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Things You Didn’t Know About Jobseeking Abroad

german cv

Jobseekers in the UK probably have a good idea about what they should include in their CV and how they can be expected to behave in an interview. 

But do these same rules apply in different countries?A basic understanding of the local job market is essential if you want the best chance of landing a job.

We asked the international team here at our London office what might surprise Brits about job seeking abroad.

Germany – say cheese

German applicants are expected to attach a photo of themselves on their CV, and many job seekers will even include information such as whether they’re married or have any children. 

Don’t expect that same kind of transparency from your potential employer though – barely any job ads will have a salary attached to them.

Thankfully, ValueMyCV also works in German, so if you’re applying for jobs that require skills and experience that closely match those on your CV, you’ll know what a fair salary for that role is.

Dresden Semper Opera House at night

Brazil – show me the money

The phrase ‘you need to spend money to make money’ takes on an unexpected meaning in Brazil – if you want to apply to the top jobs, you’ll need to pay to register with the companies that list the adverts.

While you shouldn’t include a photograph on your CV, you are expected to include your age, which many older jobseekers feel can work against them.   

Bay of Rio de Janeiro

USA – make yourself at home 

While UK employees are entitled to at least 23 days of paid annual leave, workers in the USA don’t enjoy the same rights – if the job ad doesn’t mention paid leave, you probably won’t get any, so it pays to check.

And don’t expect to take too many holidays vacations if you do get the job – the average paid leave given at American companies is 10 days per year.

If you want to get your job search completed quickly, bear in mind that patience is more than a virtue in the US job market; it’s a necessity. The average interview process in the US can include 2-3 interviews and some numerical testing. Some roles may have full day interviews with 2-3 different people and a lunch.

USA - Statue of Liberty New York

Netherlands – spreek Engels?

If you have the choice between submitting a CV in perfect English and one in double-Dutch, you might want to go with the former.

The Dutch are famous for their proficiency in English – so much so, that applying for a job in English will usually be accepted. In fact, more than 10% of jobs in the Netherlands are actually in English. 

Netherlands - Amsterdam canal bridge at night

Italy – commute happy

You’ve heard of dressing for the job you want, but what about driving for the job you want? Having a car or scooter is a common differentiator between junior and mid level jobs for accountants, lawyers and the like, so if you really want to know how you’ll be treated in the office, see if the job comes with a set of wheels.

Italy - man on motorbike

South Africa – skills needed

As in the UK, personal details such as age and even your address are left off CVs to avoid discrimination in the early stages of the recruitment process.

With that said, there is an affirmative action programme in place which ‘makes sure that qualified designated groups (black people, women and people with disabilities) have equal opportunities to get a job’.

Nevertheless, a skills shortage means that some positions are very difficult to fill and candidates from abroad are often needed. If you feel like taking your career to Cape Town the best work visa for foreigners is the Critical Skills Work Visa.

Beautiful view of South Africa


According to Chinese language school LTL Shanghai, job-seeking in China and Shanghai specifically can be very quick, even for experienced professionals. Sometimes it can take three or four days from first contact being established to the contract being signed.

If you want to work in China you’ll need to make sure you have the proper paperwork, however – visa fraud can lead to prison sentences.

UK – still need help?

If job seeking in the UK is still baffling enough we’ve got plenty of resources to help you out. Start by making sure your CV will get seen by someone real and then upload it to ValueMyCV so you know what salary you should be expecting.

Then, once you’ve landed yourself an interview, check out our interview tips to make sure you put your best foot forward!