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Business English: CVs
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Business English: Résumés
by Howard Middle


Communicating with people in a business context often requires a more formal style than when writing to friends and family.

Similarly to business letters, which we covered in the November issue of MED Magazine, résumés often follow set phrases and headings.

Below you can find an example résumé and notes explaining its features. These notes also include some useful set phrases often used in résumés.


Example résumé

MESA, AZ 85207
TEL: (480) 555-4878
(1) E-mail:

(2) Objective
To obtain a management position in which I will be able to use my organizational skills and my knowledge of marketing and English.

(3) Skills
Familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel Good problem-solver
Confident communicator Self-motivated
Able to cope under pressure Fluent in German

(4) Work experience
2000 – Present Marketing Assistant, Success Solutions Unlimited, Phoenix, AZ.
Duties include planning and implementing all advertising and promotion, responding to enquiries, monitoring student performance.
1998 – 2000 Teacher of English, Churchill School of English, Munich, Germany
August 1996 One month internship in the sales department of Newton Publishing, Tempe, AZ

(5) Education
Dec 1997 Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
1994–1997 Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ: BA in English Literature and Language

Football, sailing, reading, landscape painting

(6) References
Available on request



1 Give your name, address, and contact information. It is no longer usual to include information on your age or marital status.


2 Make a strong statement of what your goals are, but make sure they match the position that you are applying for.


3 Skills relevant to the job are often listed before employment history. Useful phrases include:

  • Experienced …
  • Experienced in …
  • with a good knowledge of …
  • Fluent/near-native command of French
  • adequate spoken/written Italian
  • Fully computer-literate
  • Self-starter (someone who can take responsibility, and work without supervision)


4 This can also be called Experience or Employment history. Start the list with your most recent job and finish with the earliest one. If you have had many jobs, include only your relevant work experience. But do not leave large unexplained gaps in you work history.


5 Start with your most recent degree or diploma and work backward. If you have a college degree, it is not necessary to mention your secondary education. Do not include details of your primary education.


6 References (the people that the employer can contact to get information about you) can be listed either at the end of the résumé or included in a separate letter.


Next in the series

In the next issue of the magazine we will look at communicating by e-mail.