Though similar in many ways, you will want to know these few important “make it or break it” aspects of a Brazilian CV / Resume when
But before we dive into them and I give you a free swipe-able Brazilian CV template and to get a better idea of what companies expect, let’s switch roles and look at a couple of scenarios from an HR manager’s receiving your CV.
Note: you will see me use “CV / Resume” interchangeably, as people from the USA use the word “Resume” (from French: summary) and rest of the world “CV” (Latin: Curriculum Vitae)
Scenario 1, the odd CV out:
Imagine being the Head of HR for a large Brazilian company like Petrobras and receiving 100’s of CVs or Resumes a day…
And as you begin speedily looking through the large pile of “curriculum vitae”s, one of them perplexes you a bit. The way it’s structured doesn’t make a lot of sense and really requires you to “go the extra mile” to extract the information you need out of it to get an idea of who this person is.
Since you have so many to look at and so little time, you end up just putting it into the “B” pile that either gets the automated “thank you for applying but” response or just thrown out.
Scenario 2, the modern relevant CV that stands out:
You are the head of HR for Petrobras and looking through around 100 CV’s for the position of “Technical Manager”.
And as you speedily look through the numerous profiles, one stands out above the others. The cover letter was just amazing and the CV itself wonderful.
Why? Because of how streamlined, interactive and functional it is.
You got a solid grasp on this person and company while almost being spoon-fed what they want you to hear.
Which Scenario would you choose?
After spending so much time on making a wonderful cover letter and CV to finally get it into the hands of the HR manager, would you prefer scenario: 1 or 2?
Obviously scenario 2!
And today, I am going to show you exactly what steps to take to create that killer Brazilian CV that lights up the the HR manager’s eyes – complete with a free template!
Step 1: Understanding the Company Looking at Your CV
“If you want to see what John Smith buys, you need to look through John Smith’s eyes!”
This is the motto amongst marketers worldwide and a very powerful sentence in itself. It basically means that one must be able to use empathy enough to perceive the world through the customer’s eyes and meet their true needs.
I.E. give a person what they truly want rather then what you think they want.
You may be thinking “what does this marketing statement have to do with me?” well, everything!
When you are sending in your CV to a company, you are no different than any of these marketers, and your job is to do your best to perceive the world through the hiring manager’s eyes and convince them that you are the ideal candidate.
And in order to do this, you must first figure out what true need the company is trying to meet.
Look into the company and hiring manager’s profile
This is going to sound a bit like stalking but it’s not 😉 The fact is that hiring companies look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn and other places you’re active to see what you are like.
So why not reverse the rolls and do the same?
When I applied for a job in São Paulo recently, I noticed through his LinkedIn profile that the hiring manager had done an internship in a city outside of São Paulo called Jundiaí.
So in my cover letter and CV, I made sure and mentioned my affiliation to Jundiaí too so that there was a personal connection in there.
This sparks the interest of fulfilling the need for personal connection within the company, they want someone who they can identify and get along with.
You can research a bit about the company by looking them up on Google and LinkedIn, get an idea of the company’s vision, mission or objectives and make your CV fit those.
Then like I mentioned above, get the name of the hiring manager and throw it into Facebook and LinkedIn to see a bit more about who they are.
After that, create a list of shared traits and what problems they are looking to solve as a company or hiring manager.
Some of the universal needs to be met at a company are things like:
- A reliable employee
- Hard work and dedication
- Respect for authority
- Community driven and oriented
- Good communicator
- Long term commitment (unless temporary contract)
Step 2: Creating a “Brazilian” CV Outline
Did you know that work experience is put in reverse chronological order in Brazilian CV’s?
Or that personal data has heavy importance?
These are just a couple of examples of things that you need to know when building the outline of your Brazilian CV (I’ll give you a template to swipe under step 3!).
Here are the 7 main things your outline should contain:
- Name and picture
- Personal information such as address, telephone, e-mail, age, civil status and CPF nr. (if you have one)
- A Clear objective of what you are looking for job-wise to set the tone for the rest of the CV.
- Formal schooling in chronological order (Degree, institution and completion date).
- Work experience in reverse chronological order.
- Qualifications (relevant internships, courses and languages).
- References (An earlier boss or colleague plus someone who knows you well)
Within the above outline, start writing down and gathering the information taken from the perspective of the company / hiring manager (especially in the objective, work experience and qualifications areas!).
A little note about “Personal Information”: in Brazil, many companies require you to document your personal information as this is something important for the company. This is why it’s important to be as clear as possible and honest as possible, because it will most likely be checked up on.
Let’s build your CV!
Step 3: Building Your Final Brazilian CV
Now that you have your outline prepared, it’s time to put it onto a piece of paper and make your final Brazilian CV.
When building your own CV, it’s important that the language is error free and that the format is very readable.
So I would recommend to just stick with Arial, Gill Sans or the like – something reader friendly.
Step 4: Translating Your CV
I get asked a lot if it’s ok to send your application in English or if it needs to be in Portuguese.
The answer to your question is “both”. If you are applying for a job at a large multinational company then English would be just fine in my opinion.
Though, let’s say that you find a job at a very Brazilian company that is looking to expand their workforce to include English speaking people to cater to the more international market, then it may be necessary to send it in Portuguese.
The reason being that the HR manager or other managers may not be able to speak English very well despite their need for an English speaker.
So get your CV translated if that is the case for you.
Now, there are a few CV agencies out there in Brazil who will help you to create a one, but if you are only interested in having it translated then I have another option for you.
Here’s a video where I show you step-by-step how to find a qualified translator through :
(Watch on YouTube)
Video Summary of what I showed:
- The basics of odesk and how to search
- How to find a qualified professional
- Prices and rates + ratings.
- Other uses for odesk.com
I hope that the above video was helpful!
Step 5: Double Checking the CV to Make Sure it’s Legal!
One last and very important step in the CV creation process, is to make sure and double check everything for errors, factual correctness and formatting.
Make sure and be very truthful and not to “fudge” in any areas, because any false information given in a Brazilian CV is literally punishable by law! (Law 6561/09)
So just be sure and make things concise, accurate and truthful (not that you would lie).
Having a great CV to hand out to Brazilian employers is an important thing as this will be your part way ticket to an interview.
And next week, I’ll focus on showing you what steps you can take to secure yourself an interview after sending in your cover letter and CV.
So make sure and so you’re notified when the new posts come!
What tips can you add to creating a great Brazilian CV?
A special thank you to Flávia Viana over at for her help in this post!
Valeu – Cheers!
P.S. give this a thumbs up if it was helpful!