Attracting high-quality applicants is a crucial activity for the success of an organization. In today's globalized world, multinational enterprises need to attract talent not only in the domestic market but also in overseas markets. This exploratory study introduces the country of origin image framework from marketing literature to the context of recruitment in order to examine why foreign companies are (not) attractive to local job seekers, exemplified by the case of Japanese and US companies in Vietnam. Survey results of more than 300 participants confirmed the robustness of our postulated framework. Symbolic images such as the technological development and images of people of a country predicted the attractiveness of foreign companies above and beyond instrumental images of job characteristics. Detailed explanations and practical implications are provided.