What should I do if someone asks for my CV in English?
In various situations, particularly when you are 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 cases, you have two options: write your CV in English yourself or use the services of an online translator. However, unless you are perfectly bilingual and have an excellent command of English, it is strongly recommended that you entrust this task to a reputable professional English CV translation specialist to ensure that your career history is perfectly summarised.
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 can be too literal. It's important to be aware of 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 are a foreigner, but also that you lack the vocabulary needed for a professional translation. They will quickly deduce that you have not used the services of a native speaker offering translation services. To get it right 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 does not guarantee the quality of the translation either.
It is 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 specialities 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 match 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 sentences perfectly.
As for choosing between British English and American English to translate your CV, it depends on the situation. If you are responding to a job offer in the United States, it would be preferable to use American English. On the other hand, if you are applying for a job in the UK or another English-speaking country, British English would be more appropriate. If you are 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 will gather information about you in order to define your profile and your project.
- We can translate your CV into standard, British or American English, depending on your preferences.
- If you opt for the layout option, we will take care of formatting your CV in the software of your choice.
- We deliver your translated CV as a finalised PDF file ready for printing.
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 CV and an American CV?
There are several differences between an English CV (CV) and an American CV (resume):
- Format: The English CV format is generally distinguished by its conciseness and brevity, highlighting the essential information. American CVs, on the other hand, tend to be longer and more detailed, offering more space to describe experience and skills. The layout also differs: the English CV is often organised in two columns, allowing for a clear and structured presentation, whereas 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 results obtained in previous positions held. The American CV, on the other hand, places more emphasis on specific work experience and the responsibilities exercised in these roles. It highlights the skills developed in each position to demonstrate the relevance of the experience acquired.
- Photo: In English-speaking culture, it is common to include a photo in an English CV. This gives recruiters an initial 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 their physical appearance.
- Language: English CVs are generally written in British English, using British English standards in terms 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 is important to adapt the language you use to the country in which you are applying, to reflect your familiarity with local language standards.
- Form of address: The form of address used in an English CV is often more formal, reflecting cultural and professional conventions. American CVs, on the other hand, often adopt a more informal and direct tone. It is important to choose the appropriate forms of address according to the cultural expectations of the country you are 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 grammatical errors.
- Put the most relevant information at the top of your CV to grab recruiters' attention straight away.
- 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 that is most relevant to the job in question, avoiding superfluous details.
- Tailor your CV to the company and the position you are applying for, highlighting skills and achievements that match the requirements.
- Check your CV carefully before sending it, to ensure that it is coherent, clear, concise and free of errors.
- Re-reading your CV is essential, having your CV re-read 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 simple past or the preterite perfect for past professional experience.
What is the recommended number of pages for a CV in English?
There is no recommended number of pages for an English CV. The CV should be short enough for the recruiter to read it quickly, while providing enough information to show that you are qualified for the job. Generally, an English CV should be one or two pages long.
Is it necessary to attach a covering letter in English to a CV in English?
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 your motivation. Tailor your cover letter to the job vacancy and the recruiter's expectations. Show that you have done thorough research on the company and that you fully understand what they are looking for in a candidate for this specific position.
Highlight your skills and relevant experience that could be of interest to your future employer. Flawless writing in English is essential for your covering letter. If you do not master advanced written expression, it is advisable to call on a professional to draft or translate it.
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