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CV's/Resumes >  

Overview

 

• Curriculum Vitae(CV) is an international term;
• Resume is the word used in the US;
• In Hebrew a Curriculum Vitae/Resume is called a Korot Chayim (קורות חיים)
• Employers in Israel will generally ask for a CV or קו"ח (abbreviation of קורות חיים)

In any language though, the meaning and purpose of the CV is the same: a document used to attract attention to yourself, to indicate that you are the right person for the job and that you will fit in to the company/organization, with the overriding objective being to get an employment interview.

Of course the ultimate goal is to get the job itself, but it is important to keep in mind that a CV is not a tool by itself to secure employment. However, it is a critical part of almost every successful job search in Israel, and is usually required in order to get to the interview phase.

What are some of the components of an Israeli CV?

First, let's take a look at the similarities between your current CV and what is needed in Israel. As you can discover if you check the internet or books/articles about a CV, the generally accepted format is normally broken down into standard sections, with only small differences in Israel:

• Name/Contact Details
• Objective (what you seek) and/or Profile (who you are) -- optional
• Work Experience, concentrating on achievements -- in reverse order
• Education -- in reverse order
• Skills (computer skills should be mentioned)
• Languages Spoken
• IDF military experience -- if relevant
• Personal -- optional
• References -- provide details or state: “available upon request”

Some comments relevant to the local market

Amazingly enough, you may actually need to give some consideration to what you include for personal information and contact details: If you have not yet moved to Israel and don't have an Israeli address/telephone number, you should try to find a friend/family member that can lend you their contact details. It is very difficult to interest an Israeli company if your contact details are not local.

Even though Israel is small, companies sometimes want employees to live very close to the company location itself. So, if you apply to a company in Tel Aviv and you live in Jerusalem, it may be better not go supply your mailing address, and give a cell phone number instead of your home number. If you do give an address relatively far from the company, you should consider including something like "willing to commute".

Cities have political significance in Israel. The green line/1967 border/Greater Israel are all loaded terms. You need to pick your battles, and a CV is not the place for this. Therefore, if you live outside of the narrow border of Israel (for instance Efrat), you should consider giving your location as Jerusalem.

Languages spoken may not be a normal thing for you to include on a CV, but it is very common in Israel. In this instance, it can work to your advantage since your first language (mother tongue) is probably not Hebrew, and this may be advantageous in the eyes of the employer. Your level of Hebrew should be included also, even if you are not completely fluent. For each language, you can give a self-appraisal of your abilities (using description such as fluent, mother tongue, excellent, conversational, basic…).

Most CVs in Israel have a personal section, which includes date of birth, marital status, and number of children. Our advice is to include this information if you match a profile that will make this information attractive to a potential employer. If you are above a certain age and/or have many children, an employer may use this information to eliminate you from further consideration. Thus, tread softly!

In the Work Experience & Education section, you don't need to specify location to the region or even city level in most cases. 

Thus, instead of the location: Newark, NJ, which may not be understandable to an Israeli, it is preferable to simply write: USA.

The main differences between a CV that you have written for yourself previously and what is needed now relate to these specific Israeli general requirements:

• Language
• Length of document
• Focused, not well-rounded

Let's go through them one-by one:

Language--There may well be multiple number of people that review your CV, and since you have no idea who those people are, it is important to create a Hebrew version of your CV. If the job posting specifies the language of the CV for submission, then you can follow these directions. However, in the absence of any special instructions, sending your CV in Hebrew is strongly recommended.

If you have a CV in your native language and/or English, send this version as well, especially if the job calls for mother-tongue level abilities in non-Hebrew. Remember though, your native language may not be a language that the reviewer is completely fluent in, so concentrate on simple rather than poetic descriptions.

Short Length -- Most CVs in Israel are one-page; no effective CV is more than two pages.In the majority of cases, the person reviewing your CV will browse tens (or even hundreds) of others, and unfortunately will not have much time to devote to any specific document during the “no/no-go” initial phase.

Therefore, you need to catch their eye quickly and effectively.

If you have a lot of job experience, include only the part that is most relevant to the job/company. If you don't have much job experience, highlight your education.

The attitude is that if you can't put down the critical aspects that make you an attractive employee on a single page, you won't have the chance to get to the next stage.

Focused-- Hand-in-hand with short length is the Israeli preference for a CV that is strongly focused on the position/company that is available. Again, the person will not spend much time on your CV and has specific guidelines of what they are seeking, and none of them relate to your hobbies, interests, or community service.

Learn as much as possible about the job opening and business, and make sure your CV highlights how your attributes/skills/experience match the company needs.

Now, many of you may be asking the question, how is it possible to achieve all of these sometimes conflicting guidelines in a single concise document? You may have multiple skill sets, and/or experience/interest in more than one profession.

Yet, in this document you are being advised to have a short and focused CV. The best solution is to have multiple versions of your CV, with each targeting a different profession or set of skills.

A word about the perception of fitting in with an Israeli employer.

Some employers may be concerned when they receive a CV from someone that has no work experience in Israel.

We have heard employers comment that they worry a new immigrant may not absorb well into the Israel work environment. Usually the concern is totally unfounded, but nonetheless, if the perception is there, then it is needs to be addressed. If you have served in the IDF or worked in Israel previously, this is of course the best.

If you don't have such experience, any studying or volunteering in Israel that you have done is also important to include. - there is usually no advantage in mentioning Yeshiva studies -- unless the job particularly asks for it .

Giving Israeli references can also be helpful. The objective is to minimize the feeling of risk that the employer might feel by giving an immigrant their first job in Israel.

Finally don't forget the cover letter.

CV's without an accompanying letter are in the main deleted and left unread.

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