“Work always helps, since working is not doing what one imagined, but discovering what one has insideo”. Boris Leonídovich Pasternak
When you face the arduous task of conducting a job search, the first thing you have to think about is to ensure you know how to write your CV. This document will serve as a first step to apply for a job. Obviously, if your goal is to work in an English-speaking country you must write it in English, and make sure that it is accurate, concise, contains no spelling or grammatical errors and gives as much information as possible about you and your career history.
You have to be very specific with the information you provide, selecting it thoroughly according to the job position and adapting it to the two-page format that is standard for a CV in English. You can also put it on a single page, although this can give the impression of being too short.
Sometimes, companies will require us to attach a cover letter, indicating the reason why we want the job.
Structure of a CV in English
1) Personal Information. Start by putting your full name, age or date of birth, address, landline, mobile number, and an email address. As you are a foreigner, give your nationality and the type of visa or work permit you have. If you wish, you can include a photograph.
2) Education. At the top put your most relevant educational qualification. Every listed qualification should be accompanied by results, location, year and dates in which it was attained. Include the modules or subjects studied, if you consider that they are relevant to the postion you are applying for.
Next, you should put your secondary-school studies with appropriate final results, institution and date when you took them.
3) Work Experience. In this section begin by putting your most recent job position. When listing your work experience, briefly explain the duties you performed and the experience you acquired, demonstrating the gains and improvements you achieved in your personal and social skills.
Short-term assignments can be included if they serve to demonstrate that you gained experience that differentiates you from other candidates.
At this point be very brief and describe each job just by giving the main points, for example:
|From June 2010 to October 2011: bar staff, O’Donovans Irish Bar, Barcelona.|
|I worked in a crowded environment and sometimes under pressure. I learned team building, cash management, customer service skills and also how to deal with specific weekly goals.|
It is a good idea to include only the most significant jobs and those that match the profile required by the company for which we want to work.
4) Personal Qualities. Facilitaremos una descripción de nuestras cualidades en un breve párrafo que refleje nuestros rasgos de personalidad y procuraremos evitar enumerarlas a través de adjetivos. Para no tener esta tentación, os proponemos utilizar frases como:
|‘ability to work effectively as part of a team or individually’|
|‘I am looking for a post where …’ etc.|
To make the presentation of your CV clearer, use bullet points.
This brief profile does not have to be your whole “life story” – if the company wants to get to know you better, it will hopefully do so in an interview.
5) Interests. Interests are not always included in a CV, but it may be useful for the hiring team to know how you spend your free time. In this section include pastimes that show your social skills and make you stand out from the other candidates. For example, if sport is one of your hobbies, do not limit yourself to saying that you play football, but provide more information on why this hobby makes you a better potential employee. For example:
|~ ‘I believe a healthy body is the answer to a focused mind and my interest in sport allows me to achieve this.’.|
Obviously, we will only list those hobbies that reflect positive qualities; keep in mind that drinking with your friends on Saturdays does not portray you as a team player or as a reliable member of staff!
6) Other Skills Finally, include other relevant skills such as: knowledge of computer programs, other additional training courses, certificates or anything else that, in your opinion, adds additional merit to your CV.
Obviously, put any languages you speak and the level you have. If you have done an English test, provide the date and result.
If you have a driver’s license or can drive in the country where you are going to apply for a job, then mention it here.
7) References. If you want to show that you have references, do it in the following way: ‘references available on request’; and if you wish to include them, then provide the following information:
|• Full name of the company.|
|• Telephone number|
|• The full name and position of the person whom they should contact – including their email address.|
Other Things To Bear In Mind
In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, large numbers of CVs are sent online and therefore when you are trying to be hired for a particular position you may be asked to fill in an application form to accompany your CV or even replace it.
These application forms mostly look for the same information as is on your Curriculum Vitae, but are focused on covering the specific demands of each company – for this reason many of them require more details than your CV can contain.
• Your CV should be well-presented and be written and structured correctly.
• It should not be translated word-for-word into English.
• Avoid using very long paragraphs that can easily lead to translation errors and leave a bad impression.
• It is a good idea to go over your CV with a native to correct any errors (if possible).
It is important that your CV is designed to stand out from the crowd, showcasing your motivation, initiative and enthusiasm. In short, your goal is to be the ideal candidate for the job you are seeking.
Traducción: J. Crowley
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