How to make a good resume in English?
Do you dream of going abroad for an internship? The first step is obviously to write your CV! A CV in English is quite different from the French one, both in content and in form. In this article, you will discover the differences between the English and French CVs, and you will also discover the mistakes to avoid maximizing your employability.
The form of the English CV is quite different from the French one. First, you should know that it is common for an English CV to be two pages long. Do not restrict yourself on the layout nor on the content. As for the photo, it is not common to add one. Indeed, this practice has become common, and this is due to the fight against discrimination at work. The same goes for age. Recruiters don’t pay attention to it; it is the professional skills alone that should prevail.
There is also a difference in terms of jobs. On a French CV, you only must mention the name of the company, the position you held, the missions you were given and the dates. For an English CV, it is important to give more information because French companies may be unknown to English or American recruiters. Moreover, it is common for these recruiters to be confronted with very detailed CVs.
Finally, for the quality of your CV, the English must be impeccable, and it is very important not to mix British and American English. This will depend on the destination you are targeting.
The background: How to structure your English CV.
First, for an English CV, it is essential not to simply translate your French model with the help of a translator. You risk having a CV full of spelling mistakes, and therefore lowering your chances of being employed.
The first part of the CV that you will focus on is the information about yourself. Called Personal Details in English, this part is reserved for information about you: first and last name, address or city of residence, phone number, email address… It will be located at the top of the CV.
Next comes the part that corresponds to your professional objectives. This part is called Career objective or Professional objective in English. In this section, you must highlight the key elements of your CV. Located after the Personal Details section on your CV, you should enter your career plan, as well as the type of position and the various responsibilities you would like to hold.
The part of your resume that follows the Carrer Objective is the education section. Named Education on an English CV, you will need to list the education you have completed. You should list the diplomas you have obtained after the baccalauréat in chronological order, but you should make sure that they are correctly translated.
The French and Anglo-Saxon university systems are not equivalent, which is why we advise you to provide more information about your studies, such as subjects, results obtained, etc.
The next section is the special skills you have. Called Special Skills in English, you will need to list the language and computer skills you have acquired. Do not go into too much detail so as not to repeat yourself. To annotate your language level, you should indicate it with the terms: Bilingual if you are bilingual, fluent if you can speak fluently, good skills if you have good knowledge and conversational English if you have basic knowledge. It is very important not to lie on your resume, for example it is not advisable to put bilingual if you are not fluent. This will give your employer a reason to trap you later and doubt you if you can’t answer naturally.
You will then move on to the extra-curricular activities section. This is called Miscellaneous, and you will enter all your activities and interests. You can also enter any driver’s licenses you may have. This section is extremely important in the United States but be sure to keep your activities professional.
Finally comes the References section. This part, called Reference, is essential in Anglo-Saxon countries, although it is very unusual in France. In this section, you will enter two names and contact information of people who can recommend you. This can be a former employer or teacher, who will be able to recommend you. If you don’t want to give out their contact information, you can indicate the phrase “references available upon request”, which means that you can provide them to your employer upon request.
Now you know our tips and tricks for creating a quality English CV, and we hope you find your internship opportunity abroad with IES Consulting!
Frequently asked questions about English resumes :
How to say curriculum vitae in English?
In English, curriculum vitae is said in the same way and also has the abbreviation CV. However, in American English, CV is called resume.
How do I evaluate my English skills?
To evaluate your level of English, you need to take tests, official or not, in order to know your level according to the CECRL