Professional CV for the English-speaking market - a few tips

By sending an application you enter a recruitment process which may change your life – for this reason, it needs to be a professional CV. Whether you are a business person, a scientist, a blue-collar worker – such documents make the first impression on your prospective employer. Therefore, they should be error-free, written in a proper register and correct grammatical person (3rd for CV, impersonal constructions). eCORRECTOR wants to help you in preparing a professional CV. Within the framework of our CV Man project, we have prepared a set of several points you might consider while polishing your attention-worthy documents.

What should be in a CV?

• Choose the best CV type for your career. There are two basic types of CVs: chronological and competence-based. The first one is better for people with a varied career, while the latter may be more beneficial for those working in the same field the entire time. A scientific CV is a slightly different manner as you should focus on the projects you participate in. This type can be longer than the average of 2 pages.

• Consider writing a Profile at the beginning of your professional CV – your professional background in
a nutshell. It is the first thing a recruiter will read! Make sure features included there are relevant, soft skills adequate to the offer, ambitions related to the prospective job should be mentioned as well.

• Order your duties and competences from the standpoint of their relevance to the job you are applying for –
a professional CV should be adjusted to each offer as companies value slightly different skills for positions listed under the same name. Include courses and training sessions you underwent – even in-company ones. Remember to include dates in the MM.YYYY format.

• Pay attention to conventions regarding photographs in the country your apply to. English-speaking countries avoid this procedure, but most European countries favour a CV with a photograph. Insert a professional-looking photograph – good quality, smart clothes, confident posture. It is a nice move to use one which shows you at work (e.g. in a lab, with servers, in an office). The same applies to personal data protection clauses.

• References can be very persuasive for an employer considering you for a job. Perhaps include 2 or 3 people who will provide you a favourable reference (include email contact as employers will often contact referees this way). If you do this make sure you ask potential referees first, they will be more inclined to write a positive reference if you have the courtesy to ask first rather than being asked unexpectedly to write a reference.

What should not be included in a professional CV?

• Don’t provide too much information – write down what is relevant for the job. Prospective employer is not interested in every little detail of your experience at this point. You may be asked to expand them during a job interview, so leave some aces up your sleeve.

• Don’t use graphs to estimate your acquaintance with e.g. software, languages. They do not provide consistent information. It is better to describe how advanced you are.

• Don’t exaggerate your language skills. Job interviews are often conducted partly in a foreign language to check your manner of speaking. The recruiter will notice if you wrote the truth.

• Feel free to use colours, especially those corresponding to company logo or matching your picture. However, don’t overdo it – a CV with many colours and shapes does not sell your offer as professional.

• Don’t downplay the importance of soft skills – it is important to state how you handle group work, pressure, establishing relationships with people, organising work, etc.

Writing a professional CV is undoubtedly a challenge. The above points should clarify the process, but if your require further assistance do not hesitate to contact us. We are a company which provides translation and proofreading services for business, science and individual customers. They are performed by highly qualified native speakers of a wide array of languages. Our assignments are always adjusted to the target language and culture. Thanks to our cooperation your professional CV will surely be even closer to perfect. We remain at your disposal.

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