Writing resumes and cover letters is difficult. Writing resumes and cover letters in another language is even more difficult. But we believe that leaving your comfort zone to fulfill your dream of working abroad is great (and that it is worth going through all the agony), so we are here to help you achieve it.

For most of the job offers you start with a good application and, to make a good request, you need research and more research, this article can serve as your starting point. After reading it, some of these tips may be useful.

Writing a winning international CV

1. Distinguish between CV and Resume

Although in English the two words are often used interchangeably, a CV (curriculum vitae) and a resume are different documents.

Your CV contains a detailed list of your professional career, studies and achievements, includes (almost) everything you have done and is not modified for different job applications. Now, if a CV is a feature film about your professional career, the resume would be the trailer. It is much shorter, preferably one page and never more than two, and is modified to adapt it to the position you choose. The resume basically covers the relevant knowledge and achievements for a given job position and should give the staff coach an idea of ​​who you are and what you can contribute to the company.

2. And learn when to use each one

But, wait, there is more, according to where in the world, you must use one document or another. According to Undercover Recruiter , Americans tend to prefer the resume (unless they ask you otherwise or you are requesting a job of research or academic orientation), and companies and personnel recruiters from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe and New Zealand tend to prefer the CV To make things somewhat easier, Australians, Indians and South Africans both use indistinctly and, as a general rule, in the private sector they tend to prefer the resume , and the CV for public sector positions. However, it will be better to ask (to the human resources department or to a friend of the place) how much information you should include.

3. Choose the appropriate language

Write the application in the language in which the job offer is. You can always add a translated version if the job offer is not in the language of the country. (For example, if you respond to a job offer written in English for a job in Germany, you can add the English version and in German, but English will have priority). You can also have several LinkedIn profiles in different languages ​​and send the link instead of a document.

4. Personalize, personalize, personalize

Always customize your application for the country, position and company. If you show in your application that you have done your research, it is possible that you may miss an error or procedure that you have not followed. Choose only the best parts of your CV for your resume or cover letter, and edit, delete and reorganize without mercy to attract your audience.

5. Be honest about your work permit and language level

Add the status of your visa and mention the type of permission you have. Do not hide or suppress this information, because the coach will discover it sooner or later, so save time and talk about your status honestly. The same goes for language skills: if you have mastered a language, native speakers will know immediately if it is true. There is no use lying or exaggerating.

6. Follow the rules regarding photography

Putting a good picture in which you look professional is not always a good idea: in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, you never put a picture. In Germany and France, you do have to put a picture. It is important that you report well, many applications end up in the bin for not following these rules. (This is not because you are not photogenic, but for legal reasons, since companies do not want to risk being accused of discrimination based on appearance). If you are not clear about photography, you can always add the URL ( personalized ) of your LinkedIn profile, that way, the staff selector can see what you look like.

7. Know the perfect shortcut for European countries

If you want to work in Europe, you do not need to reinvent the wheel: check out Europass , an online tool that will help you get all the documents you need to show your knowledge and qualifications in an easy to understand way, which also includes templates for your CV and your cover letter.

8. Think of the small details

When doing your research, pay special attention to the details that can cause your application to be discarded even before anyone can read your achievements and experience. In Germany, for example, you have to enter the date and sign your CV at the bottom. In Japan, you have to fill in (sometimes by hand!) A rirekisho, a Japanese resume with very strict rules, or a shokumu keirekishoto show your work experience. In many European countries, you are expected to put your age (date of birth), marital status and even the number of children. That’s something that in the United States would ruin your options (so do not do it!). There are more important details that vary from country to country, such as the inclusion (or omission) of the objectives in your career, references, qualifications ( converted ) and the number of documents you have to send with your application.

9. Put the numbers right

Let’s focus on even more details: you will add points if you add the country’s telephone code to your phone number and you may be even better if you mention the time difference. The same goes for the date, you have to put the correct format (month order, day and year), and you must choose the appropriate paper format (in case it is printed). This will let them know that you have done your homework and that you are as detailed as you claim.

10. Ask for help

In job applications it is always very important to check the spelling and grammar. If you can, get a native speaker who has knowledge of grammar and style to review the documents. If you want to apply for a position in a given country and are willing to do whatever it takes, it may be a good investment to hire a professional resume writer.