Friday, 11 December 2015

Global job, global application

So what is a global CV, or what makes a good global application, you may be asking?  Having a single CV that could be used for everything would be a dream, but to secure that dream global move requires thinking both globally and strategically. Measurement of technical abilities may be similar worldwide, but application information will be received differently, depending on the type of company, its global culture, their recruitment needs.  Resilience and versatility is required for the people they recruit.
There are numerous sources for developing or perfecting your CV and many will claim to have the ultimate answer, or will charge you money to design your CV for you.  When trying to secure jobs in a global market, it could seem like extra help is just what you may require. In essence the global graduate needs to be smart enough to make use of what information is out there, whilst also doing their homework on the country they are applying to, enabling them to tailor their approach to suit the differing needs of each organisation, which can even vary for the same  company, based in a different country.

As you will see from many sources listed below, there are different sections which are more usual or expected in certain countries.   Ensuring you get this right will show respect for the jobs market that you are entering. You may be able to gain feedback through LinkedIn networks, or others already working for the companies that you are looking to apply to. Doing your homework can help in creating a customised CV, which can really pay dividends!

The profile statement 

This is becoming an expected feature for many CVs or resumes, with different countries using different titles to describe this. Whether calling it a Career Objective, Personal Profile, or my preferred favourite ‘Career Profile’ it should clearly set out what it is that you are doing, what particular qualities that you are offering and finally what position you are trying to secure and the value you could add. I have seen many graduates concentrate on what they are seeking to gain, rather than what they clearly believe they can offer.  Offering something is likely to create a more favourable response, the world over.

GradLink UK provides useful articles on the application process and sections you may wish to include in your CV. The example below relates to finding work in China, but you can also these sources for example CVs from organisations in other countries.

General tips for finding and applying for a graduate job in China

With the development of China’s education system, over six million graduates enter the Chinese labour market each year. Competition is high and possessing practical experience and language skills will give you a head-start in finding a job.

Cover letters (职信)
In general, a cover letter is not customary in China. However, some organisations may require one. Cover letters should:
·         be around 200 words
·         explain your motivation
·         explain your specific qualification – give its content and any selling points 
·         emphasise your outstanding achievements
·         mention the added value you may bring to the organisation you are applying to

Templates and examples:

 CV/resume (简历)

A CV/resume is an overview of a job seeker’s experience, qualifications, significant achievements and personal information. It is generally advised that your CV does not exceed two pages.
A CV should include:
·         Personal information (name, date and place of birth, contact details). 
·         Academic background (university, course name, degree obtained and dates of attendance, content of key qualifications).
·         Previous work experience (job title, description of job function and daily activities, dates of employment).
·         Critical skills that you have (eg mastery of software and languages).
·         Specify the kinds of positions you are looking for and state your career objective.

Templates and examples:

GradLink UK, Going Global, Passport Careers,  GradConnection and a host of other sites provide key essentials for writing CVs for different countries, giving you the potential to fit with the traditions and standards of each particular country. Check with your university careers service to see what licenses they have to explore these global resources, as you may only be able to access very basic information.  Employers will expect global graduates to possess the ability to research, tailor and adapt their applications to fit with the values and approaches they are seeking. The words you choose can make a real difference.

Example extract for CVs in Nigeria (GradLink UK)

Writing CVs
The majority of the Nigerian recruitment websites seem to prefer a maximum of a 2 page ‘standard’ or ‘chronological’ CV, with headings in the following order:

Personal details - full name as the heading of the CV with address, contact number and email address

Profile/Objective – career objective and summary of Education, training and other qualifications – a list of the suggested headings; and new graduates are asked for must provide their class of degree.

Employment History – a chronological order of the jobs, starting with the most recent with details of company name, job title, dates of employment and major accomplishments.

Additional Information – if there is room this section can include hobbies, computer skills, or memberships.

References – not required but should be entered if specifically requested.

How do I start to write my CV?
Key global recruiters that I have worked with have advised the following:  “When you look at the classified section of the paper, or read the jobs notice board, make sure you read the advertisement carefully. Decide what aspects of your personality, qualifications, skills and experience you can offer to this new job/career.

Write these down in a list and use strong "action words" - for example: "I am organised, efficient, and hard-working, I have managed and coordinated events and people. I studied and achieved personal and professional excellence and completed a degree in ..."

It is essential that you have a clear message, which fits with each global company that you apply to.  With global jobs, how this fits with your personal stage of development, potential family circumstance and your experience of being in that country will demonstrate to the employer how likely you will settle in, perform and add value to their business.  It is usually a risk to employ somebody who has not already shown commitment to working globally.

 So can I keep the same CV for each position?

Global recruiters, even more than local recruiters, will be able to see how your study specialisms, experience and achievements fit with their vision for their organisation. If you have not matched your CV to your chosen company’s values, business or client aims, it will be difficult for them to see how your achievements, experience and ambitions demonstrate that you are the right candidate to work in that position, or that global location.

Other tips (Target Jobs on applying for positions)

Extract from one of their sources on China (Target Jobs) Applying for jobs

If you have contacts in China,  try to use them for networking purposes as some jobs are never advertised but filled via personal referrals. It's advisable to secure a job before moving to China as it affects the visa you need to be able to enter and stay in the country.
A short CV or résumé is used along with a covering letter for most job applications. If you're applying to a Chinese or government-owned company and can speak Mandarin it may be helpful to handwrite your application in Chinese characters.
The information included in your application is similar to that in UK CVs. Provide a summary or career objective at the beginning and highlight academic and personal achievements. Include your academic and work background and if your university features highly in recognised rankings such as the Times Higher Education University Rankings, include the position in your application as this is often highly valued in China.

Take all the advice that you can get!

Within most countries agencies will often recruit. Hays are a major global player, so you can seek advice from them about what they are expecting from quality candidates.

The way forward

All of this will take time, but once you start to be curious in exploring global opportunities thoroughly, you may find key pieces of advice coming from contacts that you make.

·         Consider approaching companies directly and asking them if they would like some particular format or elements to be demonstrated within their application

·         Develop a key facts document (a checklist of skills, values, key words and personality traits you will demonstrate in your CV or application)

·         Think about alumni from your university and if they may help you to glean key bits of information.

·         Think about establishing contact with people you have spent time with in that country. You never know when you may need their support- so keep them feeling positive towards you.  

·         Quality checks of your CV or application prior to sending- Ideally somebody working for that global organisation would provide this support, however this may be unlikely.
Think also of others who work in that country.  This could include agencies who seeking to recruit the right talent, who have local expertise in CV and applications.

·         Remember that what is on your CV, will need to be supported by what is online. 
It is their best chance of developing a clearer picture
Global recruiters are highly likely to make use of these online resources.
of who you are, how you act and the connections you have.

Contact your Careers Consultant at your university for their opinion on how you match up to particular company and job specifications.

Potential sources of information

Chris Steventon
Careers Consultant
International Students - request to join my LinkedIn group -

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