Looking for PR Jobs Overseas? Culturally Correct Resumes for Communicators
By Marie Raperto, President, CIM Search
If the Olympics have done nothing else, they have highlighted cultural differences and the lure of overseas travel. So, if you have the urge to work in another country, the first item you must master is the CV or curriculum vitae. Your US-focused resume will not get you work in another country.
While a resume talks about what you have done in your career and where you did it, your CV will tell employers who you are, where you have come from and whether you are qualified. It is very important that you avoid any cultural or lingual errors.
1. Be honest, be formal. Keep descriptions as simple as you can.
2. Use correct grammar and spelling. If you are applying for a position in Great Britian, make sure that you use their spelling. You want to show that you can write their way.
3. CVs like resumes should be easy to read and use standard formats. If you are applying for a position in a EU country, www.europass.cedofop.europa.eu will give a template that you can follow.
4. Your CV should contain all of your contact information and more. This includes personal data, work history (roles, titles, experiences and achievements), a summary of your professional qualifications and memberships and education.
5. Personal information should contain your marital status, age, sex and nationality. What is illegal in the US is expected in other countries.
6. Your professional education should be prominent on the first page of your CV. Internationally known universities, accreditations and awards should also be named. In many countries, copies of diplomas, certificates and transcripts are sent with the CV.
7. Language fluency, international experience, visa status etc. should also be listed.
8. If you need help with cultural rules, call the local embassy or consulate.
9. Escape Artist, Monster Work Abroad and Headhunter.net post international job openings. These sites are also good sources of job wording and keywords to use in your resume.
10. Cover letter or Covering Letter … make sure you know which one you should be using. International covering letters include objective statements so the employer can decide if the CV is a good fit. References available on request? It may be referees!
Working overseas can be exciting and give you the opportunity to develop and hone your skills. If it is something you want to do, go for it.
Just remember that you will be judged on your knowledge of ‘their’ world.