5 tips for writing your CV in English
1 - My CV in English: for whom? why?
Just as with a French CV, it is essential to have some thought before you start writing your English CV. The first question being: should I create a new one or simply translate my French CV? Indeed, even if the primary objective of a CV is the same in all languages, the general presentation can be very different. It is therefore strongly advised to create a new one. Furthermore, it is important to read the job description carefully to identify the keywords that should appear in the content as well as the hard and soft skills required for the position.
2 - Presentation and structure
In terms of presentation and structure, there are also small differences. First of all, unlike the French requirements, a CV in English can be a little longer: generally, one to two pages. However, as in French, it is important that it is clear and easy to read. The goal is to find a professional presentation that will allow the recruiter, who will certainly see hundreds of them, to find the information he is looking for quickly and stand out from the crowd so that he remembers it. Be original, while remaining professional! In addition, it is important to detail your professional experiences. Partly because you are certainly addressing someone who does not necessarily know French companies and sectors mentioned in your CV.
3 - My photo, my age?
In French, it is important to add a photo and date of birth. In English, it is not necessary. For example, for the United States, you do not need to specify your age, gender, marital status or add a photo. This is mainly due to the antidiscrimination campaign, which is more active than in France. Apart from these differences, the structure itself remains the same. Your CV should therefore contain several sections: Personal details, Career Objectives, Work Experience, Education, Special Skills, Miscellaneous and References. References, which are not common in France, are essential for English-speaking countries so that recruiters can verify the experiences described.
4 - My CV in American or British English?
Indeed, although this may seem like a detail, there are many differences between American English and British English. For example, a CV in the United Kingdom is called in this way, being the abbreviation of the Latin term Curriculum Vitae. However, in the United States, the term generally used is resume. Another concrete example is how to write a date. In the United States, it is common to write March 13th, 1992. However, in the United Kingdom, it is more common to write 13th March, 1992. It is therefore important to make sure that the language and vocabulary used corresponds to the country you want to work in.
5 - Language skills
As on your CV in French, it is important to specify your language level. And in the same way as for a CV intended for a French market, it is necessary to indicate its true level and not to lie about it. The terms to be used to mention your language level on an English CV are generally: Native, Fluent, Professional Working Skills, Good Skills, etc. To be able to prove a good language level, it may be relevant to add your score to a language certification, such as the TOEIC® test. Indeed, the TOEIC® tests, being recognised worldwide, are a more precise indication for recruiters.