On Writing an English Resume
There are tons of reasons why having an English resume is a smart idea these days, not the least of which is globalization. Need I say more? As part of your Legal English or Business English education, you may be thinking that in addition to your CV you want to create your resume in English. How do you accomplish this, you wonder? Where do you even begin to turn your curriculum vitae (“CV”) into a resume? Well, here are 10 tips for writing your English resume:
1. Resumes are summaries of your work and professional history that are usually organized chronologically in reverse order. So the dates on your resumes should show from most recent to less recent. That rule also goes for listing your education history as well as your experience.
2. Resumes are not CVs so do not include your age, race or other personal details or paste your picture on your resume, as this is highly inappropriate for an American audience, and possibly other English speaking audiences as well.
3. Never exceed the three page absolute limit for a resume. While CVs can go on for miles, no American recruiter will take kindly to overly long resumes. Some experts claim that one page should be sufficient. But two pages are fine. Anything over two pages should be viewed with circumspection and if your are not applying for a academic or research position, you are probably shooting yourself in the foot by making your resume too long. Trim out the fat where possible is the sage advice.
4. Experience and Education are the two most important areas to be highlighted. Always start with the one that is stronger for you. If your educational pedigree is more impressive than your experience, start with your education. But if your experience trumps your education, highlight your experience first then put your education next – but in reverse date chronological order starting with the most recent.
5. You do not have to start with an objective statement at the top of your resume, but it does not hurt; especially if you have a particularly articulate one liner that is specifically targeted to a specific position.
6. You can, but are not required to summarize your resume at the very top of the document. In the summary you can put up to five items that will be addressed in the bottom of the resume.
7. Always spell check and have an English language native speaker look over your resume before you send it out – if your English is not above intermediate level.
8. If you have particularly impressive references you can include their names “name drop” at the bottom of your resume with their contact details. Otherwise if your references are not particularly name-drop worthy, just say “References available upon Request.” This is the last line of your resume.
9. Yes you should include language skills, computer skills, interests, publications, honors, and hobbies but these should appear towards the bottom and should be stated in a short, concise manner.
10. Remain consistent with punctuation, highlighting, font, language and tone throughout the document.
Finally, if you are going to send your cover letter digitally by email, observe these tips about writing effective business emails in English at this link.