With remote work more popular than ever, CV experts are urging jobseekers to craft global CVs if they’re keen to take advantage of international opportunities this year.
Now is a good time for contemplating new beginnings. For some, this could be a commitment to join the gym, or maintaining a strong resolve to build that long-neglected savings account, but for around 1 in 10 people, a career change will be the main focus for this year.
With research suggesting that 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028, and LinkedIn reporting a 2.5X increase in remote job postings since 2020, there’s never been a richer — or more competitive — landscape for job seekers.
A CV specialist for Jobseeker explains: “The traditional trade-off between relevant opportunities and geographical constraints is rapidly melting away — but if you’re hoping to beat the competition at an international scale, you’ll need a highly-tailored resume.”
To help you stick to your New Year’s resolution, the experts at Jobseeker have created a guide to crafting a CV primed for success on an international level.
What is a global resume?
There are plenty of reasons to create a global CV, especially in the era of remote work. Perhaps the opportunities for relevant work in your local area are slim, or the pay grades within your sector are far higher overseas. Nowadays, it’s a sensible, proactive choice to have both a traditional ‘domestic’ CV, and one that’s tailored for the international job market.
A global resume should:
- Emphasize your desire to work as part of an international team
- Show adaptability and ability to work asynchronously
- Highlight proficiencies in using online collaboration tools like Slack
- Demonstrate a level of cross-cultural awareness
- Prove experience in managing workload away from an office environment
Much in the same way that you might have two or three different versions of your CV to cater for different roles or sectors, your global CV should be specifically modeled around the premise that you’re seeking remote work on a global scale.
Many communication professionals are now working within international teams either in a corporate or consulting role, and if you are keen to continue to focus on an international role, you need to modify your CV to attract interest from potential employers or agencies that have international operations.
Why is a global remote resume important?
As international, asynchronous teams (all team members don’t need to be online simultaneously) become more commonplace, employers are going to expect their applicants to demonstrate their suitability not just for a specific role, but also to handle the unique dynamics of remote working environments.
“Many companies are now transitioning to fully remote setups, throwing open the doors to new regions, and bidding farewell to the geographical restraints that may have hindered their past recruitment drives,” says a Jobseeker recruitment expert. “While this increases the opportunities for both employers and employees, it also means there’s more competition than ever before for job seekers. Tailoring your CV by appealing to this new, globally-agnostic approach to hiring could give you the edge you need to beat out the competition.“
What should you include?
While the main framework of your global CV can be based on your domestic CV, there are a few key areas where a change in approach is necessary. Below, you’ll find some top tips on tailoring your CV for job hunting on an international scale.
Show respect for different cultures
In the global job market, diversity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a valuable asset. Highlight experiences that showcase your ability to thrive in different environments and work with diverse teams. Whether it’s a cross-cultural collaboration or a project that requires you to navigate international markets, emphasize your adaptability and openness to new perspectives.
Acknowledge and celebrate your cultural intelligence. If you can, showcase instances where you’ve navigated cultural nuances, fostering an inclusive and collaborative work environment. Being culturally sensitive is not just a bonus — it’s a prerequisite for success in an international setting.
Humanize your CV
Bring your resume to life by weaving in personal anecdotes or passions that align with the company culture. Whether it’s a hobby that demonstrates creativity or a volunteer experience that showcases commitment to social responsibility, these personal touches make you stand out.
You’re not just a list of qualifications – you’re a unique individual with a story to tell. Without the option of an in-person interview, your personality needs to shine through in other ways. There’s a fine line to tread between formal and informal for sure, but whatever you do, don’t make your CV boring. Have a trusted friend or relative read it through and ask them if it faithfully conveys a sense of who you are — and if it doesn’t, tweak it until it does.
Like it or not, social media has become a key component of many employers’ screening processes, too — especially LinkedIn. Which profiles you choose to include will depend entirely on the position you’re applying for, of course. The cardinal rule is simple: refrain from sharing anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to come across. Countless candidates have missed out on valuable opportunities due to the repercussions of their digital footprints.
Showcase your remote work experience
Showcasing your experience in this area is crucial. Highlight projects or roles where you successfully collaborated with teams across different time zones.
Adding a separate ‘technology skills’ section is recommended, this way you can mention any tools or technologies (such as Slack, Google Workspace, or Zoom) that you’re proficient in. Don’t have any experience working remotely? We’ll level with you — this will put you at a disadvantage, but all is not lost. Instead, emphasize your expertise in collaboration — mention situations where you’ve worked on shared documents or organized check-ins with your colleagues; these skills are still highly relevant.
Be globally agnostic
Steer clear of including specific addresses or location details. Let your skills and achievements shine through, focusing on what you bring to the table rather than where you currently reside. Should you make it to the interview stage, it’s likely these details will be discussed there — and by omitting them from your CV, you’re subtly reinforcing the idea that you’re intent on joining their team regardless of your physical location.
Tell both sides of the story
Job seekers often forget that the hiring process is a two-way street. It’s not just about whether the company thinks you’re right for them, but also whether they’re right for you.
Your cover letter doesn’t need to consist of flattering prose and endless compliments for your prospective employer — far from it, in fact — but it should mention your understanding of their values, work culture, and industry position. Be sure to express genuine excitement about the prospect of contributing to their success. Flattery isn’t a good look, but enthusiasm is, so let them know just how much you could add to their business.
Emphasize your flexibility
Try to demonstrate your adaptability by showcasing instances where you successfully embraced change or took on roles outside your comfort zone. Flexibility is a prized quality in the global job market, so underscore your ability to navigate challenges and your willingness to explore new opportunities at a moment’s notice.
The world of remote work moves fast — especially when it comes to asynchronous environments — so it’s up to you to assert yourself as the kind of employee who knows how to be flexible and adaptable.
Showcase your communication skills
It’s impossible to overemphasize the power of words — particularly when it comes to crafting a remote-ready, global resume. Your CV isn’t just a distillation of your professional persona, it’s also a showcase of your communication skills. It’s an advertisement for you. If, upon reading your CV, an employer feels your writing is disjointed, inaccurate, or — worst of all — dull, your chances of success will dwindle dramatically. How can a hiring manager be confident in your communication if you can’t communicate your skills?
Try to use straightforward language, and avoid unnecessary jargon that may confuse non-native speakers. It’s also crucial to tailor your tone of voice to the sector you’re applying in — a creative role calls for an expressive voice for example, whereas a corporate position will require a more formal tone.
Aside from your skills in the English language, fluency in multiple languages can be a game-changer, so don’t hesitate to highlight these skills if you possess them. Even if the job doesn’t explicitly require it, being multilingual is always an advantage, so be sure to list it in your skills section.
Highlight your initiative
When you’re part of a remote team, it’s not possible to simply stroll over to your colleague’s desk and request their help whenever an issue arises. As such, companies building international, asynchronous teams are far keener to hire employees that are happy to tackle challenges head-on, without the need for reassurance or validation.
Try to demonstrate your initiative by highlighting achievements that involved proactivity on your part — perhaps you anticipated potential roadblocks in a critical project ahead of time, or implemented a new, more efficient operating procedure, without being prompted to. By showcasing your tendency to ‘take the bull by the horns’, you’ll stand a better chance at getting a remote position.
Talking about the importance of creating a global CV in 2024, a spokesperson for Jobseeker said:
“If you’re seeking a career move in 2024, it’s worth considering the new territory we’re in. Remote work isn’t brand new, but as an increasing number of employers start to recognise the benefits of building asynchronous, global teams, the competition for applicants is getting tougher. Forget about beating out the competition in your local town or city — you’ve got to be the strongest applicant on the planet, and every application begins with a solid foundation — a well-written, tailored CV.
“By emphasizing the skills that matter, you’ll nudge yourself ahead of the pack. An international CV positions you as a candidate who views remote work as an advantage. Yes, there’s plenty to be said for the benefits of in-person collaboration, but remote work is the future, and by building your CV around this premise, you’re helping to futureproof your career prospects.”