Writing A Resume Or Cv When English Is A Second Language
Writing an international resume is challenging enough, so writing a resume or CV in English when you’re not a native speaker makes it even more difficult. To begin writing your resume in English, you should gather all relevant information so you are well organized. This includes:
- A copy of your current CV in your native language
- Any additional information you need to update your CV
- A description of the job you are applying for so you can understand the types of language and keywords used
- An English dictionary, thesaurus, and / or Google Translate
- Templatesto work with or a resume builder
Once you have all these resources, you can start translating. Check out resume examplesfor inspiration and research to find the right language and wording to use. Make sure to include the keywords that you collected in the job description you are applying for.
English CV tip Those writing a resume in English as their second language should use templates and examples as much as possible.
Writing a CV in English is different than writing a CV in your native language. English has several nuances that you must be aware of and the sentence structure is often different than what you are used to. However, once you are aware of these differences it is easy to translate your current CV into English.
List Relevant Skills And Keywords
Resume keywords are important terms of interest that recruiters look for whether skimming a resume or searching within an applicant tracking system . The more role-specific keywordsoften hard skillsyour resume contains, the better optimized your resume is.
99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems to sort, filter, and search applicants. Some ATS, like Taleo, can automatically rank your resumes content against the job description, allowing recruiters to focus only on the best applicants. Recruiters often also search their applicant pool for important resume keywords, like customer service, accounts receivable, or Adobe Photoshop.
Where on your resume should you include important skills?
Its crucial to incorporate important skills throughout your entire resume, beginning with your headline which should, when possible, include the most relevant keyword: the job title. You can also list skills in a dedicated skills section of your resume if using the hybrid resume format.
How do you find keywords to include in your resume?
How To Make Your Resume Look Professional Even Though You Have No Experience
Job applicants may have to impress both man and machine using a professional-looking resume. Companies use the expertise of human resources professionals and hiring managers to screen and select people for job openings using information on the resume. Additionally, some organizations use computer software programs called applicant tracking systems to help pick out the most qualified candidate, partly based on experience-related terms in the document. Even without verifiable and job-related work history, you can make the content of your resume appear professional, perhaps inspiring the company to contact you for an interview.
Craft your objective or summary statement to briefly explain the type of job role you seek. For example, a person who lacks management experience might write, “Seeking managerial position that provides career development.” This signals to the hiring manager that you are willing to learn the skills needed to be a professional, even if you don’t have the experience. This is how a professional thinks and acts. Avoid unfocused, self-serving statements, such as “Obtaining a position that uses my skills.”
Don’t Miss: Resume Name Ideas
Proofread Your Resume And Finish Strong
Once youve written your resume and cover letter, youre in pretty good shape to send out that first application. However, youre not quite done yet.
The most important step before sending out any resume is to read it over and make sure that there are no issues that could get your application discarded.
To help make that process easier, heres a checklist you can go through to make sure your resume is looking spotless:
The Resume Genius Resume Checklist
Is your contact information accurate?
Does your resume NOT include details like headshots or sensitive personal information?
Does your resume fit on one page ?
Is your information easy to read ?
Is the design of your resume appropriate for the position youre applying for?
Did you include all relevant sections on your resume?
Did you include quantified achievements in your work experience section?
Does your resume address the requirements stated in the job ad?
Is your resume free of typos and grammatical errors?
Is all of your information clearly formatted and professional?
Feel free to use our on-page checklist, or and begin reviewing your resume.
How To Write A Resume Summary As An Experienced Professional
If you have 5 to 10 years of professional experience under your belt, youve probably developed a long list of job-related accomplishments. Your qualifications summary is the ideal place to showcase the most impressive of them.
Are you an experienced sales and customer service professional? Sell it. Mention how you developed strategies that resulted in an over 15 % increase in new customers. Or how your rewards program reached a customer success rate of over 45 %.
See? Numbers are much more persuasive than words. Also, remember to use action words and relevant keywords.
Here a professional summary example for an experienced professional:
HubSpot Director of Business Development Resume Example
- Passionate Business Amplifier.
- Thrives in complex market segment entry and sales and marketing launch plans for technical products and services. Founder of the highly-impactful “HubSpot for Veterans” initiative.
- Proven Growth Consultant and Entrepreneurial Coach for over 200 organizations. Advocate of lean startup and data-backed strategy.
- Leadership spans career with direct application towards startups, Techstar accelerators, corporate business development, and government. ROI-focused relationship builder.
- Lifelong teacher and learner: Startup Institute, Techstarts, HubSpot Partner programs.
Recommended Reading: How To List Presentations On Resume
How To Write Your English Cv
Its time to start writing! This is the hardest part of the process, but once you start, you will find that you will get immersed in it and the words will just flow. Having gathered the resources you need and selected a template to follow will make it even easier. Dont be surprised if you even enjoy the process.
Start by creating a first draft of the CV. Much of this process will involve simply filling in the template with your information. Dont worry if it sounds good or even makes sense. Just get the words on paper. Fill in the complete template, using the prompts provided. Once it is completed, take a break. This will provide you with a fresh perspective for the next step.
Next, edit the CV. Carefully review the CV you created using the template. Check for spelling and grammar errors using the tools in the template or your writing tools. This is especially important if English is not your native language. Read each section out loud to make sure it sounds good. Verify that the names, dates, locations and other information is correct. At the end of this process, your CV should look professional and be ready to send to prospective employers. However, there is still one more step.
Short Format British Cv
The short format or business CV should be 1-2 pages long . It only consists of facts, dates, and numbers. The reasons for applying and a summary of your skills which qualify you for the position can be detailed in a cover letter. Remember, recruiters only spend 7 seconds reviewing this type of resume before deciding about your qualifications, so you want to capture their interest.
The content of this type of British CV is:
- Personal information Name, phone, email, LinkedIn URL and location
- Professional summary key skills, experience, and soft skills aligned with the job you are applying for
- Working experience title, employer, location, and dates, starting with the most recent job. Include a brief description of the role, followed by a bulleted list of contributions and achievements for each position
- Formal education & training – university, dates, and places, but no grades or courses
- Languages, skills, proficiencies related to the job you are applying for
- A declaration stating all information provided about the applicant as true
- References 2-3 references with names, titles, organization, phone, email and the role they played in your professional career
Read Also: What To Put Under Leadership On Resume
List Your Personal Interests
- This section shows you’re a well-rounded person who people would want to know and work with.
- Employers often use this section at the start of an interview to break the ice.
- Casual interests are better not to list . This is really about highlighting hobbies that have helped you grow as a person.
- This résumé step is considered optional. If you’re having trouble coming up with interests, or feel your résumé is already too long, feel free to leave it off.
Select A Professional Readable Font
When deciding what font to use for your resume, keep in mind that it should be clear and easy to read. Making sure employers dont have to work to understand words on your resume is the most important factor when choosing a font. It is also helpful if your resume is sent through an applicant tracking system. Many employers use an ATS, which doesnt always read and interpret intricate fonts well. You should also avoid light or thin fonts which can sometimes be difficult for people to read on a screen or paper.
Related:How To Write an ATS-Friendly Resume
There are two main categories of fonts serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have tails while sans serif fonts do not. Sans serif fonts are generally good fonts for resumes because they have clean lines that are easy to read. There are fonts like Georgia, however, that are still widely accepted among employers as simple and professional.
Here are several examples of the best resume fonts:
Read Also: Pursuing Masters Degree On Resume
Why Do You Need A Professional Summary
Recruiters are busy people, they go through dozens, sometimes hundreds of resumes before they can find a few qualified candidates.
Because of their time constraint, they dont have the luxury to go over every resume in depth.
In fact, on average recruiters only give each resume 6 seconds of their time.
You know what this means? Shortcuts. Instead of reading a resume thoroughly, recruiters will be cutting corners by skimming resumes in search of specific keywords and phrases that align with what the company is searching for.
Thats why you want to include the best resume summary you can come up with, because a good summary section consists of nothing but these juicy bite-size phrases and keywords that a recruiter can spot at a glance.
In short, a professional summary allows you to turn a recruiter’s time limitation into an advantage.
How To Prepare To Write Your Cv In English
In order to get started writing the English version of your CV, you should collect the following materials and resources:
It also helps to have a digital resume builderto help you construct your English CV in the most efficient, and visually appealing, manner possible.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Resume Lines On Word
Things To Avoid In An American Resume
Items you should not include in your resume are:
Personal information: Examples of these are age, gender, race, or family status. Employers cannot ask about these due to restrictions related to job discrimination. Putting them in your resume could disqualify you from being interviewed, or waste the recruiters time who reads them.
References: Unlike CVs that are used throughout the world, American resumes do not typically include references. If an employer needs references prior to hiring you, they will request them after you have progressed through the interview process and are being considered as one of the final candidates.
Add Your Professional Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph or section of bullet points at the beginning of a resume that highlights your professional skills and experience. Your summary should expand on your headline and communicate to recruiters and hiring managers why you are a good fit for the job.
Summary statements are not ideal for all job seekers. If you dont have much job experience or are changing careers, you might use the space to expand on your work history section, skills section, or write a strong resume objective statement instead.
Note: Career experts rarely recommend including a resume objective statement, but these summary alternatives can work in special circumstances such as in the case of career changes.
You May Like: Should You Put Gpa On Resume
Add A Resume Summary Or Objective
After your contact information, you have the option to include either a resume summary or objective statement. An objective statement quickly explains your career goals and is a good choice for those with limited professional experience, such as recent college or high school graduates. A resume summary is a short statement that uses active language to describe your relevant work experience and skills.
Your Resume Format Is The First Thing A Potential Employer Will Notice Follow These Tips To Make Sure Its A Positive First Impression
A smart resume starts with a design that’s easy on the eyes.
Between optimizing keywords and jotting down your accomplishments, writing a resume is no easy task. However, from a recruiters perspective, your resumes look is just as important as its content. Think about it: When you have to evaluate hundreds of resumes each week, youre going to spend more time on the ones that are both easy on the eyes and better for your attention span. But what should a resume look like in order for you to stand out from the competition?
Resume design matters. For example, if your resume format features wall-to-wall with text, uses several different fonts, and is peppered with dozens of bolded, italicized, and underlined words and phrases, its probably not going to get the attention it deserves.
So what makes a resume visually appealing? When you can quickly scan the document because it makes good use of white space, features clear and consistent section headings, and uses bullet points to make important items stand out.
As you get your resume ready for a job search, take a look at our library of resume templates, and make sure to follow our design tips below.
Read Also: How To Delete Your Resume From Dice
The Importance Of Page One
The first page of your resume is prime real estate, and using two columns is a good way to optimise this important space. Hallam says there are five key things you should include on page one:
Keep Yourself Knowledgeable About Your Industry
As a professional, you should be aware of the latest trends and practices within your field of work. Knowing the latest news about your industry not only positions you as a professional, but also makes it easier for you to do your work and allows you to stand out to your management by proposing solutions and new methods of doing business during company meetings.
To keep abreast of the latest news in your industry, you should make a habit of reading widely about your field. Follow major blogs related to your field, read industry magazines and attend industry events.
Read Also: How To Post My Resume On Indeed
Proofread Through An Editors Eye:
You can just proofread the resume for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Check for the spellings of the companys name, check whether the reader can interpret your statements with the help of a fresh eye and you may take help of your friends or mentors to check the resume for any type of errors.
Tailor Your Resume For Each Position
Its important to revise your resume to tailor it to each position you apply for. For each job, adjust the keywords in the skills section so that its a great fit for what the employer needs. You should also change what you emphasize in the professional history and educational experiences sections depending on whats listed in the job description.
Also Check: Child Acting Resume Template No Experience