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  Tailoring your CV for different countries
 


CareerNews 
CV Content
CV Format
Country by Country Guide
Australia
Austria
Belgium
The Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland
France
Germany
Greece
India
Ireland
Italy
Hungary
Japan
Luxembourg
The Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
USA

The world over employers look for the same qualities in their applicants regardless of whether the job is in London, Singapore or the Isle of Waikiki. However candidates should be aware that there might be subtle conventions associated with the application process within different countries.

The brief one or two page CV which UK employers expect to see is not necessarily what is expected abroad. Some international employers want to know a lot more about you than just your characteristics that may or may not qualify you for both the job and the international living situation.

CV Content
In general what goes into your CV does not vary tremendously when applying for jobs in different countries. In some cases it is better to show more, and in others best to show less.

It may be appropriate to include a list of previous positions, detailing your duties, responsibilities, names, dates, locations professional memberships and references.

It may be appropriate to put actual titles and dates of speeches and presentations you have given or articles you published. It is possible that employers in some countries will want to know your religion and passport number.

CV Format
CVs are usually structured in reverse chronological order (most recent activity first), or as a functional CV (activities grouped thematically).

The length of your CV varies greatly in different countries, for example in Greece employers are of the opinion that bigger is better. If your information spans more than four pages it is recommended that you write a one or two page summary featuring all of your details in a condensed form and include that at the front.

The Country by Country Guide


Australia
There are plenty of opportunities for casual work in Oz. Fruit picking is the most popular work among backpackers. You earn every cent you get - it can be backbreaking work - but you get to meet lots of other backpackers and it can be fun. A word of warning - make sure you work out with your prospective employer, before you start work, exactly what you are to be paid, what hours you will work, and other work conditions.

Temping is another good way to get a job, but most of the work tends to be in large cities and you need to be there when you apply for a position.

Working on island resorts is very popular. This is a great way to earn dollars, and see some of the famous holiday spots - for nothing.

Some resorts use local employment services for recruiting staff - a quick phone call to the resort of your choice will tell you how and where to apply.

Station (farm) work is a great way to experience real outback life. Some organizations provide you with the training for work on the land.

Unemployment in Australia is continuing to fall and there are professional positions available if you have the skills that are in demand such as IT, engineering or specialist service sector abilities.

Your CV should show your Name, Address, Phone Number, Age, and Nationality, Education subjects taken and results for last two years of secondary school.

Any tertiary, trade, or recreational courses done in part or full (even if only a hobby class…in gardening etc)

List any work experience you have - both full and part-time jobs. Note the job, employer and date you commenced and date you left. Also note experience outside of employment (e.g. Grew up on farm, helped parents with veggie garden, collected stamps since I was ten).

Any awards or positions of responsibility held, e.g. president of club, football team captain, Queen's scout etc. Skills list - all your relevant skills e.g. typing speed of 45wpm, commercial drivers license. Etc.

Austria
The Austrian economy is picking up speed again after the sharp slowdown in the final months of 1998 caused by the knock-on effects of last year's Russian financial crisis on several of Austria's closest trading partners.

The setback in the final quarter of last year did not prevent the Austrian economy growing by 3.3 per cent in 1998, a full one per cent faster than the European average.

The outlook is positive with relatively rapid growth, low inflation and rising employment. Wages, prices and productivity growth are all projected to develop favorably.

You start your CV with your personal details, including name, address, telephone number with international access code, your place and date of birth and your civil status. The Austrian CV is in reversed chronological order, detailing your most recent activities first. After your personal details, you mention your education, including the results, followed by your language skills and your practical experience (include apprenticeships, since Austrian employers attach great importance to it).

Extracurricular activities, such as hobbies, special interests and voluntary work, are mentioned at the end. Pay special attention to this last category, since Austrian employers find extracurricular activities important.

Attach a photo to your CV (put your personal details on the back) and put the date on your CV and sign it (like in Germany).

It is best to arrive at least 15 minutes before an interview. It is also a good idea to make sure you are dressed formally, women are advised to wear skirts and men a formal suit. Good appearance and having good manners at the interview is viewed as very important.

Belgium
While Belgium's official unemployment rate is slightly better than the EU average, the participation rate of its active population in the labour market is one of the EU's lowest - 56.8 per cent, against France's 60.1, Germany's 61.8, and the Netherlands' 66.7. Denmark, highest in the EU, registers 77.5 per cent, the US and Japan over 74 per cent.

One reason is the extent of early retirement programs, starting as early as 52, in recent years. The participation rate in the 55 to 64 age band is only 22 per cent, against an EU average of 36.3 per cent. The UK scores 59.4 per cent - There are numerous opportunities in Belgium.

Language plays an important role in this country. Writing your application letter and CV in French however will not gain you any brownie points with a Flemish company. It is best to write in English unless you speak Flemish.

The most common format for a Belgian CV is reverse chronological, mentioning the most recent activities first.

In Flanders people sometimes use chronological CVs, but in Wallonia the reversed chronological CV is preferred.

Belgian CVs tended to be long, but nowadays they are shortened to a maximum of two pages. The CV is very factual, precise and professional. You start with your personal details including your civil status. Followed by your education, including high school. Results are only given when there is a direct relation to the job.

Subsequently, you mention your work experience. Include all your student jobs, holiday work and apprenticeships, since experience is highly valued.

Linguistic abilities are considered of great importance. They should be listed on your CV with reference to the spoken and written level. If male, you should clearly indicate whether or not you have done your military service, even though compulsory military service has been (recently) abolished in Belgium.

The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has shown signs of renewed economic growth in 2000 following three years of recession.

The country's GDP, which had been in decline since 1997 following an economic boom during the mid-1990's, is forecast to rise 2.5% in 2000 and 3% in 2001.

Foreign direct investment, which fueled the Czech economy in the early and mid-1990s, is on the rebound, with $5 billion invested in 1999 and more expected in 2000.

Although unemployment is rising - from 3% in the mid-1990's to an estimated 9% in 2000 - due to restructuring that has shut down loss-making plants and factories, the unemployment figure remains below the politically-sensitive level of 10%.

The structural reforms and economic rebound have strengthened the Czech Republic's fast-track status for membership in the EU, which is currently slated for 2003-2005.

The CV is usually chronologically, and should be brief, direct and structured, one to two pages at most.

Your personality details should include name, address, telephone and/or fax number (including international access code), your nationality, civil status and date of birth.

Education should be in chronological order and should mention all qualifications and diplomas obtained.

Specify exactly when where and what (give the name of your university) you have studied (mention the discipline).

Language skills should be given in detail; mention your native tongue and describe you level of fluency for the other languages.

Under the heading 'Work Experience' you have to mention all your practical experience, including apprenticeships. Mention the exact job description and the responsibilities you have had in each job. Under this heading give all information on your knowledge and your skills that might interests a future employer.

Sometimes references are given in the CV, but no strict rules apply here.

Remember, that the Czech Republic is currently establishing their own national recruitment habits after the days of communism, when rather traditional academic selection criteria where used.

Denmark
In recent years, Denmark is more and more often referred to as a country where an employment "miracle" has taken place.

Measured by the size of its population Denmark is a small country. In 1997 the population was 5.25m, like in most other countries in Western Europe, the population is expected to be stable over the coming years. Recent forecasts estimate a slight increase to 5.5m in 2025.

The share of persons above 59 years of age will grow from 21 per cent of the population today to 26 per cent in 2025 - or by 300,000 persons.

The share of young persons below 19 years of age will be stable (22 percent), while the share of adults in working age will fall.

This observation has caused concern for the increasing burden being put on the economically active part of the population but could work in the favor of skilled foreign workers who want to find employment in the country.

Speculative applications are often successful in Denmark. Your CV should be short and neatly presented or two pages, including only the most relevant details.

Start with your personal details, followed in reverse chronological order by your education, your work experience and extracurricular activities. Recent graduates should give their examination grades.

If you have work experience, emphasize your practical experience. You do not have to attach a picture, but sometimes a Polaroid is taken during the first interview.

Don't start you letter with 'Dear Mr/Ms X', but write at the beginning 'For the attention of Mr/Ms X'.

Finland
There is a current mood of optimism in Finland which reflects a confidence in the fast-growing economy; and pride in the success of the country's information technology (IT) sector, led by Nokia.

There is a broader feeling that Finland has found its place in the post-cold war world through its membership of the European Union and participation in the single currency.

Unemployment is still high at 10 per cent, although it has almost halved since the dark days of 1993 and 1994, when Finland had Europe's highest jobless rate, apart from Spain.

The worry is that many of those who are still without jobs have the wrong skills for the economy's current needs, or they live in the wrong place, or are over 50. There is certainly a big shortage of skills in the high-tech sector.

The skills problem could get worse, as post-second world war baby boomers approach retirement. Finns believe demographics are moving against them, and the birth rate may not be enough to replace the existing population.

The IMF has recently urged the country to raise its effective retirement age. And the prospect of labour shortages has put immigration on the agenda in a country that has traditionally closed its gates fairly tightly.

The CV Finland is seen in as a basic document that shows exactly what somebody has done.

It can never be sent out without a covering letter.

On top you have to put your name and in Finnish (or Swedish) the word Curriculum Vitae (ANSIOLUETTELO).

Subsequently you give your address and telephone number (including international access code). You start the actual CV with your name, date of birth and your civil status.

In reverse chronological order you mention your education, your practical experience, the main tasks in your current job, your publications if applicable and your linguistic abilities.

For the letter and the CV you choose between Finnish or Swedish, however, stick to one language once chosen. Foreign job seekers are expected to have a basic understanding of either of the languages, but in the IT sector for instance, you find a fair chance of finding work when you are capable of just speaking English.

Social skills, communication skills and teamwork abilities are the skills most in demand. Whether or not you fit into the team is more important than your technical competencies.

France
Unemployment is set to fall to below 9 per cent by the end of 2000 if current trends are sustained. This compares with a record 12.5 per cent of the workforce jobless when the government of Lionel Jospin took office in 1997.

During the first quarter of this year, about 140,000 new jobs were created in the private sector. Over the 12-month period, a total of 430,000 jobs were generated. This represents the biggest jump in employment for three decades.

Virtually every sector is in the process of creating jobs, although the services sector remains by far the most dynamic employer. This sector has seen employment rise 4.2 per cent over the past 12 months.

French companies will expect you to send a hand written covering letter (the only exceptions are to be found in some parts of the IT sector), as they are very keen on graphology and use it as part of the selection process (approximately 80% of French employers use it!)

The French CV is either reverse chronological (most recent activity first) or functional (activities grouped thematically). Whatever style you choose, the CV should be brief, succinct and direct, one to two pages at the most.

Your personal details should include; besides name, address and telephone number (do not forget the international access code), your nationality and your civil status.

Usually you give your age, instead of your date of birth and you also omit your place of birth. With regard to education you only mention the highest diplomas you have obtained.

Language skills should be given in detail. Under work experience you have to mention the exact job description and the responsibilities you have had. Be prepared to answer questions in the interview on your hobbies if you put them on your CV (e.g. "which was the most recent book you read?").

Often a French CV includes a 'Project Professional'. This is a rather precise description in a few lines of what you hope to achieve, in line with your education and skills, in your career in a period of several years.

Germany
Unemployment remains persistently high at more than 4m, or about 10.5 per cent of the workforce. Even the seasonal springtime surge in jobs in construction and catering has been muted this year.

Yet in spite of historically high jobless figures, prices are set to climb by 1.5 per cent in 2000, more than double the 0.7 per cent for 1999, following inflation busting pay awards of more than 3 per cent and tax increases on energy.

The German CV is always in strict chronological order (Tabellarischen Lebenslauf), with a photo (put your details on the back of the picture) attached with a paper clip to the top right hand corner.

Sign your CV on the bottom right, opposite the date in the left corner. It is common to mention your civil status (including children); your school results and whether you have a driving license.

Previously, the civil status rubric also contained parents' names and professions and your religion, but this is no longer very common.

Mind your style of writing; German recruiters do not appreciate poetic descriptions and boasting. Start with your personal details (name, address, telephone number with international access code, place and date of birth, civil status), followed by your education including the results and work experience (do not forget to mention apprenticeships).

Make sure there are no 'gaps' in your CV, hence the importance of mentioning your complete education. However, if there are 'gaps', ensure you mention the reason, even report periods of unemployment.

German companies do not wish to know about your personal interests, only mentioned them when relevant for the job. Language skills and areas of interest are given in a German CV.

Applicants are expected to include evidence of their accomplishments, so you present your CV in a binder and include copies of all your educational certificates and any references from former employers. Your CV should be signed at the bottom.

Greece
In spite of growth rates above 3 per cent for four successive years the official unemployment rate has continued to climb in Greece.

Much of the work is in seasonal jobs such as tourism, which employs people for less than half the year.

There are no strict rules for CVs in Greece. Usually the CV is three to five pages. A photograph is not required, but is appreciated.

CVs can either be typed or handwritten, although the latter is becoming less and less common. Greek CVs are exhaustive and detailed, and normally in chronological order.

Your signature should be given at the end of the CV. Practical experience is considered very important, include apprenticeships, university projects and courses. Leisure activities are optional, but much appreciated.

Put down everything in your CV that makes you an interesting candidate for an employer, bearing in mind that a lot of paper looks impressive to a Greek recruiter.

India
India is one of the most populated countries in the world, next only to China. Although India occupies only 2.4% of the total area of the world it supports over 15% of the world population.

With such a large skilled work force it has traditionally been hard for foreigners to find work in any capacity other than teaching English but the economy is changing.

India is the fifth largest economy in the world (ranking above France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Russia) and has the third largest GDP in the entire continent of Asia.

It is the second largest among emerging nations and is also one of the few markets in the world which offers high prospects for growth and earning potential in practically all areas of business.

Overseas businesses are starting to catch on to the practically unlimited possibilities in India and with their influx comes increased employment opportunities.

When applying for a job in India your CV should include your Name, Address/Email/Phone number at the top followed by your career objectives. This should contain usage of professional/business language, the potential contributions you can make to the company, mention your potential strengths that have relevance to the job, specify the level of responsibility you can handle.

Continue with your professional experience, key achievements, education, projects and any other activities you deem relevant.

The government has recognized 16 languages as official; Hindi is the most widely spoken.

Foreign job seekers should be prepared to take India as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges.

Ireland
Unemployment is stable at around 5 per cent - in effect full employment, the economy has slowed but there is still expansion in the developing in The IT and tourist sectors.

Irish CVs have no standard length. But many employers prefer them short, maximum two pages.

A CV should only give facts and figures. Your motivation, skills and qualities for the job have to be mentioned in your letter, not your CV.

Information in the CV can either be presented in chronological or reverse chronological order.

Start with your personal details (often without place of birth or religion), education (recent graduates should include results and courses attended), work experience (with exact dates) and leisure activities.

In Ireland a great deal of emphasis is placed upon extracurricular activities and personal achievements. Put them in your CV. Recent graduates should always mention anything they have done outside their academic study.

Italy
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with approximately the same total and per capita output as France and the UK.

Its economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less developed agricultural south.

There is a high level of unemployment which is on average around 12% and in Southern Italy over 20%.

There are no strict rules for CVs in Italy. But a CV is best received when it is brief, about two pages long, although CVs of four or five pages are not uncommon either and in chronological order.

Include in your personal details your date and place of birth, your nationality, your telephone number (including international access code) and your civil status. Hobbies are rarely mentioned in your CV. A Photo is not requested.

Men should clearly indicate whether or not they have fulfilled their military service.

Hungary
Hungary has a relatively small population of 10 million, but it has a very well developed industrial and agricultural sector. In 1999, Hungary had a GDP growth rate of 3.5%.

Hungary leads the region in per capita foreign direct investment, and was one of the first countries in central Europe to begin the privatization of its industries. This process is largely completed, and the direct investment is now focussed on private companies in sectors like processed food.

42% of the work force are employed in industry and commerce, 32% in the service sector.

CVs are normally typed and detailed, emphasizing your education and practical experience. Pay attention to the layout, make sure it is well structured and focussed. Your CV should be one to two pages maximum.

You can choose between a chronological or reversed chronological (most recent activity first) order. Functional CVs (information structured per item) are relatively new, but some companies ­ especially foreign companies ­ like a biography presented in this format.

Your personal details should include name, address, telephone and/or fax number (including international access code), e-mail address, your nationality, civil status and date of birth.

With regard to your education you should mention all qualifications and diplomas obtained. Language skills should be given in detail; mention your native tongue and describe your level of fluency for the other languages.

Although Hungarian is not essential, a sound working knowledge of the language is considered necessary to cope with daily office life (and life outside work!).

Under the heading 'work experience' you should mention all your practical experience, including apprenticeships. Mention the exact job description and the responsibilities you have had in each job. Give, under this heading, all information on your knowledge and your skills that might interest a potential employer.

Japan
More than 6,850 islands make up Japan and are spread from the tropical island of Okinawa to the near arctic conditions of Hokkaido. The four main islands - Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido - make up 98% of the land mass and are the economic powerhouses of the nation.

Although only slightly smaller than Canada in overall landmass, about 70% of Japan's population are squeezed into a narrow corridor running down the eastern coast of the main islands.

The population of Japan measures around 127 million, with Tokyo's 12 million inhabitants making it one of the densely populated cities in the world.

The Japanese economy is now experiencing its most severe condition since the first oil crisis, and the labour market is undergoing significant changes. Towards the end of the 90s the ratio of active job openings to applicants fell to its lowest level ever, and the unemployment rate rose by a greater margin than ever before - therefore it is not easy for foreigners to find work in Japan.

If you are applying, your CV should be ordered by topic: educational background, work history (employment), membership or affiliations, skills (such as languages, computer skills, certifications, etc), and on occasion your hobbies and interests (though not always advised).

Under each topic your experiences should be presented in reverse chronological order (most recent activity first).

Attribute information in this order sex, name, age, followed by academic/job background, then qualifications. Your career objectives come last and are paid the least emphasis. This fact might imply that Japanese recruitment attaches utmost importance on the applicant itself, especially his/her attributes, and pays less attention to his/her ability or previous careers.

Luxembourg
The EU's tiniest member has enjoyed healthy economic growth since the mid-1980s with unemployment the lowest among member countries.

The Grand Duchy has successfully counteracted the decline of its once-mighty steel industry, diversifying to become one of the world's biggest financial centers, and a sophisticated service-orientated economy.

Economic growth has averaged 5 per cent a year since 1985, and the 1990s recession bypassed Luxembourg almost completely. Public finances are the healthiest in Europe; unemployment, forecast at 2.7 per cent this year, is the lowest.

There are no strict rules for CVs in Luxembourg. The style and content of the CV tends to reflect the candidate's (and the employer's!) nationality, rather than to follow a format that is typical for Luxembourg.

Usually the CV should be written in French (use the French mock CV as an example), unless otherwise stated in the advertisement. For instance, if you are applying to a German advertisement (German would most probably be the company language in this case) respond in German using the German mock CV as an example. The same applies for an advertisement in English.

The Netherlands
Vacancies are at an all-time high. Barely 3 per cent of the Dutch workforce are officially unemployed. Yet for every 100 people aged below 65 who are active in the labour market, 35 are not.

That is double the proportion of a generation ago, and one of the highest non-participation rates in the industrialized world.

Companies struggling to find staff can only wring their hands at statistics like that. Government incentives - from subsidized jobs to making the employer carry the financial burden for a worker who becomes incapable of employment - are failing to make much headway.

This tightness is most acute in information technology, with an 8.7 per cent officially recorded vacancy rate.

Across the service sector, 5.3 per cent of slots are unfilled. That reflects rapid job creation in industries such as telecommunications, where liberalization in the past few years has more than doubled the number it employs.

A Dutch CV uses a direct factual style. It is in chronological order on one page maximum.

The CV only gives the facts and figures. Your motivation and qualities for the job must be mentioned in the letter, not in your CV. A CV has to be typed and written in the third person singular.

Include personal details, education (including courses, but not results), work experience (including dates) and leisure activities.

Dutch recruiting officers attach great importance to leisure activities and civic responsibilities. These should, therefore, be mentioned in your CV. Make them look as relevant as possible for the job (e.g. playing team games points to team spirit, leadership qualities etc).

Adapt your CV for each specific job.

Norway
Unemployment in Norway plummeted in the 1993-1998 period and is now at a record low by European standards.

After an explosive growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many feared that unemployment would - as had happened in most European countries - become firmly entrenched at a higher level. This has not taken place.

Though unemployment increased slightly in the second half of 1999, it is still very low.

Immigrants have a difficult time entering the job market in Norway because they do not speak Norwegian sufficiently well, have little knowledge of Norwegian work culture or because the vocational training or education from their home country is not particularly applicable in Norway.

However within certain industries job skills shortages have made it necessary to recruit health-care workers, construction workers and engineers from other European Economic Agreement countries.

If applying for work in Norway, your CV should be written in reverse chronological order. At maximum it should be two pages long.

The CV starts with your personal details including name, address date of birth, your telephone number and your civil status.

In this section you can also include your hobbies/special interests, or you mention your hobbies at the end of your CV. You continue with your education, including the results, your practical experience, your language skills and the references.

Make sure that the people you have mentioned as references are aware of it and that they have agreed to say something positive about you.

Norwegians frown on a self-centered CV, which seeks to sell the individual, do not overplay your achievements.

Poland
Poland was one of the first of the former Soviet satellite countries to hold free elections and successfully introduce market reforms (1989).

Poland is planning to enter the European Union (EU) in the group's next expansion, and the country is in the midst of reforms necessary to meet membership criteria.

Despite rising unemployment there are signs of recovery emerging, paving the way for an improved economic outlook although some uncertainties remain.

The CV should have a clear layout (separate headings for your personal details, education, practical experience, qualifications and hobbies/interests) typed on one or two pages.

Recent graduates usually write a reverse chronological CV. In case the job is not directly connected with your studies, but more with your work experience or hobbies, you can write a functional CV.

Marital status is usually included. If you have already obtained some work experience (for example working as a volunteer) during your studies you should include it.

Describe your level of oral and written knowledge of languages, the most useful, additional to Polish, are English, German, French and Russian. Moreover, employers are looking for a computer literacy.

You can either include the names (including job title, address and telephone number) of referees or state that you will send references on request. You should bring all your references and copies of diplomas to the interview.

Some large multinational companies use their own application forms instead of personal CVs. You should pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.

Portugal
Since Portugal joined the Euro currency zone as the poorest of the founder members, consumer and business confidence have been near their highest level since the beginning of the decade, and the country is considered close to technical full employment with a jobless rate now below 5 per cent.

A Portuguese CV is usually in reverse chronological order. Several pages are not uncommon, with a maximum of three to four pages.

A clear presentation is requested, numbering each section separately. Start with your personal details (name, date and place of birth, civil status, address and telephone number including the international dialing code).

In this section you can also mention if you have a driving license, as well as your ID number and your religion.

Continue with your education (including courses), professional training (a distinct category from university education), work experience, linguistic ability (mention the languages you are able to speak in order of fluency. And a separate section for seminars you have attended.

Computer skills if applicable should be listed separately. Emphasize all the professional training you have had, from seminars to full courses. For Portuguese recruiters this shows that your former employer thought you were outstanding enough to receive further training.

Recent graduates should mention all the courses undertaken at university in the section dealing with education and should mention seminars in a distinct section.

Where work experience is concerned, it is important to mention all your former employers, including the tasks and responsibilities performed.

Romania
Since the revolution in 1989, Romania has made considerable progress towards the development of democratic institutions and a market economy. Romania's private sector is growing rapidly and has become the chief engine of economic growth. Recently enacted economic reform legislation is helping to create a positive business and investment climate.

Degree relevance is important in Romania. It is thought that the degree you take will be the future basis of your career, i.e. a mathematics student will become an accountant and an economics student will become an economist.

A Romanian CV contains personal details such as name, address, telephone number including international access code, e-mail address, date of birth, place of birth, age, nationality, and civil status.

Furthermore, it includes information regarding your education, qualifications obtained, your skills, specific knowledge, professional experience, posts of responsibility, hobbies and other interests. At the bottom of your CV you should give three references (mention the name, address, phone number and job title of all three referees).

Russia
The economy remains highly vulnerable to swings in commodity prices. The population remains desperately poor while the quality of public services has grown increasingly dire.

Rising unemployment (+6.8 percent in 1999) signals growing, not reduced social strains for the immediate future.

CVs are normally handwritten and very detailed. Russian employers expect a biography in full sentences, explaining everything you have done.

Spain
Given the pace of GDP growth and the surge in jobs - in 2000 the number of jobholders totaled an historic high of 14.2m, and the unemployed represented 15.01 per cent of the working population, compared with 16.9 per cent in 1999.

The main thrust of the government's pledge to put Spain on track for full employment is to bring labour occupancy and jobless levels in line with European averages within the next four years.

This is feasible because a breakdown of the first-quarter employment survey showed that in 12 of Spain's 17 regions the jobless ratio was below the national average and that in five of these it was below 10 per cent.

There are no strict rules for CVs in Spain. The most important thing is a well-structured CV, no longer than two pages and with little space between the headings.

Under the heading 'personal details' "datos personales" you also have to give your passport or ID number. Regarding work experience, it is important to mention all your former employers, including the tasks and responsibilities performed.

If you have attended major seminars, stayed abroad sometime, written a publication, or followed an apprenticeship, do mention it under the heading "other activities", "Otras actividades". Application forms are widely used in Spain. It is possible that a photo will be required.

Sweden
The Swedish economy continues to show a very favorable trend with high growth and moderate wage and price rises.

Between 1998 and 1999, GDP increased by 3.8 per cent. A strong employment trend, a marked growth in wealth in the household sector and considerable export successes in the telecommunication equipment area were the single most important factors explaining the favorable growth.

Employment increased by a total of around 90 000 persons, which corresponds to an increase of 2.2 per cent. Male employment increased by 2.1 per cent while female employment increased by 2.4 per cent.

The majority of the new jobs have been created in the private services sector. According to the Statistics Sweden's Labour Force Surveys, open unemployment fell to 5.6 per cent in 1999 measured as a proportion of the labour force and as an annual average, comparison with 8.0 per cent in 1997 and 6.5 per cent in 1998.

Open unemployment among foreign-born persons has decreased from 17.5 per cent in 1997 to 14.8 per cent in 1998 and down to 12.8 per cent in 1999, while the employment intensity has increased from 54.5 per cent in 1998 to 56.8 per cent in 1999.

In spite of this relative improvement, it should be noted that unemployment among foreign-born persons is still more than double the figure for the population as a whole.

Swedish employers prefer job applicants to be familiar with the Swedish language. For that reason it may be valuable for you to prepare yourself by studying Swedish while still at home

The CV is short, maximum two pages. It can be in chronological, or reverse chronological order. Start with your personal details name, date of birth (note that this should be written with the year first, then month and date YYMMDD there are no spaces between digits) address, phone number (including international access code) and your civil status (this is not obligatory). Subsequently, you mention your education (including results), practical experience; mention apprenticeships, student jobs and holiday work too. It is common to mention in your CV whether or not you have a driving license.

Switzerland
Switzerland employs less than 10% of their workforce in Landwirtschaft ("agriculture") also considered the primary sector. This sector is strongly supported by the government.

About 40% of the population are employed in Industrie, Gewerbe und Handwerk ("industry, trade and handicraft"), also considered the secondary sector. This sector includes the Maschinen - und Metallindustrie ("machine and metal industry"), Uhrenindustrie ("watch industry") and the Textilindustrie ("textile industry").

All of them export much of their products to foreign countries and suffer a lot because of the expensive Swiss Franc. The fact that Switzerland does not belong to the European Union additionally slows down the Swiss exports.

More than 50% of the population are employed in Dienstleistungssektor ("services"), also considered the tertiary sector. This sector includes banking, assurances, tourism and so on.

Banking is one of the most important businesses in Switzerland. Many of the banks have started to use the Internet for business purposes.

A Swiss CV is similar in structure to a German CV (see the mock CV in the text on Germany). A photo is usually attached to the top right corner. The CV can either be chronological (most common), reversed chronological or functional. It should include personal details, your education and qualifications, and your practical experience.

Swiss recruiters attach great importance to work experience, so mention all your practical experience, including apprenticeships.

Language skills and computer literacy have to be mentioned, extracurricular activities, hobbies and interests are optional. On a separate sheet, include two or three references. Also include copies of your diplomas and testimonials from former employers.

USA
The US economic expansion is now in its tenth year, showing no signs of slowing down. The rate of labor productivity growth has doubled in recent years, instead of falling as the expansion matured as in previous postwar expansions.

Moreover, core inflation remains low despite record employment and the lowest jobless rates in a generation.

Sustained economic strength with low inflation suggests that the US economy may well have crossed into a new era of greater economic prosperity and possibility, much as it did after the development and spread of the electric dynamo and the internal combustion engine.

In 1998, the number of workers in IT-producing industries, together with workers in IT occupations in other industries, totaled 7.4 million or 6.1 percent of all American workers.

Growth in the IT workforce accelerated in the mid-1990s, with the most rapid increases coming in industries and job categories associated with the development and use of IT applications.

Employment in the software and computer services industries nearly doubled, from 850,000 in 1992 to 1.6 million in 1998.

Over the same period, employment in those IT job categories that require the most education and offer the highest compensation, such as computer scientists, computer engineers, systems analysts and computer programmers, increased by nearly 1 million positions or almost 80 percent.

At the same time, the rapid pace of technological change and increased competition have added an element of uncertainty to IT employment.

The number of jobs has declined in some IT industries, such as computers and household audio and video equipment. Moreover, while IT-producing industries as a whole paid higher-than-average wages in 1998, some IT jobs remain low skilled and low-paid.

Exclude anything from your CV that might prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you for example, personal details such as age, sex, marital status, whether you hold a current driving license. Never include a photo.

You are trying to sell a product - you, so use power words that show accomplishment and action. Sharp and focused.

 


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