How to write your CV and cover letter in Spanish
A job or an internship is an excellent way to practice Spanish whilst gaining valuable work experience or just earning some extra money! To apply you will need a Spanish version of your CV (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter (carta de presentación) in Spanish. It’s not essential to attach a photograph but some positions may request it. So here are our tips for how to compose a successful application.
Spanish CVs are much easier to write than English or other CVs because they go into much less detail so don’t worry, it won’t be too difficult! Remember that the middle section of your big Spanish dictionary will have a section on writing formal documents which might come in handy.
First, start with your “Datos Personales” i.e. Personal info:
Fore and surnames, date and place of birth, marital status, current address and contact details
Nombre y apellidos xxx xxx xxx
Fecha de nacimiento xx/xx/xxxx
Estado civil x
Domicilio actual xx
Teléfono +44 (0)xxxx xxx xxx, +34 (0)xxx xxx xxx
This is then followed by these sections in this order: datos academicos, otros títulos, experiencia profesional and otras posiciones de responsabilidad. In other words: academic info, other qualifications, work experience and other positions of responsibility.
Here, starting with the most recent, give the date, the academic institution, location and qualification (plus Spanish equivalent where possible).
2009-2013: Universidad de Durham, Durham, BA en Lenguas Modernas (equivalente a Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas).
This section is for any other qualifications or prizes you may have received, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award or any music grades may you have.
Again, starting with the most recent, here you list the jobs you have had in the past. Unlike UK CVs, this section merely requires the date, job title, company and location.
Julio-septiembre 2011: Camarera para Blue Lagoon, Disneyland Resort Paris, Paris.
Otras Posiciones de Responsibilidad
Here include any positions of responsibility that you may have held that are relevant to the job or that you just want to brag about!
Noviembre 2010 - al presente: Embajadora para Routes Into Languages (organización para animar a los estudiantes de Reino Unido a estudiar las lenguas).
Add an Idiomas (languages) section, stating the language and level (básico, intermedio, avanzado or lengua materna). It is always worth including your native tongue here as it might be useful for the job!
Finally, feel free to include any relevant Aficiones (interests) and whether you have a driving licence (un carnet de conducir).
However, don’t go overboard because the whole thing should fit onto one side of A4.
2. Cover Letter
As you can see the Spanish CV style is quite sparse so the cover letter is important if you want to sell yourself well. The best way to tackle this letter is to organise it by 3 main paragraphs:
Number 1: Be specific straight away, introduce yourself – where did you see the job advertised? What are you applying for? What dates are you available?
Number 2: This section will be the longest – elaborate the information in your CV that shows that you are the ideal capable and enthusiastic candidate for the job.
Number 3: Inform your potential employer more about your current situation, how much Spanish you have studied and why you want to work in Spain. This section only needs to be a few sentences; they don’t want your life story!
Finally, add a closing statement: “Le agradezco a Ud. la atención que me pueda dispensar y quedo a su entera disposición para cualquier aclaración y/o ampliación de antecedentes” works nicely followed by “le saluda atentamente, XXXX” Replace the Xs with your name, attach your CV and it is ready to be sent!