British And American English

There are sometimes differences between British and American English and conventions. Here are some of the most important differences for your CV/ résumé and covering letter.


UK: CV/curriculum vitae US: resumé, resume UK: Yours faithfully US: Yours truly  
UK: covering letter US: cover letter, covering letter UK: Yours sincerely US: Sincerely, Sincerely yours, Yours truly  
Paper sizes: UK: A4 (210 x 297 mm) US: Letter (8 1/2 x 11 inches) UK: Managing Director (MD) US: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), General Manager  
UK: Mrs, Miss US: Ms Date formats: UK: DD/MM/YY example: 30/12/99 30 December 1999 US: MM/DD/YY example: 12/30/99 December 31st, 1999  



Example of CV


Your résumé's job is to get you an interview. To do this, it must:





A good résumé/CV is one of your most important tools in the search for employment.


What a résumé or cv is not

a book.

an obstacle.

boring or difficult to read.

your life story or autobiography.

a catalogue of your personal opinions.

a list of problems with past employers.


What a résumé or cv is



an important document.

answers the question "Why?"

is interesting and easy to read.

is a list of benefits for the employer.

is as much about the employer as about you.



Task 1. Writing a CV/ Résumé.

Look in the newspaper and select a job that you are qualified for and/or would like to have, and write a CV/Résumé for it.


CV Name: Address: Telephone no: (Home) (Work) Age: Date of birth: Personal status:   Education   Work experience Additional skills   Interests/activities   Referees


RÉSUMÉ   (name) (address) (tel. )   Objective:   Education:   Employment/Experience:   Personal details:   Interests:


Read each others résumé. Critique the positive and negative aspects of each others résumé. Use the résumé evaluation guide given below.


Résumé Checklist

    Yes Needs Work Comments
APPEARANCE is inviting and easy to read; not too much information      
uses appropriate font styles and font sizes (10-14 pts.)      
incorporates enough white space between sections to facilitate skimming      
centers text; adequate margins      
creates visual impact using bullets, boldface, underlining, italics, and font sizes to emphasize key words      
printed on high quality (16-25 lb.) bond paper      
print is letter quality      
ORGANIZATION AND FORMAT Contact Information (address, telephone number(s)      
Objective (briefly indicates the sort of position, title, and possible area of specialization sought)      
Education and Training reversed chronological order      
include type of degree, name of university, location of university, date of graduation or anticipated date      
relevant courses, papers, projects; include paper or project titles      
honors, awards, scholarships      
Employment Experience reversed chronological order      
title held, organization name, city      
accomplishments on your job      
contributions to the organization (with qualitative characteristics)      
Skills computer skills: software applications, languages, hardware, operating systems language skills: specific level of fluency and ability to read and write as "basic," "intermediate," or "advanced"      
Extracurricular Activities, Community Service, Professional Associations list of significant positions of responsibility; include title, name of organization or team, dates      
leadership roles, achievements, and transferable skills that are relevant      
MARKETING FOCUS omits racial, religious, or political affiliations      
omits age, sex, marital status, national origin, health, names of references      
WRITING STYLE begins sentences or phrases with powerful action verbs      
short paragraphs mostly under five lines; short sentences      
brief, succinct language; no unnecessary words      
absolutely free from grammatical, spelling, punctuation, usage, and typographical errors      
OTHER no date      
no signature      


Language Development


Exercise 1. Compiling a CV

CV stands for curriculum vitae a Latin expression meaning 'life story'. (In American English it is called a Résumé.) It summarises your education, achievements and job history for prospective employers and so it should be carefully prepared. A CV is usually sent with a Cover Letter.

Look at the following stages in the preparation of a CV.


Compiling a CV

The following sentences represent the different stages of compiling a CV, but in each sentence the words are in the wrong order. Re-arrange the sentences putting the words in the correct order.

1. about the involves. Think what job

2. sort of chosen about Think it. be what person would to do

3. your job Identify the that skills description. match

4. a Decide on layout.

5. previous your experience. Review

6. describe Find language your suitable to experience.

7. the CV. version first of Draft your

8. for your CV Check mistakes.


Match the words on the left (1-5) with their definitions on the right (a-e).

1. an achievement a.to write something that you will improve on and finish later on

2. job history b. something important that you've managed to do

3. a layout c.a list of the different jobs you've done

4. to draft something d.words and expressions of appropriate style

5. suitable language e. the way you've arranged information



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