How to create a spot-on Spanish CV

How to create a spot-on Spanish CV
If you can speak languages, flaunt them on your CV. Photo: Victor1558/Flickr
Right now in Spain a good CV can be the difference between landing a dream job and having to continue the search. The Local has put together a list of dos and don'ts to help expats in Spain stand out from the crowd.

Include a photo: Spanish employers like to put a face to a name, so make sure you include a photo of yourself looking professional in the top corner of your resumé. “Using a photo of you having a pint in an Irish pub or wearing sunglasses at a birthday party isn't going to send out the right message,” says Abdona Mitsuko, recruiter at international headhunting agency Signium.

Bullet point format: The Spanish may love the flowery language of Cervantes or García Lorca, but when it comes to CVs, they tend to prefer them as factual as possible. “The best way to describe job responsibilities on a Spanish CV is by using bullet points,” argues Mitsuko.

Language skills: If you can speak them, then flaunt them on your CV. Samia Zeriahene, Senior Consultant at recruitment agency Euro London Appointments, says: “If someone is bilingual it’s important we see that at the top. It’s good to point out which language is your mother tongue and also your levels in other languages, whether it's intermediate or advanced etc.”

Be transparent: “Giving the reasons why you've changed job in the past gives you more credibility,” argues Abdona Mitsuko. “ Whether it’s because of corporate restructuring or because your partner has been relocated abroad, give valid reasons.”

Be up to date: “I've seen cover letters that were dated back to 2010!" Mitsuko jokes. "Not a good idea as it gives employers the impression the applicant is careless.”

Lost in translation: Many job titles or job jargon can be difficult to translate into Spanish. It may be worth double-checking your CV with a professional translator or at least getting a native Spanish speaker to spot any possible howlers. Sometimes it’s best to stick to English words like marketing or headhunting rather than opt for a Spanish translation that is rarely used.

Social media: "LinkedIn is a very useful tool with which to reach out to prospective employers", says Mitsuko. "If you have a profile, make sure you include a link to it on your electronic CV."

Not too personal: "Include your date of birth rather than your age", Mitsuko recommends. "Unless your hobbies or interests are very specific to the job in hand, it's best to stick to the purely professional."

Don't hide where you come from: In the desperate hope of increasing their chances of getting a job it may be tempting for some foreign nationals from outside the EU to avoid making their nationality clear on their CV, especially if they don’t have working papers. Don’t do it, says Samia Zeriahene. “It's not good to hide it and it’s not necessary. If they have American nationality or they are from somewhere else outside EU it is preferable to write that the candidate has a work permit.”

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