How to write a resume for international students

This article is recommended for individuals near the beginning of their careers


Having spent years in the field of recruitment, I understand how important it is to create a great resume, especially for international students. This document plays a key role in not only getting internships, part-time positions, or beginning a professional journey in a foreign land but also in overcoming the unique challenges that come with it.

The journey of writing a resume can appear stressful, mostly due to the differences in standards and expectations between one's home country and the new environment. I've seen many individuals struggle with this aspect as they go through unfamiliar territory.

In my experience, I have seen the power of a great resume. That's why I am excited to share my insights and wisdom with international students through this blog post.


Local format & structure | How to write a resume for international students

Understand the local format & structure

The first step in writing a resume as an international student is to be familiar with the local format and structure commonly used in the country where you are seeking a new job.

Research the preferred resume style, whether it's a chronological, functional, or combination format.

Pay attention to the order and where sections should be placed, such as contact information, education, work experience, skills, and any other relevant sections.

Tailor your resume to the job market

When you apply for a position, carefully review the job description and tailor your resume accordingly.

Highlight the skills, experiences, and qualifications that align with the specific requirements of the role.

This shows employers that you have fully understood their needs and can contribute effectively to their organisation.

Tailor your resume to the job market

Showcase your education | How to write a resume for international students

Showcase your education

As an international student, your education is often a significant asset.

Include your educational background prominently on your resume, starting with your most recent degree or program.

Draw attention to key coursework, projects, research, and academic achievements.

Mention any honours, scholarships, or awards you have received.

Highlight your language proficiency

Fluency in multiple languages is a valuable skill for international students.

If you are skilled in languages beyond your native tongue, create a dedicated section to showcase your language skills.

Indicate your level of proficiency for each language, such as native, fluent, intermediate, or basic.

Additionally, mention any language certification or relevant experiences that shows your language abilities.

Highlight your language proficiency

Emphasise transferable skills | How to write a resume for international students

Emphasise transferable skills

Even if you lack much work experience in the local job market, draw attention to your transferable skills gained through academics, internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs.

These skills may include communication, leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, and cultural competence.

Provide specific examples that show how you have applied these skills in various contexts.

Include relevant work experience

If you have work experience, whether it's from your home country or during your studies abroad, include it in the resume.

Provide a concise summary of your responsibilities, achievements, and the skills you developed in each role.

Quantify your achievements whenever possible to provide a measurable impact.

Include relevant work experience

Leverage internships & volunteering | How to write a resume for international students

Leverage internships & volunteering

If you lack formal work experience, internships and volunteer work can bolster your resume.

Include these experiences to show your dedication, initiative, and willingness to contribute to the community or industry.

Highlight the skills gained, tasks done, and any notable achievements during these opportunities.

Demonstrate cultural adaptability

International students often bring a unique perspective and cross-cultural understanding to the workplace.

Showcase your ability to adapt to different cultures, environments, and working styles.

Highlight experiences where you have successfully navigated cultural differences, worked with diverse teams, or solved challenges in multicultural settings.

Demonstrate cultural adaptability

Format & presentation | How to write a resume for international students

Format & presentation

Ensure your resume looks good and is easy to read.

Use a clean and professional font, maintain consistent formatting, and organise the content logically.

Keep the document concise and limit it to one or two pages, focusing on the most relevant information.

Proofread carefully to get rid of any spelling or grammatical errors.


Writing a resume as an international student requires careful consideration of the local job market, along with a clear understanding of your own strengths and experiences.

By following this comprehensive guide, you can effectively highlight your qualifications, skills, and potential to prospective employers.

Remember, the key is to tailor your resume to each opportunity, showcasing your unique value as an international student in today's globalised world.

For further guidance on this topic, I encourage you to read Indeed's article on how to create an international student CV.

Good luck in your job search!


Are you looking for a job?

Are you looking for a job?

Now that you know how to write a resume as an international student, you should take a moment to check our current vacancies page.

At 11 Recruitment, we have a range of white-collar temp and perm jobs available. We're always on the lookout for top talent to place with our clients, so we encourage you to apply for any positions that are of interest.

If none of our current vacancies are right for you, you should register for job alerts. Then we’ll be able to notify you when we receive a position that matches your profile.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

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