CVs – the international dimension

The one thing I observe from my consultancy experience and from writing CVs for people all over the world is that the needs of employers are broadly the same. They want to select a candidate whom they are confident can add value to their business, helping them to meet their objectives. Of course the specific objectives and the ways in which the ideal candidate adds value will vary. These also vary between companies and between industries as well however.

Culture is of course very important and will affect how business is done in each region or country. The extent to which this affects your approach to CV writing however is negligible. In an increasingly globalised business environment this is bound to be the case. A company might be headquartered in a different county and its organisational culture driven from there, rendering ‘local’ advice irrelevant.

An example of a well-known difference is that in the USA and Canada a 1 page ‘resume’ is expected. I have written a few of these, and indeed kept them to a succinct 1 page summary. Equally I have written 2 page versions if the candidate was senior enough and if the content was sufficiently compelling. There is some high profile opinion that agrees with me on this. Read here.

I recently met two great recruitment companies in Lithuania (People Link and Alliance for Recruitment). Both confirmed my view that there is a gap between what recruiters really want and what people are advised to put on their CV or their ‘resume’ or indeed their cover letter (sometimes called a ‘motivation letter’ over there). I can only infer that this gap exists either because advice is not taken or the advice is wrong. It is wrong because it is subjective, and subjectivity exists everywhere.

What you need to do is find out what that particular employer is looking for and then present evidence that you meet their criteria better than any other candidate. It is this fundamental that doesn’t change amongst any business in the world.


Written by

CV Writer and Interview Coach. Blogging about ways to improve your CV writing and job searching experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.