International CV: how to look for work abroad

Why look for work abroad

We have already partially addressed this issue in the article “When the brain drain can be a Training Journey”: the search for a job beyond national borders has become a path increasingly taken by young Italians who do not find work or simply want to give an extra boost to their professional growth and their CV.

A work experience abroad offers the opportunity to come into contact with new cultures, also knowing their professional aspects and traditions, acquire new skills, as well as build self-confidence and your sense of security.

How to look for work abroad

Looking for work abroad is a great adventure, but it also has some critical points that should not be underestimated.

To propose to international recruiters you must, first of all, consider the specificities of the country in which you are looking for a job: a preventive collection of information regarding the rules in force, etiquette and in general the cultural reference systems will be useful to have some chance of positively influencing recruiters from other countries.

Of course, the language spoken in the country where you are looking for professional opportunities must also be taken into consideration, as well as the possibility that the application methods and selection processes are different.

International CV: the differences between countries

Studies have highlighted some major differences in how CVs are assessed. In particular, there are some aspects to consider.

As in Italy, also in Spain and Portugal companies receive a very high volume of applications, and therefore it is very important not to be too verbose in the curriculum, since in most cases, the screening will be very quick and CVs that exceed 2 pages will not be viewed with pleasure.

The situation changes in some countries such as Germany, where only a small percentage of recruiters ask for CVs within 2 pages and where more complete CVs will be appreciated and detailed.

In some countries, for example, Germany, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, the photo on the CV is strongly requested, while in others, such as France and Belgium, it is not considered essential for a selection.

Culture Shocks From Around the World | Textappeal

It might seem counterintuitive, but to look for work abroad, previous international experiences are considered of fundamental importance. Naturally, the evaluation of experiences abroad will be judged hand in hand with knowledge and learning of foreign languages.

The countries in which less importance is given to experiences abroad are Belgium and the Netherlands, where the percentage of recruiters who particularly value the internationality of profiles is around 30 %.

In the United Kingdom professional experiences, especially those abroad, count more than academic qualifications. For this reason, to apply in UK countries, remember to include your professional experiences immediately at the beginning of your CV.

It is a generally good rule not to leave unjustified gaps in work and training experiences. Most recruiters around the world believe it is of paramount importance that the CV has unmotivated breaks of no more than 6 months.

To look for work abroad, whatever the country of destination, it is very important not to lie about your skills and competencies. For example, it will be counterproductive to inflate language skills, as inexperience could then backfire when faced with complex work situations.

  • Hobbies and personal interests

In some countries, such as Austria, Portugal, and Germany, recruiters find information about hobbies and personal interests relevant.

The same information is deemed less important and therefore is less appreciated in other countries, such as France, Spain, and the UK.

The same is true for personal motivation to change jobs: in the Netherlands, for example, 90% of HRs consider the inclusion in the CV of personal motivation as important.

  • CV online: the LinkedIn profile

Social networks have also changed the world of work and, consequently, the way people look for a job, even abroad.

Recruiting in Italy now takes place largely online: over 60% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for suitable profiles for their selections. This also happens in most other European countries.