Writing your English CV

I’ve written a lot of job application forms since I arrived in Austria.   In fact, rewriting my CV was one of the first things I did when everything was unpacked.

Your CV is the account of your education and work experience which you submit when applying for a job.  It stands for curriculum vitae, which is the standard term in British English. You may also have heard of a resume, which is the American term.

Normally, your CV will form half of your job application. The other half is a covering letter, where you write at more about why you are qualified for the job.

As I was writing my CV for Austria, I noticed that there were a lot of differences to the way I had written it for the UK. The changes I had to make to my CV inspired this post.

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Writing Emails

Recently, I wrote about the correct way to structure a formal letter in English. This is a really important skill to have when looking for a job or working in a company. However in 2015,  you are much more likely to write an email.

When I worked as a hotel receptionist, I would send dozens of emails every day. Even today it’s one of the main ways I communicate with my colleagues, friends and family.

Unfortunately, writing an email can be a challenge. The tone and etiquette are a minefield even for native English speakers. Fortunately, I’m here to help. I have some advice about each part of the email, and have included sample formal and informal emails at the end of the post.

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Writing Formal Letters

Today I’ll talk about how to write a formal letter. If you’re doing any sort of business in English, this is a really important skill. We use letters when following up with a company, sending out catalogues, confirmations, or price lists, submitting formal complaints, and especially when applying for jobs. Outside of the business world, writing a formal letter is also a part of English exams at intermediate level and higher.

We write far fewer letters these days, but if anything this means that letter writing is a more important skill! If more and more people are losing the ability to properly structure a formal letter, imagine the advantage it could give you when you send in a job application.

Writing a formal letter can be a daunting task, and I confess that it’s not something that I enjoy doing at all. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of rules you can follow to make your letters stand out.

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