French CV format tips and requirements (2023)

Are you looking for a job in France, Canada or another French-speaking country? Are you applying for a position in a company with a strong international vocation? Please note that you will need to provide a Curriculum Vitae in French. The quality of the CV must be impeccable, under penalty of discrediting your level of French or even your general profile. How to write a resume in French? This article details the differences between a French CV and an English CV.

French resume example

French CV format tips and requirements (1)

Click here to download this example.

How to create a resume in French

There are important differences between a CV in French and a CV in English. When writing your CV in French, keep the following points in mind:

Curriculum Title

If you are used to putting a title at the top of your documents, be very careful with your CV in French. Do not write "CV" or "Curriculum Vitae" at the top of your CV, as it is quite recognizable without having to explicitly name it.

Instead, please indicate the position you wish to apply for, for example, "French-English Bilingual Medical Secretary." To choose your resume title, find the position described in the job posting and add something to differentiate it, if possible. Be careful, however, not to fall into clichés with adjectives such as "serious" or "motivated".

Whereas, the title of your English resume should contain your own name, which works as the main title, your professional title, and contact details.

Personal information

The amount of personal information that should be included on a French resume generally depends on the position you are applying for. At a minimum, you must include the following information:

  • First and last name;

  • Landline and mobile phone numbers;

  • Email address;

  • Full address;

  • Era.

Depending on the characteristics you want to highlight for the position, you can add:

  • Gender;

  • Marital status;

  • Nationality;

  • Driver's license;

  • LinkedIn profile (if updated).

For example, indicating that you have a driver's license is useful if your desired role requires business travel by car.

(Video) THE FRENCH CV: How to Write a French CV / French resume (with examples)

The personal information section of your resume is where you will probably find the biggest difference between an English resume and a French one. Most English resumes do not include marital status or nationality. For example, in the UK it is illegal to even discuss a candidate's marital status. In France, you can choose to tell the recruiter if he is single to highlight his availability/flexibility. On the other hand, being married can be seen as a test of stability or a sense of responsibility. Of course, whether or not to include this information depends largely on the requirements of the specific role.

Remember to include this information on your French resume, be honest about your nationality and whether you have a work permit.

photo

In many English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, laws prohibit employers from requesting a photo. A photograph is considered useless because it does not provide anything to inform the employer about your professional experience. However, this is different in France.

The anonymous resume appeared in France in 2006. This type of resume does not contain a photo, nor even the name and address of the candidate. The idea of ​​the anonymous CV is to eliminate all indications that may cause discrimination in hiring: physical appearance, gender, racial or ethnic origin, social level associated with the place of residence, etc.

However, this initiative had mixed results. Consequently, we see that the anonymous CV never really managed to establish itself in France. Therefore, Human Resources (and companies in general) always expect to find a photo on a French resume. The photo is considered an advantage because it helps make the resume more personal.

So keep this in mind: unless otherwise stated in the job offer, a French CV must include a photo of the candidate.

profile text

Your personal profile is possibly the most important aspect of a CV in English. Located at the top of the page, just below the personal information.

The resume profile section is not always present on French resumes. However, due to the Anglo-Saxon influence, it is increasingly common to write a text that summarizes your profile in a French CV. Although profile text is not widely used in France, it can only be an asset on your resume. This is a unique opportunity to outline your objectives in a few words. Also, this short quick read presentation gives the recruiter a brief overview of your resume. This is a little extra that can clearly make the difference between your CV and that of other candidates.

This text should be placed at the top of the page, just below the personal information. Keep it short, no more than six sentences. A successful personal profile gives the reader an idea of ​​her identity and outlines her skills and career goals. Focus on the facts, be specific, and give examples of your skills. When your profile is too generic, it doesn't stand out from other candidates. Your profile should only apply to you!

resume length

In most English-speaking countries, your resume should be one or two sides of an A4 page.

The terms resume and resume are often used interchangeably. However, in the United States, resume and CV are two separate documents. A "resume" is a concise one-page document that focuses on skills relevant to the job. While a resume provides a full background of your education, experience, skills, and qualifications and is typically much more extensive than a resume.

In France, this distinction between "CV" and "curriculum vitae" does not exist. The length of the resume must be one page.

general format

Despite its reduced format of one page, the French CV should be organized and have a light graphic. If you are very experienced, this can be a real challenge! To help make the page less confusing, use a very factual and direct style. Feel free to use bullet points without making complete sentences.

Spelling and language level.

In some countries, especially English-speaking ones, language flaws in a resume can be compensated for by other qualities of the candidate. Unfortunately, French recruiters tend not to be very forgiving in this area.

Therefore, you should be careful to remove any spelling, grammar, or conjugation errors from your resume. Use simple sentence structures to make sure you don't make mistakes. If necessary, ask someone to review your resume for you.

Education

In France, the attention of recruiters is particularly focused on education. While professional experience is slowly beginning to gain value, education remains key. Please list educational achievements, including training, and remember to specify:

  • Name of your school or university;

  • Exact title of their diplomas or certificates;

  • Classification or results obtained (indicate the equivalent in French).

career continuity

Finally, you must indicate the start and end dates of each of your professional experiences. Please list your experience in chronological order, most recent first. If possible, list your experiences continuously, without leaving a year blank. This is extremely important as it is frowned upon in France to leave a "gap" in your professional record. If your background is shaky or not fully up to date, be prepared for this to be brought up during the job interview.

(Video) How to make a French CV ?

How to translate your English to French with CVMaker

Most of the time, you will need to use your existing English CV to translate it into French. CVmaker is an online service that helps you write your CV in English and translate it into French. This service is provided by professionals and takes into account not only language differences, but also cultural differences between countries to create a suitable CV.

If you have already produced your resume in English through CVmaker, it will be very easy to translate it into French. To do this, you must go to "My CV" and choose "duplicate" the CV in English. You can transform the duplicate by applying a French format to it ("Personal Data" and select "French"). Headers and titles will be automatically translated. You will have to translate the content.

French translations of main words

To help you translate your CV into French, we have provided a list of frequently used words in a French CV below.

General terms

language skills

Language skills: Language skills\Mother tongue, Mother tongue, Native speaker: Fluent mother tongue, Almost mother tongue: Fluency\Competent, Advanced: Very good proficiency\Intermediate level: Intermediate\Basic, Elementary: Elementary level Reading: Lu\Written language , writing–Écrit\Spoken language, speech, verbal communication–Parlé

profile text

  • Eager to learn, curious, studious–Studieux

  • Motivated, eager – Motivated

  • sensible-sensible

  • Leadership, taking the initiative, giving direction, managing, executing–Capacité à manager

  • Communicative-Communicant

  • Stress proof, stress resistant, able to work under pressureAbility to work under pressure

  • Results oriented, focus on results

  • Reliable, Reliable-Reliable Reliable-Reliable

  • Customer Friendly, Customer Oriented – Customer Relational Qualities

    (Video) Create Free Best CV for Europe | Europass CV for Europe jobs | Europass CV Formats

  • Knowledge-Knowledge

Personal information

Professional experience

  • Work experience, career summary, employment history – Expérience professionnelle

  • Function, position–Position

  • Currently, present, current position, “year/date” onwards–En cours

  • Schema, Feature Description/Summary: Post Description

  • Responsibilities, main responsibilities - Responsibilities

    (Video) Create Best CV for Free in MS Word | Best CV Format 2022

  • Achievements, achievements–Results / Successes

Common professions/jobs

  • Cashier, girl/boy cashier – Caissier

  • Sales Representative, Sales Clerk – VRP

  • Warehouseman, shelf stacker – Warehouse

  • Customer service representative, customer service agent–Agent de service à la clientèle

  • Biker-Driver

  • Hospitality – Hospitality professions

  • Waiter, Waitress–Waiter/Waitress

  • Construction worker, builder–Construction worker

  • Carpenter-Charpentier

  • Mechanical-Mechanical

Education

School education is the most difficult to translate as there are as many school systems as there are countries! Therefore, it is generally not possible to find an exact translation for every course you have taken or every degree you have earned. However, below you will find some translations of words commonly used on a French CV:

FAQs

What is CV summary in French? ›

Un résumé means a summary, whereas a résumé refers to un CV (curriculum vitae). Thus, when applying for a job with a French company, you need to provide un CV, not un résumé.

What are the 7 basic steps to writing a CV? ›

Here are seven steps you can follow to write the perfect resume:
  • Choose a format. ...
  • Start with your contact information. ...
  • Include your professional profile. ...
  • Summarize your education and experience. ...
  • Highlight your skills. ...
  • Include your certifications. ...
  • Conclude with additional sections.

What are the 5 main things your CV should include? ›

Every CV should include the following sections: Contact Information, CV Profile, Work Experience, Education, Skills. Good additional sections to put on a CV are: Certifications, Associations, Languages, Extra Training and Courses, Conferences, Publications, or Awards.

What are the five main elements that must be included in a CV? ›

There are five essential elements to include in your CV. Your name and contact details, a personal statement, work experience, education and qualifications and key skills.

How many pages should a French CV be? ›

A typical CV in France is written in French and is one page long for fresh graduates - max two pages in case you have several years of work experience. It is best to use short and concise sentences and to avoid the use of 'I' ('je').

Do you need photo in French CV? ›

In France, it is customary to include a photograph on the CV; however, this is not obligatory. Should you wish to include one, a small, good-quality, formal photograph can be scanned onto a top right or left corner of the résumé/CV.

Does a French CV include a photo? ›

Although you're not required to include a photo on your CV in France, it can be a plus to your application.

What 3 things should be included in a CV? ›

9 things you should always include in a CV
  • Name and contact information. The first thing to include in your curriculum vitae (CV) is your name. ...
  • Personal profile. ...
  • Core competencies. ...
  • Employment history/work experience. ...
  • Volunteer experience. ...
  • Education. ...
  • Awards and certifications. ...
  • Professional affiliations and memberships.

What are the four critical ways to improve CV? ›

7 Simple But Effective Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out
  • Start strong. Start with a summary of your skills and key accomplishments. ...
  • Emphasize results rather than responsibilities. ...
  • Customize for the job you want. ...
  • Highlight changes and growth. ...
  • Demonstrate that you are connected. ...
  • Show industry insight. ...
  • Use power words.

How do you write a winning CV? ›

Pro tips:
  1. Present only your main tasks, experiences and skills that are relevant to the position.
  2. Use bullet points to list your skills and tasks by groups, it will look clearer.
  3. Write short sentences.
  4. Do not go into detail.
  5. Do not write more than 3 pages.

How to write a perfect CV? ›

Think about how your skills and experience match what the employer is looking for and gather the information you'll need, including:
  1. your qualifications.
  2. your past jobs and volunteering experience.
  3. your past employers' details.
  4. evidence of any training courses you've completed.

What things look good on a CV? ›

15 Skills and Achievements That Will Look Good on Any CV
  • First aid training. ...
  • Touch-typing. ...
  • Database skills. ...
  • Other computing skills. ...
  • Budgeting experience. ...
  • Events experience. ...
  • Language skills. ...
  • Commercial awareness.

What should not be included in a CV? ›

The CV should be professional and should include your important data. Don't include the following information. These things are not necessary: age; ethnic identity; political affiliation; religious preference; hobbies; marital status; sexual orientation; place of birth; photographs; height; weight and health.

What are the two most important components of a CV? ›

CV components

Your CV should include the following sections: Contact information: Include your full name, address, phone number and email address. Academic history: List all schooling from high school through postdoctoral (if applicable).

How detailed should a CV be? ›

Even if you have decades of experience, recruitment experts generally recommend you detail the most salient points within two pages, up to a maximum of four pages if needed. Academic CVs are the only common exception.

Is it OK to have a CV longer than 2 pages? ›

In the end, the length doesn't matter quite as much as the content filling the pages. If you can capture your qualifications on one page, great. But if it takes two pages or more, that's OK, too. “I've had new grads do well with two-page resumes and top executives do well with only one page,” Isaacs says.

Should I have a 1 or 2 page CV? ›

Keep it short. One page is best. Two are okay; anything longer is likely too much for a prospective employer to plow through.

Is a 2 page CV too short? ›

A resume can be two pages, but most should be one page. That's true for entry-level candidates and those with less than 5 years' experience. If the job requires Elon-Musk-level accomplishments, or you can't cram your achievements on one page, write a two page resume.

Is it unprofessional to have a photo on CV? ›

In most cases you do not need to include a photo on your CV because they simply add no value to an application and they waste space. However, if you are in a country or industry where a photo is required, then make sure it looks professional and takes up minimal space.

Which is better CV with picture or without? ›

A resume should address your experience and skills in an articulate, concise and professional manner, so it's about knowing what to include in a resume that is of added value. For this reason, it's recommended to avoid adding a photo on your resume.

Is it better to put photo on CV or not? ›

NO, Don't Include a Photo

So steer clear of providing a picture or any other details that reveal too much personal data. If you are like many job seekers, however, you'll include in your resume a link to your social media profiles or personal website, where photos are recommended.

Should I send my CV in French or English? ›

Most French employers will expect your CV to be in French, even if you're applying for an English-language position. Sending your CV in French also demonstrates respect for the customs of the country.

How should a CV photo look like? ›

8 tips for including a photo in your resume
  1. Use an appropriate background. ...
  2. Choose a well lit area. ...
  3. Wear clothing that reflects the company or industry. ...
  4. Select the right photo height. ...
  5. Take the photo from the shoulders up. ...
  6. Smile. ...
  7. Use a real and natural looking picture. ...
  8. Select a high-resolution image.
Jul 21, 2022

In which country a CV should not include a photo? ›

DO NOT include a resume photo in the following countries:
  • United Kingdom.
  • Ireland.
  • United States.
Feb 3, 2023

How do you write a killer CV? ›

24 tips for writing a killer resume
  1. Know your audience. The first step to writing an effective resume is to know your audience. ...
  2. Use keywords. ...
  3. Consider formatting. ...
  4. Explain relevance. ...
  5. Keep it brief. ...
  6. Tell a story. ...
  7. Quantify successes. ...
  8. Demonstrate diverse skills.
Jun 8, 2021

What are the most common mistakes when elaborating a CV? ›

Eight most common CV mistakes
  • Spelling mistakes and bad grammar. A lack of attention to detail could outweigh your otherwise perfect CV. ...
  • Focusing on duties rather than achievements. ...
  • Using clichés. ...
  • Incorrect information. ...
  • Poor format. ...
  • Failure to tailor. ...
  • Job-hopping and employment gaps. ...
  • Too long.

How do I make my CV stand out without experience? ›

How to write a resume with no experience: 5 tips
  1. Highlight your education. If you have little work experience, emphasizing your education is a great way to showcase your strengths, interests, and background. ...
  2. Include relevant experience. ...
  3. List your skills. ...
  4. Include a summary. ...
  5. Use a template.
Feb 16, 2023

What is the full form of CV in French? ›

noun. curriculum vitae m ⧫ CV m.

What is CV called in USA? ›

In many European countries, CV is used to describe all job application documents, including a resume. In the United States and Canada, CV and resume are sometimes used interchangeably.

What does TKT mean in French? ›

TKT, short for T'inquiète or, more formally, Ne t'inquiète pas = “Don't worry”

What is a CV called in American English *? ›

While languages as diverse as Arabic, Spanish and British English use the term (short for the Latin curriculum vitae) American English prefers the term résumé. It's important not to neglect this detail as the term CV is used in America, but only in academia.

Videos

1. How to make RESUME [ CV ] in Canadian Format FREE | CV FORMAT FOR JOBS IN CANADA 🇨🇦 | FREE DOWNLOAD
(Travel With Aayush Mehta)
2. Tips to write a French CV and resume in 2021
(Thatsmoni)
3. Write an Incredible Resume: 5 Golden Rules!
(Jeff Su)
4. How to make a CV / Resume For Free Malayalam | Farhan Bin Fazil
(Mallu Discovery TV)
5. How to make European Standard CV
(BNC Universe)
6. CV for Students with NO Experience (FREE TEMPLATE)
(Mind The Grad)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 04/08/2023

Views: 6185

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.