Your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work

January 31, 2024

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. For best results, you need to modify your core CV to address the requirements of international employers. This means your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work.

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 their main focus 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 resumé.

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 resumé?

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 maintain core  ‘domestic’ CVs, and ones that are tailored for the international job market. By doing this, you will your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work.

A global resumé should:

  • Emphasize your desire to work as part of an international team
  • Talk more about your potential than your accomplishments
  • Focus on your strong soft skills
  • Show adaptability and ability to work independently when needed
  • Highlight your capabilities in using online collaboration tools like Slack
  • Demonstrate a level of cross-cultural awareness
  • Prove experience in managing workload away from an office environment.

In much the same way as you might have two or three different versions of your CV to cater for different roles or sectors, your global CV should  specifically focus on international remote work.

Many communication professionals are now working within international teams in a corporate or consulting role, and if you are keen to aim on a global role, you need to adjust your CV to attract interest from potential employers or agencies that have international operations.

A Stanford-Harvard study of hiring interviews suggests that a job applicant’s perceived potential tends to capture attention more than their accomplishments, assuming they have achieved reasonable past results. “People value high potential more than high achievement,” according to the researchers, who also said: “If you present people with letters of recommendation for one job candidate described as ‘high potential’ and another described as ‘high achieving,’ they’ll find the letter for the high potential candidate more interesting and possibly more persuasive.” You can read more about this in my article: “Highlight your potential more than achievements when pitching for a campaign or job.”

Emphasize your soft skills

Employers are treating soft skills as increasingly important in the workplace. Technical skills constantly change, but soft skills remain with you throughout your career. That’s because they are relevant, transferable and keep an individual highly employable. Therefore, it is important to highlight your soft skill strengths in all your CVs.

What are soft skills?

According to a 2019 McKinsey article, soft skills are commonly defined as non-technical skills that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. These skills are vital to organizations and can impact culture, mindsets, leadership, attitudes and behaviors. Categories of soft skills include:

  1. Advanced communication and negotiation skills
  2. Interpersonal skills and empathy
  3. Leadership and management skills
  4. Entrepreneurship and initiative-taking
  5. Adaptability and continuous learning skills
  6. Teaching and training skills

By highlighting your soft skills, you’ll achieve a competitive edge so you can land the job you really want.

Why is a global remote resumé 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. A Jobseeker recruitment expert says:

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. 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-applicable approach to hiring could give you the edge you need to beat out the competition.

Here’s what you should include

The main framework of your global CVs can be based on your domestic CVs, but there are a few key areas where a change in approach is necessary. Keep top of mind that your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work. Below, you’ll find some top tips on tailoring your CV for job hunting on an international scale.

1. 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.

2. Humanize your CV

Bring your resumé 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.

3. 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.

4. Be globally relevant

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.

5. 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 frequent compliments for your prospective employer — far from it. In fact, 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.

6. 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. This includes addressing the requirement that your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work.

7. Showcase your communication skills

It’s impossible to over-emphasize 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 your potential with 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.

8. 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 pro-activity 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.

By emphasizing the skills that matter, especially your soft skills, 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 future-proof your career prospects. This means your CVs need a global perspective when you seek international remote work.

Kim Harrison

Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.

Content Authenticity Statement. AI is not knowingly used in the writing or editing of any content, including images, in these newsletters, articles or ebooks. If AI-produced content is contained in any published form in future, this will be reported to readers.

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