It is not an easy thing to secure a tax role in this market. It can be even more difficult to secure a good role overseas. Apart from the difference in legislation, language and culture, you now have to contend with an uncertain economic environment. This means more competition for jobs and fussier hiring managers. So what do you need to do to give yourself the best chance of securing an overseas tax job?

Over the next few months I will be writing a series of articles to assist you in maximizing your chances in securing an international tax job. I am kicking of with one of the most important parts of the process: THE CV

The CV is a tool with one specific purpose: to win an interview. A great CV doesn’t just tell the recruiter or the hiring manager what you have done, but makes the same assertion that all good adverts do: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light and it convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. This principle holds true on any part of the planet.

So how can you make your CV more attractive when applying to another country?

1. Use a recruitment agency
Recruitment consultants, working in international recruitment agencies are trained to interact with different cultures. They know how to present you CV in a way which will attract the attention of the client. Our international tax division at CreativeTaxRecruitment has a number of clients in different regions of the world, including western and Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. We can advise you on how to improve your CV and how to present it to an overseas market. If you would like a private discussion on how we can help you can contact me on my direct line P:+44(0)207 661 8161 or send an e-mail to

2. Highlight relevant strengths
It is very important to understand the specifics of the country. For example, your ability and willingness to work long hours will not be necessarily evaluated in Switzerland as a positive since many organisations have a culture geared towards a healthy work lifestyle balance.

Abbreviations, used in certain country are not necessarily familiar to the future employer either. An expert in RK (Republic of Kazakhstan) taxes would probably be meaningless to someone outside of Kazakhstan.

Make sure you outline both your technical and soft skills. Your potential employer might not know about the size and the circumstances of your current employer. Involvement in the US reporting does not show you were responsible for the group US tax reporting.

3. Keep it at a manageable length
It is obviously hard to outline your whole work experience in two pages, especially if you have a long career of achievement. However it is equally unlikely that an employer will read 10 pages of your achievements (however remarkable). Make sure that the CV is of a readable length (ask your fiends to judge) but is informative enough to highlight your strengths.

4. Highlight your education and professional qualifications
Education qualifications and their importance vary from country to country.

It will not be easy to find a job in the tax industry in the UK, unless you are ATT or CTA qualified, however, the above certificates are of less importance in Europe or the Middle East. A diploma from Leiden University means a lot to companies in Western Europe, especially Benelux, but will mean less to a HR department in the Far East.

If you are not from Western Europe the USA or Canada, your local qualifications (achieved with such pain) might not be recognised in other regions. Having the official accounting or tax certificate from the Hungarian institute of accounting or taxation will not give you any advantage over the people with globally recognised qualifications like the ACCA or CPA. The ACCA and CPA are always good for your career in tax, so it is worth obtaining these certificates if you plan to work abroad.

Ultimately, though it will come down to your skills and experience.

5. Stay professionally active
Participation in various conferences and trainings, wiring articles in the industrial media or for national and international magazines are all good proofs of your achievements and highlight an active mind. Moreover, being professionally active you will meet tax specialists and tax recruiters from all over the world, which also increases your chances to get a job abroad.

6. Highlight your language skills
Multi-lingual people will always have an advantage over those who are speaking only one language. However, English is the business language in the most parts of the world and fluency in the English language is usually a necessity. Other languages that are valued include; French, German and Mandarin. So if you can speak another language make sure you highlight this in your CV.

Use a recruitment agency did I already cover this? I would be extremely happy to help you in putting together a CV and advising you on the marketplace. If you would like a confidential discussion on to strengthen your career prospects contact me on the number below.

Irina Voloshina
Consultant, Tax Recruitment, International Division
33 St James’s Square, London SW1Y 4JS
P: 020 7661 8161 (DDI)

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