Within the UK, almost all roles you may apply for, with the exception of the medical industry, CVs follow the same format, the same length and the same content. If your career plans involve a potential move to foreign pastures, there are a few essential rules that may be worth noting.
The fundamental difference is that a potential recruiter is interested in your personality, something which is alien to a domestic CV. Getting this information across is vital to revealing how you may or may not fit in within their work environment. This plays host to plenty of research to ensure that not only are your words compelling but they are also a direct match to the company culture and job advertisement.
Interviews may take place, certainly initially via the telephone and through the wonders of modern technology such as Skype, but to get to this stage takes work on your CV. In both situations, being able to communicate your cross-cultural expertise is key.
Identifying achievements that can really connect the reader to you as a person is crucial. Being able to highlight why you were successful in each position really shows your work ethic and what makes you tick. It is also the document to showcase additional responsibility, training courses, awards you have won and volunteer experience, particularly if this took place overseas.
Another difference between the domestic CV and an international version is that it can, in many cases span more than the rudimentary 2 pages. Often, it can cross 4 pages due to the sheer amount of information required. Every job must be listed. You can, in some cases step away from the chronological order of things and group international experience together, if you believe that this builds a better platform for your skills and experience. Regardless of length, sticking to basic format rules still applies. Compelling and powerful words with zero superfluous information.
Language skills will give you the edge, so be sure to include these and state the level you believe you are at. The education section should also include your grades and any particular awards/merits gained. Finally, whilst it may seem obvious, your status with regards to working abroad. Do you have the necessary visas in place to be able to travel and move quickly? Assuming that the role you are applying for is within your capabilities, your CV must, quickly, characterise you and your ability. In many cases, employers will have to support your move by being able to prove that your skills outweigh the pool of applicants already based in their country.
Every word counts.