Man typing CV for international jobs

How To Tailor Your CV For International Standards

When considering applying for a job abroad, it is very important to be aware that hiring managers have different expectations. This blog discusses tips and tricks for applying for international jobs in Kenya and how to write a winning CV.

An international CV is a professional document that candidates use to apply for jobs in a different country. It is not about the format but strategy and aligning your CV with standards and practices that are customary for that region. 

As opposed to a local CV, an international CV focuses on cross-cultural skills and technical know-how. There is no standard practice for writing an international CV, therefore doing some research to cover such bases is most vital.

Typical elements of international CVs

The length of your CV should be at most two pages, and the information should be presented clearly and concisely. It is also good practice to use readable, simple font and outline your most relevant skills and experiences in a bulleted list.

Writing your personal information differs from country to country. A typical American CV doesn’t include some personal details due to restrictions related to job discrimination. Conversely, in some Middle East countries, it’s common to include personal information about your gender, religion, health status, age and marital status on your application. 

An American CV does not usually include references unless upon request but a British CV does. Defer from adding contact information to your reference list without asking for permission as it is unethical and goes against data protection legislation.

When it comes to applying for international jobs in Kenya, the most effective CV communicates your skills and experiences and how culturally adaptable you are as a candidate. Here are my best tips for writing a winning international CV.

Factors to consider when writing an international CV

Research style and format

To make sure your CV contains the right information in the right format, you must research the country’s standard practices. Identify various examples, and common trends in structure and format, then tailor that to the international jobs in Kenya you are applying for.

Differentiate a CV and resume for specific countries

Find out if the country you are applying for jobs differentiates between a CV and a resume. Some countries use these two documents interchangeably while others consider them completely different. Consider the specifics and requirements of the application before making a decision on the document type.

Length 

Depending on the country, figure out what length is most appropriate for your application. Different countries have different expectations for the length of CVs. In Germany and Greece, for example, five-page CVs are common and in the UK, 2 pages are optimal. America typically expects a one-paged CV.

Tone

The tone you use on your CV should reflect some social-cultural values of the country to which you are applying. Look for resume examples in those countries and take note of the tone that is used. This will help you understand how best to showcase your professional strengths and achievements that allow you to rise above your competition.

Language and cross-cultural skills

According to the country’s language preference, you may have to translate your CV or provide an accompanying document with your English CV. This communicates proficiency and thoughtfulness for the culture.

If you are not well conversant with the language of the land, seek out a CV translation service or request a native or advanced speaker proofread your translated CV for errors.

Headshot

For international job applications in the UK, Canada and North America, you do not need to include a photo. Unless your headshot is directly relevant to the job you are applying for, avoid including a photo. Understandably, for countries that require a headshot, ensure it is a professional one.

Parting shot

There is no exact rule for applying for international jobs in Kenya. Always make sure you focus on the style, purpose and effectiveness of your CV for jobs in different countries and cultures. Remember to optimize your CV with keywords and details for applicant tracking software that is widely used by hiring managers.

It is equally important to include your visa status, for eligibility to work in the country you are applying to. Make sure you also provide a current telephone number with the international dialling code for the country where you live. This will help hiring managers to contact you with minimal hassle.

Hopefully, this article has proved useful as you apply for international jobs in Kenya today. Cheers!

6 Vital Questions To Land The Best Careers In Kenya

6 Vital Questions To Land The Best Careers In Kenya

Throughout life, we are faced with so many decision-making situations that force us to be pragmatic to make thoughtful decisions for our careers, relationships, and lifestyles. A fulfilling career constitutes a wholesome life, therefore, navigating through career shifts can be daunting especially when all other career prospects seem so far-fetched and almost always saturated.

For the lucky few, choosing the best careers in Kenya is simple, but the challenge comes in when someone is unhappy with their station in life, wants to take up a new challenge, or wants to pivot to a whole new career. Companies hiring in Kenya can attest to employing some of the most dynamic career-oriented individuals. The big question whether you are just getting started or are gainfully employed is “What do you want in your next career?” 

As individuals, we are constantly evolving and with that, our priorities and perspectives may change. Considering a job pivot doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, it simply means you are on a different path, and that is absolutely okay. Being objective and aligning your interests, values, and goals will go a long way to ensure your perfect career match.

Here are a few questions to guide people through the motions of finding the best careers in Kenya.

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

Who are you?

This might sound like one of the most recurrent platitudes of all time but in reality, everything comes down to a deeper self-reflection of who you are as an individual. What is your unique personality, what intrigues you, what challenges you, and what makes you uniquely you? Taking a moment to reassess these basic aspects will place you at a better advantage to make thoughtful career decisions that will ultimately impact your career trajectory. 

What are your interests?

Intentionally choosing to focus on what you love doing, all limitations aside can help you better grasp what you would love to spend your time on. Imagine you have all the free time in the world, what would you rather be doing? What books, research topics fascinate you? These are just but a few ideas of how to determine your interests in life but feel free to add to the pile until you can describe your interests professionally without a shadow of a doubt.

What are your unique strengths and talents?

I get perturbed when I hear people say they don’t have significant talents or strengths. This is probably one of the hardest things to jot down for some in a resume when seeking the best careers in Kenya. I’m here to remind you that every single individual is dynamic and has something to offer. Some qualities that you may assume are not important, are what make up your strengths and talents. When do you feel most useful to others and how can these qualities be translated into your work life? Could it be that you give the best advice or are very good at problem-solving, are you friendly and relatable? or do you manage projects with ease?

Women at a career meeting

What does your ideal day look like?

It is imperative to think in line with what your perfect day would look like. Make a mental picture of how your schedule would be, the projects you would relish undertaking, the kind of work environment that best suits you. For example, do you excel as a remote worker or in an office set-up, or would you prefer a hybrid working experience? 

Additionally, aligning your thoughts to the kind of workplace and culture you prefer, and the kind of team you would like to be associated with will ultimately help you narrow down on some of the best careers in Kenya.

What is your mission?

Knowing what compels you to get up every morning is what sets you apart from someone who is merely working for a paycheck. What motivates you to do what you do? Ask yourself “why” and ponder on the reasons you come up with. Regularly have a five-year career check to re-assess if your measurable goals are on par with your mission. This will help you avoid the haphazard moves in your career that will take away from the time you need to carve out your perfect niche.

What is your salary expectation?

At this point, you already know what you are bringing to the table and as such, you can carefully pick and choose terms that are most favourable to you. What kind of compensation makes you feel appreciated? Do not just focus on the base salary, think of other benefits and perks that will allow you to be at your tip-top performance. The idea is to root for yourself because no one else can do it better than you. 

These questions will give you headway into the kind of career you want to pursue. 

Researching best careers in Kenya

What’s next? 

The next step is to amour yourself with research and information around the career you are gunning for. While you are at it, make sure to build a significant network towards your perfect career fit.