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globe.jpg  INTERNATIONAL CVs and Resumes 

Key tips you need to know if you are heading overseas to work

Every country has very different requirements and opinions on what makes a great CV or resume.  Global CV Solutions are very experienced at writing and preparing CVs for almost every country in the world.  A CV aimed at New Zealand will not necessarily be suitable for Asia or the UK.  You may need several variations targeted to specific countries.

Here are a few basic tips for you to consider:


  • CVs for the Australian market are very similar to those for New Zealand, however they are commonly called resumes
  • Length ranges anywhere from 2 - 5 pages depending on your level and length of work history, but around 3 pages would be ideal apart from those at senior level
  • As in New Zealand, it is not a requirement to include your date of birth, nationality, marital status or gender
  • A photo is discouraged, unless relevant to the role and industry being applied for
  • Bullet point your responsibilities for each position and highlight any special achievements to illustrate your proven track record and potential for your future employer
  • Using clear and concise language that will quickly show your skills and experience to the reader is vital. Remember, recruiters and HR staff have hundreds of CVs crossing their desks every day and you need to stand out from the crowd
  • At lower levels, adding in a section about your personal interests and hobbies can be valuable, especially if they are related to the role or industry you are applying for. Pastimes such as surfing the internet, online gaming and risky activities such as BASE jumping are best left out!
  • The general rule is; the more senior you become, the less relevant what you do in your spare time becomes and the resume should be all about what value you can add to an organisation, supported by skills, industry knowledge and past quantifiable achievements
  • Electronic CVs are the format of choice for most people nowadays, so sending your CV as a PDF file is the safest way to ensure the formatting and integrity of your CV
  • If you are applying for Australian roles from New Zealand, it is important that you plan how you will manage the interview process from a distance, how quickly you can relocate and to give credible reasons for the move
  • There are subtle differences required if you intend using the same CV or resume for both New Zealand and Australia


  • For the UAE market, you should list your date of birth, nationality, gender and include a photo at the top of the page
  • A 2 - 3 page CV is the preferred length (and they do use ‘CV’ as the common terminology there)
  • It is important to show your qualifications and training very early on in your CV, as status is everything in this part of the world and study is highly regarded
  • Make your responsibilities sound as impressive as possible (without lying) - describe your tasks and outline your achievements for each job
  • There are no anti-discrimination laws in the UAE, so you will commonly come across job ads that specify age, gender and even preferred nationality. In an interview, you could be asked questions that would be deemed ‘politically incorrect’ or just plain rude here in NZ. For example, marital status, number of children, health status, age and nationality - so be prepared for this
  • As with every job in any country, a great cover letter is imperative – make sure that it is targeted and relevant to the position you are applying for
  • Cover letters are particularly important for applications in the UAE


  • CVs for the UK market need to be brief and to the point, using simple and straightforward language, without a lot of ‘fluff’ and not exceeding 3 pages, if possible
  • Separate out the achievements from your responsibilities under each job and check to make sure t what hat you have written really sells your skills and achievements - read your CV from a recruiter’s point of view and ask yourself  "Would I be impressed by this?"
  • Include a short description of the company/employer for each position you have held to illustrate the industries which you have worked in.  This is especially useful for recruiters to market you into similar businesses/industries
  • When writing a cover letter, it is common practice to use bullet points to highlight your skills and achievements, making sure that your letter is relevant and concise
  • Remember that recruiters and employers look at hundreds of CVs every day, so yours needs to stand out by clearly stating your skills, attributes and experience and how they are relevant to the role which you are applying for
  • Like the Australasian markets, it is not appropriate to include a photograph or personal details


  • CVs are commonly called resumes in India, however it is not wrong to also call them CVs
  • Resumes for the Indian market are very short and should ideally be only 2 pages long, depending on the length of your work history and education
  • Work history should be listed in chronological order
  • It is common practice not to list referees on the CV, instead use ‘Referees are available upon request’
  • Discrimination laws are not as strict in India as they are elsewhere in the world, so avoid listing things on your resume which employers may judge you on. This includes gender, religion, nationality and marital status, especially if you are living with a partner but are not married as this will offend Muslim employers
  • Education and qualifications are very important, so make sure that you clearly state what you have achieved here


  • CVs should be 2 pages maximum and you should be prepared with 2 copies: one in English and one in Chinese
  • It is expected that you will provide personal information not asked for in most other countries such as date of birth, marital status, number of children, health, nationality and gender. Remember, it may not be obvious from your name whether you are male or female
  • Include a professional photograph on your CV
  • Education is very important in China, as it is seen as the path to success, so listing your tertiary education is vital
  • While you want to sell your skills, it is important not to brag, so use modest language and be honest
  • State languages spoken and/or written. For jobs with international companies or those wishing to expand to other markets, English skills are very important but, depending on the role, speaking Chinese may not be a prerequisite
  • Make sure that you mention your level of computer literacy, as omitting this may cause the recruiter to assume that you do not have the required skills


  • CVs are generally referred to as resumes in Singapore
  • They should be short and concise at a maximum of 2 pages, or 3 pages if you have extensive professional experience
  • Do not list your hobbies, gender, date of birth or race;  it is not necessary to include references
  • Resumes for the Singapore market should be brief and clear, ideally using a font like Arial or Calibri in 11 point to make it easy to read
  • The resume must hold the reader’s attention quickly with pertinent information, so make sure that what you include is relevant to the job which you are applying for
  • Make sure your contact details are at the top and the resume is divided into logical sections such as Education, Employment, Skills etc
  • Bullet point the responsibilities within each job and use action words to describe your role
  • Do not forget to list your notable achievements and successes
  • It is important to note any languages and dialects you speak as Singapore is such a multicultural environment


  • CVs are generally referred to as resumes in the USA
  • Resumes for the US market follow a specific format and should be no longer than 1 page, single-sided, with your contact details at the top
  • Outline your education and work history chronologically, with the most recent first, using bullet points to note your responsibilities and achievements
  • Mention specific skills, such as computer literacy or language skills (if  relevant to the application) at the end of the resume
  • Remember to use American spelling e.g.organization with a z rather than an s
  • USA resumes are more aggressive and sales-focused than for many other countries, so do not be afraid to sell your skills!
  • Using numbers and quantifiable results to highlight your achievements is imperative so remember to quantify as much as you can.  For example, if you processed invoices, how many per day? If you exceeded your budgets, by what %? If you trained staff, how many did you train?


  • The Canadian market refer to CVs as resumes and recruiters prefer short, concise documents of 2 - 3 pages maximum
  • Technical or IT-related resumes are the exception and these are expected to be very comprehensive and up to 8 pages long for more senior roles
  • Remember to use American spelling e.g.organization with a z rather than an s
  • Depending on where you have worked in the world, if you do not have any Canadian experience, one of our recruitment contacts advises NOT to list countries you have worked in beside each role so that the reader does not discount you based on this
  • Recruiters in Canada look favourably on New Zealand experience so this is ok to state your country of origin in this case
  • Generally speaking, recruiters value work experience ahead of qualifications so it is best to list any degrees and certifications towards the end of your resume


"If you are looking for success in your career then you need to give Global CV Solutions a call and be assured that success is already on its way. I have worked with the Global CV team on several occasions since June 2010 to secure high profile jobs in Europe and the Middle East. Their professionalism, industry knowledge and proficiency in dealing with customer needs has nothing but amazed me. So don’t waste another day of your life dreaming about your career, Global CV Solutions will make it happen."

Monika Akermann, Senior Business Enterprise Consultant, Dubai, UAE

"I am really happy that I applied to Global CV Solutions. Let me thank you ladies for the great job and it was a pleasure working with you. Now I also know which company to recommend to my friends if they need not only a great CV but also absolutely amazing customer service! I would like to give special thanks for an individual approach and assistance. My CV writer really understood my industry specialties and produced a great final product! I do recommend Global CV Solutions to everyone, even for people on the other side of the world."

Anastasia Gribkovia, Airline Manager, Russia

"Amazing work, what a difference! I couldn't have managed this on my own, thank you. It is exactly what I require for the UK market, all I have to do is get a job now!"

Jon Surman
Business Development Manager, Auckland/Birmingham, UK

"Global CV Solutions made an amazing job in adjusting and re-writing my German CV to New Zealand standards, providing me with a very professional and impressive resume and well suited cover letter. In addition they helped me with an individual attest for German authorities, following the required forms, which resulted in a successful application. My consultant at Global CV solutions did an outstanding work with a highly professional attitude, based on extended local knowledge. Her willingness to assist me even on short term deadlines had been outstanding. I can highly recommend the services of Global CV solutions to any immigrant seeking for a job in New Zealand."

Jane Jutta Meiforth, GIS Analyst, Germany & Norway

"It is very difficult even for a qualified migrant to gain employment in New Zealand. Recently I used Global CV Solutions services to prepare a CV and provide interview coaching for my brother-in-law who just arrived to Auckland from overseas.  He found employment in two weeks at a very reputable organisation, which is nothing short of a miracle thanks to excellent services provided by the Global CV Solutions team. I have no hesitations in recommending their services to anybody as the little investment paid great dividends." 

Nick Yerni, Business Development Manager, Auckland

"I am one of your previous customers – you helped to re-write my CV in April last year, along with a cover letter. Well, I secured a work visa and arrived here August 2011 with no job, no home, nothing. I had applied for this job outside of NZ, using the CV you had worked on for me and here I am! I got my residency in July 2012 and can now breathe a big sigh of relief and make future plans. So many thanks for your help – it definitely helped give me a competitive edge!"

H Q, Project Manager, Scotland

"I am so impressed with the work your company produced. I have just secured a fabulous new job a few days ago and I know that the CV and cover letter you did for me were really key in getting me an interview with the company. It's great to be able to apply for a job with a CV that you know is top quality and will make you stand out from the other candidates."

PW, Head of Marketing, Australia & New Zealand