Do your resume in English, a puzzle? Think again. As long as you do not translate your CV word for word, everything will be fine. Cadremploi reveals the operating mode.

n your career you will one day be brought to realize your CV in English. A good way to show your level of language with both an Anglo-Saxon company and a French company, where English is the usual language. But beware, the CV in English is fundamentally different.

Translation of his CV or creation of another?

You must make another resume that will not be a simple translation of the one in French. Otherwise “you risk making mistakes and even forgetting to translate words. It is almost necessary to start from a blank page, “advises Coralie Girard-Claudon, manager of the Paris recruitment office Approach People.

>> Read also: Letter of motivation in English

The particularities of the CV in English

An English CV can span one to two pages maximum (it is common to exceed one page). Allowing the CV to be airier, according to Lorena Gutiérrez the senior associate of Michael Page.

It does not have to be accompanied by a photo. This remains optional. “Put it there if you feel comfortable,” advises Lorena Gutiérrez. It all depends on the position. “In marketing, the photo is recommended because you must highlight. And it’s a good way for the recruiter to remember you, “says the senior associate. If you apply to the United States, opt for a photo of you smiling. Forget that of your passport.

Your English must be flawless, and it is important to be careful not to mix English English with American English.

Structure of the CV in English

Personal Details (Civil Status)

Located at the top of the CV, this section contains: first name and last name, address ( Home address ), telephone number (s) (home and office), nationality.

Career Objective

As in France, this section highlights the key elements of your CV. Located at the top, just after the Civil Registry, this indication is usually framed: you indicate your professional project and / or the type of position and responsibilities you wish to occupy. It can also be called Professional Objective.

Education (Initial training)

Only diplomas obtained after the baccalaureate must be mentioned in the chronological order, paying attention to their translation. Indeed, the French and Anglo-Saxon educational systems do not always have equivalence.

Some translations:

Ph.D .: Ph.D

DEA: Postgraduate degree (1 year) following my master

Master’s degree: Master’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree

Bachelor of Science: Two-year university degree in science

BTS: two-year technical degree

Example of HEC diploma: HEC diploma (Top french business school). Attention, the term Grande Ecole does not translate to High School since it is high school. Use the phrase Top school.

Preparation: two-year intensive program preparing for the national competitive examination for entry to business schools / engineering schools …

Bachelor’s degree: High School Diploma or A-level


It is recommended that the United Kingdom provide detailed information on the studies taken: subjects, results obtained.

Training (Continuing Education)

These are trainings taken in the context of your professional activity. Only report the most significant in duration. This section can also be called Courses.


Special Skills

Unless significant for te position, the competencies are usually mentioned in the Education section or in the Work Experience section. These are your foreign language and computer skills.

And in this section do not say too much, to avoid redundancies with other topics. “This is what usually causes problems in CVs in English,” says Lorena Gutiérrez. “Further detail the Professional Experience section,” adds Coralie Girard-Claudon.

For foreign languages , you must indicate your level according to the following scale:

Bilingual french / english

Fluent english

Working knowledge of italian

Basic or Conversational Spanish

Regarding the level of language, do not be too ambitious . The recruiter may notice this if your resume contains faults. For example “know that bilingual in English involves speaking the language almost as a native. If this is not the case, indicate that your level is current, “says Coralie Girard-Claudon.

Beside your language level, you can also specify, if necessary, the length of stays in the country. “A good way to have a topic of conversation with your recruiter if you already visit his country. And then it proves that you like this country in a certain way, “says the manager of the recruitment manager.

Work experience

This is the most important section of the CV, according to Coralie Girard-Claudon of Approach People. As in France, it is a question of distinguishing the training periods ( training period or intership ) from the other professional experiences that you will present starting from the last position occupied.

For each of your experiences, think that the recruiter does not necessarily know the company you are quoting. It is therefore useful to clarify its business and to evaluate its performance, for example, speaking of his achievements ( achievements ) or by encrypting its goals achieved ( target ). For this , it is recommended to use equity verbs in the preterit . “Anglon-Saxons prefer to be given details. So focus on writing, not dashes, “advises Michael Page senior associate.

On the other hand, English recruiters do not like unexplained holes . It is best to give clear reasons for the change of circumstances.


In this section are generally presented all the extra-professional activities, the interests ( hobbies ), the holding of driving license. In the United States this part is highly valued, according to the firm’s partner Page . “But be careful about being reasonable and staying in the professional setting,” she advises. In other words, do not reveal goofy hobbies. Book them for maintenance if the flow goes well with the recruiter.

References (References)

Unusual item in France, it is essential in the Anglo-Saxon countries where the recruiters wish to be able to verify the described experiments.

For this, you must generally provide two names (a teacher and a former employer for example), along with their contact information. Remember to warn them of a possible call. If you do not wish to share these details in a CV, you can indicate to the recruiter that they are available on request, using the following formula:  References available upon request .

The differences between British CV and American CV

The form

It is important not to mix American English and British English. Avoid, for example, errors on the date. In the United States, one writes: August 17, 1998 or

08-17-98 and in the United Kingdom: August 17, 1998 or 17th August, 1998 or 17-08-98.

The bottom

The American resume is catchy: do not hesitate to state all the figures and facts supporting an application . It must show the economic interest of it. If the English CV must also mention the achievements, it must nevertheless be less seller.




Civil status: this section must mention only the surname, first name, address and telephone numbers (work and home). No information on gender, age, and situation should be provided (due to a non-discrimination law on hiring).

Objectives: The equivalent of Professionnal Objective for the British CV, says  Career Planning for an American CV.

Training: just mention graduate degrees. In an American resume, it is possible to mention the list of jobs that have helped finance studies, American recruiters are sensitive.

Professional experience: it is necessary to be precise in the description of the mission (achievements, figures, responsibilities), but also in the dates (month / year) of each period of activity.

Social activities: it is possible to make a separate section to indicate the associative occupations, whatever they are because they are very appreciated overseas.

References: References can, as in the UK, be useful for the application. However, they do not appear in the CV. Only use the formula References available upon request .

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