Writing A Business English CV: DO’s and Dont’s 

 In Business English

Applying for a job with an international company is different from applying for a job with an Austrian company. This article explores how to write a business English CV.

I’m not going to bore you with a list of basic things you should include in a CV. If you do need to know that type of information, take a look at the advice the British Council offer about writing a business English CV.

What I will discuss is how to tailor a business English CV and give you examples of which voice to use.


Do the basics right 

Experienced hiring managers are not interested in generic CV’s. Even if you’re the best candidate for the job, if your CV is not geared towards the job role, you won’t even be called in for an interview.

Tailor your CV to match the job description and include relevant qualifications and experience – including transferable skills. Bullet point your experience and accomplishments and position the most relevant points at the top of each section.


Position yourself in the advertised position

The core focus of a business English CV should highlight your skills, experience and accomplishments that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Avoid making general statements without backing them up. For example, if written and spoken communication skills are required for the position, provide examples of previous experiences that support this requirement. Don’t simply write, I am a good communicator.

For example, write:

In my role as account manager, I communicated with individuals of all levels. I can clearly express my thoughts in writing and through speaking.

Don’t provide too much detail. Your duties and accomplishments should be highlighted rather than detailed.

Create strong, action-oriented statements and emphasise the benefits you will bring to an employer by using power words such as accelerated, administered, supervised, analysed, collaborated and contributed.  

Check out this extensive list of power words for more ideas.


Use an active voice

Active verbs in simple past tense demonstrate ownership of an action. They are easier to read and interpret than sentences that use a passive voice or other verb tenses.

For example:

Active voice

In my role as an account manager, I supervised a six-man team, performed financial analysis and compiled weekly reports for C-suite executives.

Passive voice

In my previous role as an account manager, I was tasked with supervising a six-man team, performing financial analysis and compiling weekly reports for C-suite executives.

Do you see how the active voice is smoother?


Check your work for spelling and grammatical errors

Your CV is an opportunity to make a good first impression. If there are any grammatical and spelling errors, it doesn’t say a lot about your diligence or editing skills.

You can check grammar and spelling using a free online language tool such as Grammarly. However, I’ve noticed Grammarly is not always correct.

The other option is to sign up for a business English course with English 4 Professionals and get one of our native English tutors in Vienna to check it for you. We can also give you tips and advice on how to write cover letters and impress at interviews as well!


Call us today on 0699 121 500 75 or email us at info@e4p.at

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