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A well-written resume can only land you an interview for your dream job if it aligns with the best practices of your target location. Every country follows specific standards that align with its laws and regulations. Considering such factors, we have discussed some differences in this article for job seekers all around the globe based on their target location.
a. North America
The USA and Canada do not support the use of photographs and other personal information. Adding your contact information without any personal details like gender and going for a one-page CV are other common practices. Moreover, the experience included should be relevant and recent. If you have more than 10 years of experience, consider adding an ‘Additional Experience’ section. Make sure all your technical and non-technical skills are also listed accordingly.
b. South America
The usual length of resumes in South American countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Columbia is one to two pages. Recruiters also expect you to add photographs to your resumes. However, if an employer specifically asks you not to add a snapshot, make sure you abide by it.
If you are applying to a European country, we recommend doing initial research to avoid missing out on any relevant legal information. This is because European countries do not follow any uniform standards. However, make sure you present high-quality, results-oriented content to reflect your achievements and capabilities. Your resume may be one or two pages, depending on your target location. You can read about the specifics below:
a. Two-page CV without a photograph
Some countries like the UK, Ireland, Sweden, and the Netherlands do not require you to pictures and personal information in your resume. The standard resume length in these European countries is two pages. This allows you to elaborate on your additional experience and achievements.
b. One or two-page CV with a photograph
In many European countries, the typical length of a resume is one to two pages, depending on your experience. Some countries that support this resume format are Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, France, Portugal, Spain, and Norway. It is also a common practice to use a professional headshot in these countries.
3. Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) Region
Employers in the GCC region prefer detailed personal information along with a photograph to be added to your resume. When it comes to length, it usually ranges from two to three pages. Since detailed resumes are expected in these countries, we suggest adding all your previous experience while prioritizing the most recent and relevant content.
4. APAC region
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region comprises multiple regions and countries. Each region has its own laws and regulations governing employment practices. In this section, we will discuss a few countries at a high level to understand the basic practices:
a. East and North-East Asia
East and North-East Asian countries such as China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea usually prefer the inclusion of a picture in your resume. These resumes are different from those used in other countries as these are primarily in their local languages. They also include all personal details in depth, such as education which is commonly listed down to at least a high school level.
b. Pacific/ Oceania
Australia, New Zealand, and other countries in this region do not prefer to include any personal details on resumes. However, they require detailed resumes that are usually two to three pages, based on your experience. Furthermore, photographs are usually not preferred by employers and thus are not commonly added.
c. Southeast Asia
Countries like Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and others in this region prefer personal information to be added to a resume. Adding professional headshots are also a common practice in these countries. The length of resumes ranges from one to two pages based on relevant experience.
d. South and Southwest Asia
India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other countries in these regions do not follow any hard and fast rules with regards to personal information. No applications are rejected or accepted based on the inclusion of personal information or a photograph. We suggest checking the job description thoroughly and making a decision based on that. If your target employer specifically asks you to add a picture, make sure to do so.
Countries in North Africa usually abide by the same standards as the countries in the GCC region. On the other hand, countries in the South African region, such as South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, prefer a short CV with personal details such as contact information, gender, relationship status, references, and driver’s license number. Recruiters in these countries don’t expect candidates to add a picture to the resume.
- This list of countries mentioned under any region is not exhaustive and even bound to change. Thus, we strongly recommend you Google the resume standards in your target country before you make an application.
- If you are applying in a country that requires you to add a snapshot, here are a few things to remember:
- Dress professionally
- Go for neutral hair and makeup
- Adopt neutral facial expressions or smile gently
- Use a plain background
- Take a picture in natural lighting