How do I pimp my resume in English ?
December 13, 2011 4:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm french-speaking, possible new job needs my resume in English. Please help me pimp my resume.

Some company is looking for a profile that looks like the guy I see in the mirror everyday. They are based in continental Europe and use English as their language. My mother tongue is french but an elao langage test just established that I have enough fluency for the position.

I will deal with non-native english speakers using english as their own universal language.

Dear MeFi, please point me to english/american/international/expat resume resources.

Has anybody been through something similar ? Where are the pitfalls and how can I avoid them ?
posted by Baud to Work & Money (6 answers total)
When you write your resume in French, are there complete sentences, or do you drop the "je [verbs] from the start? If you're using complete sentences, it wouldn't translate right to the syntax English speakers are used to seeing on resumes. So that means rather than a bullet point of

"I was responsible for $1M in sales in 2010"

you'd just have

"Responsible for $1M in sales in 2010"

Also, if you're applying in continental Europe, I think you need to submit a CV, not a resume. There are slight differences in what the internet would recommend about the resume you would submit in the US and the CV you'd submit in Europe, so it might help if you google for CV resources.
posted by olinerd at 4:38 AM on December 13, 2011

You probably just need to get your resume reviewed by a native speaker familiar with your area of employment.

I'm a native English speaker who lives and works in Sweden. I wrote my resume for a computer programming job in English, translated it to Swedish myself and then had it reviewed person who is both a native Swedish speaker and a computer programmer. They corrected some words I had incorrectly translated (e.g. terms which have a Swedish version but whose English version is commonly used), and suggested improvements to the grammar in some places (e.g. an English sentence was passive in an unusual way, and when I translated it to Swedish it got mangled into something incomprehensible).
posted by beerbajay at 4:44 AM on December 13, 2011

Depending on the company you may not want to include a picture. I know this is an American hiring nightmare to see what the person looks like with the application, however I don't know what specific company you're applying to.
posted by raccoon409 at 5:28 AM on December 13, 2011

Be careful looking at English-language resumés – since the company is based in continental Europe, they'll want a CV, not a US-style resumé. Your French CV will be fine as it is, translated into English. (I say this as a French-American who's lived in France for 12 years now.)

If you feel you need a proofreader, it might be helpful to know that loads of translation agencies will do this, or you could outright request them to do the translation for you. It usually goes quickly. (I was a freelance French to English translator in the past – not any more, and not recommending any specific agencies here. I did several CV translations and proofreads on behalf of big translation agencies. So I know for certain that the big ones do this sort of thing for individuals. Quality will be a bit more reliable than it would if you tried to find a freelancer yourself... a lot of people nowadays market themselves as proofreaders/translators when they don't actually speak the target language very well.)
posted by fraula at 5:34 AM on December 13, 2011

Baud, consulte ta messagerie, SVP.
posted by rokusan at 8:13 AM on December 13, 2011

It would be a good idea to find out what constitutes a job application in the country this company is located in and to meet those formal criteria. If they want the application in English that's fine, but a secondary issue. Unless the company is in your home country and thus the normal application content is familiar to you zou need to research what will be expected in an application. Compile that in French. And then you worry about translating it.

What I mean is this. In the UK you'd normally submit your CV and a covering letter if you applied for a job. That's it. In Germany you'd have a whole application pack which includes your 'CV' and 'covering letter' but also education certificates and references from previous jobs and a get the idea.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:21 AM on December 13, 2011

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