Our pre-conceived belief that we would be handling resumes from Indian professionals only took a back seat from the first day itself. The very first resume we handled was for a academician with a 10 year experience who wished to go to the UK and research.
This particular case taught us a lot and opened us up to the international market and subsequently we designed resumes for clients flying for lucrative jobs to Australia, Middle East, US and UK. In this post I’ll share with you some points from our research which should help you write an impressive international resume, especially if you are an Indian looking to fly abroad.
- When writing International Resumes, your Academic pursuits and Qualifications (both educational and professional) will be given more weightage than your overall experience. This will hold true unless of course you happen to be working with a globally well renowned brand for the past years (by well renowned I mean some big brand like Apple or Shell or GE and the likes). Unless that is the case, list your education, skills, qualifications and certificates concisely before you mention your work experience.
- Points regarding the format (very important)
- Be generous with margins and don’t cram everything. Keep a page margin of at least 1” all around your resume.
- Use a font which can be recognized in a Windows XP machine (as XP is still the most widely used Operating System in the world). Fonts like ARIAL and TIMES NEW ROMAN are preferred globally. But if you really hate these 2 fonts, you can use Calibri or Segoe UI or Palatino Linotype which are included in the service packs for Windows XP. Do not use fancy fonts like Comic Sans, ever!
- A font size of 10 points is standard and works well with Arial & Times.
- Keep your text left aligned or justified.
- It is good to follow a standard resume file name as well. A name like “last name_first name_resume.doc” is generally preferred.
- Keep your Contact Information at the top. How you position it could vary according to your format. A possible format is
- Natasha Sharma
- House No. 22, New Patel Nagar, Delhi-110001, India
- Phone: +91-9999-888-888, Email: natasha_sharma(@)abcmail.com
- Always include your country code in your contact phone number.
- Minimize the use of Bold and Italics in your resume to only those places where it is very important to highlight the information. The best practise is to highlight numbers in Bold & use italics for company descriptions.
- Don’t abbreviate terms. Use “Assistant Vice President” in place of “AVP”.
- Try to use universal position titles. If your company’s uses “group leader” for the more commonly understood title “supervisor”, it is best to use “supervisor” in your resume. Obviously, you should let your boss know so that he/she is aware of what you’ve done when contacted as a reference.
Most often your Resume will be covered broadly under the 5 sections mentioned below.
- Personal Information
- Education and Qualifications
- Career Experience
- Extra-Curricular Activities and Interests
You should give the following information under this section
- Date of Birth (use the international format – 14 February 1985)
- Nationality (the place where your passport is issued)
- Work Permits held (Korean Visa for 3 years)
- (any) Countries of Citizenship (places where you have the right to vote)
Skills would include your proficiency or knowledge of computers, teaching or the core areas of your pursuit.
Examples can be, Proficient in C and Java, or Curriculum Design; Corporate Training. You can also back up your skills with examples of your experiences.
Education and Qualifications
- List your highest level qualifications first.
- Best is to use a tabular format listing your Degree/Certificate, Institute/University Name, Year of completion, and the percentage of marks or GPA.
- Include all degrees, certificates and training programs under this section.
- If you do not have a majors in the subject for which you are applying, list the college classes from your curriculum you attended in that area.
List your work experience in reverse chronological order beginning with your current job. You should list all your employment details for at least the past 10 years. Foreign companies are very interested in job titles. Use standard titles which everyone can understand.
- Start with your most recent job.
- Give your title, Company name, Place, and start and end dates in this job.
- In a few sentences, describe what the company does.
- Mention the projects you undertook and your roles and responsibilities.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Interests
This is a very important section as many employers want to understand how you will spend your time in the new country.
- List the activities which you enjoy doing, for e.g. swimming or photography.
- List any awards or recognition you might have achieved in your activities of interest.
- Also show any club memberships or leadership positions you held.
References are not mandatory but it is good if you could provide them. Try to list at least 3 references in your resume along with their Name, Title, Company Name, Telephone No. and Email Address.