How to Internationalize Your Resume

06/08/2017 11:34 am ET
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Presenting yourself as a global citizen with cross-cultural competencies has become a key factor when developing a resume. Setting yourself apart from the stack of applications by highlighting your international skills is a definite way to gain an advantage in the job hunt. Whether you’re applying to a multinational cooperation, seeking research opportunities abroad, or wanting to accentuate your international experiences, follow these tips for a resume that can take you around the world.

  1. Summary: Use the summary section to emphasize your communication skills, intercultural awareness, knowledge of international business protocol, or any other skill that accentuates your global focus. The body of your resume should include examples of how you have implemented these capacities in your professional life, and highlight your experiences working in diverse environments.
  2. Positions: Consider each position you’ve held in the context of intercultural contact. Even if you haven’t held a position overseas, your resume may still showcase impressive international experiences. Did you work on a multinational team? Help train an employee transferring from another country? These experiences demonstrate your ability to adapt your communication strategies and bridge cultural gaps, so be sure to include them.
  3. Languages: List the languages you speak, including proficiency level. If you hold any diplomas such as the DELE offered by the Instituto Cervantes in Spain or the DALF awarded by the French Ministry of Education that attest to your language skills, include the diploma and the corresponding level of mastery.
  4. Global Experience: Make sure that your bullet points provide a succinct narrative of your global experiences with phrases and verbs that demonstrate your global engagement. Phrases like “built rapport,” “cross-cultural,” and “global team” demonstrate your professional dynamism and indicate your success in diverse settings. Instead of “worked with a multinational team on a research initiative,” a phrase such as “Co-lead a multicultural team in developing research strategies for marketing analytics” can make a powerful impression on prospective employers by showcasing your leadership and intercultural professionalism. Use integrity and resist the urge to embellish your true experience.

No matter which position you’re applying for, developing a resume that showcases your international savvy and cross-cultural expertise will set you apart as a dynamic candidate qualified to work with diverse clientele.

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

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