Imagine that you are a manager. You sit in your comfortable chair at your big desk in your corner office and look at the stack of resumes in front of you. You are looking for one new employee but you have to look through 104 resumes to fill one position. I bet you are hoping that all of those resumes are written in a clear, concise, easy-to-read format, right?
You will probably only look at each one for a couple of seconds and if it looks good, you might spend the time to read it. That’s how most resumes are judged.
Making your resume in English
Now, what do you need to include? Here is a list of what people expect to see in your 2-page resume.
Personal Information– Your name and contact details should be clear. What information you need to include in this section depends on the culture of the country but usually the following things are not necessary in English resumes: weight, height (unless job states a height requirement), gender and even a picture.
Objective (1-2 lines) – Why you are sending them this document? What do you want to achieve? This must be specific to the job that you are applying for. Example: A position teaching English as a second language in a dynamic company which would benefit from a special ability to motivate and communicate effectively with students.
Summary– What are your skills, your accomplishments, past awards? Sell yourself in one paragraph.
Work experience– Include relevant jobs but no more than five. Include the title, company name, city, the period and your reason for leaving that position.
Education– What did you study, when and where?
Personal interests (3-4 lines) – What are your hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
References– These days, it is common to end with “references available upon request”
Final tips: Be consistent with your style and your tenses. You can write it in first person (I) or in third person (he/she) but keep it the same for the whole document.
Use adjectives that make you sound terrific! But be honest, you must be able to prove everything you say in your resume.
Keep your name, email and phone number in the header so it is on the top of every page.
Mistakes to avoid when writing a CV in English
Before sending your resume in English, make sure you don’t fall into these traps:
- CV’s length: important information should across quickly. Don’t try to get your entire life into the resume. Think about who you are targeting before you write it and only give the information that they need.
- Education: it’s sometimes quite difficult to translate accurately the degree you got or the specialty you studied. If the company is not familiar with the educational system you went through, choose your words carefully so as not to be confusing.
- Spelling and punctuation: because English is not your mother tongue, be extra careful with every details,
you don’t want your future employer to think your English level is not that great.
Writing a CV in English can be challenging, but it’s the first step to get the international job you are aiming at, so invest some time to make it perfect and to reflect accurately who you are and what you are looking for. Feel free to write different versions of it to adapt to the job or the company’s requirements. Once you get this right, the next step is time to get ready for your job interview in English…