Writing a CV (curriculum vitae) or resume, is not specific in France compared to other countries, but a few sections may only appear in a French CV. Here is a list of the basics you should know to write a CV for a French recruiter !

What should be in your CV

  • Personal information
    • Picture
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Email address
    • Linkedin profile (with a clickable link)
  • Education
    • French people are very big on diplomas, so if you have one or more, mention it !
    • Mention the equivalent of your diploma in French (e.g. A-level or Abitur = Baccalauréat)
    • If you are a beginner or a junior, fill that section with your grades, favorite subjects, title of a research paper that you did and can be relevant…
  • Professional experiences
    • The most recent first !
    • Mention the name of the company, the dates you worked there, the geographical area 
    • Add a little description of the role you held and the tasks you performed and begin with active verbs 
  • Skills
    • Skills range from general IT (MS office, G suite etc…) to training/courses you may have taken (first-aider)…
    • Regarding IT, only mention the software that you actually handle. E.g : if you write “Microsoft Office”, it is very possible that you’ll be asked to perform some tasks under Microsoft Access, even though you’ve never heard of it.
    • Mention if you have a driving licence and what kind of vehicle you can drive
  • Language
    • As a foreigner, you can make a difference in that section. Keep in mind that French people are quite terrible when it comes to language. So mention as much as possible and precise your level.
  • Hobbies and pastimes
    • French recruiters are used to seeing this kind of section in a CV, don’t forget it, it could make the difference !
    • Mention the sports you practise, the instruments you play, how you busy yourself outside of work.
    • Keep in mind that French recruiters love a nice work-life balance, on paper.


  • Mention your soft skills too (team-worker, good listener, efficient under a deadline,…) !
  • Enhance your presentation with some graphical elements, but don’t go crazy

Mistakes to avoid in your CV

  • Spelling mistakes
    • Make sure you correct all of your mistakes before sending.
  • Incoherences in your work history
    • Make sure that the experiences you mention in your CV are explained in your cover letter
  • Sending a .doc file
    • You should turn your .doc file into a pdf before you send it.
  • Leaving blanks
    • Try as much as possible to fill all the gaps in your curriculum. E.g. if you did not work for a year, mention it as a sabbatical.
  • Mentioning everything
    • Don’t put your full work history on your CV, only select the most relevant experiences to the job you are applying for
  • No more than one page
    • a French CV should fit on one page
  • Chunk of the text
    • Lighten up your CV and bolden the most important words.

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