Top Tips for Formatting Your CV for the French Job Market – Part Two
In the first part of our guide to formatting your CV/Resume for the French Job market we tackled points like what language it should be written in, and what personal information you should include.
Part two contains some more top tips for getting your CV ready for a job hunt in France.
What they don’t know…
When you’re applying for a job in a foreign environment, away from everyone you know, it can be tempting to add a couple of little white lies to your CV. However, in France the majority of employers will conduct reference checks on potential candidates, so if you’ve lied about how long you held a position or what your responsibilities entailed, they could easily find out.
If you’ve got them flaunt them
Language skills are a huge bonus and can significantly improve your employability, so make sure you don’t hide them – in fact, it’s recommended that you state the fact that you’re bilingual near the top of the CV.
Even if the foreign language you’re fluent in is not French it could still count in your favour.
Be sure to state which language is your native language, and what level (beginner/advanced etc) you can speak the other tongue in.
Also, if you’re attending French language classes you should state when/where you began studying as it shows that you are trying to improve your linguistic skills.
Again, don’t be tempted to lie – bluffing your way through a conversation in a foreign language is not recommended!
Translate Your Qualifications
Make sure to list your qualifications with their French equivalent. If you don’t know how your qualifications translate, ask a native speaker/French educator/look on French examining board websites.
It’s important to translate your qualifications for a potential employer so they can see immediately that you’re right for the role being offered, and the difference can be quite significant. An English 2:2 degree grade, for example, is known as a ‘Mention Bien’ in French.
Not all sharing is bad
French employers might not want to know how many cats you have or where you do your food shopping, but they do like applicants to provide a little information about their hobbies.
Having a range of hobbies can show that you are a well rounded individual and adaptable to different disciplines/social situations and have other interests besides work. Your interviewer may even share the same hobby, giving you a common reference point.
Just remember, ‘drinking’, ‘playing on my X-Box’ and ‘shopping’ are not the kind of hobbies an employer wants to know about!
Good luck formatting your French CV, and Bonne Chance on the job hunt!