The purpose of an English CV is to sell yourself: An English CV is seen as an opportunity to sell yourself and should emphasise your skills, experiences and achievements. You should include successes and wherever possible include facts and figures to support your claims. Do NOT include information that is negative.
Spelling and Grammar Check: Correct spelling and grammar are of absolute importance in an English CV. Employers will NOT tolerate any mistakes. It is very important that a native English speaker checks your CV before you send it to an English-speaking employer.
CVwriting.net can provide a full spelling and grammar check and suggest any changes to the content of your CV in line with what employers expect.
Do not include a photo: Most English employers do NOT like to see a photo on the CV and, in fact, including one could work against you. Only include a photo if it has been specifically requested for a particular job application.
English Language skills: This is a very important aspect of your CV and your professional career. You must explain your knowledge of the English language under the ‘Skills’ heading. Describe your level of knowledge as one of the following:
- Bilingual – You can speak English as well as your mother tongue
- Fluent – You have a complete working knowledge of the English language, both written and speaking.
- Working knowledge- you have a good practical knowledge of English for professional purposes.
- Conversational – You can converse adequately in English with good comprehension.
English CV Format:
Your name, address, telephone number and email address should appear at the top of your English CV. Always use a capital letter at the beginning of a name including the name of a street, town or country. Do NOT put CV or Curriculum Vitae as a heading.
Your CV should be produced on a word processor, not hand written, and be available soft copy as a Word or PDF file. If you are printing your CV you should use good quality paper.
An employer will scan your CV in thirty seconds looking for keywords that are relevant to the vacancy he is trying to fill. Keep your CV short and concise so that your positive attributes stand out. Your CV should be no more than two pages long.
Do NOT use initials for company names or qualifications, as these could be meaningless to an English employer. Always write the words in full.
- Profile: This is an opportunity to summaries the skills and experience you have described elsewhere in your CV. It is the first part of the CV that the employer will read. It should be only one or two paragraphs long otherwise the reader may not go on to read the rest of your CV. You should also include your career aspirations.
- Achievements: list any special achievements from your career history or education that may make you stand out from other candidates. List no more than six.
- Career History: This is a very important part of your CV. The most common CV format is written in reverse-chronological order. Start with your most recent employment and work backwards. List the dates between which you worked for each employer the name of the employer, your position and the location at which you worked. Write a short description of the company and then describe your responsibilities including facts and figures as much as possible.
- Skills: In an English CV it is necessary to list particular technical, professional or other skills separate from your career history. An English employer will not necessarily be familiar with non-English professional qualifications therefore you must explain each one.
- Education: You must enter your highest qualification first, then where achieved, and then dates. Make sure you explain any non-English qualifications or try and put the English equivalent, e.g. Baccalaureate, French equivalent to the Higher Leaving Certificate and A levels. Do not include grades unless they are particularly impressive.
- Personal details: It is not necessary to include all of your personal details on an English CV as your skills and experience are of paramount importance. However, you need to include your nationality and it is normal to include your Date of Birth such as: 11th November 1967. Do not put your age.
- Interests. You do not have to include your interests on an English CV but they will help to give the employer a rounded picture of you as an individual.
Signature: It is not necessary to personally sign your English CV.