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Studies show that 31% of people would move across the world for their dream job. This comes as no surprise as working abroad can have so many benefits, from increasing language skills to learning about new cultures.
However, landing that overseas job is hard. On average, each job posting attracts a whopping 250 CVs. On average, there are usually around 4-6 interviews and, of course, only one position.
When you think about those numbers, those from overseas do not have the best chance, especially when recruiters will take into account the ease of organising interviews. This means it is essential that your CV be the best it can possibly be, and you make sure that it lands in the right hands.
You need to make sure your CV stands out for the right reasons and that hiring you is a no-brainer.
So, how can you make sure your CV is noticed overseas?
One of the first things you need to do is understand what a winning CV looks like in the country that you want to work in. While CVs are relatively standardised, each country may have its own structure, presentation or content differences.
For example, in Germany, CVs usually include an electronic signature and photograph. However, in the UK, a picture and signature are unnecessary. Check out more differences in CVs per country.
Secondly, you need to conduct in-depth research for the job that you want. Different companies will be looking for different skills and characteristics. Gaining a greater understanding of your target employer will help you to tailor your CV with all of the attributes they are looking for.
With full knowledge of the job and employment requirements, you can then select the best experience from your career that will prove you have the skills, knowledge and experience that your target employer wants. Without lying on your CV, use the adaptable nature of your skills to show that you are the ideal candidate for the particular role.
Remember, you should tailor your CV for every position you apply for so that employers can not only see your commitment, but also how your skills align with their job specification.
With the average job attracting over 250 applications, recruiters are only going to read all of the CV if the first few lines are attention-grabbing. If the very top section of your CV doesn’t compel the reader or show the keywords that the recruiter is looking for; it simply won’t be read. This is why it is essential to start your CV with a powerful profile.
This first section of your CV should be your sales pitch. It should be a neat summary of who you are and what you do. This profile will ideally be between 4-6 lines long.
It needs to be unique and true of your skills, achievements and abilities.
So many people waste this opportunity with clichés about having a ‘results-driven attitude’ or being a ‘dedicated team player’. These are great, but they don’t prove your abilities nor are they specific to the role you are applying for. Instead, be specific and demonstrate achievements that will reflect the requirements that recruiters are looking for.
You may see your international status as a disadvantage when applying for a role. However, highlighting key global abilities could serve to give your CV an edge over other applicants. If you have worked abroad before, you can demonstrate your commitment, adaptability and flexibility as well as your determination and confidence to step out of your comfort zone and pursue your career.
If you speak multiple languages, this is a critical skill that many employers look for. When writing your CV, make sure to highlight the languages you speak and the level of fluency you have with each. You can also evidence the skills and experience that travel and working abroad has given you. Check out our tips on how to display your language skills in your CV.
We all know the power of statistics and figures as a way to make a headline stand out. This approach should be used in your CV too. Make your results and achievements quantifiable. For example, if you were running a project, include the budget you were responsible for or the total cost of the project. If you kept a sales success rate, add it as a percentage. Remember only to include the figures that demonstrate your ability, if your results are not entirely positive, leave them out.
It is likely that some of your achievements will be specific to a particular job, which you won’t be able to explain succinctly in your CV. This is why using figures and percentages can help to make the achievements easier to understand and ultimately, more powerful.
It is believed that 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. Most recruiters will use keyword research to find candidates on LinkedIn. Therefore, you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and full of the most relevant key words that can help you to get found in searches and land your dream job.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about where you want to work either. For example, if your dream is to pursue your career in France, then state it in your profile. It makes it much easier for recruiters to find you and understand what you are looking for.
While you should make sure your profile is ready for recruiters to find you, don’t just sit back and wait. Use LinkedIn to your advantage by networking with influential people who may be able to help with your job search.
Make sure to join in with relevant discussions, publish informative posts and search for the people in the industries and organisations who can help to connect you to decisionmakers and recruiters. By showing your skills and knowledge, you may find recruiters seek you out, rather than the other way around.
Following the above guidance should give your international job search a boost and ensure you land plenty of interviews. Don’t forget to prepare for plenty of Skype and telephone interviews, as you will likely encounter many before being invited in for face-to-face meetings.
Andrew Fennell is a former London recruiter and founder of StandOut CV, one of the UKs largest CV and job search advice websites.
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