An application is a mammoth task for many people anyway. There is the distinction between CV and resume. Time to shed light on the darkness! If you would like to apply to another country, it is best to write your documents in the local language. However, this is not possible in many cases because you do not know how to do it. English is then the language of your choice.
Building international resumes
When the language of an international resume is the language, the English version is often meant. However, many people are not aware that the structure differs depending on the country. A resume in France, Spain, Great Britain, or the USA looks fundamentally different. Yes, there are even differences between English-speaking countries. For you, this means: You best fit the structure of the target country in which you are applying. Are you sending your CV to Spain, for example, but in English because you don’t speak Spanish? Then the structure should still be country-specific adapted to Spain. When in doubt, many applicants choose the so-called curriculum vitae, CV for short, and the British version.
The special features of a curriculum vitae
Compared to a classic resume, this CV has the following characteristics: It usually does not contain an application photo and no information on gender, age, religion, or marital status. In Great Britain, great importance is attached to the fact that qualifications alone are taken into account – which the classic resume could well take as a model. The curriculum vitae contains at least two references, i.e., contacts that speak for you when you contact us. The bottom line is to describe and prove your suitability. In addition, the resume contains a list of your most important professional stations in bullet points on around two pages, starting with the most recent. You don’t have to sign the CV.
The difference to the US resume
While the CV is often referred to as an international or EU CV, there are still situations where the resume is the more sensible choice for you. This is the US version of a resume. Of course, a resume is recommended whenever you apply in the USA. But also, for other foreign applications that take place outside the EU, the resume is often chosen instead of the CV. Ultimately, you are free to decide what you consider more useful and when. Your goal is the same anyway: It’s about putting your qualifications in the foreground and presenting them in the best possible way. The peculiarity of the resume is that it is usually no longer than one or two page. In addition, in the end, you will specifically raise your strengths(“Skills”). Otherwise, it is similar to the curriculum vitae, it does not contain an applicant picture or any information on age, gender, religion, or nationality – but a list of your professional positions, starting with the most recent, as well as specific references.
The best tips for your international application
Ultimately, the differences between the resume and the CV are small, so you can decide what makes the most sense for you when it comes to an international application. One page is often sufficient for career starters on the resume, and they can also shine in the area of “skills,” whereas an experienced applicant likes to use the two pages of space in a curriculum vitae. In the end, you are welcome to get creative here, too, to stand out from the crowd, as long as you keep the basic structure. In addition, the following tips will help you get the most out of your application in English:
- Personal statement: Many applicants introduce their resume with a personal statement, which should get to the heart of who you are. Take this opportunity to make your English CV unique.
- Date: If you write a resume in English, it should be consistent. That means: With a CV, you also write the date in the British way (day/month/year) and with a resume in the American style (month/day/year).
- Writing: At best, you write your resume yourself. After all, the company assumes that you speak English well enough. If, on the other hand, you hire a ghostwriter, your English skills will not match in the subsequent interview. Authenticity is an important keyword here.
- Technical terms: When writing, make sure to correctly translate the headings or designations in the resume, for example, for the categories personal data, nationality & Co, and any technical terms that relate to your profession or your industry.
- Correction: Nevertheless, it is always advisable to have the English resume corrected by at least one other person before submitting it – preferably by a professional editor in the respective language.
If you take these tips to heart, nothing stands in the way of your international resume, and you can certainly score points in Great Britain, the USA, or any other country. I wish you success!