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How to write a French resume

By Jean
Reading Time: 4 minutes
French resume

Creating a French resume (CV) can be a bit different from what you might be used to. Understanding the key elements and format of a French CV will help you stand out in the job market.

This guide will walk you through each section and provide tips to ensure your resume meets French employers’ expectations.

How to Find a Job

For job search, we recommend you check the platform Jobaviz: https://www.jobaviz.fr and our blog article here: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/how-to-get-a-part-time-job-in-france/

This platform is the go-to site for student employment! It lists job offers from a wide range of employers. Aimed at a student audience, the job offers found on the platform are compatible with your student schedule. Many students successfully find jobs teaching their native language to French locals. Other part-time opportunities include working in restaurants, cafes, hotels, local stores, and more. 

French resume

Content of a French Resume

Personal Information (Informations Personnelles)

Begin your resume with your personal information at the top:

  • Full Name (Nom complet): Write your first and last name.
  • Contact Information (Coordonnées): Include your phone number, email address, and home address.
  • Date of Birth (Date de naissance): This is optional but commonly included.
  • Nationality (Nationalité): Mention your nationality.
  • Photo (Photo d’identité): Although optional, including a professional-looking photo is standard in France.

Professional Objective (Projet Professionnel)

A professional objective is a brief statement about your career goals and what you hope to achieve in your next position. Tailor this section to align with the job you are applying for, highlighting how your aspirations match the company’s objectives.

Work Experience (Expérience Professionnelle)

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent position. For each job, include:

  • Job Title (Titre du poste)
  • Company Name (Nom de l’entreprise) and Location (Lieu)
  • Dates of Employment (Dates d’emploi)
  • Responsibilities and Achievements (Responsabilités et Réalisations): Use bullet points to describe your main duties and notable accomplishments.

Make sure to quantify your achievements when possible. For example, instead of saying you “managed a team,” you could say you “managed a team of 10 people, increasing productivity by 20%.”

Education (Formation)

Detail your educational background, also in reverse chronological order:

  • Degree (Diplôme)
  • Institution (Établissement)
  • Dates of Attendance (Dates de fréquentation)
  • Key Achievements (Réalisations clés): Mention any significant projects or honours.

If your education is from another country, consider providing a brief explanation of its equivalence in the French education system.

Skills (Compétences)

Highlight your relevant skills in this section:

  • Technical Skills (Compétences techniques): Software, tools, and technologies you are proficient in.
  • Soft Skills (Compétences interpersonnelles): Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.
  • Languages (Langues): Clearly state your proficiency levels in various languages, using terms like “courant” (fluent), “intermédiaire” (intermediate), and “débutant” (beginner).

Interests (Centres d’intérêt)

Including your interests can help personalize your resume and give employers insight into your personality:

  • Hobbies and Interests (Loisirs et intérêts): Mention activities that demonstrate skills or qualities relevant to the job.

French resume

Style and Formatting of a French Resume

Format
  1. Keep it Concise: Aim for a one-page resume, unless you have extensive experience.
  2. Use Clear Section Headings: Make it easy to navigate your resume with clear and bold section headings.
  3. Be Professional: Use formal language and avoid slang or informal expressions.
  4. Proofread: Ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Consider having a native French speaker review your resume.

Common Mistakes to Avoid
  1. Including Irrelevant Information: Focus only on what’s relevant to the job.
  2. Overloading with Text: Use bullet points and avoid long paragraphs.
  3. Neglecting Professional Objective: A well-crafted objective can set you apart from other candidates.
  4. Ignoring Formatting: A clean, well-structured resume is essential.

Get a Template

Use resume-building tools and resources to create a polished and professional resume. Websites like Canva offer valuable insights and templates that can help you structure your resume effectively.

French resume

Tips to Make Your Resume Stand Out

To make your resume stand out, tailor it to each job by incorporating keywords from the job description and focusing on relevant skills and achievements. Showcase accomplishments with quantifiable evidence and keep your resume concise, aiming for one page. Use a clean, professional format with clear headings and bullet points for readability. Highlight soft skills such as communication and teamwork, and include a brief professional summary to make a strong first impression. Start bullet points with action verbs and ensure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors, demonstrating attention to detail and professionalism.

Now you’ve completed your French resume and sent it off, you just have to wait for an interview. Get ready with some key phrases for a job interview. Good luck!

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