How to write a French CV/ résumé
How To Write A French Cv/ Résumé
Are you wondering how to write a French CV/ résumé?
Writing a CV can be a drag even when you’re doing it in your first language, let alone your second. However, the rewards are always worth it. Working in a foreign country is one of the best ways to learn a new language quickly and to meet people abroad! Here is a list of our tips to help you fulfil your working abroad dreams.
Update – How To Write A French Cv/ Résumé
The first step in preparing your CV for the French market is to first double check it in your first language. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in translation and focus on the stress of preparing it in another language. However, the most important thing is for it to be accurate before you start. Double check your contact details and work history are all up to date before you begin. That way, you can optimise your chances of getting a reply and showcase your experience to the best of your ability.
Keep It Concise – How To Write A French Cv/ Résumé
When writing a French CV, it is important to keep it concise so that employers can easily and quickly see whether you would be a fit for the job. You
want to make it as easy as possible to see how amazing you are! Therefore, we recommend keeping your CV to one page. Cut out any unnecessary details and stick to what is most important. When describing your professional experience, ask yourself: what about this is really valuable to my career right now?
Structure – How To Write A French Cv/ Résumé
So, what do you need to include on your French CV?
Personal and Contact details
Start with your personal details: your full name, date of birth and nationality. Also make sure to include your contact details: email and phone number (with your country code if it’s not a French number), as this is essential to ensure that employers can get back in touch with you, hopefully with good news! Here you could also include your social media handles, provided that they are professional and relevant, for example a link to your LinkedIn profile.
Next you will need a section detailing your academic history and achievements, and the relevant dates. This should include the institutions you studied at and the grades attained. You might want to translate the grades into the French equivalent, or indicate what the equivalent French qualification would be, so it is easy to understand for someone who may not be familiar with your country’s grading system. Here is a useful key to translating your grades into France’s equivalent:
- Baccalauréat – The final exams taken before leaving school and moving on to higher education or work. In England this would be equivalent to the exams taken at the end of sixth form/ college, and in the US the exams taken at the end of High School.
- License/ Bachelor – The equivalent of most Undergraduate degrees
- Maîtrise/ Master – The equivalent of most Master’s degrees
Guide for translating University grades:
70+% = mention très bien
60+% = mention bien
50+% = mention assez bien
40+% = sans mention
Following on from education, is the Expérience professionnelle section, where you will list all previous work, including the company and location, and a brief description of what the role entailed. No need to write in full sentences for this, you can keep it very simple and concise by using nouns rather than verbs, and listing responsibilities as bullet points, for example:
“I worked in a bakery behind the till, serving customers and baking cakes.”
You would write (in French of course!):
2020-2022: Bakery Assistant; Yummy Bakery, Paris
- Advanced customer service
- Production of high quality baked goods
- Till service
This is the section to showcase your skills applicable to the workplace, such as computer software proficiencies (e.g. Excel, Canva) and a niche interest area within the sector. Allow yourself to stand out and let your employer know what makes you stand out from the crowd! This is also where you should let them know your language level, best done through stating your CEFR level: if you don’t know it already, take a free, simple test online.
Check For Errors
Errors are easily made but when writing your CV, they are best to be avoided. Make sure to check, check and check again to make the best first impression. However, we know that this can be a challenge when French is not your first language. It can be much harder to spot grammatical mistakes or incorrect word choices particularly if you are just moving here. If you need it checked immediately, sites like EveryCheck can ensure that your CV is accurate for a small fee. However, the cheapest and most effective way to combat errors is by asking a French native speaker to check it through for you. Although you may not know many people right away, it’s a great incentive to meet others. Don’t believe all the stereotypes you hear- you can definitely find people willing to help!