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Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews

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Penguin_ar:
I am originally from Europe (Switzerland and Ireland), but have lived in the USA (Arkansas) for the last 4 years.  Kids are getting older so I am starting to look for a job, and have found that some things are done very differently here.  I thought it may help me and other trans-atlantic job applicants to talk about some of the differences:

- European resume's are called cvs. 
- They are at least 2 pages long (unless you are fresh out of college), often longer, and contain more personal info than US resumes (hobbies, marital status, religion).
- CVs do NOT contain reference information.  This is given by the applicant to the interviewer/ HR once a job offer is made "pending reference check".
- I have seen many US job ads that say things like "African Americans and women are especially encouraged to apply".  That would be considered discrimination in Europe.
- Background and drug tests are much, much rarer in Europe.

Bales:
That's interesting.  In the US, asking for marital status or religion could cause an employer to be accused of discrimination.  Most employers don't ask about anything that could be considered discriminatory (age, whether you have children, etc.) because although it's not illegal to ask, you could be accused of not hiring the person for that reason, which is illegal.  You could just have found a better candidate, but the person not chosen can find a lawyer to say it was because they were purple religion, for example, and not because their skills didn't match up.  So those things definitely do not go on a resume.

The statement for minorities being encouraged to apply is to promote diversity and show they are an equal opportunity employer who does not discriminate.

I also don't put references on my resume.  A lot of jobs are online now and some places ask for them up front, but not all.  It's often difficult to do reference checks (again, companies fear getting sued for slander even if what they say is factual) so most employers I've worked for (insurance industry) will only confirm date of hire, separation date, title, and salary.  "Just the facts."  If you are lucky, they might tell you if they are eligible for rehire, which is a clue as to whether the person left on good terms.  So, a lot of big companies now do background checks instead of reference checks (again, in my experience.)

BatCity:
The one difference I've been made aware of is that in Europe (and please correct me if I'm wrong as I'm in the US) it's common to include a picture with your CV.  On an American resume, this is never done, unless it's for a show business position or something like that.

kareng57:
The term "CV" is occasionally used in North America, but generally for high-level positions such as a research MD or a college professor who make reference to their published works - so the CV can indeed be 6 or more pages long.  One exception is the province of Quebec in Canada - sometimes the term CV is used there, meaning a standard resume.

You'll get a lot of differing opinions in NA re the ideal length of a resume.  Ten or so years ago, one-page was pretty much the rule for the vast majority of jobs, but the thinking now is that people need to provide more detail about their experience, so two pages can be fine, if it provides better spacing and formatting.  Also, it's generally recommended to not provide dates re high school or college graduation, since it can be a clear indication of the candidate's age.  Hobbies are another it-depends issue.  Years ago it was definitely recommended to not put hobbies or volunteer work on a resume unless it directly related to the job - a skier working in a ski shop for example.  However, I attended a resume workshop recently where there was an assertion that they could be mentioned, as it shows how well-rounded a person's interests are - I still don't think I'd do it myself though.

References are not mentioned on resumes, even "references available upon request" - it's considered to be a given that you will bring them along if you are selected for an interview.

Penguin_ar:

--- Quote from: BatCity on June 12, 2012, 07:03:59 PM ---The one difference I've been made aware of is that in Europe (and please correct me if I'm wrong as I'm in the US) it's common to include a picture with your CV.  On an American resume, this is never done, unless it's for a show business position or something like that.

--- End quote ---

That's done in Eastern Europe, but not in Western Europe.

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