5 Strategies to Punch Up Your Global Résumé/CV

Posted on Aug 11, 2015 | 3 comments

5 Strategies to Punch Up Your Global Résumé/CV

If you’re getting your résumé ready for your first international position or revising it to get your next job in a long international career, you may be wondering how you can convince your future employer that you are the right candidate for them on paper. A résumé/CV for a job in your home country may look wildly different that your résumé/CV for international positions—and I’m not talking about formatting here; I’m talking about content. If you’re not sure that your résumé/CV will convince any international employer to call you for an interview, try these five strategies to punch up your global résumé/CV.



1. Use a “Key Qualifications” section to your advantage.

A “Key Qualifications” section should be the first section on your résumé/CV. It gives you a chance to guide your potential employer’s first impression. In this section, you can give an overview of your qualifications and what makes you the perfect candidate. A “Key Qualifications” section is important because it’s often the only section that your employer will read in its entirety. They may skim the rest of your résumé/CV before making the decision on whether to find out more about you or not. Use this section to define who you are, which allows you to take steps towards convincing your future employer that you have the right experience and personality to contribute to the company or organization’s success.



2. Call attention to your prior work experience in the same country/region or with the specific population.

If you’re trying to get a job in a specific country or region where you already have experience, don’t forget to highlight it on your résumé/CV. I’ve seen so many résumés that refer to “developing countries” instead of specifically listing the countries or regions where the applicant has experience. Think about it: an employer is much more likely to want to talk to you if you already have experience in their country or at least in their region. Having experience with the population they work with is also important. Because this information can sometimes end up buried in your résumé, I suggest highlighting it in your “Key Qualifications” section to make sure your potential employer doesn’t miss it!


3. Cut down your résumé by nixing irrelevant training and certifications.

A lot of us have the tendency to want to fill our résumés up to try to convince our potential employers how qualified we are. But this is actually really distracting because it muddies your résumé in a way that makes it more difficult for those reviewing it to understand if you are a good fit. Irrelevant training and certifications are especially dangerous in a global job search because they often highlight the differences rather than the commonalities between you and the organization you’d like to work for. Don’t fill up your résumé with information that is irrelevant to your potential employer just because it may have been extremely relevant to your past experiences. I’ve seen many resumes that are guilty of this, mostly by listing trainings that are on a specific system or process at one particular organization. If you’re trying to convince your potential employer that you’re excellent at analyzing data and producing statistics, referencing software or a system that they have never heard of is not going to help at all. Always remember to frame your past experience in a way that works to your advantage. If you’ve only used a system that is used at one company in the world and now you’d like to work for another company, you might be better off nixing it.


4. Use the language your future employer uses.

Because you may be applying for a job in another country and with an organization that is distinctly different than your previous employers, it’s important to speak their language. You don’t necessarily have to learn an entirely new foreign language, but you may find it useful to learn certain vocabulary and acronyms used by your potential employer or in that specific region. For example, if you work in marketing and your current employer uses the term “commercial” but your potential employer calls it a “TV spot”, you should go ahead and change all references to “commercials” on your résumé to “TV spots”. It’s a small change, but it goes a long way in convincing your potential employer that you would fit in and you know what you’re doing. By making this vocabulary change, your potential employer can now also read through your résumé/CV with ease instead of wasting their time being confused with region-specific terminology. How do you figure out what their language is? Easy: use the same language they use in the job announcement and on their website. If possible, you could also find out by connecting with your friends or contacts who work there.



5. Don’t include your address.

The quickest way to get your résumé tossed into the reject pile is to clearly state that you live very far away. In this day and age, it’s completely unnecessary to put your physical address at the top of your resume yet so many people do. Like it or not, employers are biased when it comes to your nationality and where you live. Don’t let them dismiss you just because you live on another continent. Make them review your résumé/CV first and allow them to objectively get to know you and your qualifications.



Want to know more about job searching in foreign countries?

Passport Career is a program that provides unmatched, detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send an email to info@passportcareer.com) regarding a FREE live online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access the Passport Career system.


Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant


  1. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m so glad this was helpful to you!

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