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How Resumes Differ From Country to Country
Posted on 01 Dec 2015 | Comments: 0

How important is tailoring your resume to be country specific? We say it’s essential. The reasoning is simple, the basic element of a good resume is every cover letter and resume should be targeted towards the company you want to work for.

Did you know!

In Malaysia, it is a basic requirement to include your personal details such as marital status or date of birth, but in some countries this can see seen as illegal or inappropriate. Always be careful when preparing your resume.

CV vs. Resume: Do you know the difference?

Did you realised in Britain the Brits use CV and in America they use resume? And in Australia we use both.

CV usually long and covers your entire career, static in nature. Can be more than 2 pages. Changes should be stated in the Cover Letter.
Resume generally a brief summary, no particular format rule, highly customisable.

In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, CV is used in all situations. The CV prevails in mainland Europe. Recently Europe, the rules for CV writing has changed and there is even a European Union CV format available for download. As part of the European Union (EU), all members follow the same resume criteria and format. This is great in avoiding all the different cultural and administrative differences between the countries.

In Australia, India and South Africa, the terms resume and CV are used interchangeably. Resume is commonly used in the private sector while CV is mostly used when applying for public service positions.

If you are planning on applying to South Africa it is required to have even further personal information such as ID number and ethnicity (the latter to clarify one’s BEE or affirmative action status). In Australia and the US, however, stricter privacy laws make revealing of personal information unnecessary.

Lastly do take note, if you are applying for a job in the USA, as there are major differences between a “resume” and a “CV”. An American Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a longer document and is usually written only by a researcher, educator, or academic.

The Basics

For all resumes, make sure you have your contact details. That includes details such as your address, mobile phone and an email. You can also include links to social media accounts, such as Linkedin and Twitter.

If you are applying for a senior position, make sure you list an award or achievement that shows the added value to brought to the company. Similarly, make sure you list the systems and technical skills where this is applicable.

For all your relevant roles state in your resume, make sure you clearly state the company name, your title and the dates you worked with them.

Avoid story telling! The hiring personnel usually receive tons of applications, make it easy for them to read and extract the information they need. Use bullet points where possible. Any specific points relating to the role you have applied for should be in your cover letter. This is especially true in Australia.

Happy Resume Writing!


If you are struggling to write your resume, don’t fret. First Avenue is here to the rescue. At First Avenue, we provide tailored career-counselling services to help you get ahead. We will be able to guide you through improving your social profile & resume and advice you on the best way to land your desired job. Contact us via email at info@firstavenuegroup.com.au and we would gladly help you out.

Melissa Margoulis is the Chief Talent Officer at First Avenue Group, a company dedicated to connecting top organisations with top talent. Follow First Avenue for access to all the hottest career opportunities, news and industry trends in APAC. Be sure to follow First Avenue across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook for the hottest jobs, trends and news in APAC

Article Written by: Yee Lin Loke, Chief Digital Marketer

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