Have you ever had an urge to emigrate? Wished your job could be based near your holiday idyll? What about the thrill of getting a job based overseas? Perhaps your partner has received an overseas transfer and you want to know what your career options are. Whatever your reasons, when you apply for any job outside the borders of where you are currently located, you'll need a CV (Curriculum Vitae or Résumé) which is your own marketing passport to the rest of the world. The differences between CV’s worldwide are subtle enough; however, a CV is essential to moving through the first phase of applying for any role or position.
There isn’t a set way to write a CV, but there are many common elements and themes. Here are some points you'll need to know when writing a CV for international employers.
Your background and personal characteristics are important to many prospective employers, so give them this information at the beginning of your CV; don’t type: Curriculum Vitae, CV or Résumé at the top of your document; as far as I am concerned, there is nothing worse than receiving a CV that says: “Curriculum Vitae” at the top of the first page in giant bold letters, and then have to turn to the last page of the document, right at the end to find details of the applicant’s name, address, phone number and postal and email addresses. Put your name in bold with your telephone numbers, email address and home address where it can be seen immediately. Add a profile and tell the reader about your skills, education, outstanding features to your experience and your work ethic. Tell the reader about your career, i.e.: what you do and the level of education that you achieved for your career. Some employers outside the UK like a passport sized photo in the top right hand corner…………….make sure the photo is clear, formal and professional and make sure you are smiling in that photo – there is nothing worse than a picture which looks like an application for a prison-able offence!!!!!
Write an “Objective” about the role you want, or tailor your objective to a role you have seen advertised with a particular employer. Importantly, include any foreign languages you know and classes that you are taking, along with travel experience (vacations count) – you are demonstrating that you are a part of the global community as well as revealing your versatility and ability to change.
CV’s vary from country to country and from company to company. In some countries, employers only want a basic career history; others may require certificates of work, letters of recommendation, university degree certificates, proof of professional membership and qualifications etc. It’s easy to find out if the employer has preferences about what they want to see on your CV, send them an email, a fax, or call them on the phone, they will be flattered at your interest and the fact that you have taken the time to think about their requirements. Sometimes these details are listed on the prospective employer’s website or within job application packs, so it pays to find out!
List your professional experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent or current job first – but check this out per geographical location as requirements and preferences do vary; in the USA, the preference is first job first; in the UK it’s current job first. When it comes to describing what you do, some employers prefer to find this out directly from you at the time of interview, so how you describe what you are or what your role is on paper is critical.
Be very, very careful when it comes to telling what you’ve achieved throughout your career. In many countries, team efforts are far more important that singular values. Present your achievements in the context of your roles with each employer/group, be it as a junior member or as a leader of many. If you weren’t solely responsible for a success, use nouns rather than verbs to describe the achievement, (present tense rather than past tense) e.g.: write "utilises planning model…" rather than "utilised planning model” or “manages…” instead of “managed”… When there is a need to describe individual successes that are attributable only to you, use verbs.
Use bullet points instead of writing long sentences within paragraphs. If you must change the font style, use a simple modern font such as Microsoft Sans Serif, Tahoma or Franklin Gothic Book, and use boldface for section titles. Use simple sentences and points, don’t try to impress with your command of the relevant language, simple words and sentences are more to the point and factual than relying on a preponderance to verbosity, (I rest my case!). Overly sophisticated language is likely to put people off and can be seen or read as arrogance. Use the words that fit your experience and status level.
Much of the advice on our website has been kindly provided by local companies and organisations for which we are very grateful - could you offer some advice to our visitors in return for some free coverage on our website? If so please get in touch here as we'd love to hear from you.