C.V. en Inglés, mi carta de presentación para trabajar en el extranjero.
When writing a CV in English, it is important to provide as much information as possible about you and your working life whilst still being precise and brief. It is important to be very specific and selective about what information you include. Most English CVs are at a maximum two pages, and at an incredibly bare minimum, one page will suffice, but for most English speakers this may seem very short. Some companies also request a ‘covering letter’, to give your application that personal edge, in which you must write the reason you wish to apply for the job, and a little about yourself.
English CVs begin with personal contact information. Begin with your full name, then either your age or date of birth, home address, telephone number (home) and mobile, and an email address. Being from abroad, it may be necessary to put your nationality and the type of visa/work permissions you have in the country you are applying for a job in. It is not necessary to attach a picture of yourself.
We begin with a short profile or personal statement, which should use full sentences and be precise – it is not acceptable to simply write a list of adjectives that describe your personality. Use of bullet points makes the CV easier to read but it is not necessary and a short descriptive paragraph often serves better than a list of personality traits. This short profile need not be a ‘life story’ – it isn’t necessary to write about your family, children, or perspective on life. The company are simply looking for an idea of the person that you are – they can choose to ask more personal questions in the interview should they wish. Phrases such as ‘ability to work effectively as part of a team or individually,’ ‘I am looking for a post where I can use my strong customer relations skills,’ are what you should be aiming towards.
After the personal statement, we include an education section. If you have a degree, this will go first, making sure you include your complete title, result, and course studied. The duration of the degree, location, and the dates are also necessary. You may wish to include the modules you studied, if you feel it is relevant to the job you are applying for. Then go on to your high school studies, writing out the subjects studied and the final mark, but it is not seen as normal to go into more detail, unless you don’t have a degree. Again, dates and location should be given.
We then move on to work experience, most recent first. Separate each job title and write a little about what your duties were, any experience you gained, and any ways you improved your personal skills. Even smaller jobs should be included, as they can show positive experiences and set you apart from other candidates. Do not write a large amount about each job, and whether you enjoyed it or not. Simply state the basics, for example:
‘June 2010-October 2011 – Bar Staff, O’Donovans Irish Bar, Barcelona’
Worked in a busy environment and sometimes under pressure. Learned team-building skills, handled cash, was left responsibility of closing the bar, often alone. Worked towards specific weekly targets, meeting sales objectives and customer service measures’.
You may choose not to include all your jobs, but make sure you include those that have been significant or have had a direct influence on the skills required in the job you are currently applying for.
Many CVs then contain an ‘Interests’ section, in which we describe what we do as a hobby or in our free-time. Here, you don’t need to write things such as ‘I enjoy walking my dog’, but more hobbies that will showcase your people skills, your personality, and what sets you apart from others. If sport, for example, is a hobby of yours, don’t just write that you play football – give information as to why it makes you a better person:
‘I believe a healthy body is the answer to a focused mind and my interest in sport allows me to achieve this.’
Obviously include those which can easily show positive elements: drinking with your friends every Saturday doesn’t highlight you as a team-player or a reliable member of staff.
Any relevant skills should be included after all this information – computer knowledge, extra training courses completed, certificates, or anything that you think will add extra merit to your CV. Include any languages you speak and the level spoken. If you have taken any English exams, provide your result and the date you took the exam. If you have a driving license or can drive in the country you are applying for, include this information.
It is not always necessary to include references in your CV: some applicants simply write ‘references available on request’. Generally, companies ask for two references, so if you do choose to provide them, give a telephone number, full name, job title, and email address.
Be aware that in some countries – for example, The United Kingdom – many CVs are sent online rather than in person, and often companies request that an application form be filled out in place of a CV, or in addition to a CV. These application forms request the same content as a CV, but are specifically made for each company, and often request more detail than you would go into on your CV, so they can make job applications a lengthy process.
Make sure that your CV, whilst looking professional and being correctly presented, shows your personality and the type of person you are. Don’t translate directly from your own language or write incredibly long paragraphs as this will make you look less professional and possibly allow you to make more mistakes. If you can, get an English speaker to look over your CV before you give it to anyone or send it out.
A CV is something designed to make you stand out from others, so your motivation, initiative, and enthusiasm should be displayed as well as you can in written form. Your professional objective should always be clear and precise, thus making you look like the ideal candidate for the job you are applying for.