One of the most common reasons many people choose to study Spanish as a second language is because they want to use it in their professional life. Many live in countries such as the United States that have large Spanish speaking populations and others dream of landing a job in the pleasant climate of Latin America.
For those in the latter category, we've written this post to teach you how to write a resume to apply for a job at a company located in Latin America! Even if you're not currently applying for such a job, we still recommend reading on to learn about some important cultural differences between Spanish-speaking countries and English-speaking ones.
The first thing your prospective employer wants to see on your resume -hoja de vida or curriculum- is your personal data. A lot of this data will look strange as it's rarely necessary to include much of this personal information on a resume for English speakers, but it will be a lot stranger to the company if you don’t include it.
|Nombre completo (full name):||Merly CASTRO (the last name is usually in capital letters)|
|Edad (age):||32 años (oh, yes, age is included)|
|Estado civil (marital status):||Soltera|
|Dirección (address):||2 Bloor Street East. Toronto (Ontario), Canadá|
|Número de teléfono (phone number):||555 4576 1234|
|Correo electrónico (email address):||firstname.lastname@example.org|
This information goes with a photo card, like this one:
The issue of the photo is a bit controversial because it can cause discrimination by recruiters, so this practice is slowly changing; however, it still doesn’t look good not to include your photo on your resume, especially if you are looking for a job as a publicist, salesperson or manager, in these cases, the photo is necessary.
After that, you can optionally put a small three line paragraph with a description of your skills and the attributes that make you perfect for the job. For example:
|Durante mis etapas de laborales he adquirido experiencia en liderar comercios de grandes superficies. Tengo la capacidad para trabajar en equipo, capacidad de adaptación y aprendizaje, creatividad, dinamismo y organización.|
Next comes the education section, which is very different from how it is on resumes in other cultures because in our culture we prioritize the education obtained and the professional trajectory much more than professional achievements or competencies.
So in this section you will write:
|Fecha (date: Remember the order in Spanish is day/month/year):||15/05/2012|
|Lugar (here is where the name of the school goes):||Georgia University|
|Título obtenido (qualification obtained):||Lic. en Idiomas|
|Lugar:||Georgia High School|
These are the different degrees in Spanish and their equivalent:
Bachiller: High School Diploma
Tecnólogo (Tnlgo.): Associate’s degree.
Licenciatura (Lic.): Bachelor's degree.
Postgrado or Especialización (Esp.): Graduate Certificate
Magíster (Mter.): Master's degree
Doctorado (Dr./ Dra.): PhD
If you want to know more about these equivalences, you can go to our video...
Here you can also include a "languages" section. This is potentially very attractive information for recruiters so you want to put it on the first page of your resume. You will include the languages you speak and preferably the level you have in each one "básico", "intermedio", "avanzado", and "nativo".
Next comes your work experience. We know in other countries it is very common to change jobs or positions in the same company, but in Latin America this can sometimes be seen more negatively by your potential employer as it may give the impression that you lack stability and that they cannot count on you for long. So make sure to put in this section your most important and longest work experiences. Don’t include small jobs you did for two months unless you think they contain important information about your skills.
You will write the work experience starting with the most recent, as follows:
|Fecha de entrada y salida||Nombre de la empresa, sector (name of the company)|
|Lugar||Cargo ocupado (position):|
Sometimes they want to know the reason for leaving your previous jobs, if you don’t want to write it down, they’ll probably ask you in your job interview. This is done with the intention of knowing if you were fired or laid off; if you were fired, they will want to know the reasons. It’s very important to know what kind of employee you are.
Next section is "referencias laborales" (job references). These should include the name and phone number of two or three people who know you as a worker: colleagues, bosses, employees.
Then come the "referencias personales" (personal references) that should include the same information as the work, only this time it will be from people close to you: friends or family.
These references are not optional or upon request. You should include them as follows:
|Merly Castro||Directora General de Get Fluent Spanish|
Optionally, you can add the heading "Otras formaciones". Here is where you include things you have studied that have to do or not with your profession. You can also include projects that you are or have been working on, contests that you have won, in short, any information you feel can help your employer better understand your work, interests, and training. For example:
|Colaboradora del periódico en línea XXX con columnas de opinión y educativas.|
|Ganadora del V Concurso de Ensayos de la Escuela de Idiomas Get Fluent Spanish en el año 2016.|
You can also include your personal interests such as traveling, playing an instrument, sports, etc.
And now you are ready to go. Here's a PDF with a format to help how it should look.