How to Create a Country-Specific Curriculum Vitae

Resume/CV Jan 14, 2018 No Comments

When you come across that perfect job advertised in the country of your dreams, it is imperative to get your resumé or curriculum vitae (CV) just right, focusing it on those aspects most important for that particular job, but also most important for that particular country. CVs are standard in some respects, no matter the country, but being aware of and tailoring your CV to suit the country where it will be reviewed allows you the best chance of securing an interview and, ultimately, getting the job. Here are highlights from three diverse countries throughout the world and some tips for resumé/CV construction for them.


  • Your CV should not exceed two pages.
  • Submit CVs in Portuguese and in English, especially if applying for a position with a multinational company.
  • Your CV should be conservative in their style and format. Print them on high-quality, standard A4 white paper using Times New Roman (12 point) or Arial (10 point) font. Avoid unnecessary decoration, such as designs, frames or borders.
  • Use direct language, and set off lists of your experience with bullet points.
  • Write for the specific audience — Both documents should be written to specifically relate to the needs of the company. Highlight your experience as it relates to the position.
  • Unless you are specifically asked to do so, you should not mention compensation in your CV — this is a matter to be addressed personally and confidentially during the interview.
  • Do not include a photo, unless one has been specifically requested. If the employer does ask for a photo, make sure to send one that is formal and professional.
  • Emailed or online applications, such as through the professional social media site LinkedIn, are becoming increasingly popular, especially for recent graduates. The email subject line is important; it is a key point in attracting the attention of the recruiter. It should state the position for which you are applying (e.g., ‘Talent Acquisition Senior Analyst/Coordinator’).
  • Some employers in Brazil may not ask for a cover letter; in this case, it may be acceptable to briefly summarize your professional qualifications at the beginning of your CV, and expand on them later in the document.

The United Arab Emirates

  • Due to the UAE’s multicultural business environment, there’s no single preferred format.
  • It’s best to follow best practices when writing CVs and cover letters.
  • Employers often seek particular expertise from foreign applicants, so highlight your specialism.
  • Foreign applicants will always be expected to provide a cover letter and CV in English.
  • Providing a photo with a CV is common but optional.
  • Applicants tend to include identifying information such as nationality, date of birth etc.
  • Recent Emirati grads often include their TOEFL scores on their CVs.
  • Foreign job seekers in Dubai should include sponsorship information in their CVs.
  • Holders of visitor visas can apply for jobs but not legally work without a sponsor and labor card.


The U.S.

  • A CV is the primary tool that US employers use to choose whom they will interview for a position.
  • The field in which you are seeking employment will determine the type of document that is appropriate to submit as a record of your work and educational history. Most American companies prefer that potential employees submit resumés that focus on their work and educational experience.
  • In the United States, it is relatively rare to submit a longer, CV-style document except when applying in specialized fields such as academia or scientific research.
  • American employers typically prefer resumés that are presented in reverse-chronological format, with your most recent employment and education listed first. Most employers prefer this format over the functional format, which categorizes a worker’s experience by skill area.
  • If you are changing professions or have short employment histories, you may prefer to submit functional resumés that describe your work experience by skill category, as this structure allows you to demonstrate your ability to fulfill the requirements of the available position.
  • A frequently acceptable alternative format is a combination resumé that integrates desirable elements of a reverse-chronological resumé with positive features of the functional resumé format. Combination resumés usually begin with a functional list of job skills and then list employers in reverse-chronological order.
  • If you are not applying for a management-level position, you should submit a one-page document. Mid-to-senior-management applicants can submit two-page resumés. Executives with extensive experience may have three-page resumés. CVs are a unique form of resumé that can easily run longer than three pages.
  • Generally, a resumé should include your most recent ten to 12 years of relevant work and education, though more senior employees or people in professions that require highly detailed resumés may include more years of experience.



Mary Anne Thompson

Mary Anne Thompson founded GoinGlobal, Inc. more than two decades ago as a result of her own experiences job hunting in Sweden. She believes that to uncover the real job opportunities, you need the experience and personal insights of trained local specialists. Mary Anne continues to be an active CEO who shares her strategies and insights directly with clients to help them strategically maximize GoinGlobal’s unique resources.

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