Belgium CV Writing Guide
Working abroad sound like an adventure to many people. However, work in Belgium requires more than just the obvious Belgium cover letter and Belgium CV writing and translation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to go for jobs in Belgium.
Do not underestimate the big impact they can have on the result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
A CV is similar to a resume in that it provides more details about one’s professional qualifications, experience and education. However, the term "Curriculum Vitae" most often called CV, typically carries a different meaning depending on whether one distribute the CV within the US, Canada or internationally (external to the US or Canada) or is seeking a faculty, academic, research, clinical or scientific position.
You can turn your current resume into a CV. A CV is similar to a resume in that it outlines your professional qualifications and history, but it does so with more detail by adding to the resume the detailed descriptions of your educational and/or professional experiences and personal information that may include nationality, date of birth, marital status, etc.
In recent years it become increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with current CV/resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV/resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV/resume.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online CV/resume should not include sensitive information as they could show lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Your Belgium CV must be in one of several languages: Dutch (Flemish), French, German or English, depending on the company and its location. In general, the language of the CV and cover letter should be the same as the language of the job posting. If you are applying for a job in Brussels, use English or French if you are not sure which language to use.
Typewrite your Belgium CV on maximum 2 pages and in reverse chronological order - mentioning the most recent activities first.
The aim of your Belgium CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which should be customized to the market in which you intend to use it.
The Belgium CV is very factual, accurate and professional. Begin with your personal details, contact information including your telephone number with international access code and e-mail. Include your age, marital status, profession of your partner and the names and ages of your children (if appropriate) and citizenship.
Often CVs are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number, with the international access code and e-mail are most important.
Next comes your education, including high school. Educational results need only be given if there is a direct reference to the job. List schools with locations, dates attended, study emphases and degrees. Mention your linguistic abilities. They are considered of great importance and should be listed on your CV with reference to the spoken, written and reading levels. Include additional courses, internships and special skills such as computer programs in which you are proficient.
Then, under ‘Work Experience’ list responsibilities you had in each job with starting and leaving dates, the name, location and focus of each company. Include concise details of what the job entailed and your title.
Make your CV more effective; provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements. Extracurricular activities are considered of great importance in Belgium so, list your skills and all your apprenticeships, holiday work and student jobs you did. Where possible, mention the number of employees for which you were responsible.
Use power words and action verbs to describe your achievements, such as contributed, organized, demonstrated, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc. Bullet point these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.
If you are male, indicate whether or not you have done any military service. If you come from a country where this does not exist, mention this fact.
It is common practice to send two references, including name, function, address and telephone number. Inform these people in advance, because references are usually verified.
Carefully consider what to leave out of your CV and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you.
Some Belgian employers may request your photograph. Do not send testimonials and copies of diplomas, except when specifically asked for.
It is more common in Belgium to apply for a job through the Internet. However, you should be aware that an electronic CV does not look the same as a standard CV.
CVs are often scanned by employers, so make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines or italic fonts etc.
Check the spelling and grammar of your Belgium CV. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and English or other language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.
Remember that your CV/resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing or resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples, CV templates, resume samples and resume templates or:
- "fill in the blanks" resume writing software.
Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your resume or CV.
So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview.
If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use one of these:
Other Belgium CV Info
If your Belgium cover letter and Belgium CV are ready, distribute them to your prospective employers. When your Belgium job search have been successful apply for the Belgium visa, Belgium work permit and start preparing for the Belgium job interview.
Good luck with your Belgium CV!