Writing a CV in English

Job Advice

Writing a CV in English

Writing a CV in English is essential if you are a non-dutch speaker and wish to apply for jobs with international companies.

Your CV is an extremely important marketing tool as it is the first impression that a prospective employer has of you as a prospective employee. It is imperative that your CV does you justice, marks you out favourably among the competition and opens the door for you with an interview where you can expand further on the information it gives as a snapshot of your career history, skills and background.

Your CV should be written in English. When writing or updating your CV please bear the following in mind:

  • Always include job titles, company names and dates of employment. 
  • Make sure any gaps in your cv are explained for example “2005 -2006 Travelled across the States” to give a full account of your career history and what you were doing when you were not in employment. 
  • Always check for correct spelling and grammar as mistakes in your CV can affect your application. 
  • Sell yourself by adding training courses, extra-curricular activities and interests and special skills and awards you have received that all add weight to your application and show the kind of person you are both in and out of the workplace.

Personal details

Make sure this section clearly states your name, address, phone number, email address, and language skills. It is often debated whether or not you should include your date of birth. When writing a CV in English for the European market we advise you to include it. Please note, if it is not obvious from your name that you are male or female, include this as well!


Provide the names of places where you have studied – put the most recent education first. If you have a degree please state the level you achieved as well as any exams or diplomas that you have passed whilst in employment. If space is precious on your CV we advise against listing all subjects taken and grades achieved at high-school level.

Work experience

When writing a CV in English you should list your most recent experience first. Give the name of your employer, job title, and what your tasks were and what you achieved. A good CV is clear, concise and easy to read. Make use of bullet points and headings to provide a clear framework and make the information easy to follow. Always include dates and explain any gaps in your CV, for example “Jan – June 2006 Period of unemployment”.


These are particularly relevant if you were involved in activities where you had leadership responsibilities, or which involved relating to others in a team. Similarly, if you have published any articles, jointly or by yourself, give details. If you have been involved in any type of volunteer work, mention this. Prospective employers will often look at the hobbies and interests listed in someone’s resume as it gives them a rounder picture of the candidate and can give vital clues on personality and motivation.


Ability in other languages, computing experience, or possession of a driving license should be included.


There are 2 options here: you can use the generic statement 'REFERENCES ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST' which means that the future employer has to ask permission to be able to access your references or indeed you can include the actual names and numbers of your referees.


Maybe all you need to say will fit onto one sheet of A4. But do not crowd it - you will probably need two sheets. It is advisable to restrict your CV to two sheets. Put page numbers at the bottom of the pages - a little detail that may impress.

Good luck with writing your CV in English - we look forward to receiving it!