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You send your CV for a speculative application or to reply to an advertised vacancy.

 A CV (curriculum Vitae) sometimes called résumé, is a summary of your career history, and the skills and experience you have gained.

 A good CV should:

  • Attract attention
  • Create a good impression
  • Present your relevant skills and qualities clearly and concisely.

The aim is to get an interview!

 So it needs to demonstrate that you have:

  • The specific skills needed for the job
  • The right sort of experience for the job
  • The personal qualities for the position
  • An understanding of the specific requirements of the job

KISS: Keep It Short and Simple

Keep it short: no more than 2 pages

Keep it clear: wide margins, clear section headings, discreetly used capital letters and bullet points to emphasize information, the information organized in a logical, easy-to-follow way.

Keep it relevant (pertinent, approprié): the employer usually has two questions in mind: is this person able to do the work? Will this person fit in with the rest of us?


Make it look businesslike (sérieux)

  • Plain white or cream A4 size paper
  • Good quality paper (100g weight)
  • A good, clear typeface
  • Plain black ink


  • Your skills and experience, knowledge and capabilities.
  • Skills and qualifications that feature in the job advertisement.
  • Your achievements.
  • Put the most important information on the first page.

Leave out:

  • Unnecessary personal details like:
  • marital status
  • Nationality
  • Age (in addition to date of birth)
  • Photograph

Should I put it in or leave it out? Ask yourself this:

  • Will it encourage them to interview me?
  • Will it discourage them from interviewing me?

A piece of advice.

  • Always send your CV to a named individual: ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ letters sent to HR departments have a high probability of being ignored.
  • Make a quick phone call to the company to ask for the name of whoever is responsible for recruiting. Be sure to check the spelling. 
  • "I am Karine and I am calling because I would like to know the name and the email address of the person in charge of recruiting. I would like to send a CV (an application for a work placement) to this person"

The main headings.

Start by your personal details (name, address, email address, phone number +33 5XX-XXX-XXX).

Then write your Personal profile, and Key strengths.

Continue with your Work experience in reverse chronological order.

After you can present your Education in reverse chronological order (start with now). There you can highlight your computer skills and language skills.

Finally you can write about your Interests.

Always finish byReferences available on request.


Equivalent of degrees and education.

     France                                                               Royaume-uni                                                                     
Classe Age Classe Age
 Ecole Maternelle  3 - 6  Nursery school  3 - 5
 Ecole primaire  6 - 11  Primary school  5 - 11
 Collège  11 - 15  Secondary school  11 - 16
 Lycée  15 - 18  6th form college  16 - 18
 Lycée professionnel  16 - 18  Further college education  16+





Youth Training


BTEC First diploma
GNVQ Foundation
(NVQ Level 1)


GCSES'S under C grade
GNVQ Intermediate

Bac général

A Levels

Bac technologique
Bac professionnel

BTEC National
GNVQ Advanced
(NVQ Level 3)


BTEC Higher National Diploma

Licence - Maîtrise

First Degree
BA / BSc Degree
(NVQ Level 4)


MA / MSc
(NVQ Level 5)




BTEC (business and technology education council) Higher National Diploma in Hospitality Management

How to describe your language skills.

French: mother tongue

English: fluent spoken and written English / Excellent command of the language / advanced level

Spanish/German: good/moderate command of the language

You can also use: beginner, lower intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced, bilingual

Last edited: 07/09/2016

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