Expert resume tips for when you are job-hunting overseasThe world has shrunk. Expats working overseas face pretty much the same job-search hurdles as their counterparts at home, with the possible exception of how many languages they’re required to speak. There are still a few differences when it comes to best practices for international job resumes, such as longer CVs and pictures of applicants being the rule in Europe rather than exception. The experts below, however, all seem to agree that it’s the job that matters, not the location. And pretty soon, disruptive services may make CVs and cover letters as we know them things of the past.
Personality MattersThe team at Ajirablog, a career management blog, says there is one major difference between domestic and international candidates: your “international IQ.” Your ability to adapt to living and working overseas is given as much — or even more weight — than your education, technical abilities and experience. “Thus,” they continue, “your CV should be able to highlight the cross-cultural skills, and other smaller details that are unique to job applications for international jobs.” Those other details include a calm disposition, a willingness to take the lead and an ability to work well in a group. Christine D’Silva, principal consultant at the international consultancy Cubiks, says personality assessments help with more than just the job selection process. “It can also help to provide individuals with a more detailed level of feedback in order to understand their own reactions and behaviours under challenging circumstances, and to inform future training programmes.”
Keep it SimpleTiffany Hardy at Executive Career Insider says to remember that lengthier CVs are acceptable in certain overseas countries and for senior-level executives. “However, no matter how long your resume ends up being,” Hardy says, “it must be succinctly written, 100 percent aligned with your career goal, and drafted with a discriminating reader in mind — who will very quickly have had enough.” She offers a few tips on how to keep this document brief:
- Eliminate jargon. Phrases such as “results-focused” and “an excellent communicator” are overused, do not make you unique and create little value.
- Keep company information short: Industry, revenue, size and countries are enough.
- An overview of your responsibilities is required, not a day-to-day task description.
Have the Right StuffStaffing strategist Gail Tolstoi-Miller says some 90 percent of job applicants are unqualified for the position they’re applying for. Recruiters and hiring managers are inundated by what she calls “air ball resumes,” which clutter the application process and waste everyone’s time. Still, Tolstoi-Miller encourages job seekers to seek out opportunities. “But in today’s competitive job market,” she writes on Talent Culture, “it is vital that candidates remain focused and objective in identifying their personal strengths, weaknesses, skills, experience and best fit.” Her advice to candidates: “Read the job description! If you don’t have MOST of the experience and credentials needed, move on to a more appropriate fit.”
Tips from a RecruiterAt EuroLondon Appointments, an international multilingual recruitment firm, associate manager Nathalie Worsley gives some pointers on how to make the most out of your relationship with a recruiter:
- Work with your recruiter to find the best role. A job they present may not tick all the boxes, but headhunters know the market, and can steer your search realistically.
- Use LinkedIn to showcase your expertise, personal interests and to round out your personality. Obviously, you’ll upload your CV, but more than that, follow companies and participate in groups you’re interested in and write articles in your area of expertise.
- “Know what you don’t want.” Even if the salary is tempting, steer clear of jobs you don’t enjoy.
- Reach for the salary you would like, but also know the minimum you are willing to accept. Figure in the cost of your commute. Travelling can cost you time and money.