on their career path, interviewing, and recruitment processes. If you have any questions about your next role or would like to take the first step in getting some international experience, reach out to us today, we'd love to hear from you.

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