How to write a CV in English


As a Portuguese bilingual, you might not be a native English speaker. Writing a CV in English can therefore be a difficult task. Try to follow some of the bullet points below and your CV should be improved:

Ask a Native English speaker to help with your English CV

Ask a Native English speaker to check your CV. A native English speaker will be able to spot errors that you would not know about. If you know someone who is a native English speaker, you will get the advantage of having your resume checked at no cost. You can also check this website The University Of Manchester-Careers Service. It will give a lot of free information and help you with your CV.  Most universities in the US or in the UK will have tips for international students looking for jobs.
You can also use the services of a translation company. Again, you have many options here. You can contact one of your local translators or you can decide to get online assistance.

American or UK English?

Choose between American and UK English. You will need to adapt your CV to your target audience. There are differences between American and UK English. It will not necessarily be a big issue if you send a CV in American English to a British company. Getting it right though will demonstrate your company knowledge and improve your chances.

Keep your English CV short

English CVs should be no longer than two pages. Do not write too much. Keep it short and to the point. You can get some help on how to write a CV from many websites. You can also try a software such as Resume Creator. This type of software makes it really easy to create  an effective CV.

Summarise your objectives and strengths

Write a summary describing your profile and objectives in a few sentences at the top of your CV, using some of the words stated in the job advert. If you can, try to match the required skills. It will make it easier for a recruiter to understand who you are and what you can bring with you. Again, a software such as Resume Creator will be very helpful here.

Add facts and figures to your resume!

Add facts and figures to each position that you had in the past; make them relevant to the job advert. They will demonstrate and quantify results that you have achieved. They will prove what you say.

Equivalent qualifications

Find an equivalent to your qualifications that will be known by the recruiter. Again, it will make it easier for the recruiter to understand who you are and what you have achieved.

English language skills

Include your level of English and of any other languages that you possess. It seems obvious but sometimes we can forget to qualify this point.  If you are worried about your fluency level, you can (and should) try to improve it. You could decide to join a course delivered by a college in the US or in the UK. You could also practice your English online. If you are an intermediate level English learner, this digital English True Story English could be perfect for you.

Attach a cover letter!

Do not forget to add a cover letter to your CV. Too often, people send a CV with no cover letter. A cover letter will be your selling tool! The CV will only demonstrate that you are what you say in your cover letter. Spend time and effort to write a compelling cover letter that will impress your potential recruiter. If you face problems writing a good cover letter in English, surf the internet. There are many websites and forums who can help you for free. A software such as One Click Cover Letters will make your life a lot easier as well.


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