If you are applying for a job in a Spanish-speaking country, you will likely need to submit a resume in Spanish and follow the resume customs of that specific country. This article will cover when to use a Spanish resume, how it will differ from a North American English resume, and some useful terms and tips to help you get started.
When To Use a Spanish Resume
You will likely want to submit your resume in Spanish if you are applying to any position in a Spanish-speaking country or at a Spanish-speaking company anywhere in the world, unless speaking Spanish is not a requirement of the job. Consider which language the job posting is written in when deciding whether you should write in Spanish or English, as well as which language you would prefer to conduct a potential interview in. If you write your resume in Spanish, the employer will likely expect to interview you in Spanish as well, and vice versa.
In most Spanish-speaking countries, resumes are generally called CVs. In Spain, they may be referred to as ‘curriculums’ while in some parts of Latin America they may be called ‘hojas de vida.’
Differences From North American English Resumes
Obviously, there are many different Spanish-speaking countries around the world and each one has its own resume customs, so it’s important to research the specific country that you plan to work in. However, here are some general differences from North American English resumes that you will likely find:
Include a Photo
In most cases, it’s verboten to include a photo of yourself on a North American English resume due to concerns about discrimation. But, in many Spanish-speaking countries, it is normal and even expected to include a headshot on your resume. It generally isn’t mandatory unless the employer specifically mentions to include a photo with your resume, but many employers are accustomed to this practice.
If you decide to include a photo with your resume, avoid using a selfie or cropping an existing image. This should be a professional headshot (showing only your head and shoulders) in which you are dressed appropriately and smiling into the camera. When adding it to your resume, adjust the headshot to about the same size as your passport photo.
Include Your Personal Information
Again, personal information should generally be left off American, Canadian, or Australian English resumes, but it’s expected on most Spanish resumes. This information should include your full name, your age or date of birth, your address or the region you live in, your email address, your phone number (with a country code), your nationality, and your identification number that allows you to work in the country (if you have one).
In this section, you might also include information about your availability schedule, whether you have a driving license for the country, or any other certifications that are relevant to the job that you are applying for.
Place Education Details Before Work Experience
In some Spanish-speaking countries, more importance is placed on your education than your work experience, so it’s often customary to place your education section immediately after your personal information.
In this section, include the name and location of the school or university, the dates that you attended, and the degree or certificate that you earned (including the Spanish equivalent if possible). You might also include the local equivalent of your GPA or other academic accomplishments to provide context for a potential employer.
Additionally, your education section can include professional courses or industry training programs – it’s not limited to academic degrees like English resumes.
Include Work Experience, Internships, and Volunteer Work in One Section
It’s common to list internships, volunteer work, and professional positions in your work experience section, whereas English resumes typically have separate sections for all three. For each entry, include your job title, the name of the company (including a brief description of the industry if it’s not apparent), the location, your dates of employment, and a description of your job responsibilities and duties. It is less common to include a bulleted list of achievements for each role on a Spanish resume, although it is becoming more popular.
Remember that Spain and Latin American countries use the date format DD/MM/YYYY. While you generally don’t need to include the day for your dates of employment, keep this in mind if you do write out any full dates on your Spanish resume or cover letter.
Adding a Skills Section Is Optional
A skills section isn’t compulsory on a Spanish resume, but it has become more common in recent years. So, you can add a skills section if you wish and if you feel it’s appropriate for the company and role that you are applying to.
Spanish Resumes Typically Include Less Detail
Since Spanish resumes historically don’t include skills sections or a bulleted list of accomplishments, it can be said that they are generally less detailed than North American English resumes. This may be more applicable to the older generations, as many younger Spanish-speaking workers are starting to include a higher level of detail.
However, it’s important to take into account local customs. An American-style resume that is simply translated into Spanish may come off boastful or aggressive in some Spanish-speaking areas.
Use Formal Language in Your Resume and Cover Letter
In English, of course there is only one word for ‘you,’ but remember that in Spanish ‘tu’ is used casually among friends and peers while ‘usted’ is used in formal situations or while talking to your superiors. Be sure to use the formal version in your resume, cover letter, and when otherwise interacting with your potential employer as a sign of respect.
Helpful Spanish Resume Terms
Here are a few Spanish terms that can come in handy while creating your Spanish resume:
- Nombre – Name
- Datos Personales – Personal Information
- Formación Académica – Education
- Experiencia Profesional – Work Experience
- Competencias – Skills
- Idiomas – Languages
- Aficiones – Hobbies/Interests
- Permiso de Conducir – Driving License
Tips For Writing a Spanish Resume
Finally, here are some tips to help you get started with your Spanish resume:
Include Language Abilities
Depending on the situation, you may want to include languages that you speak, including English and (hopefully) Spanish, as well as any other languages. Include your competency level using the scale that is most commonly used in the country where you are hoping to work. You might also include any formal language tests you’ve taken or certifications that you have earned in this section.
Don’t Exaggerate Your Spanish Language Abilities
Keep your resume language simple and don’t indicate that you are fluent in Spanish unless you truly are. If you are invited for an interview, the employer will be able to tell almost immediately whether you are truly fluent and comfortable with the language. It’s not worth exaggerating your skills to win an interview only to be immediately caught out, so be honest about your Spanish abilities.
Have a Fluent Spanish-Speaker Proofread Your Resume
However, even if your Spanish language skills are only conversational, that’s no excuse to submit your Spanish resume with errors on it. As such, you will likely want to ask or hire a fluent Spanish-speaker to read through your resume and help you correct any mistakes.
Use Reverse Chronological Order
Just like for English resumes, reverse chronological format is the most common. So, list your current or most recent details first and work back in time from there.
Account For Regional Differences
Finally, remember that there are many different Spanish-speaking countries, and, as mentioned earlier, each one will have its own customs and expectations when it comes to writing a resume. Research the specifics for the country that you intend to work in, and avoid simply translating your English resume into Spanish.
Writing a resume in Spanish may be necessary if you are applying to a position in a Spanish-speaking country or at a Spanish-speaking company, and the expectations will be different from a North American English resume. You will likely need to include a photo and personal details, but overall a Spanish resume will be less detailed when it comes to work history, skills, and so forth. Be sure to check the resume expectations for the exact country and region that you will be working in.
Need help creating your Spanish resume? Consider using Jobseeker’s professional resume creation tool, which allows you to switch all of your resume section headings to Spanish with the click of a button. You can add a photo and a personal details section, and type in your information in Spanish. Then download your Spanish resume instantly and get started applying for jobs!