Writing Your French Resume

Who wouldn’t want to live in the city of love? If you’re moving there then consider me envious. Don’t forget though, that after spending your money on wine, travel, and immersing yourself in the culture, you might need to grab yourself some employment. The first step in your job search is going to be designing the eye-catching, role-filling resume, to let the potential employer see how exceptional your skills are — There’s one problem, you’re not from France, and your English CV isn’t going to cut it.

So to help you live the life many can only dream of, here are some all-important tips for turning your bottom-of-the-bin resume into an instant phone call.

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1. First and foremost, while the word ‘résumé’ might be French, it means “summary,” and it’s not what they want to see. You should label it as your CV, or ‘curriculum vitae,’ which comes from Latin to mean “course of life.”

2. The French like to see ‘situation personnelle et état civil,’ or personal information. That means you need to attach a photo, a simple shot like you’re pretending to be a news reporter, nothing flashy or over the top. You should also include your citizenship, age, marital status, and all the means of contact you have — Cellphone, home phone, email address etcetera.

3. The meat of your CV is the most important. Education is taken very seriously, so make sure to list all your qualifications, sometimes even a grade can be useful. You also need to include your work experience, references, skills, career goals, interests, and any extracurricular activities you partake in.

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4. Don’t forget to include your language proficiency. It’s an obviously important aspect of working in a foreign country, so your employer will want to know how good you believe you are; include any studying or courses you’ve taken, and if you know any extra languages, be sure to list them too.

5. Just as in most other countries, you’re going to need a cover letter to go along with your CV. This can be much the same as an English cover letter, try to address it as specifically as possible, and discuss why you want the job and in what ways you are perfect for it.

Now comes the hard part — writing it in French! It’s no good sending in a CV and cover letter with spelling mistakes and grammar malfunctions, they’ll give it the boot without a second glance. See if you’re up to the task with our language level test, or inquire to look into taking one of our classes to get up to scratch.