Mar 31 2015
Whether you call it a resume or a CV, this career document is an essential element in an executive job search and career management strategy. Because BlueSteps members come from all around the world, we at BlueSteps Executive Career Services have become accustomed to answering questions and providing feedback regarding members’ CVs. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. Does a CV for my home country differ from the CV I would use in the US or in other countries around the world?
If you are targeting multinational companies or in-country companies that work extensively across borders, the US/multinational style resume will be perfect for all your needs. Only if you are targeting smaller companies solely in your home country will you need a CV in the style that is traditional in your country.
In many European and Asian countries, it is standard practice to include a photo along with your date of birth, marital status, number of children, and other personal information at the top of the resume. In North America, this kind of information is not included because of fair-hiring laws. So if you have a US/multinational style CV that you’re using for most opportunities, you can easily add a small section of personal information at the top to feel more appropriate in your home country.
Q. What makes for a good multinational-style CV?
An ideal executive resume/CV is two pages long and written (in English) tightly, clearly, and cleanly to answer the recruiter’s and employer’s most important questions:
- Who are you?
- Where have you been?
- What have you done … and what can you do for me?
Your CV should be written and designed so that essential information can be read in a quick skim. If it is difficult to peruse, readers are likely to skip over some of your most important qualifications and impressive contributions.
Your unique achievements should be the focal point of your resume/CV, and they need to be written so that readers clearly understand the kinds of challenges you faced, what you did about them, and the specific results you produced.
Multinational and multicultural experiences, language skills, and other evidence of global adeptness are important to include.
Q. What are the most common problems you see when reviewing CVs from BlueSteps members from around the world?
In a quick glance, most resumes are a bit long, dense, and detailed. Visually, many resumes appear crowded and are uninviting to read. They lack white space and may be written in a font size that’s too small to read comfortably. A good number of CVs have language, grammar, and punctuation errors.
At a deeper read, most resumes do not clearly and strongly state specific accomplishments. They are too vague and general, and as a result they are not meaningful.
Perhaps most significantly, when I read many CVs I don’t understand the value this person has brought to each past employer. I don't grasp the career story and I don’t appreciate what this candidate has to offer.
Q. How can I be sure I have a good CV?
Submit your resume for your complimentary resume review (available to all BlueSteps members as a member benefit). We’ll tell you what we like about your current resume, what we don’t like, and how we can help you make it as good as it can be. If you're not already a member, join BlueSteps today.