How to Write a CV / Resume for Jobs Abroad or Visa Applications

emigrationIn some countries the term CV is used, in others they are better known as resumes and each country’s requirements differ slightly so here I will give you a quick overview on what they generally expect where and how to write a CV / resume for jobs abroad or for visa applications.

CV / resume requirements for jobs abroad or visa applications

Below you will find details of CV and resume requirements for the most popular countries UK residents apply to for overseas jobs or to make a visa applications.

USA

It is a well-known fact that the Americans will refer to a CV as a resume.  A resume is much more hard-hitting, aggressive and to the point document than a UK CV and is designed to give the hard sell to a prospective employer.

An objective section should be included and should be written for maximum impact, think ruthlessly and aim to get your point across and sell, sell, sell yourself as an ideal candidate!

Generally, a resume is only one page long but there are occasions where two is acceptable.

Like the UK, the Americans have quite strict rules concerning personal information.  As such, it is not necessary to include personal information such as DOB, marital status and nationality on your resume.

Remember, they spell some words differently in America and use different terms to us for a host of nouns over there.  Be sure to check the internet if you are unsure.

South Africa & UAE

In South Africa you will commonly hear both CV and resume used and they pretty much mirror the requirements of a UK CV.  Although they can be quite lengthy, most readers prefer you to be concise and aim to convey your details over two pages.

In both areas, they like you to include your personal details, information you wouldn’t normally include on a UK-based CV, such as your date or birth, age and nationality.

In UAE, the inclusion of a photograph is popular so I would recommend you get a professional headshot taken.  Many local photographers offer this service for a relatively small fee and will furnish you with a digital image you can insert on to the top right-hand corner of the CV.

Australia and New Zealand

Over there your CV is also referred to as a resume but differs from an American resume because they are generally two pages long, sometimes three if there is justification to use three pages.

The Australian and New Zealand resume should closely follow the format and content of a UK-based CV, being comprehensive and outlining your key skills and work experience.

Some Australian and New Zealand companies like you to provide full references, although writing ‘references are available on request’ is perfectly acceptable.

France and Belgium

In these countries they like you to include your personal details, information you wouldn’t normally include on a UK-based CV, such as your date or birth, age and nationality.

Your surname should be written in uppercase and your christian name in lower case.

They are generally one page in length, unless you have many years of experience and even then, the CV should not exceed two pages.

You don’t need to include a profile section but they do expect to see a career objective.

The inclusion of a photograph is popular so I would recommend you get a professional headshot taken.  Many local photographers offer this service for a relatively small fee and will furnish you with a digital image you can insert on to the top right-hand corner of the CV.

Germany and Surrounding Countries

In Germany, a CV is known as a ‘Lebenslauf’

In these countries they like you to include your personal details, information you wouldn’t normally include on a UK-based CV, such as your date or birth, age and nationality.

The inclusion of a photograph is popular so I would recommend you get a professional headshot taken.  Many local photographers offer this service for a relatively small fee and will furnish you with a digital image you can insert on to the top right-hand corner of the CV.

An interests and activities section is not required.

They are generally one page in length, unless you have many years of experience and even then, the CV should not exceed two pages.  However, they do like you to attach a number of documents, including:

  • Copy of qualification/training certificates
  • Copy of work permits
  • Copy of your driving licence

Spain

In Spain they like you to include your personal details, information you wouldn’t normally include on a UK-based CV, such as your date or birth, age and nationality. They also like you to include your passport number or an ID card number.

The inclusion of a photograph is popular so I would recommend you get a professional headshot taken.  Many local photographers offer this service for a relatively small fee and will furnish you with a digital image you can insert on to the top right-hand corner of the CV.


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