Why Expat Partners Especially Need Help with Crafting a Compelling Pitch and CV
Text by: Kate von Knobloch
In this blog post, we explore the unique challenges expat partners face in creating effective CVs and pitches, especially when dealing with career gaps. Drawing from personal experiences and professional expertise, the post introduces the CV Lab, a tailored program designed to help expat partners craft compelling, authentic CVs and LinkedIn profiles. It emphasizes the importance of confidently communicating one’s professional story, transforming perceived gaps into strengths.
Missed potential - when expat partners introduce themseleves in a networking scenario
I once attended a social gathering in the United States with ambassador’s wife and other women who have changed countries every couple of years on a regular basis. Back then I was a fresh expat partner myself, still struggling with figuring out my professional role abroad, and I was expecting to learn from these role models on how to navigate the rough sea of introducing themselves in networking situation when one’s own role is still undefined.
But I was mistaken. The ambassador’s wife went on and on to share the several professional milestones of her husband even including his hobbies. Important to note: The ambassador himself was not attending the event. This was the moment, I understood why expat partners need special support in creating a compelling CV and pitch for networking situation. When someone as experienced as this crowd is not fully aware of what they bring to the table or at least are unable to communicate that in a get together situation, support is needed!
When the gap in your CV becomes an obligation - the expat partner dilemma
A common reason why clients are coming to me for career support is the lack of confidence and orientation. Many have left the traditional job market because of an international move, becoming a parent, or burnout. The longer they are absent from their former colleagues, partners, and a clear job title, the more they struggle with their self-esteem. Who am I without this job title? How to introduce myself and include my professional background? At the beginning, these are questions that are rooted in my clients minds. Their network still knows about their professional background and aspirations. However, the longer they are not part of this job market, the more questions are coming in from the outside world. “So what do you do the whole day?”and “When are you going back to work?”. Sounds familiar?
Fast forward to the moment when my clients are willed to re-enter the job market they are faced with an additional layer of misunderstanding. Having a so-called career gap in your CV/resume is still not that accepted. Sure, we are now talking openly about career gaps, switching careers, starting again from scratch in a completely different profession or taking parental leave or a sabbatical. However, within the world of recruiters and HR professionals there seems to be an expectation date on how long this gap should be without becoming suspicious.
Make peace with your story and communicate proactively - the perfect CV/resume & LinkedIn profile
In case you are wondering about your career gap and how to portrait this phase of your life in your CV I am here to help. I have not only experienced this myself, I also gathered tons of experience over the last couple of years helping expat partners to jumpstart their career again after becoming rather non-linear. I have seen many CVs around the globe, aimed for different continents, and I am giving lectures on this topic at universities. So from this experience, I can assure you: It is not about the modern design or the compelling bullet points, or the professional picture (if one is required in the target country). There is a different element that tells me whether I have a compelling CV in front of me. It is all about whether I understand who this person is after giving it a look for a couple of seconds or whether my mind is full of question marks. If there is one thing you want to avoid it is giving other people who have no idea about your life a reason to question you. That’s why I am working with my clients not only on how to formulate their time abroad/their career gap but go deeper into how everything is connected even if it does not look like it on first glance. We are looking for the common ground between education, work, and personal life. We go deeper into the psychology of who you are as a person, your career drivers, and your unique strengths. It is always a magical moment for me to see my clients transform from feeling inferior due to lacking or outdated experience to becoming aware of their assets and how they can contribute to a potential new team or organisation.
Let’s get the process started
Are you ready to work on your own story? Starting now, I am opening my calendar for 4 new spots in my CV Lab. That is a 1:1, quick, and digital program at a bargain price to prep you with the best version of your CV and LinkedIn profile. In two live sessions, we discuss your unique situation and target country for your applications. In three feedback loops in between sessions we craft a compelling yet authentic and modern looking CV and LinkedIn profile. Curious to learn more? Check out the page here and book a free consultation call to get the process started!