If you are applying for a job abroad, the idea of a good resume will vary. In the UK, the US, and Asia, applicants need to follow a specific set of rules to land a job interview. Another obstacle is the language. Writing an international resume is challenging for non-native speakers. In this article, we will highlight five key conditions for success.
Do You Need a Resume or a CV?
A CV is longer and more detailed than a resume. Before applying, find out which of the formats you should submit. This is the primary consideration for international job seekers.
In most countries, candidates are expected to provide a CV. However, in the United States, the most commonly used document is a resume. It summarizes your experience, skills, education, and any other relevant information. In comparison, a CV is more thorough. It also includes details about achievements, education, publications, and other items relevant to the vacancy.
There is no single format for an international resume. Rather, it is a strategy for aligning your descriptions with the expectations and standards of a particular country.
What format does your potential employer prefer? Do they want your resume translated? Are references necessary? Do you need a professional photo or a portfolio? To conclude, there is no one-size-fits-all. Do your homework — conduct research online and ask locals for tips.
Example: American Resume
Today, American companies expect to receive resumes in a digital format, commonly PDF or word. This makes uploading and emailing easy. In terms of length, it is not necessary to limit yourself to just one page. If you have a decade of experience, your resume will understandably be longer.
The most common format is chronological. You need to follow a well-structured style starting with the latest position. Here is the typical order of sections:
- Personal information;
- Professional summary statement;
- Work history (from the most recent position to the first one);
- Hobbies (not obligatory);
- Certifications (not obligatory);
- References (not obligatory).
Pay Attention to the Tone
In some countries, aggressive self-promotion is condemned. The tone is very important. For example, applicants in the US could be more assertive. Meanwhile, in countries like China, modesty creates a better impression.
Include All Necessary Details
This is important for candidates applying locally, but for international job seekers, it is absolutely crucial. The following aspects must be crystal clear:
- Your nationality;
- Your Visa status;
- Your language skills.
Be Honest about Permit and Language. Do not try to hide or leave out details of your visa status or permits. The potential employer will find it out anyway, so save them time and be honest. The same is true for your language abilities. If you pretend to be an advanced speaker, the recruiter will easily find out.
Pay Attention to Keywords
In countries like the United States, many hiring processes are based on ATS — Applicant Tracking Systems. This technology is designed to facilitate hiring, as recruiters screen hundreds of resumes faster. If you are applying for a job in a large company, it will probably use an ATS. The system sifts through hundreds of resumes looking for particular phrases and keywords.
Pay Attention to Photo Rules.
You may be surprised to know that it is not always a good idea to include a professional photo. For example, you should not attach it to your application in the UK, Australia, Canada, and the US. On the other hand, companies in France or Germany require this.
Photo rules are more important than you may think. Badly designed applications could be discarded without reading. If you include a photo when it is inappropriate, the employer may reject you for legal reasons. Companies do not want to be sued for discrimination based on appearance.
Here is a trick: if you aren’t sure whether to include the photo or not, add a link to your LinkedIn profile. This way, the recruiter can see it if they are interested. Place it in the header.
The Bottom Line
These are only the basic intricacies of preparing an international resume. Play by the rules of the target country. The layout and content of your application matter, so don’t be lazy and do your research.