8 Tips on How to Write a Resume for an International Position

Resumes aren’t all that different around the globe, but those little things that differ matter a lot. Did you know that a resume in one country differs from that of another one? This means that those generic templates you come across won’t work everywhere, and the best resume you’ve used in your home is not going to even catch a glimpse in another place.

Every resume you decide to submit should fit a job description, but it must also be tailored to specific details that include the country you want to work in. As Mike Ross, resume writer at edugeeksclub.com claims: ‘’Where a person applies to work is an essential factor in how I craft their resume. And by where, I don’t just mean which industry or what company. This also matters, but the key is the country and the cultural environment.’’

Knowing this, your one resume won’t work in the same job sector in every place on this earth. So, if you plan to conduct somewhat of an international hunt for a great job, there are some things you must consider while crafting your application.  

Tip 1: Make a List of Key Experiences

No matter where you apply to work, the goal of the resume is to demonstrate your key experiences. Choosing the ones that are relevant for the field and the job is the key to standing out from any pile of application.

This list does not combine everything you’ve done so far. Having such list ready is the beginning. Your job is to find the experiences that best fit a specific job description, in a way that fits the industry you are applying for. Look at the list as a reference or a source for inspiration.

Surely, one experience does not necessarily have to fit only one industry. Ergo, you need to find a way to list your experience in a way that it suits the industry, not a general job application.

Tip 2: Write the Correct Amount of Pages

Based on the market, the rules for resume length might vary. For example, the US job market requires a single page to two pages due to the large amount of applicants for job positions. Hiring managers are busy and cannot read three or four pages, so your best shot here is to gather the most important experiences in a single page, maximum two.

In other places, the ideal resume length is completely different. Other countries in the world are more flexible in terms of resume length. Most European countries have a standard that fits two to four pages, and they consider more pages a sign for a truly experienced, seasoned professional.

This means that, no matter how hard you have worked on a resume, it won’t really matter if you make it too long or overly short. Making it too long in countries that expect a page will probably be annoying and a reason for them to toss it away. Making it too short for countries that expect more will make you appear less experienced than you are.

Tip 3: Photo or No Photo?

There’s not really a rule about including photos, but it’s a common knowledge that in Asia and Europe, people use professional portraits in their resumes. In fact, some schools who recruit teachers, as well as companies, request photos as part of the application. In the US and UK, on the other hand, this is frowned upon.

In most cases, the answer to this will be no. In fact, some countries won’t even think of asking for a photo since they believe this is a basis for discrimination. So, before you make a decision, check the job description and see how people send out their resumes in the country.

Tip 4: Include the Correct Amount of Educational Information

What does this mean? It means that based on the country, you should include a certain amount of educational information in your resume. Under the ‘Education’ section in American resumes, applicants usually include their graduate and university school information. In most places in the world, they seem to include the basic educational information too, such as secondary school information.

Tip 5: Mind Your Use of Fonts and Colors

Basically, the rule of resume design is as follows: clean, simple, and easy to read. Most resumes are black and white and use standard margins of one inch. The ideal font that you can use for any resume you send out is 10 sans-serif font.

If you want to adjust the margins or place more content to fit that resume size we discussed, make sure you follow the rule.

Tip 6: Make Sure You Use the Right Amount of Personal Information

While Asians and Europeans include gender, nationality, marital status, and date of birth, most of these are unexpected from employers who work by American standards. So, if you are applying to work in America, you don’t include the nationality or gender. If you apply to work in Europe, you definitely do.

Tip 7: Ask People

When you are in doubt about something, contact local friends or find people online that can guide you on the right path. Check out some resumes that fit the country standards online for guidance. Technology is your friend when you apply to work internationally, but not only in terms of a channel to send out your resume.

Tip 8: Stick to the Global Practices When You Aren’t Sure

If you aren’t sure about what to do with your resume, stick to the globally accepted practices:

  • Ideal length is 2 pages
  • Include current and real contact details
  • Include education details from secondary school and higher education institutions, as well as GPA
  • Use bullet-points to describe the responsibilities and achievements under each work experience
  • Summarize your spoken languages and indicate the native language
  • Summarize your technical skills

Crafting the perfect resume is hard, but if you fit these tips into creating your resume, you can nail the job must faster. In any case, people will see that you come from another country. If you are lucky enough, even the mistakes you make will be forgotten due to this fact. Still, your best choice is to send out the best resume you can make.

About author:

Audrey Lamp

Audrey is a proactive journalist who likes to get knowledge, analyze, and present fresh ideas. Her background and various interests determine her genuine passion for writing. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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