How to Optimize Your CV for an International Job Search

How to Optimize Your CV for an International Job Search

Did you know that over 70% of CVs are never actually seen by a hiring manager in-person? How can this be?

Simple: organizations large and small now use applicant tracking software. This software is used to parse the information from your CV and map it into a database called an applicant tracking system, or ATS. Based off of this info, the system will assign each job applicant with a score based on how well they match the job the employer is attempting to fill. These scores can then be ranked and sorted. Naturally, the job candidates with the highest scores move on to the latter stages of the hiring progress.

Wondering how you can optimize your CV and rank higher in your potential employer’s applicant tracking system? Here are several wonderful tricks to improving your CV’s standing, and move one step closer to obtaining your dream job overseas.

Savills Oman

1. Place contact info at the top

Don’t forget to include vital communication information, such as your phone number and email address. As an expat applying for a job internationally, you can also list your visa status. This will most likely be one of the pressing questions you will be asked at a later date; if you can provide this early on, do so. Similar to education, however, if you don’t have a visa, don’t list it in this section.

The automated software may even send an email after you’ve applied to a particular position with additional instructions. Therefore, be sure to keep an eye out so that you don’t miss further communications; this should include keeping an eye on your email’s spam folder.

2. Mimic verbiage from the job description

Look through the job listing to determine the skills required for the position. Identify industry terms, buzzwords and jargon that the hiring manager uses most frequently in the job description; then, incorporate these words into your CV wherever possible.

3. Eliminate the use of graphics

Always remember that the ATS is designed to break down the info you have provided. It will not be able to read or understand an image or graphic added to your CV. Don’t waste your valuable time and CV space on this type of element. If you feel compelled to use these elements at some point in the job hunt process, save these materials for another time, such as an interview presentation.

4. Choose type fonts carefully

Stick with conservative web-safe fonts like Arial when designing your CV. It may not be as pleasing to the human eye as some of the more fun and adventurous fonts, but this will guarantee that your content will be scanned and categorized correctly by the applicant tracking system.

5. Eliminate irrelevant information

Only include past experiences and professional skills that are relevant to the particular job at-hand. Irrelevant information just end up as filler, which is a waste of valuable real estate on your CV.

6. Don’t use special designs

Standard bullet points are fine to utilize. However the use of other characters, such as arrows, or frilly accessories such as fancy borders and shading can cause issues that could prevent the ATS from correctly parsing your information. Keep things easy to scan with simple templates- and let your professional quality speak for itself.

Shy away from borders and shading on your CV.

Shy away from borders and shading on your CV.

7. Pump Up Your Skills Section

Most employers use ATS to search by specialized or technical skills. Therefore, make sure your CV includes any special skills you have in your professional repertoire. This can include your knowledge of computer programs, industry standards, and other professional competencies.

Bring notice to your skills and include industry-specific abbreviations or acronyms that the potential employer may also be searching for when finding candidates with the right experience.
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