Author Topic: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews  (Read 2531 times)

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Penguin_ar

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Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« on: June 12, 2012, 10:40:04 AM »
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

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 06:41:40 PM »
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

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #2 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.

kareng57

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 07:56:31 PM »
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

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 09:40:24 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.

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

katycoo

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 10:44:39 PM »
Australia:

Terms CV, Curriculum Vitae or Resume are all interchangeable.

CV should be no more than 3 pages, preferably 2.  At best, you can say "A further detailed CV is available upon request"

No picture expected, but some still do.

No personal info - no DOB, no marital or parenting status, no race or religion info.  They are also not legally allowed to ask for this info, although you can willingly disclose it if you think it could be to your benefit.

It is common both for references to be provided in the CV or available on request.

Thipu1

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 09:22:36 AM »
In the US, the general rule is that a job application should consist of a resume of one page and a cover letter.

Cv is used here mostly for academic positions  or curatorial positions in museums. 

Personal information is discouraged.  However, there are times when it can be useful.  For example, if applying for a retail position in a sporting goods store, it might not be a bad idea to say that your hobbies include kayaking and skiing.

Pictures are not included and it is standard to say, 'references on request'.   


Betelnut

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 11:41:22 AM »
I disagree that resumes in the US should be 1 page.  If you are just entering the job market, yes, but if you are looking for a professonal job and you already have a lot of experience in the field, 2-3 pages are okay.
Native Texan, Marylander currently

Horace

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 02:33:32 PM »
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.

Actually reference information can sometimes be on a CV.  If you're applying for a job by just submitting a CV and covering letter, contact details for a referee are normally included.  If you are submitting an application form, plus CV then you are normally asked for your referee's details on the application forms.  Some application forms give you the option to say whether you wish your referees to be contacted prior to the interview if you're successful.

Although it is discriminatory to specify nationality/race/religion/gender this can sometimes be over-ridden depending on the job.  We have recently been advertising a post at my hospital for a breast cancer screening person and they are allowed to specify "female applicants only" due to the nature of the job.

Most online application forms ask for information about your gender/religion/sexual orientation/disabilities you may have/age however this is never seen by anyone and is only designed to collect information about the applicants for jobs, eg. so they can see how many applicants they had that were white and bisexual aged between 18-25.

I will also POD a previous poster to say that in the UK it is not considered a good idea to include a photo with a CV.

Margo

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Re: Differences in cv/resumes and job interviews
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 04:14:00 PM »
Im in the UK. Its not appropriate to ask for information about marital status, parenthood or age but it's very  common for people to include a date of birth.

I don't think I've ever come across a CV which has someone's marital status on it , except incidentally (e.g. "my hobbies include dancing with my husband, a professional ballroom dancer"

Some jobs are exempt from discrimination rules - e.g rape counsellor, support worker for victims of forced marriage, etc but generally it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age or orientation so that information isn't requested.

I would normally expect a CV to be a maximum of 2 pages, and to include [relevant] qualifications, [relevant] employment history (ideally summarising the skills and experience which is relevant to the type of application you're making) and sections showing other relevant skills and normally some personal information such as hobbies or interests.

Onmy experience it's not unusual to include the name & contact details for referees but this is more common for people starting out.

It's definitely not usual to include a photo and drugs / background checks are rare, other than a criminal records check for jobs working with children and vulnerable people

I once applied for a job which involved 'positive vetting' but that was due to the company dealing with government/defence/security issues. (it was very funny. A whole slew of solemn questions about whether I had ever been a member of a terrorist organization - as if anyone is going to say yes!)