Does Your CV Have International Appeal?

When you’re a true wanderlust-seeker who’s itching to explore other cultures, it can feel like your allocated holiday days just don’t stretch far enough. And in these cases, it often makes complete sense to take the plunge and find an exciting new role abroad.


Yet competition for international job posts is high. With employers regularly receiving hundreds (if not more) of applications for just one job, achieving your relocation dream can feel like an impossible task.


But who said you can’t be the person who stands out from the crowd and wins the role? With your current CV in hand, have a read through these questions below and learn how to turn it into a flawless international CV which oozes all the right kind of appeal.


Does it look professional?


You’re probably familiar with the ‘rules’ of British CV’s or US résumés, but have you taken some time to understand what a successful CV looks like in the country you’re applying to? While it might take some time to adapt the document, it’s sure to show international recruiters you’re serious about the job.


No matter what country you have in mind, don’t underestimate the importance of layout and presentation. Make sure the document is easy-to-read and that key information is easy for recruiters to find. Ensuring the document isn’t too jam-packed, using a simple font (Arial is a great choice) and utilizing short, concise lists is a good way to achieve this.


And lastly, under no circumstances should there be spelling and grammar errors - it’s best to get a trusted friend to check!


Does it reel readers in?


With a huge pile of CV’s to get through, it’ll only take recruiters a few seconds to suss out whether you’re a yes or a no. It’s vital to make an amazing first impression and tempt them to read on. This is where your international CV can do some of the selling.


Firstly, create a punchy professional personal statement which gives a quick overview who you are and what you can offer. In 4-8 lines, summarize your professional experience so far and outline what makes you a great fit for the role - relevant skills, knowledge, tools and achievements are all worth including. Think of it as your job hunting sales pitch!


Are you targeting your international CV to each and every role you apply for? Generic CV’s are a sure-fire way to lose recruiters attention. Take some time to research the company you’re applying to and look over the job description, before matching up your skills, experience and attributes to suit what they’re looking for. Do this for every role you apply for - it’ll seriously increase your chances of impressing recruiters.




Does it sell your international skills?


If you’re a keen traveller or work for a global firm, you’re sure to have some solid international skills which prove you’re capable of adapting to different cultures and working environments.


Maybe you’ve simply travelled the world with a backpack, taking odd-jobs to keep your funds topped up. Well, believe it or not, you’ve probably picked up some solid soft skills along the way and become a highly adaptable person! Try to think of times you were faced with challenges, used communication skills to solve problems or shown resilience, and match them up to the requirements of the job.


Do you speak any foreign languages? If so, you should absolutely include them on your international CV – you’ll earn mega brownie points! And even if you’re not fluent, languages are still worth including. Just remember to state your proficiency level.


If you have extensive international experience with global firms, it goes without saying that it’s worth bragging about. Just make sure to adapt and customize your job descriptions to match the skills and experience required for the role you’re applying to – no matter how amazing your experience is, it should always be relevant.


Does it prove your impact?


To boost your appeal to international employers, you should include plenty of numbers, facts and achievements which prove you’re a valuable hire. After all, without seeing tangible figures, they have no way of knowing if you’d truly be an asset to their organization!


Use these as an example and pick out some of your own – just make sure they’re relevant to the role you’re applying for:


  • Successfully managed a budget of £30k
  • Saved £20k by offshoring production elsewhere
  • Delivered a cost savings plan to cut office expenses by £5k
  • Managed a team of 10 and increased department efficiency by 25%
  • Acquired 5 major clients generating an increase of £100k 


By creating a flawless, achievement-orientated, well-presented international CV which is appropriate for the country you’re apply for a job in, you’re sure to be booking that flight ticket before you know it.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.



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