Le CV: The French Résumé

As most may not know, the French use the CV, or curriculum vitæ, in lieu of a résumé.

For my host university application, they asked that I provided my CV. Thankfully, I had some familiarity with it. In my French writing class last semester, our professor made sure we were taught how to write a proper curriculum vitæ. However, if you didn’t have a French writing professor like I did to teach you these things, just do a quick Google search and you’re well on your way.

Some sites worth mentioning are:



I think the biggest difference between a résumé here in the States and the French CV, and what most Americans would be shocked to learn, is that age and marital status make up its basic requirements. When I first learned this, I laughed because it’s already bad enough when people ask if I have a boyfriend. Literally, the last thing I want jumping out at you on my CV is a big, fat célibataire. My attitude’s changed, by the way. Despite my French literature professor calling me an old maid the other day (jokingly) because girls in the 16-17th centuries were already married, at the ripe old age of 16! 

So, the basic structure of my CV went like this:




Américaine, 20 ans


Objectif (Objective)

Je me spécialise en International Business, poursuivant d’une carrière dans Marketing.

Éducation (Education)

Langues (Languages)

anglais: langue maternelle

français: proficient

Activités extrascolaires (Extra-curricular activities)

Expérience Professionelle (Work Experience)

Centres d’intérêt – interests, hobbies, etc.

Je m’intéresse à voyager et participer aux nouvelles expériences. J’aime bien aussi lire les romans, écrire des blogs, passer le temps à la nature, et la photographie amateur.

When I was writing my CV, it was very obvious that I didn’t have a lot of work experience. What’s great about CVs and résumés, though, is that the focus is on whatever you would like it to be. I haven’t worked much, but that was because I have and continue to participate in loads of extra-curricular activities. The point of a CV/résumé is to present YOU and your skills, and so you’ll want to play off those.

Definitely check out the two websites I included in this post if you need help with writing your French CV. They both have a very helpful collection of vocabulary and examples.

Bonne chance, mes amis!