Before you start
Use the Internet :
• Before actually writing your CV and letter, find 1-2 publications about your field of study on the Internet. Highlight all the relevant vocabulary in the document(s). List it.
• Do NOT translate your French CV and letter into English (especially with the Google translation tool ) or you will get “Frenglish” nonsense.
• Use documents in English (including examples of CVs and letters that you will find on the Internet for example) and take all the vocabulary you need directly in English. Select the English words / expressions you will need. Use them as starting points.
• Degrees: do not mix French and English
• If your professional experience is not directly related to the position you are applying for, have the education section of your CV first
• To avoid common mistakes : languagelearningresourcecenter.org/anglais/write_own_cv/frequent_errors/index.htm
• Change your point of view and increase the common faux-pas in your CV (document à télécharger)
• To write your CV in English : www.ukstudentlife.com/Work/CV.htm
• Guide to student resumes: Complete Guide to Writing a Student Resume [13 Tips, Examples]
• How to list certifications on a resume : a guide
Information that MUST be included in a CV :
Name / Address (country) / Phone Numbers / Education (including IT and language skills) / Experience (including First Aid Certificate, Group Leader Training Certificate, voluntary work)
A photograph is necessary in European countries, EXCEPT the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, together with the USA and Canada, unless requested
To help you translate your degrees : télécharger le document "English CV : translate your degrees"
To help you translate your jobs : télécharger le document "English CV : translate your jobs"
Information that COULD be included in a CV
Nationality / Age or date of birth & Marital status (never in the USA) / A profile / Objective / Activities / leisure activities (for sports specify if competition level) / Interests / Military / References (i.e. names of supervisors, heads of departments, etc. who can testify you did a good job. This is done nearly systematically in the USA)
Information that should NEVER be included in a CV
The title " C.V. "/ Salary information / References / Religion or political affiliations.
Make sure the layout is adapted to your situation :
American resume : download the document
British CV : download the document
To help you with your CV, download the document "Almost everything you need to know about CVs"
NB : The American "Curriculum Vitae" is a lengthy document usually written only by a researcher, educator, or academic. It lists all of the researcher's achievements, including his or her educational background, scientific papers and experiments, teaching experience and awards received.
• The sort of information to be found in a cover letter : télécharger le document "Sample cover letter"
• Here is a super website where you'll find valuable information
- to write a business letter : owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/01/
- to write an academic letter : owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/639/01/
You apply for a position in a company / you send an application
You do an internship ( USA ) / a work placement ( UK )
YouI have competencies in … / You are knowledgeable about …
You are most / much interested in doing something …
You have several months / years of experience in …
You have practical work experience in …
You have hands-on laboratory skills (hands-on = pratique)
You have specialised in biology / materials…
You were trained as a ….
You will complete your degree / diploma in June 2007.
I’m free / available from …. to …
You are looking for a position as…
You have worked on different technologies / on different types of technology.
You have done work placements ( UK ) / internships (US) (no date with the present perfect)
You are not very experienced but …
You were responsible for 5 people / for doing something...
As it is specified in the job advert …
(Actually = in fact) --> You are currently doing a degree in ...
- American Cover Letter resume
- American Cover Letter
- Sample internship Cover Letter UK for an internship (or work placement)
- Sample graduate Cover Letter UK letter for a job
Cover letters are word-processed (typed).
A good cover letter is a personal, unique letter.
Entretien d'embauche (interview)
An interview is an opportunity for your possible future employer to get to know you, so do not be shy of telling the interviewer about yourself. The interviewer will probably base his or her questions around the following areas :
- Your life experience, both in and out of college or university.
- Your enthousiasm.
- Your understanding of the position that you have applied for.
- Your overall ability as a potential employee.
- Your motivation to make the most of the current job opportunity and future career prospects.
Always arrive on time. It is better to arrive about ten minutes before your appointment, giving yourself time to relax just before the interview.
Think carefully about your appearance. It plays an important part of the overall impression that you create.
Be polite and respectful. Greet the receptionist politely, do not forget that staff members you meet outside the interview room, may be asked for an opinion of you later by the interviewer.
Never smoke or chew in the waiting room or during the interview.
The interviewer may not shake hands but be prepared if he or she offers to do so !
Do not sit down until offered to do so.
Show interest and enthusiasm. Look at the interviewer and smile when people introduce themselves to you. Be aware of your body language, sit up straight, do not fold your arms or cover your mouth. Try to avoid single word answers.
Some possible questions you may be asked :
- Which subjects have you enjoyed during your studies ?
- Are there any subjects you have not enjoyed studying ? Why ?
- What are you planning to do when you have finished your studies ?
- Have you held any positions of responsibility or had any experience of organising things ?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses ?
- Why have you applied for this job ?
- What attracted you to this company ?
- What do you think the job involves ?
- Why should you be offered this job rather than someone else ?
- Where do you see yourself in the years to come ?
- If you do not know the answer to a particular question, say so. Turn the situation to your advantage and tell the interviewer that you will find out the answer for future reference.
Always be ready to ask the interviewer about the company/organization they represent. Here are some possible questions :
- What will a typical working day be like ?
- What responsibilities will I have?
- Who will I report directly to ?
- Who will I be working with ?
- Will I receive any training and what will it consist of ?
- What career opportunities are there within the company ?
- What is the structure of the company ?
- How many applicants are there for the post ?
- When will I know if I am successful or not?