You may be having a one-page ‘perfect’ resume that has landed you with several jobs. But when you target an international company abroad, you need to pay attention to the cultural differences at play that may have not realized before. Generally speaking, there are glaring differences between U.S. resumes and resume formats of other countries. U.S. has more concise one-page piece whereas European countries advocate putting their photos on resumes that vary between three to four pages along with a whole column of personal data. To widen the exposure in today’s job market, you need to know what constitutes a more ‘global’ resume.
How to create a global resume?
For starters, every resume you submit to the employer or HR department should be tailored for the particular job you are applying. Needless to say, it needs to be tailored to the specific country and cultural environment where you are seeking employment. Frankly, there is hardly any way to match every job sector in every country on the earth. But on the brighter side, there are certain basic practices and predictable variations that can be incorporated into a designated ‘global’ resume template. Here we show you the steps of creating an international resume that has a global appeal.
Step 1 Create a list of your experiences
The aim of a resume — no matter where you are, be it U.S., Europe, Asia or anywhere in the world — is to reflect your uniqueness in front of the employer and ultimately land you with an interview call and how to get hired fast.
- Remember, it should not be a synopsis of everything you have done so far. It should list only those experiences that are directly relevant to the position you are applying for.
- What best you can do is write an in-depth 4 to 5 page master resume describing every detail of your work experience. You can mention the same work experience several times but write it in different ways. This is for your reference whenever you apply for a new job. You can pick experiences relevant to your job profile and customize them later.
Step 2 Know how much educational information you are expected to share
American resumes only have graduation school and university information under ‘education’ section. However, in rest of the world, the resume still carries basic secondary school information (the name of the institution, location, final grade, etc).
- It is better not to include everything you have done so far in terms of education, do not include anything that is irrelevant to the job profile. Only you can decide how much educational experience is relevant to your job profile.
- To match the international standard, you can add 1 or 2 two lines about previous education.
Step 3 Ensure how much personal information is required
Many Europeans and Asian include their gender, marital status and date of birth in their resume that is quite unthinkable in American standard.
- Don’t go without mentioning your nationality (where you hold citizenship) because many US and UK nationals have Italian and German names. The HR could easily think you are an Italian or German. The extra data will help your employer to understand your profile better.
- Do include gender and native language in your resume.
Step 4 Calculate how many pages it should be
In the U.S. market, the general rule is to create one-page resume. But if you have more than 15 years of experience, you can write 2-page.
- Don’t include your biography in resume; it should be just enough to serve the purpose. Everywhere else in the world, apart from U.S., has a much more flexible standard, usually 2-4 page or even longer if you are a seasoned professional.
- To match the international standard, you can add 1 or 2 two lines about previous education and you must need to visit seven countries to get free education
Step 5 Decide whether you need to attach a photo
There is no hard and fast rule for this. But European and Asian do include personal portrait when submitting a resume. Resume with photograph do attract human attention, it is a simple human nature. For example, European sales companies request photos with their resumes because they evaluate their appearances. The reason is they cannot afford to send somebody sloppy in front of the CEO of multinational company for a pitch.
- In USA and UK, it has been traditionally frowned upon to submit a resume with mug-shot. The reason is most of the companies are governed by the ‘laundry list’ and previewing the candidate before an interview could lead them to the violation of laws (here are tips to crack any interview). So if you are applying in USA and UK-based companies, it is advisable that you don’t include a professional portrait of yours. However, as we live in digital age now, the employer can easily see or gather information about the candidate from Google. Many employers actually think that adding a photograph is a symbol of openness and confidence.
- Go with your gut feeling. If you are applying for a job through HR department’s website or famous companies, you can leave it out. But if you are going to smaller, non-known companies, you can add one.
Step 6 Know the type of fonts, colors and design to include in the resume
The thumb rule of resume building anywhere in the world is: keep it simple, clean and easy to read. If you need to add additional information and remove additional information, adjust your margins accordingly.
- There should not be any half page of content. Only include additional page when you have enough content to fill it. Whenever you send your resume, check properly whether it has the previous alignment.
- Try to stick to fewer pages because it is easily readable then.
Now, you know what you have to do when you apply for a company situated abroad.
To broaden your knowledge, here we present a sample international resume too and go through 17 effective tips to get hired after graduating.
A Sample Resume
Chati (Fred) Wattanna
1633 Summit Street, Apartment 155, Kent, Ohio 44042. 330-356-1095.
To obtain fall 2016 internship as a financial analyst with emphasis on asset management
Master of Science in Financial Engineering, August 2015
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, GPA: 3.9
Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering, 2011
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, GPA: 3.8
- Proficient in MATLAB, C++, HTML
- Experienced in Minitab for applying quantitative and statistical data in research
- Good knowledge with Microsoft Office, Windows XP
- Trained in Reuters, CQG, Trading Technologies and Patsystems
- Fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai and English
Related work experience:
(Automation Products, ABC Limited, Bangkok, Thailand)
January 2012 – May 2014
- Responsible for sales and support functions for end users of main industries in Thailand
- Coordinated customized production for potential products with Asia Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and with ABC factories in Finland and Sweden
- Trained and implemented product innovation for process development for unmet customer needs by researching new technologies.
(Planning Logistics, Proctor & Gamble, Bangkok, Thailand)
- Analyzed just-in-time production by implementing statistical data analysis
- Evaluated overstocked P&G products at Tesco Lotus, a major wholesaler in Thailand and implemented practical solutions to increase efficiency.
President (Student Union, Chulalongkorn University)
September 2010 – July 2011
- Organized large social events (50-500 attendees) for college community to encourage cohesion and sense of community
- Led weekly campus meetings for committee of 10
- Edited and published campus e-magazine with circulation of 3,000
Coordinator (Engineering Association, Chulalongkorn University)
October 2007 – May 2011
- Assisted new freshmen engineering students with moving into residential halls
- Created engineering student activities to stimulate new interest in major.
New Outstanding Employee, ABC Limited, 2012
Recipient of Magna Cum Laude, Chulalongkorn University, 2011.
By referring to the above sample resume, we hope that you must have understood the importance of each element in your resume and of course how they work together.
Checklist of global resume
Here are a few best global practices. More or less your resume should be and/or have:
- 2-page long
- Include current contact details of yours
- A personal data profile as described above
- Nationality and work permit status clearly stated
- State the equivalence of any internationally obtained qualification
- Education details and GPA from institutions of higher education (secondary education optional)
- Concise bullet points under each work experience detailing responsibilities and achievements
- Section headings must clearly reflect what information the sections contain
- A section that summarizes technical skills and spoken languages (with a clear indication or native language)
- Check for grammar, spelling and correct use of language.
Use key words from the job description and the job solicitation on your resume in order to reflect that you have done your homework. While showcasing all your true abilities, you should look and sound like your work for them.
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