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.
Keywords: jobs,spanish,don Quijote,CV in Spanish,cover letter in Spanish
Skip this introduction to see model and example cover letters in Spanish...
Writing the cover letter to your curriculum vitae is not just a formality. As the CV is little more than a list of data, the cover letter is the only part of the package you send to a prospective employer that reveals something about your personality. The way in which you express yourself in the cover letter will dictate the degree of interest the employer will find in your CV.
When writing to a prospective Spanish employer, it may be necessary to convince him/her that your Spanish is up to scratch. An employer will appreciate that your CV is standard and may well have been translated. A personalised cover letter, however, will reflect your own language level and may be crucial in his/her decision to proceed with your application.
If fluent Spanish is not required for the post, it would still be preferable to send a well-written cover letter in Spanish. This will demonstrate that you have gone to the trouble to communicate in his/her native tongue, which will impress an employer and not necessarily mislead him/her in assuming you are a fluent speaker, as your Spanish language ability should be clearly stated in your CV. The option of writing a badly-written cover letter in Spanish, which, you feel, faithfully and honestly reflects your linguistic ability, should never be considered; this may lead to ambiguities, detract from a professional approach and even make you appear ridiculous!
1) Type 1: A letter which is in answer to an advertisement for a position of employment. This type of letter should be brief.
2) Type 2: A "cold-introduction" letter, which is when a candidate writes to an employer offering his/her willingness to work for that company when no position has been advertised. This type of letter may be longer than the first.
A Type 1 cover letter should include all or most of the following information and preferably in this order:
1) Say exactly which is the post your are applying for. (An employer may have inserted several advertisements in the press, Internet etc.) , you should also say where you saw the ad. and when (if it appeared in a periodical publication).
2) Briefly mention the main points of your work experience or qualifications and/or the qualities which make you ideal for the position. It is a good idea to make a special mention that you comply to the exact requirements described in the ad. because those are what the employer is really seeking. eg.: If the job ad. says, "with more than two years experience", you could write in your cover letter: "I have three years experience in...". This will show the employer at a glance that you should be considered a potential candidate.
3) If you know something about the company where you are sending your application to, mention briefly why you are interested in working for them (you could try to find out about the company if possible).
4) Mention that you are interested in an interview and when you are available to attend. Express interest in a personal meeting.
5) Mention that you have included a list of referees in your CV (usually two will suffice) and which are available for contact at the present moment (you may not wish them to contact a present employer right away - this is a reasonable request and employers understand this.) In this bilingual context, mention too which language should be used in any contact.
A Type 2 cover letter should include all or most of the following information and preferably in this order:
1) You should say what sort of work you do and what type of position you are seeking. You must show the employer you know the company and say why you are interested in working for them.
2) Briefly mention the main points of your work experience or qualifications and/or the qualities which make you ideal for the position.
3) Mention that you are interested in an interview if a position were available and when you are available to attend. Express interest in a personal meeting.
4) Mention that you have included a list of referees in your CV (usually two will suffice) and which are available for contact at the present moment (you may not wish them to contact a present employer right away - this is a reasonable request and employers understand this.) In this bilingual context, mention too which language should be used in any contact.
(Back to introduction...)
For reasons of offering variations, not all the following cover letters fully comply to the guidelines set out above but each letter is valid on its own or you can add and adapt lines from other letters.
Open a Notepad tool from your PC.
General "all-purpose" cover letter TYPE 1:
See below for a general but brief cover letter which should be suitable for most situations. This is a good place to start as it contains links to help pages.
Cover letter 1
More sample TYPE 1 cover letters.
You may want to add phrases or make adaptations. Check out the following list of cover letters and either choose the one most suitable or mix combine and mix phrases.
Cover letter 2
Cover letter 3
Cover letter 4
Cover letter 5
Cover letter 6
Now go to:
"The Cover Letter writing machine..."
"Creating Your Curriculum Vitae...."
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