The first thing you’ll notice is that ‘resume’ is not commonly used because it means ‘summary’ in French. It’s referred to as a French CV or Curriculum Vitae, and this is how you should address it to French employers.
The minor details matter when you’re applying for a job.
French CVs will differ depending on the company you are applying to. The culture is different in every French-speaking country and organization, so you must do your research before sending your resume. Most importantly, don’t shy away from showcasing those French writing skills on your CV.
Let’s look at some tips, examples, and resources to help you write an outstanding French CV.
French Resume Example
Job Rates and Statistics for French Speakers
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for french speakers is $56,000, but the amount varies depending on your occupation. Also, it depends on your academic achievements and professional training in your field.
According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, the employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 24% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Differences Between Resumes in English and French
Most resumes follow the same rules and tend to be short and to the point, highlighting your best qualifications. However, you’ll note that different countries have a specific way of writing resumes depending on what is acceptable in their culture . If you’re writing an English resume in America, you’ll not use this same resume in France. For instance:
- American resumes have a brief header section, and employers encourage job seekers to avoid adding too many personal details. Information on your nationality, age, and marital status are unnecessary because it can cause discrimination, but French employers require this.
- Having a professional photo on your English resume is highly discouraged, but it’s common practice to have a photo on your French CV. The photo should be a passport-sized one and will be on the top right or left corner of your résumé.
Your previous positions at your workplace, job title, and schools may be different so ensure you include the French equivalent of each to make it easy for the employer to understand.
How to Write A Job-Winning Resume in French
Hiring managers get multiple applications to review but only shortlist the best candidates.
So how do you ensure that your resume gets shortlisted?
There are a couple of things you’ll need to consider.
The first one is your layout and style. The recruiter will put your CV aside even if you have all the qualifications, but your CV is hard to read and understand. It’s okay to use creative fonts and styles on your resume, especially if you’re applying for a creative role but be careful not to overdo it. Fonts such as Cambria, Calibri, Roboto, and Arial are a much safer option if you’re not too sure about the font on your CV.The format you choose also plays a significant role in your resume . There is the reverse chronological order, functional, and combination resume formats. Each of these highlights your qualifications differently. The reverse-chronological format highlights your professional experience, while the functional resume highlights your skills. The combination resume highlights the best features of both.
The structure of your resume should have all the important sections, including:
- The header section
- A professional summary
- Work experience section
- Education section
- Skills section
- An additional section(Language skills, hobbies, publications, computer skills, and certifications)
Here are some tips to help you personalize your French resume.
- Remember to write any abbreviated company names and U.S state codes in full to make it easy for your potential employer to understand.
- Always look up the French equivalent of your academic achievements and job titles to ensure that your future employer understands your qualifications.
- Get a native French speaker to proofread your CV before sending it out to ensure there are no errors.
Begin Your French Resume with the Contact Information
When writing a French resume, you’ll be required to include more personal information. This may come as a surprise to you if you’re used to writing an English resume that requires you to be brief with your personal information.
In addition to your full name, phone number, email address, and job title, you’ll also add your marital status, age, and nationality. The location is also essential, especially if you’re applying for a job abroad.
The photo: Crucial on The French Resume
While it’s highly discouraged to add a photo on your resume in the U.S, this is not the case if you’re applying for a job in France. It’s a common requirement in most European countries.
However, it shouldn’t be a random selfie on your phone that you’ve been hoping to use. It has to be a professional photo that should preferably be passport-sized.
Illustrate Your Professional Experience
The work experience section allows you to showcase your professional experience in your field. Our resume examples act as an excellent guide if you need help with what you’ll add to this section. It’s always advisable to add the relevant experience in chronological order. This means that you’ll start with your most recent position and go backward.
Under each workplace you’ll add to your resume, list at least three to five responsibilities and quantify them using figures and facts. This helps to show your future employer the value you’ll bring to the company.
So, what do you add to this section if you don’t have previous experience in your field?
If you don’t have previous experience, you can highlight your other experience not related to the job and show the recruiter the transferable skills you gained that will be useful in the company. Usually, volunteer experiences, attachments, or military service also help your CV look good if you’ve not started working.
Every academic achievement is vital when applying for a job in France. Whether you have a Diploma, Bachelor’s degree, or Master’s degree, you should include it in your CV. It’s okay to leave out your high school diploma if you have a Master’s degree or Doctorate PhD
Remember that every country has a different grading system. Therefore, to make the recruiter’s work easier, you can always include the French equivalent of every academic qualification. This extra effort might end up tipping the scale in your favor.
The information that you’ll have here includes:
- The name of the school.
- The name of the degree.
- The dates you attended the school.
The location and grade are not always mandatory, but you can add them to your CV:
When listing your skills, think about those unique abilities that help you perform the job efficiently. Each job will require specific skills, and how you add them to your resume also matters. With the help of our resume templates, you can structure this section appropriately, making sure that the recruiter doesn’t miss any detail.
Use bullet points to list your skills because this makes them easily visible even as the recruiter takes a glance at your resume. The skills are divided into hard skills, which are more technical and may require some training and soft skills, which are more of your personality and character.
Let’s look at some examples of these skills.
- Accounting skills
- SEO marketing
- Project management
- Business development
- Database management
- Data analysis
- Public speaking
- Digital marketing
- Interpersonal skills
- Critical thinking
About Me: Summarize Your Professional Profile
The professional summary is also referred to as the introduction of your resume. It summarizes your top achievements and experience to capture the hiring manager’s attention and get them to read the rest of your resume. This section should answer the following questions:
- What previous experience do you have that makes you the best candidate for the position?
- What was your top accomplishment at your last position?
- What top skills make you a unique candidate for the position?
This example covers all the areas a resume summary should cover, properly detailing the candidate’s experience, skills, and accomplishments.
The example above doesn’t detail the candidate’s professional expertise or accomplishments at their previous workplace.This makes it hard for the hiring manager to know what value they’ll bring to the company.
Recent graduates and career changers may not have professional achievements and years of experience to add to their CV in the professional summary section. However, the professional objective gives them a chance to briefly describe their career goals and how they align with the company goals and express their interest in the position.
Additional sections for your French Resume
An additional section allows you to include any other qualifications you may have left out in the previous sections. This is your chance to shine as you highlight additional achievements and skills that set you apart from all other candidates.
You may be tempted to be timid, but don’t be because it’s an ‘everyone for themselves’ kind of situation, and your competitors will bring their A-game. Let’s help you out with some of the sections you’ll add here.
If you’re multilingual, don’t bundle up your language skills with your other skills because it’s so easy for the recruiter to miss them. Create a separate section for them and list them down using the official language reference.
If you’re applying for a job in France, you’ll want your potential employer to see that your French is excellent, so include your proficiency level and results if applicable. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages can help you determine your proficiency level, either a basic user, independent user, or proficient user.
What better way to showcase some of your achievements than to highlight your published work in magazines or journals. This is an excellent way to get the hiring manager’s attention and set yourself apart from the other candidates.
Remember to include:
- The title of the publication.
- The name of the journal or magazine.
- The link to the publication.
Tips to Improve Your Resume in French
- Your resume should be one page long, focusing on your relevant qualifications depending on your field.
- Please do your research on the company you’re applying to ensure you don’t write a CV that doesn’t fit their culture or specifications.
- Proofread your CV to ensure your French is excellent and there are no mistakes.
- Always create a new French CV when applying for a position and consider the company and the country you want to work in.
Summary: Write a Perfect Resume in French to Work Abroad
- Your header will include your age, nationality, and marital status in addition to your contact details.
- Most European countries require a photo on your resume, except for a few like the U.K and Ireland.
- Always quantify your results when writing your roles and responsibilities to show your value to the hiring manager.
- Keep your resume short and use a layout that is easy to read and understand.
- Introduce your resume with a catchy professional summary.
Complement Your Resume with Your Cover Letter
Hiring managers get many job applications, and one way you can stand out is by complementing your CV with a cover letter. This letter allows you to highlight your career goals, express your interest in the job, and bring up some of your accomplishments.
Not to mention, it showcases your superb writing skills and personality. Check out our cover letter examples and learn to write an impeccable letter for every job application.
Which career opportunities are available for French speakers in the U.S.?
Some of the most profitable and sought-after French-speaking roles in the U.S. include:
- Translator $43,000
- Proofreader $56,000
- Editor $59,000
- Tour guide $60,000
- Flight attendant $47,000
- Casino $27,000
- Resort or hotel staff $42,000
- Consul, ambassador or diplomat $147,000-$159,000
- French teacher $54,000
- Non-governmental Organization(NGO) staff $52,000
Which top companies hire French speakers in the U.S?
Some of the companies include:
- Alcatel Lucent
- SG Americas Securities
- Schneider Electric
- Calsoft Lab
- Bank of the West
- BNP Paribas
- Atos IT Solutions and Services
- Valtech Solutions
- and Dassault Systems.