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It's Not The Same Resume
You've heard for years that your resume needs to be clear and concise. Your resume should grab the readers attention from the first few lines (take a look at our example resume). Books on writing resumes tell you not to overwhelm the reader with information. But if you're looking for a position overseas, following the traditional advice on resume preparation may be what keeps you from being hired.
We have been dealing with companies in the Middle East for over 25 years and during that time period, more candidates have been hired without an interview than those who were actually interviewed face-to-face. In second place are those candidates who are interviewed over the telephone. In many cases, your resume is what gets you the job - literally!
I've talked with some candidates who have written 3 lines describing the work they did for a company that employed them for over 15 years! Either they didn't do much or they can't remember what they did. We constantly tell candidates that they need to expand their resumes to have a real hope of securing a job offer from an overseas client. Clients want to see in great detail what you have done, who you've worked for, when you worked there, and what your accomplishments were. A resume that covers a work history of 15 years or more should easily be 2 pages and up to 4 or more pages long.
One of the worst things you can do is to not carefully check your resume and cover letter for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. As many as 15 percent of the resumes we receive have glaring spelling errors or terrible grammar usage. A simple spelling error isn't a big deal . . . it just says that you're not a careful person or that you don't pay attention to detail or that you don't take enough time to see that a job is done correctly! Don't be sloppy with your resume or cover letter.
The Right Resume For An Overseas Job
Here's The Order To Follow
As a general rule, your resume should include the following items in this order:
Your name, address, phone and e-mail numbers (please include a work number if you can be contacted discretely at work. Recruiters don't like to work at night any more than you do!)
An Objective or Summary statement. Remember that an Objective statement can many times limit the positions that you will be considered for. If you are qualified and willing to be a Systems Analyst but your Objective statement says you are looking for a position as an Information Technology Manager, you may be overlooked.
Education. List the degree you obtained, the major, the school, the city and the year the degree was granted (i.e. B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 1991). If you have more than one degree, list the highest degree first.
Professional Experience. List the time spent at each particular position from most recent to least recent. List the company name, your job title(s) at each company and a thorough description of your responsibilities and accomplishments.
After the above items you can have headings for things such as additional coursework or seminars, publications, special licenses, software, hardware, operating systems, languages, personal information, etc.
Don't forget to take a look at the example resume for help in how to format your own.
Why is it that people spend money to have someone prepare their resume and then they make a copy of it on a terrible copy machine and send it out to prospective employers? We receive resumes every day that have black marks and smudges and dots all over them. We can't forward something like that to a client. Your resume is a reflection of you so make sure it looks good when you send it out.