Brazil CV Writing Guide
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in Brazil needs more than just the obvious Brazil cover letter and Brazil CV writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will face issues that almost certainly did not even cross your mind when you become interested in Brazil's job search.
Do not take too lightly the influence a Brazil CV can have on your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, 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 distributes 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 becomes 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 a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
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 a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
The aim of your Brazil CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which you should customize to the market in which you intend to use it. Write an introduction that contains many power words and action verbs. Scanners that are programmed to select specific words notice these keywords.
The only official language in Brazil is Portuguese. However, it differs slightly from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. Therefore, if you intend to come to Brazil and write the correct Brazil CV, you should pay attention to using the “right” Portuguese.
When applying for a position in Brazil use Portuguese or other languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese etc.) depending on the company and your fluency, if you are seeking a job in the multinationals, international organizations, newspapers & magazines, the Internet, language schools and for voluntary work. To be on the safe side, write both a foreign language and a Portuguese version.
You need to accept that not knowing the Portuguese will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers. The basic knowledge of Portuguese is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.
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 examples properly illustrating your achievements.
A job application in Brazil should include a cover letter (one page typed in A4 format) and a CV.
A Brazil CV is computer printed or typewritten, usually in reverse chronological order - beginning with the most recent job, on one to a maximum of three A4 format pages. In a 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. Explain any gaps in your employment.
Make your Brazil CV more effective and emphasize what you have to offer to the employer. Use power words and action words to describe your achievements, such as contributed, organized, trained, managed, developed, coordinated, etc. Provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements. Focus on the skills and qualifications that are required for the position. Bullet points these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.
Pay attention to the clear presentation and structure of the Brazil CV by bullet pointing each section separately i.e.:
- Personal details (Datos personales) - include forename and surname, place and date of birth, marital status and contact data
- Education (Formación académica) - list studies completed as well as when and where they were attended. Include examination grades, dates of attendance, study emphases, diplomas and degrees. Also, mention awards and honours, as well as educational qualifications, internships and membership of professional organizations.
- Extracurricular Activities (Otros títulos y seminarios) - list all the professional training you have received, including advanced training and skill enhancement from seminars to full courses and trade or recreational courses done part-time or full time. Include date and place - each in a distinct subsection.
- Professional experience (Experiencia Profesional) - include the name of the company, period of employment, positions, tasks and responsibilities performed.
- Languages (Idiomas) - state your native tongue and describe the level of fluency for the other languages with reference to the spoken and written levels (fluent, good, and basic).
- Computer Skills (Informática) - indicate the software, computer languages or programs you are familiar with.
- Miscellaneous (Otros Datos de interés) - include exchange programs, volunteer work, further information related to the position such as availability, driving license, military service, etc. and the other information you did not include yet.
It is quite common in Brazil for professionals to prepare two CVs:
- A one-page CV giving a brief overview of personal details, educational background and professional experience; and
- A longer, more comprehensive CV, two to three pages in length, with more specific descriptions of positions held, responsibilities involved, results achieved and other relevant details.
The majority of job seekers will only need to send a shorter CV. However, we strongly recommend sending both a Portuguese and a foreign language version.
Present the longer CV only upon request. This is an indication that an employer is interested in you. If the professional background is long, provide details only for the most recent jobs and the older ones summarize. If you worked for a long list of companies, mention only the five most recent jobs.
Finally, carefully consider what to leave out of your CV and exclude anything that might give prospective employers a chance to discriminate against you.
Never attach any official documents such as grades, diplomas or testimonials to your application. It is best to avoid attaching references to your CV unless you have been asked to provide them. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is a strong indication that an employer is interested in you.
It is more common in Brazil for employers to accept e-mail or fax applications. In this case, attach your resume to your letter. However, you should be aware that an electronic CV does not look the same as a printed one. Employers often scan CVs. So make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines or italic fonts etc.
The recruitment process tends to be rather long, so check how long it will take to get a response.
Check the spelling and grammar of your Brazil CV. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and language usage errors in Portuguese or another language or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.
Most recruiters and employers expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.
Other Brazil CV Info
If your Brazil cover letter and Brazil CV are ready, distribute them to your prospective employers. When your Brazil job search has been successful apply for the Brazil visa, Brazil work permit and start preparing for the Brazil job interview.
Good luck with your Brazil CV.