10 tips for writing a great international CV
February 20, 2020, 1:09 pm

10 tips for writing a great international CV

Writing a decent CV and cover letter is a real challenge, and writing them in a foreign language is even more difficult. Although going beyond the sphere of comfort and fulfilling the dream of working abroad is impressive and worth the effort. And we are here to help you with this.

A good job usually starts with a good CV, and a good habit is usually preceded by a search for information, this article may be helpful at first. And also a handful of tips below:

  • THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CV AND RESUME

Despite the fact that both words are used interchangeably in English, CV and resume are not the same.

A CV is a detailed list of your work experience, education, and achievements. It contains almost everything you have done in your life and is not adapted to the specific job offer. If you compare a CV to a movie about your professional career, the resume will be her trailer. A resume is definitely shorter, preferably on one, never more than two sides, and it varies depending on what work you are applying for.

The resume contains a list of skills and achievements related to a specific position, gives the manager a picture of who you are and what you can bring to the company.

  • AND FIND OUT WHEN TO SEND A CV AND WHEN TO RESUME

And what's more these two documents are used differently, depending on the part of the world. According to Undercover Recruiter, Americans and Canadians prefer resume (unless it is simply not required or you are applying for a job in a scientific and academic environment). Rectors in Europe and New Zealand usually require a CV.

To simplify the situation slightly, in Australia, India, and South Africa, two terms are used interchangeably, and generally resume is preferred in the private sector and public resume. It's best to just ask (your local employment agency or friend) how detailed your application should be. Or use resume writing services, cost is acceptable.

  • CHOOSE THE RIGHT LANGUAGE

Write your CV in the language of the job offer. You can add a translation if the language of the offer is not in the official language of the country. For example, if you respond to a job offer in English in Germany, you can send your CV in English and German, English will have priority. Your LinkedIn profile can be in different languages, then send a link instead of a separate document.

  • CUSTOMIZE, CUSTOMIZE, CUSTOMIZE

Always adapt your application to your country, position, and company. If your CV shows that you have obtained the information you need, you will avoid unnecessary questions. Choose the best or the most important information from your CV by writing a cover letter and edit, delete and mercilessly organize so as to draw the attention of the recruiter.

  • BE HONEST ABOUT WORK PERMISSION AND LANGUAGE SKILLS

Add the type of visa and residence permit you have to your CV. Don't hide this information, and the interviewer will ask you sooner or later, so save her time. The same applies to language skills. If you write that you are fluent in a given language, the recruiter will be able to check it quickly. There is no room for lies and exaggeration.

  • FOLLOW THE PHOTOS RULES

Adding a high-quality professional photo is not always a good idea. Never do this in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. In Germany and France, however, you need to add a photo. It's worth checking out, a lot of CVs end up in the trash because the rules regarding photos have not been met. Not because someone is not photogenic, but for legal reasons.

Employers do not want to be accused of discrimination on the basis of appearance. If you're not sure if you should add a photo, you can always add a link to your personalized LinkedIn profile to your CV. Then the rector will be able to see how you present yourself.

  • TAKE THE EUROPEAN WAY TO ABBREVIATIONS

If you want to work in Europe, you don't have to be the next Columbus to discover America. Check out Europass, the online application that will help you collect all the documents you need so that you can present your experience and qualifications well. An easy-to-understand tool that contains CV templates and covers letters.

  • PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS

When you start looking for information, pay attention to the details that can save, or delete your CV immediately, before anyone reads about your achievements and experience. In Germany, for example, you must place your signature and date at the bottom of your CV. In many European countries, information on the date of birth, marital status, and even the number of children may be required. Which, on the other hand, will be a big mistake in the US (so don't do it!).

Other important information that varies depending on the country in which you want to work is the conclusion (or omission) of professional goals, recommendations (letters of recommendation) of previous employers, grades from studies/school (here you will see how they can be converted) and a list of documents which you must send with your CV.

  • MAKE ORDER WITH THE NUMBERS

Let's focus on the smallest details. You will get extra points, and if you add the country code to your phone number, it is worth mentioning the time difference. The same applies to the spelling of dates (in order: month, day, and year) and the choice of paper format (in case your CV should be printed). The recruiter will see that you have done your homework and really pay attention to the details as you promise.

  • ASK FOR HELP

CV checking always requires an extra pair of eyes to catch mistakes and see if what you wrote makes sense. If you have the opportunity, ask a native speaker who knows about grammar and CV writing styles to review your documents.

If you want to apply for a job in a specific country and you are determined, it would be a good idea to hire a local professional to write your CV. Besides, cost of resume writing services are not so high.


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