Portuguese CV Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in Portugal needs more than just the obvious Portuguese cover letter and Portuguese CV writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you become interested in Portuguese jobs.

Do not underestimate the influence they can have on your adventure! For instance, 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 Portuguese 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.

When applying for a position in Portugal, you may use either Portuguese or English language, depending on the company and your fluency. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing the Portuguese will put you at real disadvantage from the local job seekers.

The aim of your Portuguese CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. For that reason, your CV is a marketing tool, which you must customize to the market in which you intend to use it. Write an introduction that contains many power keywords and action verbs. Scanners that are programmed to select specific words notice these keywords.

Prepare yourself - before writing your CV research the company you want to work for. Such information will help you to adapt your CV more effectively to each specific job and use of proper examples illustrating your achievements.

A Portuguese CV is typewritten, usually in reverse chronological order - beginning with the most recent job, on two to maximum four of A4 format pages. In situation when the job is not directly connected with your studies, but more with your work experience, you may write a functional CV - information structured per item.

Pay attention to the clear presentation and structure of the Portuguese CV by numbering each section separately i.e.:

  1. Personal Details,
  2. Education,
  3. Professional Training,
  4. Work Experience,
  5. Leisure Activities.

Make your Portuguese CV more effective and emphasize what you have to offer to the employer. Use power words and action verbs to describe your achievements, such as contributed, organized, trained, managed, developed, coordinated, etc. Provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements. Bullet point these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

Start your Portuguese CV with “Personal Details” listing your name, date and place of birth, civil status, address and telephone number. Often CV are kept on file for lengthy 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. In this section, you can also mention your ID number and your religion, as well as if you have a driving license.

Continue with your “Education”. In a distinct section for a university education, list examination grades giving dates of attendance, study emphases, diplomas and degrees.

Emphasize all the “Professional Training” you have received, from seminars to full courses - each in a distinct subsection. This shows that your former employer thought you were good enough to receive such further training. Computer skills, if applicable, list in a separate subsection. Also, list the languages you are able to speak in order of fluency in a separate subsection.

In “Work Experience” section state all your former employers, including the tasks and responsibilities performed. Make your CV more effective by providing examples to illustrate your achievements. Use power words and action verbs such as contributed, organized, demonstrated, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc. Bullet point these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

Close your Portuguese CV with “Leisure Activities”.

Finally, carefully consider what to leave out of your CV and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you.

art_attention Portuguese CVIt is best to avoid putting references on your CV unless you have been specifically asked to provide them. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is strong indication that an employer is interested in you.

It is more common in Portugal 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 one. CVs are often scanned by employers. So make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines or italic fonts etc.

Always include a cover letter with your CV, but never attach any official documents, like diplomas or testimonials to your application.


Check the spelling and grammar of your Portuguese 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 Poruguese language usage errors or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.

art_remember Portuguese CVRemember that your Portuguese CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have a difficulty with your CV writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use:

art_tip Portuguese CV

We recommend that you send your CV together with a cover letter. If you have a difficulty with your cover letter writing use:

Other Portuguese CV Info

If your Portuguese cover letter and Portuguese CV are ready, distribute them through the job search services to your prospective employers. When your Portuguese job search have been successful apply for the Portuguese visa with Portuguese work permit and start preparing for the Portuguese job interview with Portuguese dress code.

Check the job interview tips do's and don'ts, and find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Portuguese CV!

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