How To Write A Résumé in French

Posted on 25. Mar, 2010 by in Business, Grammar, Vocabulary

Courtesy of our guest blogger, Jeremy. If you’d like to blog for Transparent French, please leave a comment below!

Are you thinking about trying to get a job in a French-speaking country?  It would be a great language learning-experience, that’s for sure!  If you are, then you will need to know a few important things about writing a résumé for your prospective employer(s).

1. The first order of business? Résumé literally means “summary”, so you should never submit a résumé to a French-speaking employer. Instead, submit un C.V. (curriculum vitae). The word résumé has been adopted in English to refer to job application documents, but in French the common terminology is un C.V.

2.A proper French “résumé” (again, C.V.) requires a fair amount of situation personnelle et état civil (personal information). Oftentimes pictures and other extraneous information is needed more so than you may be accustomed to in other parts of the world. Examples of this are providing your nationalité (citizenship) or situation de famille (marital status).  For the latter, you may include célibataire (single), marié(e) (married), divorcé(e) (divorced), or veuf /veuve (widowed). Âge (age) might also be useful, or simply your date de naissance (date of birth).

3.The contact information part is fairly simple, but critical. A well-written French C.V. has your numéro de téléphone (phone number) in as many varieties as possible — portable (cell phone, mobile); domicile (home phone); bureau (work phone) — as well as your adresse e-mail (email).

4.The meat of your C.V. will include brief sections for expérience professionnelle (work experience), formation (education background), connaissances: linguistiques et informatiques (skills: languages and technology), your project professionnel or objectif (career goals), centres d’intérêt, passe-temps, loisirs, activités personnelles/extra-professionnelles (interests, pastimes, leisure Activities, hobbies).

5. For describing your level of language mastery, it is always best to be honest. If you happen to get an interview, your employer wouldn’t want to be taken off guard so it pays to be conservative here. Below are some helpful qualifiers:

Maîtrise convenable, Bonnes connaissances: Intermediate:

Lu, écrit, parlé: proficient

Courant: fluent

Bilingue: bilingual

Langue maternelle: native language

6. I’ve found it’s useful on any C.V. to put your références (references/referees) and their nom et coordonnées (name and position).

7. Since there are a plethora of ways to format your résumé in French-speaking countries, I’ve provided a link of some examples for your convenience.

Bonne chance!

Most of the readers of this blog are actively trying to learn French at some level.  If you’re looking for other powerful free resources to help you learn French, you should check out the free download of our vocabulary builder, Byki Express. Many other language learning programs start by teaching grammar. Byki leverages the fact that adults actually learn foreign languages by collecting words and phrases in their memory, like items in a basket. The more items you have, the more effectively you can communicate.  And isn’t that the goal? 🙂

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7 Responses to “How To Write A Résumé in French”

  1. catied 25 March 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    very very helpful – thank you!

  2. Randy 26 March 2010 at 2:25 am #

    I really like the way this was put together. The inclusion of immediate English translations was useful. The link to examples was also a nice touch.

    Keep on blogging.

  3. sage 26 August 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Interesting things about how to write a resume

  4. 27 November 2011 at 7:22 am #

    My French Resume ( translates and adapts your resume and cover letter to french standards. Get the free ebook “10 Innovative ways to find a job in France” !

  5. Viki 5 June 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks a lot for your help. It is very useful!

  6. Lyndsay 20 October 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    That was very helpful

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