How to write a CV and cover letter in Spanish

by John Bascombe on Thursday, February 03, 2011

spanish CV Doing a job or internship in Spain is a great way to practice your Spanish in a real Spanish-speaking environment. Your CV (curriculum) and cover letter (carta de presentación) are key to helping you get the job that you want, so here are a few tips on how to put them together and some vocab that you might find useful:

The first section of your CV should be Datos Personales (Personal Information). It’s best to include:

  • Nombre Name
  • Dirección Address
  • Teléfono Telephone
  • Email Email address
  • Fecha y lugar de Nacimiento Date and place of Birth
  • Nacionalidad Nationality

You could also include whether you have a carne de conducir (driver’s licence) and your estado civil (marital status).

It is also common in Spain to include a professional looking passport photo on your CV.

The next section is Formación Académica (Education). Write the qualification you received, the institution, the city and country, as well as the dates when you were studying there.

Afterwards you can also add a section on Formación Complementaria (Complementary training) for other qualifications you may have, although don’t include computer skills or languages as these will come later.

Next is Experiencia Profesional (Work Experience). List the dates, the job you did, the company and the location.

In the Informática (IT skills) section state what you can use and how competent you are.

Similarly, under the heading Idiomas (Languages) you can state each language that you know and your level, i.e. básico (basic), intermedio (intermediate) or avanzado (advanced). It’s also worth putting your lengua materna (mother tongue).

The final section is Otros Datos de Interés (Additional Information), where you can put down anything you think is interesting to the employer but doesn’t fit into any other category. Don’t write too much though, as the whole CV should ideally fit onto one A4 page.

For more tips on writing a CV in Spanish and how to lay out the page, see the don Quijote web page.

An important accompaniment to the CV is the cover letter (carta de presentación).

Start your letter with Estimados Señores, remembering to put the date and your address at the top of the letter. There are also otehr options for starting a letter, depending on how formal you want to be.

You should start by stating exactly which post you are applying for and how you found out about it in the first paragraph.

Next move on to explaining why you would like to work for the company or organisation and what assets and skills you think you have that would make you good at the job.

Express interest in having an interview or further contact with the employer and state your availability for work.

There are various ways to end a letter in Spanish, but a good one to use is Les Saluda atentamente, on a separate line, then sign and print your name underneath.

For more ideas for your cover letter and some great vocab on how to sell yourself, see the don Quijote web page.

Buena suerte!

Keywords: jobs,spanish,don Quijote,CV in Spanish,cover letter in Spanish


1 » Anonymous (on Sunday, May 08, 2011) said:

Wow. This is very impresive english and spanish article. Now its easy for spanish people to understand what each section of the resume mean and then apply it to there cv.

2 » Anonymous (on Wednesday, December 07, 2011) said:

'Carne' de conducir?? Carne translates to 'meat', so that makes no sense at all.

you mean:  licencia de conducir

3 » Kim_Defrate (on Friday, December 16, 2011) said:

Hello! Carné comes from the word carnet in French which roughly means "identification". In Spanish, it is acceptable to write it either way, although may times people don't add the accent on the "é" as they should. "Licencia de conducir" is also acceptable in Spain, and probably technically more correct, although it is used much less than "carné de conducir". Regarding the word "carne" meaning meat, you are right, but this is actually a different word with the use of the accent on the é. In any regard, many times the same word can have many more than one meaning. :)

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