One day you decide to apply for a job in an overseas company. You suddenly find out the format of a resume is quite different to what one creates when registering at Naukri. In our article, we explain what is the difference, what mistakes are usually made and how to avoid them.
In India resume is commonly treated as a one-time document. You create it when registering at headhunter or a similar service and would edit it online when appropriate. Most government-based employers would accept it readily. This is not the case with overseas companies like Intel, Dell or Texas Instruments. They will reject your application. Why?
As for foreign head hunters, the expectations on your resume are strikingly different than Indian ones. In India, a resume would describe the professional career chronologically, from the date of graduation. You create it when applying for the 1st job and then update it with the current jobs/skills/achievements. Overseas the resume is a marketing medium intended for selling your candidacy.
You must demonstrate you’re able to organize fragmented information into a structure comprehensible by an employer. Have in mind there are no templates of resumes accepted at the nationwide level. Chronology is not so important, the most significant period is the last 7-10 years. In one word, a resume is an offer you make to an employer. Your resume should fit in two pages if your work experience is more than 10 years, otherwise, less than one page is quite enough.
How to pass the initial round?
It’s worth saying that the initial round is conducted by a bot or so. So there should be keywords in your resume. The keywords are contained in the description of a job you apply for. Thus you would specify the skills the employer needs instead of listing the ones you have. That is because you will need a new resume targeted at each new job position. For example, if you apply via LinkedIn you will see the list of skills in the right column. And if they specified “strategic planning” and you wrote “business development” your application will be rejected automatically.
Which section should be rich in keywords?
In a section that Indian applicants would rarely insert. It can be called in many ways – «value statement», «about», «executive summary», and «professional profile». This is the 1st visible paragraph of your resume (upper third of a page) and it should be about you. It’s the condensed summary of your experience that will make an HR manager decide whether she/he should read further. When you pass the initial round your resume will be read by a person so this section is of paramount importance.
It is better to describe your experience in several sentences, 5 strings at the most. Your experience and the reason why exactly you fit a vacancy. This is the most challenging point and most applicants fail to deliver the message the right way.
What to write about yourself as the best candidate?
What you should avoid by all means is cliched definitions like “very responsible”, “work within strict deadlines” or “experienced team player”. You should be as particular as one can be. One prominent HR guru once said: “Don’t write you’re able to make strategic decisions, just show me which decision you made and I’ll decide myself were they strategic ones or not”.
The name of the position you apply for is obligatory. Figures, countries, details, indicators – everything will suit. The particular achievements which are relevant to the position would be the core.
Which layout is preferable?
USUALLY, Work experience is usually arranged as a single paragraph without any markup.
TO CHANGE Arrange it as a vertical list with each string beginning with a verb in past (managed, oversaw, created) or present tense (manage, oversee, create).
USUALLY, the Applicant attaches his/her photo.
TO CHANGE If an employer is an American company this is not appropriate because the applicant may accuse the company of discrimination by race/gender.
USUALLY, the Applicant specified the level of preferred salary.
TO CHANGE Avoid this, especially if you apply for a managing position.
USUALLY, The long list of positions while no achievements specified.
TO CHANGE The list should be limited by 4-5 items. Each one should contain what exactly you did, achieved, and what are you proud of.
Please note in overseas companies read cover letters carefully. It’s a unique opportunity to show why you are different from others. If you composed it yourself an employer will see it immediately. No need to look for cliches and “right words”. Just write honestly why you want to work at this position in this company. If some points mentioned in the resume should be explained, you can also do it here. It’s the story explaining why exactly you and exactly this company. The cover letter never repeats. Its volume is a page the most, two thirds will be even better. If you apply via email it’s appropriate to insert the cover letter in the message body.