The Perfect Cv Or Resume For English Language Learners-English Phrases You Will Need To Know Ep 504

A pensive lady waiting for a job interview. Your CV/resume is the first chance you have of securing a job interview. A great CV/resume is a must when applying for jobs in English.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 2634 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 14 min

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The Right Combination Of English Phrases, Language, And CV/Resume Layout Will Help You Land The Job You Want

Today, we will help English language learners who are searching for a new job. We explain what makes a great CV/resume. Covering all the English phrases , vocabulary and language used in a modern, professional job application. We are going to help you answer the question - How do you get employers to choose you over all those other people who want the same job?

We know, from the many emails, our listeners have sent to us. That listening to Adept English has helped many of you to get a job for which you needed to speak English. If you are a new listener and you would like to be in this position, if you’d like to speak English well enough to get a job that needs English language fluency, then start by listening to this podcast and subscribe to us for more.

There are thousands of CVs sitting on the desks of people who are trying to find new employees. Listening to today’s podcast will help you make your CV the one worth looking into. In the podcast, we cover some interesting English vocabulary and phrases you can expect to hear when applying for a new job.

Speaking a new language like English, confidently, can make all the difference in your life. A good example of this, looking to get a new job that requires you speak English well. But before you can even prove how good your spoken English is, you need to get a face to face, or in a video call interview. Which means you need a great CV/Resume.

To help you, today’s podcast uses contemporary English language and phrases, which you would expect to hear in the UK if you were applying for a job. I talk you through a British CV that’s professional and designed to make you stand out from the crowd. I will explain each of the sections you should include in your CV and what you should avoid putting in.

Most Unusual Words:


Most common 2 word phrases:

A Job5
Soft Skills3
Hard Skills3
You Can3
Focus On3
Look At2
Some Useful2
To Know2

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The mp3 audio and pdf transcript for this lesson is now part of the Adept English back catalogue . You can still download and listen to this lesson as part of one of our podcast bundles.

Transcript: The Perfect CV Or Resume For English Language Learners-English Phrases You Will Need To Know

Lots of you are getting in touch, telling us about how listening to Adept English has helped you get a job, for which you needed to speak English! You passed the interview, speaking some English - and you got the job!

If you would like to be in this position, if you’d like to be able to speak English well enough to get a job that needs you to know English, listen on. I’m going to talk today about how to make your CV or your resumé - and make it stand out, get you that interview!

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Previous podcasts on jobs and interviews

Now I’ve covered the topic, the subject of jobs and interviews a few times before in podcasts. In podcast number 454, I talked you through common words, common vocabulary used for job interviews and the process of getting a job.

In podcast 460, I talked you through some ideas on how to prepare for a job interview in English. Really helpful, I hope? And then in podcast 484, I gave you the English phrases you need for leaving your job - just in case you’d found an even better one! If you’re in the process of trying to get a job, it may be a good idea for you to revisit those previous podcasts if you want to learn the English language for it.

How to do an English CV

Well, today let’s have a look at how to put together your CV or Curriculum Vitae. I’m talking generally here, about how to do it - rather than specifically about an English version of your CV or resumé - but hopefully you’ll pick up some useful tips and some useful English vocabulary along the way.

Research the job adverts for the role you’re interested in

The first thing that is important is ‘do your research’. Decide what type of job it is that you’re looking to go for. And look at job adverts, job boards, job ‘specs’ - or specifications for those types of job.

Notice what skills they’re looking for. And make sure that your CV talks to that. That your CV demonstrates firstly that you have those required skills - and secondly how you acquired those skills. These might be educational qualifications, technical or industry specific qualifications, languages, knowledge of IT or Information Technology.


A photograph of a woman who's just graduated. Listen to this podcast to discover how to write a CV/resume in English and make it stand out from the crowd.

©️ Adept English 2022

These are what we call ‘hard skills’ - the skills that you can demonstrate, that you can measure, that you perhaps have a certificate for, which says you can do them.

Your CV should focus on ‘hard skills’

On your CV, put less focus on ‘soft skills’ - soft skills are things like ‘good communication skills’, ‘working well in a team’, ‘solving problems’, being reliable. These are really important, but it’s not as important to emphasise these on your CV. The employer will be more likely to focus on these ‘soft skills’ at interview. They need to know you’ve got the ‘hard skills’ first, before they invest time interviewing you.

Your CV should be clear, professional, not whacky looking!

On your CV, use a clear structure, an easy to read font - the word ‘font’, FONT means the style of the letters in the text - whether it’s Arial or Liberation Sans Serif or whatever it is. And make it black text on white background. It’s easier to read. And it’s not a time to use unusual colours or text to stand out - that could risk looking unprofessional! It needs to look business-like and efficient!

Take an Adept English Course to help!

Just before I go on, if you have a job interview coming up and you need to speak English, you could give yourself an intense English learning experience by buying Course One Activate Your Listening from Adept English. This course will help you tune in to English conversation with two speakers - just what you need ahead of an interview in English. Back to you and your CV.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Make your CV nice and short, with contact details clear

Don’t make it longer than two A4 pages. The people reading your CV will look at possibly hundreds of CVs every day. They don’t want something long. It needs to be just long enough to show them who you are and why you’re worthy of including in the ‘Yes’ pile. And break the information into sections with headings - to help them read through and access your information quickly.

It may sound obvious, but put your name very clearly at the top of your CV - along with your contact details. You want them to contact you, don’t you? Don’t make those details hard to find then! And if you’ve already got a title, a job title for your profession, put that at the side of your name. For example, I would put ‘UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and BACP Accredited Counsellor’.

Include your mobile phone number and your email address - and make sure it’s a professional sounding email address, not something that sounds funny or informal! You don’t need to put your postal address on there - it’s 2022! But your location might be helpful, especially if you’re applying internationally.


Put your ‘professional profile’ on your CV

Include a brief - that means ‘short’ - professional profile. A quick paragraph at the top of the CV, which just summarises who you are professionally. It should give a quick overview of who you are, what roles you’ve had - and what you would bring to this role, if you were hired.

The skill here is in communicating what you’ve done and why they want you, without using clichéd phrases. ‘Clichéd’, that’s CLICHED, means the phrases that everybody uses, the phrases which recruiters and employers will have read and heard 100s of times before. It’s good to be inventive.

Think of new ways of saying what they want to hear! And this professional profile should be little more than 5 or 6 lines.

Bullet point your skills

Next, it’s a good idea to bullet point your skills, then the recruiter or employer can immediately see that you fit the skill set they’re looking for. Go back to the job advert - make sure that you’ve included the skills that they’ve listed there. This will keep you in the running as the recruiter reads through your CV. You don’t want to be put in the ‘No’ pile at this point.

Put your employment history - in reverse order

Then you need to show them your employment or work history. Put times and dates clearly there - and start with the most recent employment first - it’s called ‘reverse order’ This shows how you acquired those skills and demonstrates what you’re experienced in. Remember space on your CV is precious - so give most focus to recent jobs - less focus to jobs you did longer ago.

Employers are interested in you now! If you haven’t had many jobs, if it’s early in your career - then including other roles, like voluntary work, work placements which you might have done while you were at school or college, or other positions of responsibility. Again, as long as you can talk about what skills you gained with these experiences and these skills relate to the job you’re applying for - it’s all good.

Give the dates you were in each job, the employer or the organisation and your job title. Again bullet points are good for your main responsibilities. Try to show how you acquired and used these key skills that you need for job you’re applying for now. They want to see the history of how you got to be the person you are now, and all that you have to offer! And if you’ve got particular achievements in a job role - especially ones that you can attach figures to - that’s even better.

Things like ‘I played a valuable part in increasing customer satisfaction by 50%’ or ‘In my social media role, I increased traffic on the company website by 300%’.

Bullet point your main qualifications

Next briefly list your main qualifications - again in reverse time order. Again it’s best done in bullet points - that means a number of points, with a dot at the side. And it should come below the details of your employment history.

If you’re experienced in your role and you’ve had many years of work experience, just list your main qualifications here briefly. And if this job is early in your career and you’ve less work experience - then give more detail about your education. Being young and early in your career is often an advantage and they’ll look at your education history to get a sense of you instead.

Be careful with ‘hobbies and interests’

The last thing on your CV, if you choose to put it on - should be your ‘hobbies and interests’ section. At this point, the recruiter or employer may not yet be interested in getting to know you - they’re just trying to arrive at a shortlist of people that they may want to interview.

The main point at this stage is that your CV wants to be on that pile! If later on, they’ve got you coming in for interview, it’s then that they may want to read that hobbies and interests section - or it may even be after they’ve met you, when they’re thinking about whether to make you a job offer or about how well you’d fit into the team.

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So this section, ‘hobbies and interests’, should go last of all. This isn’t what’s going to grab their attention at the start of the process. And things like ‘I enjoy travel, cinema, eating out’ - well you’d be pretty unimaginative if you didn’t enjoy those things! So saying that is not that interesting. Those things are a given for most people. And don’t put anything weird as your hobbies or interests - it might put people off!

But instead focus on things which are more unusual about you or which are noteworthy achievements. It works especially well if you do something in your spare time, which again demonstrates the skills they’re looking for. Perhaps you’re the captain of your local basketball team, you’re a school governor, you’re involved in charity work or you maintain your own blog or social media profile for admirable or laudable purposes! These things can really interest employers.

So, I hope that helps. Even listening to this podcast from the point of view of the vocabulary I’m using - words like recruiter, employer, resumé, bullet points, work experience - all these things are useful. And this will get you in the mindset for your job application and job interview. And hopefully I’ve given some good advice on CVs in general too!


Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at



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