Format and Presentation

Content

There are different styles of CVs and many different ways of presenting the information but most CVs tend to include the following sections:

Personal Details

• Forename Name
• Address
• Telephone: +33 …. (if you give your mobile number ensure that your recorded message is professional and preferably in English and French)
• Email address: Avoid strange or fun addresses (moc.liamtoh|94yobytrap#moc.liamtoh|94yobytrap, moc.oohay|kcihctoh#moc.oohay|kcihctoh) these are not professional.

IF RELEVANT give your nationality and a good quality photo. The following are NOT usually relevant: your age / date of birth, place of birth, marital status, number of children.

Mission Statement / Personal profile / career objective

You should open your CV with and brief, simple and snappy statement which outlines your career focus or aims. It can be a summary of the sort of person you are including the main skills and experience you can offer and what you would like to do next or a description of your recent achievements and what sort of job or career you are looking for. It should be tailored to reflect the employer and post you are applying for. Click here for more advice.

Summary of qualifications

A brief ‘bullet point’ summary of the qualifications pertinent to the job. Your full education history will appear later in the CV.

Professional / Work Experience

• Include any work whether paid (e.g. private tutoring for high school pupils), unpaid, voluntary or conducted as part of your studies e.g. Industrial Study Project, Applied Industrial Project. For a list of job titles click here

• Include any internships.

Start with the most recent job with rough dates and include the company name (followed by a definition of the company’s activity in English e.g. Crédit Agricole, (a major retail bank), location (not full address), your job title and most importantly your responsibilities, achievements and skills learnt.

This section is not just a list. It is essential that you set out, using action verbs where possible, what you did and what skills you acquired. Focus on the skills that the employer is looking for.

If you have a long work history, only include more recent or relevant jobs.

Education & qualifications

Giving dates, start with your most recent courses and qualifications. Also list the schools, colleges, universities etc you attended. Include any specific achievements. If you have a long list of qualifications, only include more recent qualifications or those that are relevant to the job.

NEVER translate French proper names into English (for example “Jean Moulin High School” instead of Lycée Jean Moulin. Leave proper names in French, either put them into italics, or between “inverted commas”.

Languages

Include all languages that you speak. Start with French as your native language and then English (for an English CV that you are sending to an English speaker) and then other languages.

• Give an indication of your level – native speaker, mother tongue, bilingual, fluent, fairly fluent, good working knowledge, some knowledge, beginner. If you know your level on the European Scale A1-C2 then state it.
• Try not to over or under exaggerate your level.
• Indicate any qualifications such as TOEIC, TOEFL, Cambridge etc. that you possess, with the score and date.

Computer Skills

For your computer skills you should list which packages, programming languages and software you are competent with.

Personal Interests

These can tell an employer more about the sort of person you are. Include other voluntary work, interesting or unusual (but not ridiculous) hobbies can make you stand out. Make sure you present a positive image. Don’t forget to include any positions of responsibility you hold eg. treasurer of a sports club and give a brief explanation of what the association is. If you are applying for a job working with people or in a team, make sure your interests show your contact with people and teams.

Include sport or music activities and other interests.

References / Referees

If you have space, you can give details, if not you can just write 'References available on request'.
If you include your referees, you need to provide their name and job title, contact details and your relationship with them - how do they know you?

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