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How to write a French CV

Creating a good CV is not the easiest thing to do. So, creating a good CV that corresponds to the criteria of another country can be a bit complicated. We are here to teach you how to write a French CV, so that you can sell yourself in the best possible way to French recruiters.

Know that a recruiter spends an average of 40 seconds on your CV! So, he must be seduced and intrigued at first sight if you want him to look at your CV longer. Even if the content of your CV is important it is its esthetic and its page layout that will catch the eye.

The page layout

This formatting must contain certain elements specific to the French work world, notably a photo, and it must also fit on a single page.

Then there are some rules you must respect to have a good CV presentation:

  • A photo yes! But a professional one.

  • A clearly legible font of a good size.

  • In France it is possible to put some visual elements on your CV but be careful! Don’t exaggerate.

  • To make it attractive you must put some color to it. 3 colors maximum and don’t just take colors that you like, chose colors that represent the field of work you are applying for.

For example: Blue and white for the medical field.

Then, in addition to these elements you will have to include these different points in you CV:

  • Contact information

  • The title and the purpose of this CV

  • Your professional experiences

  • Your diplomas

  • Your Soft and Hard Skills but in coherence with the offer you are applying for

  • Your language levels

Now let’s see how you should arrange these elements and develop each of them in your so that it corresponds to the expectations of French recruiters.

Display your professional experiences in the best way possible

It is certainly the most important part of your CV and the one that recruiters are most interested in. It is the best way for them to know what you can really do and not just what you’ve studied.

However, there are some rules to respect when you present these experiences:

  • Present them in chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest.

  • Specify the company and the place where you worked.

  • Develop more on experiences that have something in common with the job you are applying for.

  • In France, beyond what you have done, it is what you have learned in this position that interests recruiters. It shows your ability to continue learning even though your studies are finished.

How to talk about your studies the right way?

Just like your professional experiences, your studies and diplomas will have less impact if you don't highlight them in the right way.

You must put first your highest and most recent diploma by specifying the date, the mention, the institution, etc...

You can then indicate the others if they are not simply diplomas obtained earlier in the same field (like a bachelor’s degree and a master). On the other hand, if you have diplomas in other fields, you must put them on you CV too. Just make sure you explain why they can be useful for the job you want.

Add your your language skills and your computer skills to strengthen your resume.

If the two previous categories are the ones that recruiters are most interested in, this is the one that will allow you to stand out from people with the same profile as you. Especially as an expatriate, mastering several languages is a real advantage for you and will allow you to stand out.

Whether it's for your language level or your computer skills, avoid vague descriptions of your level at all costs. For the languages they are classified from A1 to C2 (you can find online the list of criteria to know where you are). For IT, indicate the certifications you have obtained and avoid skill "gauges" has you can see here.

The soft skills

If in the previous step you had to be very precise in describing your skills, here it is more complicated to measure them. By Soft Skills we mean for example:

  • Problem solving

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Communication

  • Time management

  • stress management

  • Audacity

  • Motivation

These are usually skills that you acquire outside of work or school. They are often developed through sports or other passions or even just over time. They are certainly not the most important elements of your CV, but once again, as with language skills, they can make the difference against another CV that is very close to yours.

Here too, remember to indicate skills that are related to the position you are applying for. They will have more impact if the recruiter immediately sees their link with the job he is offering.

The arch paragraphs

As its name suggests, it will be placed at the beginning of your CV as a short presentation of yourself for the recruiter.

But why only mention it at the end of the article then?

Well, because for this short text to be as relevant and clear as possible, you need to make it once your CV is finished.

Why? Because once your resume is finished you still have everything in your head, and you can summarize it in a few lines. If you try to start with this catchy paragraph, it will not be in line with your CV, and you will have much more difficulty knowing what to put in it!

Thanks to these elements you now how to create a French CV. You just have to adapt these tips to your tastes and the job you are looking for. Let us know down bellow if this articles helped you make your French CV and if you have any questions we will gladly answer them.

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