When you apply for a job with an international company you need to prepare your CV in English. This article focuses on 5 mistakes to avoid on your CV in English.
Mistake # 1 spelling
You need to be very careful when writing in English. One letter too many, or one missing can totally change the meaning of what you write.
Just compare those two sentences:
Click here vs click her… just one letter missing and you are ready for a misunderstanding
On top of everything else, make sure you spell your name and all names of schools, companies and cities correctly.
How to check spelling?
Checking spelling is important and also very easy. Your text editor (Word or Google Docs) has a spell check option. Set the language to English and run the spell check on your document.
For some extra help you can also use Grammarly, an amazing service helping you not only with spelling but also with grammar. Grammarly will help you with plurals and verb conjugation, which is particularly useful for your motivation letter and the email you will write to apply for the job.
CV writing tip: ask a friend or a professional to spell check your CV. Humans detect mistakes the computer may not see.
Mistake # 2 translations
First of all, when writing your CV in English make sure you use a good quality dictionary or a translator to double check your text. You may use wordreference.com or deepl.com to be sure that you translations are correct.
Second of all, beware of false friends. False friends are the words which look the same in two languages but have a different, sometimes even opposite meanings. For instance in English “versatile” describes a person with multiple skills, while “versatile” in French refers to person you cannot trust, a two-face. Another example here is the French word “notorieté” meaning popularity, good reputation and brand awareness. In English “notoriety” is bad reputation related to bad and/or scandalous behaviour.
CV writing tip: double check your translations or ask a professional.
Mistake # 3 photo
Do not use a photo which is old, cropped or low quality. This will have a negative impact on your application. To learn more about how to choose a photo for your CV read our article here.
CV writing tip: watch some tutorials about CV/ Linkedin photos
Mistake # 4 references
Do not put references on your CV. References are contact details of a person who agreed to be your referee and tell a recruiter about your work experience and skills.
Why should you not include references directly in your CV? The person’s name and surname, company, position, email and telephone number should not be available to everybody who may read your CV. Instead write “references available upon request” and then email the information directly to the recruiter.
CV writing tip: remember to always ask your referee for their permission
Mistake # 5 chronological order
It is commonly accepted that information concerning your education and work experience is presented in reverse chronological order. This means that you begin with the most recent school and job and go back in time.
Reverse chronological order helps the recruiter to see your most recent diploma and work experience and read through your career path so far, checking consistency and giving them a better vision of who you are.
Remember to revise your CV every time you apply for a new job and remove jobs which are no longer relevant.
CV writing tip: make sure your education and work experience are organised in reverse chronological order.