When you are applying to jobs internationally, it can be a little more complicated than applying to a position in your home country. You will need to make adjustments to your CV so that it meets the expectations of the hiring manager in that country. This article will cover some of the key differences to look for and how to adjust your CV accordingly.
First, do some research to learn about the CV customs in the country where you plan to apply for jobs. Look specifically for the typical CV tone and length, as well as how much personal information is usually shared on resumes in that country.
Generally speaking, resumes and CVs in western countries tend to focus more heavily on self-promotion, with a tone that is efficient, clipped, and focused on achievements. In eastern countries, the tone of resumes and CVs is often more modest with less of a self-promotional tone. Read sample resumes or CVs from the country where you plan to work in order to get an idea of the tone that’s commonly used.
The standard length of a CV varies widely from country to country. Some countries including the United States, Canada, and Australia use resumes for the majority of job applications, which are generally only one page in length. CVs in the United Kingdom are often about two pages long, while they can be up to five pages long in Germany and Greece. Do some basic research to determine the standard CV or resume length for your target country.
The level of personal information that is expected on a CV also depends heavily on the country where you intend to work. For example, employers in some Asian countries will expect to see a professional headshot on your CV, as well as details like your gender, age, marital status, religious beliefs, health status, and so forth. In most European and North American countries, however, you would not be expected to include a photo or any of that information.
In fact, it is illegal in some countries for employers to request such personal details, in order to make the hiring process less biased. In this case, employers will often reject an application automatically if it includes a photo or any personal details, in order to avoid any potential discrimination claims. Again, research the specific country where you plan to work and read sample resumes to determine whether to include personal information on your CV, and if so, how much detail to provide.
If you are applying to work in a country where a different language is spoken, you may want to consider translating your CV into that language. Be aware that submitting a CV in another language typically signals to the employer that you speak that language, so if you primarily speak English and submit a resume in Greek, the employer will likely expect that you also speak Greek. If you do submit a CV in another language, have a fluent or native speaker of that language check your CV for errors before you submit it.