French Résumés - Le CV français
Instructions and tips on writing a résumé for French employers
When applying for a job in a French-speaking country, your résumé needs to be in French, which is more than a matter of translation. Aside from the obvious language differences, certain information that may not be required - or even permitted - on résumés in your country is required in France. This article explains the basic requirements and formats of French résumés, and includes several examples to help you get started.
The first thing you need to know is that the word résumé is a false cognate in French and English. Un résumé means a summary, whereas a résumé refers to un CV (curriculum vitae). Thus, when applying for a job with a French company, you need to provide un CV, not un résumé.
You might be surprised to learn that a photograph as well as some potentially
delicate personal information, such as age and marital status, are required on a
French résumé. These can and will be used in the hiring process; if this
bothers you, France may not be the best place for you to work.
Categories, Requirements, and Details
The information that generally needs to be included on a French résumé is summarized here. As with any résumé, there is no one "right" order or style. There are infinite ways to format a French résumé - it really just depends on what you want to emphasize and your personal preferences.
- Situation personnelle et état civil
- Last name (in all caps) - Nom de famille
- First name - Prénom
- Address - Adresse
- Phone number, including international access code - Numéro de
* Work phone - bureau
* Home phone - domicile
* Mobile phone - portable
- Email - adresse e-mail
- Nationality - Nationalité
- Age - Âge
- Marital status, number and age of children - Situation de famille
* Single - célibataire
* Married - marié(e)
* Divorced - divorcé(e)
* Widowed - veuf (veuve)
- Passport-sized, color photograph
- Project Professionnel or Objectif
- Short, precise description of your skills and/or short-term career goals (i.e., what you'll bring to this job).
- Expérience professionnelle
- Thematic or backwards chronological list
- Name of company, location, dates of employment, title, job description, responsibilities, and notable achievements
- Only the highest diplomas you have obtained.
- Name and location of school, dates, and degree earned
(Language and Computer) Skills
- Connaissances (linguistiques et informatiques)
- Don't exaggerate your language skills; they're very easy to verify.
* (Basic) knowledge - Notions
* Conversant - Maîtrise convenable, Bonnes connaissances
* Proficient - Lu, écrit, parlé
* Fluent - Courant
* Bilingual - Bilingue
* Native language - Langue maternelle
- Operating systems
- Software programs
Interests, Pastimes, Leisure Activities, Hobbies
- Centres d'intérêt, Passe-temps, Loisirs, Activités personnelles/extra-professionnelles
- Limit this section to three or four lines.
- Consider the value of what you choose to include: list things that make you sound interesting, that set you apart from the rest of the crowd.
- Be prepared to discuss these with the interviewer (e.g., "How
often do you play tennis? What's the last book you read?")
Types of French Résumés
There are two main types of French résumés, depending on what the potential employee wants to emphasize:
Le CV chronologique
|Presents employment in reverse chronological order.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
Le CV fonctionnel
|Emphasizes career path and achievements and groups them thematically - by field of
experience or sector of activity.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
- Always have a native speaker proofread the final version of your résumé.
Typos and mistakes
* look unprofessional
* cast doubt on your stated French ability
- Keep résumé brief, concise, and direct; one or two pages maximum.
- Spell out names of US states and Canadian provinces, rather than using abbreviations like NY or BC.
- If applying for a job where fluency in another language is required, consider sending a résumé in that language along with the French one.
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