If you’re looking to work in Brazil or Portugal then you’re going to need to think carefully about how to get your Portuguese resume right. Writing for a Portuguese speaking recruiter is no small task, it is a complex language that varies from country to country. To compound the difficulty further, there are also national variations between Portuguese resumes (from Portugal) and Brazilian resumes themselves.
However, don’t panic. In the following guide, you’ll be given a crash course in the requirements needed to impress a hiring manager in Portugal or Brazil. You’ll learn how to write a Portuguese resume all the necessary tweaks to getting the right style of resume that will get you in contention for the best jobs.
Writing a Resume in Portuguese
First of all, it’s worth mentioning that a resume isn’t actually called a resume in the Portuguese speaking world. In this case, you should refer to it as your Curriculum Vitae or CV. Aside from the name of the document being different for this job market, you’ll need to focus on the biggest difference: the language.
Whilst some multinational businesses and companies based in Brazil or Portugal use English as a working language and accept resumes in foreign languages, this is not always the norm. In order to get the best results, you should be prepared to create a version of your document in the Portuguese language itself.
Now this will be no sweat at all if you already possess a high level in the language. However, if your level of spoken and written Portuguese is more basic this may take a different approach.
Avoid the temptation of using Google translate to get the job done. If you’re really serious about your job search in a foreign country it’s best to use a slightly more thorough method to write your Portuguese curriculum. One approach is to hire a professional translator to do the job for you, although this can be quite expensive. Another is to use a resume generator with a professional Portuguese resume template. This will help you lay out the sections in the language perfectly and also give you examples of the information and format to use for the main sections.
Before you really get started with getting your details down on paper, be sure to follow these important tips as you write your perfected Portuguese CV:
- Start the resume with your name as the title header. Don’t simply title it with Curriculum Vitae
- Creative resumes and specially designed resumes may look amazing, however, most hiring managers in Portugal or Brazil prefer a standard chronological resume
- Do your research before you apply for a job. Get a good idea of what the culture, values and working practices of the organization are before you start. This can offer clues for how to structure your resume and what information you should include
- Keep your resume to the point. Cut out any extraneous information that doesn’t apply to the role you’re targetting
- Avoid spelling and grammar errors at all costs
One important consideration to bear in mind is that you must not lie on your resume. This is normally unethical in any situation however, if you are applying for a Brazilian job, exaggerating your skills and expertise could be a criminal offense. In Brazil, you can be prosecuted if you lie on your curriculum, so be sure you tell the whole truth on your application.
Also, like always, be sure to check all the spelling and grammar on your final document. This is always an essential step but takes on extra importance in the case of a resume written in a foreign language. If in doubt it’s best to ask a Portuguese speaking friend or colleague to review your document.
Portuguese Resume: Layout and Sections
Unlike the US where a single page is the recommended length for your profile, a Portuguese resume can extend to more pages. For example, a document of 2-3 letter pages is not unusual. When you start creating your curriculum it’s best to start out with a strong introduction in the form of a resume objective. This will allow you to quickly catch the eye of a recruiter with a few key details about yourself and your most employable features.
When it comes to designing and formatting your document be sure to keep the text easily readable and the design organized. Where possible try to be concise, however, don’t be afraid to add a little more detail than you might when applying for a job in the US. As you’ll have more pages to play with, it’s possible to add a bit more detail than you otherwise would for a job application in the States.
Top tips for formatting a Portuguese resume:
- The length of the CV should be no more than 3 letter pages (8.5” x 11”)
- Keep the text at a consistent size throughout the document
- Mark each section clearly out with larger size headers and subheaders
- Create your document as a PDF so it’s easier to submit online
In the case of a resume optimized for the Portuguese speaking job market, your contact information section will be known as your informação pessoal (personal information). The personal information you include on a Portuguese resume is quite different to what you would normally include on a resume for a job in America.
Unlike examples in the US, it is quite common in countries like Brazil to include personal information such as your date of birth (data de nascimento), marital status (estado civil), and your religion. Some of these elements are becoming more optional, and at the very least only a date of birth is an expected requirement. However, adding this more personal information is generally still the norm for most people in Brazil. Thus the details you should seek to include at a minimum are:
- Your name
- An email address
- A telephone number
- Your date of birth
In Portuguese speaking countries, a profile photo is normally expected by employers. Now, this is changing in recent times and the inclusion of a photo is becoming less and less important but it is still normal practice for people applying for jobs in these countries.
If you decide to add a profile photo choose a professional picture showing your head and shoulders. Your face and features should clearly decipherable and where possible aim to have a neutral background. The size of the photo you affix should be passport-sized (2” x 2”) and placed in the top right corner of the page.
In your Experiência (the Portuguese name for the work experience section) you will need to give a good and scannable impression of your work history so far. This should be tailored to the position you’re aiming for and presented in reverse chronological order so that your most recent experience shows up first. When you present your previous positions on the page set out each entry in the following format:
- The name of the company and the dates of employment
- Your job title in the organization
- The key duties that you undertook in your role at the company
Your skills section (or Habilidades in Portuguese) is a great opportunity to give the recruiter a broad overview of your abilities. This should be presented as a bullet point list and should include both your hard skills and soft skills. However, whilst your skills will help you sell yourself for the job in question, make sure these abilities are backed up well with examples of how you used them in the work experience section.
The education section or your “Educação” section may appear a little different depending on which country you’re applying for jobs in. This is because both countries have their own separate education systems with different names for the key qualifications. This can be seen in the table below.
|Brazilian Qualification||Portuguese Qualification||US Qualification|
|Certificado de Ensiño Médio||Diploma de Ensino Secundário||High School Diploma|
|Mestrado or Mestre||Mestrado/Mestre||Masters Degree|
When detailing information about degrees that you’ve earned, always include the subject you majored in and your GPA. Additionally, take advantage of this section to detail any further studies you’ve done in professional subjects and any additional certifications.
The language (Idiomas) section of your Portuguese language resume is an essential feature if you’re a native speaker in another language. You will at the very least have to indicate your fluency in the Portuguese language itself. As a foreign language speaker, you should also indicate your level of ability in the other languages you speak as well. This can be done using the following adjectives:
This will be necessary whether you are joining a company where the majority language is Portuguese or a company where the main spoken language is English. This, of course, is especially crucial if you’re targetting a position where you will need to communicate with other speakers of these languages.
Portuguese Resume Example
The best way to understand how a Portuguese resume should appear is to use real examples as a basis. Using a professionally prepared template as your starting point will help you gain familiarity with the expected format, expressions, and keywords you can use to your advantage in your job search. As you’ll see with the example Portuguese resume below, getting this right isn’t too difficult.
Take advantage of Resume Coach’s Portuguese resume template to make the process of creating your curriculum for a Portuguese or Brazilian job that little bit simpler. Our online tools allow users to create resumes in multiple different languages to make applying for a job around the globe that little bit easier.