Tips for Translating Your CV/Résumé into English
One of the most exciting and rewarding ways to use your English skills is to get a job working in English. If you’re looking to work in an English-speaking role or country, you’ll need an English CV or résumé in order to apply. When translating your résumé from your native language to English, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Reformat the résumé
In certain countries, it might be normal to include personal information and a photo of yourself so the hiring managers can get an idea of who you are.
However, in the many English-speaking countries, it’s actually illegal for companies to ask for this, and you should leave personal information and photos out of your translation. Companies aren’t allowed to ask these things because it might be perceived as a way of discriminating. This way, they are sure to pick candidates based only on their experience and qualifications.
Do include your name, email, phone and address
But never include your date of birth, marital status, photo or nationality!
*You are by no means required to list this. The most relevant information is whether you have the right to work in the country where you are applying. If this is not obvious, it is probably best to mention in the cover letter.
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Take time with the language
Once you’re hired, your employer probably won’t mind if you make a few grammar mistakes if English is not your first language. Your résumé and cover letter, however, represent you before you’ve even met the hiring manager. It’s important to make a good first impression and make sure you’re happy with the quality of the English!
1. Pay attention to small details
Prepositions and other small details take some time to master but are very important in order to sound natural. Here are some common ones that might be useful for job applications:
- Responsible for: I was responsible for ensuring invoices were sent on time.
- In charge of: I was in charge of our company’s blog.
- Experience in: I have a lot of experience in data analysis.
- Proficient in: I am proficient in Microsoft Office.
- Comfortable with: I am comfortable with customer service.
- Interested in: I am interested in the open Sales position.
- Graduated from: I graduated from Harvard University.
- Graduated with: I graduated with Honors and with a 4.0 GPA.
- In my résumé: As you can see in my résumé, I have a lot of experience.
- Passionate about: I’m very passionate about social work
2. Use the job posting for clues
The job posting itself is a great tool to help with the basics, and you can even look at descriptions of other similar jobs for more help. In these job descriptions, you’ll see a lot of the skills that the employer is looking for. Don’t copy word for word, but use this description as a guide for the sorts of words used in the industry and how they work in a sentence.
3. Get help from others
There will probably be more technical words that you’d like to include than are mentioned in the posting. Taking the time to learn business-specific English is a great way to help familiarize yourself with the words and to ensure you feel comfortable writing the résumé.
It’s also a great idea to ask friends or teachers to take a second look, and be sure to check your work again after a day or two to spot any errors you might have missed the first time around. If you have more questions, many dictionaries and websites have online forums that are a great resource to get help from native speakers.
Writing a résumé for a job can be intimidating, but it’s also a very exciting opportunity to show off your skills! Have any more questions about CVs and résumés in English? Ask us in the comment section below.