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To CV or not to CV: Writing Your Resume for an International Market
 

To CV or not to CV: Writing Your Resume for an International Market

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If you're applying, or planning to apply, to positions overseas, it can be a challenge to communicate your value in a quickly evolving international marketplace. How do you know what is important to ...

If you're applying, or planning to apply, to positions overseas, it can be a challenge to communicate your value in a quickly evolving international marketplace. How do you know what is important to the global and/or local audience, and how do you highlight those elements in your documents?

Join us for this webinar, hosted by Kim Mohiuddin, full of strategies to propel your successful overseas job search. Kim is one of Ivy Exec's Senior Résumé Writers, specializes in international resumes and has been nominated for a TORI (Toast of the Résumé Industry) Award in the international category. Kim is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), and Certified Job Search Strategist (CJSS). She's had her work included in multiple publications, most recently NBC and Time Out NY.

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  • After writing more than hundreds of international resumes, I’ve learned that when in Rome, it’s fine to do as the Romans. But do it with a bit of your own style! Don’t be afraid to rewrap that toga!
  • Are you targeting a specific country or region? If you have multiple, diverse talents, consider creating customized documents for each situation. What works in Tokyo may not work in Abu Dhabi. If you want to work at a global company with offices in a particular region, it’s usually preferable to write with the company’s country of origin in mind. That means US English if you want to work for HP in Paris, British English if you want to work for Barclays in Shanghai. Define your target role and do some research. The role may have different names in different countries and companies. The terms associated with your work may vary from region-to-region. Use an international job board such as expathiring.com or the others in your handout to put together a list of common terms. You’ll want to include those in your resume to show you “speak their language” in every sense.
  • Two things will add value to your candidacy over others: your ability to navigate the country and company culture, and your capacity for introducing new approaches and skill sets. Before you write your resume, define the ways in which you meet both of those needs.
  • As with any “product” in the market place, you need a compelling message if you’re to capture the interest of the consumer—in this case, the hiring manager. Define your message. Make it clear by leading with your target position and a tag line / positioning statement. [Open Word documents to show a few anonymized examples].
  • Regardless of where your resume will be seen, be sure to create it using Microsoft Word. Use your target country (not any other country the company may be headquartered in) to determine paper size. You want it to print correctly on the in-country printers! For the most part, you’ll want to list your work history in reverse chronological order. If you have employment
  • You can dress like this at Carnival time in Rio, but tone it down on that resume you’re sending to Brazil. Even when we’re trying not to be, Americans are a bit more flamboyant than European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and most Latin American Cultures when it comes to describing themselves. I once wrote a CV in what I considered very conservative language for a humanitarian administrator, stating he had “helped” the UN and World Bank advance their missions. He knew both organizations well and informed me they would smile to think he could have helped them. When in doubt, have someone familiar with the local business culture double-check what you’ve done. But don’t let them take ALL the “American” out. A little extra flair may be exactly why they are considering an expat.
  • At senior level, much more likely to find job through contacts or recruiters. Online postings typically have the lowest response rate for candidates. Spend much more of your time on the other methods.
  • A colleague told me of her client in Ireland who was very happy with her work, but begged her to take the word “resume” off his cover letter. He said his colleagues were teasing him for “trying to be American.”[Depending how we’re doing on time and questions, I can show a few anonymized resume samples for different countries and tell the story. ]