How to Get a Job in International Relations
So you want to work in International relations?
The international relations industry focuses on the political relationships between countries. A variety of professions are encompassed in this field, ranging from those focused on international trade to those in the political sphere. You will often find political scientists, management consultants, researchers, academics and journalists working within the sphere of international relations.
Political scientists research, study and analyse political theories, systems and trends and present their findings with the aim of developing more effective systems. Journalists report on current international issues through media outlets. Management consultants with a focus on international relations advise companies on how to increase revenues and reduce costs through the use of effective global business strategies. Academics and political science professors conduct research and publish scholarly papers on international relations subjects.
Then you have those working for agencies like the United Nations or for international non-profit organisations striving for more international cooperation, peace and equality, especially in developing nations.
Types of jobs in the International relations industry include:
- United Nations
- Foreign Service
- Private Sector: International Business
- Government Agencies
- Private Sector: Non-Profit
- University Teaching and Research
Five key skills that will help you score a job in the International relations industry:
- Advanced written and verbal communication skills (being bilingual is an advantage)
- Strong relationship building and management skills
- A genuine passion for strengthening international cooperation
- An openness to new ideas and concepts and an interest in other cultures
- A calm, considered and diplomatic nature
Interview and Job Hunting tips
- Spend time studying overseas if you can. This way you will gain international relations experience at a personal level.
- Think about getting some work experience between your Bachelor’s degree and your Masters in International relations (if you are intending on completing this). The work experience will come in very handy during your advanced studies, you will gain a better understanding of your interests and ambitions and you will already have contacts and connections in the field for when you are ready for your next role.
- You should highly consider learning another language especially if there is a specific country you would like to work with. Even having a basic understanding will put you ahead of those who don’t have any experience with the language.
- Point to any volunteer or community work that you have done. Try to demonstrate your commitment to making a positive difference within society.