Effective Resume Writing for Expat Job Opportunities

Effective Resume Writing for Expat Jobs

Thinking about working abroad, but don’t know what to put on your resume or how to format it properly? Don’t worry because you are in good company. Most prospective first-time expat are in the dark when it comes to writing an effective resume or curriculum vitae that will get them noticed and ultimately get them an offer letter.

I felt the same way before my first expat experience. I remember scavenging the internet for tips, suggestions, and examples of expat resumes to get insight on how to write a job-getting CV. I learned a great deal from watching videos, reading blog posts, and even reaching out to some people in the expat community. Fortunately, my efforts paid off.

I have learned a lot since then, especially through having the opportunity to serve on hiring committees whose main goal was to recruit expat workers. So I decided to share a few tricks of trade for those who are interested in writing an effective resume to land an expat position.

Clarity and Breadth

The first thing I recommend is ensuring that your resume or CV is clear. The hiring organization or hiring manager should not have to guess what type of job did, where you worked, or how long you worked there. This should go without saying because this is a general rule for resume writing. However, it becomes even more important when you are trying to capture the attention of someone who may not have any experience or knowledge of how things work in your home country.

Don’t assume that just because you put that you were a teacher in your home country that the hiring manager understands what your job entailed. Yes, the basic foundation of teaching is generally applicable worldwide. However, there are many different teaching curricula and different types of teacher qualifications even within the same country. Therefore, it is best for you to spell this out clearly on your resume or CV.

For instance, all of your experience may be in the U.S. so you assume that the hiring manager knows that your experience is in American-style teaching curriculum. However, there are international schools in the U.S. and the names of the schools are not always indicative of the type of curricula that is taught in the school. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to note what type of curriculum you have experience with in order to advance your chances of being hiring.

Another important factor is breadth of information. You need to include additional information about where you worked or gained your education and credentials on your resume. It is very important to include the country information on your CV even if all of your education and experience is from the same country.

Everyone is not familiar with the cities and states in your home country – this includes the U.S. Thus, stating you worked in Omaha, Nebraska doesn’t tell a hiring manager from Victoria, Seychelles much about your international experience even if you list your nationality as American on your resume. Including country information gives the employer context in relation to your level of international experience.

The same guidelines apply to outlining your job duties. Potential expats usually need to add depth to this section as to give the employer a more comprehensive understanding of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. I typically suggest job candidates include about 3-5 bullet points under each job, especially if they work in a generalist role. However, I usually suggest that international job seekers include about 8-10 job duties and tasks that provide substantial context and detail.

Few hiring managers or committees are going to take the effort to interview you if the information you provide on your resume is not clear or detailed enough. It is not uncommon for hiring managers to receive hundreds of applications for one post seeking multiple candidates. So the resumes that are clear and have depth of information will usually get shortlisted first.

Demographic Details

International employers may also ask for more demographic details about prospective candidates than what is typical or legal to ask for in some countries. This is inclusive of a candidate’s age, date of birth, marital status, religion, etc. It is common practice to ask for this type of information in some expat countries.

Asking for such demographic data is not illegal in every country. Therefore, you need to be prepared to provide this information if you are vying to get an expat job offer in certain regions of the world. Failure to provide such details may disqualify you for the role. So think twice about neglecting to provide it on your resume or skipping these questions on a job application.

International Experience

Another important aspect of an expat resume is the inclusion of any international experience that may have been gained in the past. This is not necessarily exclusive to paid positions that you have held in other countries. It could be study or volunteer abroad activities that you performed in the past. Oftentimes evidence of immersive experiences abroad (excluding vacations) are a plus on expat resumes.

International employers who frequently hire expats like to see that prospective expats have substantive international exposure, though this is not a requirement for the average expat position. As I mentioned in my previous post, expat employers want to ensure that you are not going to bail as soon as you experience a little conflict or trivial difficulties. Someone with a proven track record of satisfying the components involved in working, studying, and/or volunteering abroad is usually an asset to an expat employer.

So if you have immersive international exposure, you should include it on your resume or CV. Doing so will most likely increase your chances of securing an expat position.

However, there is a caveat to this general guideline. Some international employers do not accept expat workers who have lived in or visited certain countries that are dealing with civil unrest or countries whose residents are banned from entering the nation. This caveat can be a bit tricky so you will definitely need to do your research before providing all work, study, and volunteer abroad experiences on your resume.

This can easily be done by conducting an internet search to determine the allies and enemies of your expat country of choice. If a nation that you have worked, studied, or volunteered in is on their enemy list I suggest leaving that experience off of your resume. The same applies to countries that are experiencing major civil unrest that could be a threat to the expat nation in which you to work in.

Not having immersive international experience doesn’t necessarily exclude you from being a viable expat candidate. So don’t feel that you are out of the game if you don’t have international exposure and are seeking expat employment. Though I will suggest that you try to gain international exposure by either studying or volunteering abroad. These are great ways to “get your feet wet”.

Not only will such opportunities possibly enhance your chances of securing expat employment opportunities, they will also give you a chance to test the waters. Such experiences give you the chance to see if living abroad is really for you before you embark on a more extensive journey that could involve uprooting your entire life.

Are you stuck trying to figure out what to include on your expat resume or CV? Contact us so that we can assist you in writing an effective, expat job-winning opportunity!

4 Resume Writing Tips for Job Seekers

Resume Writing Tips

As a hiring manager and career coach, I have seen countless resumes throughout my career. Many job seekers tend to make the same costly mistakes that often result in their resumes being overlooked or immediately eliminated. While beautifully formatted resumes with flowery, superfluous words may be great for some professionals such as authors, they are generally not appropriate for the average worker.

What most job candidates don’t realize is that resumes often go through a tedious filtering process that may involve three or more steps before they even get to the hiring manager. It is a very common practice for human resource software program algorithms to sift through resumes before they ever make it to a human. Once a resume passes this stage, it is usually scanned by a human resource professional before it is then passed to the hiring department.

Once it reaches the hiring manager, the resume is generally thoroughly reviewed before it is shortlisted or handed over to a hiring committee for further evaluation. This process easily reduces the hiring pool to three to five job candidates out of hundreds of applicants.

This is why it is extremely important for job seekers to put forth their best efforts to make an excellent first impression! Below, you will find four tips to help you do just that.

Use a Template

Standardized templates are a sure fire way to help you be certain to include all the basic elements needed on your resume. While templates present a uniform guide for formatting resumes, they can easily be customized to help your resume stand out. But, where they shine is in their ability to capture the most important data elements in a way that immediately catches the reader’s attention.

All resume templates include basic criteria such as contact details, education, employment history, specialized skills, etc. Many templates format each of these elements using bold headings and subheadings with enlarged font that clearly define the most important aspects of the resume. Some templates even present an artistic, yet classy flare that can help resumes stand out even more.

Rather than reinventing the wheel and risk leaving out vital information from your resume, it is best to start your resume by using a template. There are many different styles of resume templates available in Microsoft Office and G Suite Marketplace, just to name a couple.

Keep it Short

Hiring managers truly appreciate well-written, well-formatted, and concise resumes. The standard length for a resume is one-page. It may not seem like a lot of space, but if used correctly it can say a lot about you as a candidate in many ways. Not only does a one-page resume give you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities, it also gives you an opportunity to showcase your sensibility.

Keep in mind that hiring managers generally have many tasks to accomplish on any given day. Chances are hiring duties are at the bottom of our priority list. So we appreciate it when candidates can present a professional, well-rounded picture of themselves in the fewest amount of words. In which case, a well formatted, one-page resume usually does the trick.

There are definitely cases where longer resumes or curriculum vitae are in order such as for professors, researchers, executives, and other highly skilled and experienced professionals. In fact, it is an expectation that these professionals present longer (usually 3-4 pages) curriculum vitae. However, these professionals should still be sensible and respectful of the hiring manager’s time.

As a hiring manager, I have tossed many long-winded resumes of highly qualified applicants because I knew that they would not be sensible or level-headed employees. If they couldn’t start the process off by showing me that they value my time during the job search, what was I to expect if I hired them? I wasn’t willing to take the chance to find out.

Only Include Sections You Need

This advice coincides with keeping your resume short. Resume templates present a general outline for the average job seeker – not all elements included on the template are applicable to everyone. If you don’t have any relevant information to put in a specific section, simply delete the section and move to the next one. Don’t make up things or state that you have nothing to put in that section (which I have seen candidates do by the way).

Additionally, don’t include sections that are simply not needed on a resume. For instance, I once had a candidate list all the professional development conferences that she had attended over the past 10 years or so on her resume. This not only increased the length of her resume by about two pages, it presented extraneous information that took me more time to read.

Hiring managers do not need this type of information. Generally, a copy of a professional license or certification will serve this purpose. Attendance at a conference tells me nothing about your skills and abilities. However, a professional license or certification, formal education, and relevant experience speaks volumes about your ability to perform.

So stick to the most important elements when writing your resume. The employer is most interested in the knowledge, skills, and abilities that you possess that directly correlate to the position which they are hiring for.

Don’t Include Redundant Information

Redundant information likewise increases the length and decreases the overall quality of a resume. There is no need to indicate that you will provide references upon request on a resume. This is a redundant statement that wastes space and adds nothing of value to the resume.

Objective statements are another pet peeve for many hiring managers. Most objective statements simply reiterate that the candidate is looking for a job which they are applying for. We already know you want the job once you submit your application or resume in response to the job advert. These types of statements add no substance to the resume and take up space that could be used to showcase valuable skill-sets.

If you have made any of these resume writing mistakes don’t fret, you can still revive your resume by implementing these tips. Or, you can contact us and we can help you format and write a winning resume that will definitely get you shortlisted.