What should I do if someone asks for my CV in English?
In a variety of situations, such as when you're applying for a job abroad or in a French company where English is predominant, you may be asked to provide your CV in English. In such a case, you have two options: write your English CV yourself or use the services of an online translator. However, unless you're perfectly bilingual and have an excellent command of English, it's strongly recommended that you entrust this task to a reputable professional English CV translation specialist, to guarantee a perfectly produced summary of your professional background.
This is particularly crucial if your CV includes language certifications such as your TOEIC test score.
Care should be taken with free translation tools such as Systran, as the translation may turn out to be too literal. It's important to take into account the subtleties and pitfalls of assisted translation. If your command of English is less than perfect, and you "sound like a Spanish cow", your reader will conclude not only that you're a foreigner, but also that you lack the vocabulary necessary for professional translation. They'll quickly deduce that you haven't used a native speaker who offers translation services. To be successful and produce an effective translation, it is essential to have lived in the UK or the USA. Diplomas, certifications or a good dictionary are not enough. Relying on models or a simple trip to Australia is no guarantee of translation quality either.
It's also essential to check grammar and spelling before submitting your CV.
Why use CVsansfaute for your English CV?
The art of translation is a profession in its own right. Translators often have specialties that enable them to excel in their field. CV translation is a case in point: even with an excellent level of English, it's hard to compete with their expertise. That's why CVsansfaute works with qualified professional translators to translate documents, websites, audio and video content. Their training enables them to understand and render the meaning of words and phrases perfectly.
As for choosing between British and American English to translate your CV, it depends on the situation. If you're applying for a job in the U.S., American English would be preferable. On the other hand, if you're applying in the UK or another English-speaking country, British English would be more appropriate. If you're targeting jobs in several countries, Standard English, which is a mixture of the two variants, would be the best option.
How does CV translation into English work?
Here's how CVsansfaute works:
- We need the most recent version of your CV in French.
- During a 30-minute telephone interview, we gather information about you to define your profile and project.
- We can translate your CV into standard, British or American English, depending on your preferences.
- If you opt for the layout option, we'll take care of formatting your CV in the software of your choice.
- We deliver your translated CV as a finalized, print-ready PDF file.
CVsansfaute offers you a complete and efficient service for translating your CV into English, ensuring that the end result is professional and of the highest quality.
Tips and advice for writing your CV in English
What are the differences between an English and an American CV?
There are several differences between an English CV and an American resume:
- Format: The English CV format is generally distinguished by its conciseness and brevity, highlighting essential information. In contrast, the American CV tends to be longer and more detailed, offering more space to describe experience and skills. What's more, the layout also differs: the English CV is often organized in two columns, allowing for a clear, structured presentation, while the American CV is presented in a single block of text, offering narrative continuity.
- Content: In terms of content, the English CV focuses on professional skills and achievements. It highlights relevant qualifications and achievements in previous positions held. In contrast, the American CV places greater emphasis on specific work experience and the responsibilities exercised in these roles. It highlights the skills developed within each position to demonstrate the relevance of the experience acquired.
- Photo: In English-speaking culture, it's common to include a photo in an English CV. This gives recruiters a first visual impression of the candidate. On the other hand, in an American CV, the inclusion of a photo is rare. Recruiters focus more on the candidate's skills, achievements and professional experience than on his or her physical appearance.
- Language: English CVs are generally written in British English, using British English standards of vocabulary, grammar and syntax. American CVs, on the other hand, are written in American English, following the linguistic and stylistic conventions specific to American English. It's important to adapt the language you use to the country you're applying to, to reflect your familiarity with local linguistic norms.
- Greetings: The greetings used in English CVs are often more formal, reflecting cultural and professional conventions. American CVs, on the other hand, often adopt a more informal and direct tone. It's important to choose the appropriate polite formulas according to the cultural expectations of the country you're applying to.
What are the rules for writing a CV in English?
- Use a professional, formal style, avoiding abbreviations, short, informal sentences, and spelling and grammar errors.
- Put the most relevant information at the top of your CV to grab recruiters' attention immediately.
- Present your professional experience in reverse chronological order, highlighting the most important skills and achievements.
- Include quantifiable details to illustrate your achievements, such as figures, percentages, amounts, etc.
- Use action verbs to describe your experience and skills, demonstrating your achievements and how you made a difference in your previous positions.
- Select the information most relevant to the job in question, avoiding superfluous details.
- Tailor your CV to the company and position you're applying for, highlighting skills and achievements that match the requirements.
- Check your CV carefully before sending it off, to ensure that it is coherent, clear, concise and error-free.
- Proofreading your CV is essential, having your CV proofread and corrected is vital!
What tenses should you use to write your CV in English?
The most common tense for writing a CV in English is the present simple. However, it is also acceptable to use the past simple or preterite perfect tenses for past work experience.
What is the recommended number of pages for an English CV?
There is no recommended number of pages for an English CV. The CV should be short enough for the recruiter to read quickly, yet provide enough information to show that you are qualified for the job. Generally speaking, an English CV should be one or two pages long.
Is it necessary to attach an English cover letter to an English CV?
The cover letter is an essential part of your curriculum vitae or job application. Its purpose is to provide additional information about your profile and motivation. Tailor your cover letter to the job offer and the recruiter's expectations. Demonstrate that you've done thorough research on the company and that you fully understand what they're looking for in a candidate for this specific position.
Highlight your skills and relevant experience that may be of interest to your future employer. Flawless writing in English is essential for your cover letter. If you don't master advanced written expression, it's advisable to call on a professional to draft or translate it.
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