After you have booked a Letter from Expats looking for work abroad, it is time to take the next step: recruiting procedures once you have found an offer. In what language to write your CV and his cover letter? Should we put more emphasis on our experiences or diplomas? So many methods that differ from country to country. Overview…
You are applying in a European country
In general, the golden rule is to always write your CV and his motivation letter in the language of the host country. For diplomas, we must avoid translating them and rather leave them in French, while indicating their equivalence in the country of expatriation and by detailing as much as possible the content of the training and the acquired knowledge. Also avoid acronyms, which may not be understood abroad. If not, you can use Europass to edit your CV and cover letter according to a unique European model in order to allow employers to understand diplomas and qualifications regardless of the country. The European job mobility portal Eures also details the procedures for each country. :
- Germany : If you apply for a position with our neighbor across the Rhine, your CV must be in the form of a table of maximum two pages with your experiences in so-called “descending” chronological order, ie the most recent information first. The photo is required and is placed at the top right. The cover letter, on the other hand, must end with “With best regards”, formula meaning “Best regards”.
- Spain : Do not be surprised, because, according to Eures, Spanish companies are used to contacting only successful candidates during the recruitment phase. The cover letter must start with “Dear Mr./Mrs.” and end with “Awaiting your news, sincerely greets you”. In Spain, it is common to take psycho-technical tests to detect the personality of candidates or to have them do group exercises, such as simulating a meeting and managing it from start to finish.
- Portugal : In this country too, recruiters like to have their potential future employees undergo psychotechnical tests. The CV is usually done in reverse chronological order, with the most recent information on top.
- Suisse : In our Swiss neighbor, companies attach great importance to diplomas and work certificates. It is preferable to indicate the equivalences in Swiss certificates and to attach a copy of your diplomas and certificates. It is also necessary to detail the different positions and tasks that you had in case the titles are different. The European cross-border grouping also offers models of CV and cover letters on its website. You can also submit yours, which will then be available for consultation by the association’s partner companies. It also offers “job” interviews, during which advisers can give you information about recruiting in Switzerland. You can also attend conferences, like this one: “Identify and propose your added value”, on January 29, 2021.
- Sweden : In general, according to Eures, the CV must not include a photo. In this country, it is common to spontaneously call a company to express its desire to work at home, it is an approach often well received. You can find on the Swedish Employment Agency website sample cover letters or webinars filled with tips for writing your CV in Swedish.
To see more details or other countries, go to the Eures portal.
You are applying outside the European Union
On the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in the Preparing for expatriation section, then Employment, you will find advice on CV and cover letters for each country. For example :
- United States : According to the FranceintheUS website, it is advisable to avoid personal information, such as photo, age or family situation. The CV must start with an “Objective” section, where you detail your professional wishes. Do not forget the references and recommendations at the end, very valued.
- United Kingdom : To write your CV in English, discover the Eurodesk guide, which details it step by step, and find useful translations for your documents. UK recruiters generally prefer to hear what you have learned from your previous experiences rather than your education or diploma. References and recommendations are therefore appreciated. In the cover letter, it is often the reverse of France, that is to say that the name of the candidate is at the top right and the name of the recipient a little below on the left. It is common to start his CV with a few introductory lines, called “Objective” or “Personal Profile”, where you present your experience and the position sought. To find the equivalences of your diplomas in the United Kingdom, here is a useful address: [email protected] On the website of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, you will also find all the advice to get a job in the United Kingdom, with in particular translations of words commonly used in CV.
- Canada : For Canada, here is a Serious Game developed by Pôle emploi who will inform you in a fun way about the recruitment methods. The Eurodesk guide advises to add a “Skills” box in your CV. In Quebec specifically, professional experience takes precedence over diplomas. On the other hand, experience abroad, therefore in your country of origin, is hardly recognized.