CVs Around the World
A CV, or curriculum vitae to give it its full name, is the often the first contact between job seeker and employer. But the composition of CVs which are also called resumes do tend to vary around the world though they do have similarities in that they will almost always include an overview of the job seekers education, work experience and skills. The potential employer then uses the document to help him draw up a shortlist of candidates for interview.
What one should actually include in a CV differs from country to country. With more and more people seeking employment, abroad, either within Europe or further afield, it is important to understand this and appreciate what needs to be included when putting in a job application in a particular country.
Within the European Union, of which the UK is a member, there is an attempt to harmonise standards between the member nations. A common form of document, the Europass, is being considered. It aims to be of use to employers and educational establishments throughout the EU, and should help job seekers and people seeking to enter high education when they make applications for posts and student places outside their home country’s borders.
A common style of CV would be helpful within the EU because at the moment within the union there are major differences on how they should be put together and what they should include. For instance in Germany it is expected that a photograph of the applicant should be included, something that is not usual in the UK.
Also, when applying for a job in the United States, applicants must realise that the concept of a CV is quite different from that known on this side of the Atlantic. Most employers there seek what we know as a resume. The CV is most often used in the US when applying for posts in the world of academia and medicine. A typical American document is far more extensive and comprehensive than the British variety which should be never be longer than two A4 pages. The American CV demands much more information on the education of the applicant, as well as full details of his work and professional experience. American anti-discrimination laws also make it inadvisable for the applicant to include a photograph.
Incidentally, another country where employers expect to receive lengthy CVs is India whereas anyone applying for a post in Canada has the right under Canadian law to refuse to disclose their sex, age, ethnicity or any disability, even if they are asked for those details on the application form.
The job market is becoming ever more competitive around the world. So it is important that the jobseeker prepares a document which meets the criteria expected for the country where the potential job is based.