Building a Resume in Spanish

Building a Resume in Spanish

Applying for a job abroad? Or are you simply interested in joining a Spanish-speaking company in the US? You’ll make an impressive impact if you submit a resume in Spanish. However, it’s not as simple as translating your resume word for word – there are terms and cultural norms to consider that make your resume feel natural. This blog discusses key sections in a Spanish resume, Spanish terminology, and the top tools that can make you stand out from the crowd.

When a resume in Spanish comes in handy

Speaking another language is a great asset and can be useful in landing you a great job. One of the most common is moving abroad – if you’re settling down in Spain or Latin America, showing off your language skills with a Spanish resume is essential.

You’ll need an expert command of the Spanish language to do this successfully. You’re competing with both locals and other expats, so an expertly crafted Spanish resume is crucial.

Even North America relies heavily on Spanish language skills. The United States has the world’s fifth-largest Spanish-speaking population, behind Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Spain. (1) The language is most prominent in:

  • California
  • Texas
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Florida

If you’re planning on working for a company in any of these states, you could pass up a great opportunity working for a Spanish-speaking company if you don’t know how to write a work resume in Spanish.

Pay attention to the job ad you’re targeting. If the job description is in Spanish or requires native proficiency, it’s obvious that a Spanish resume will be helpful, but it can be more nuanced than that. If the job post mentions that Spanish language skills are preferred, you can make a great impression by sending in a Spanish resume.

Similarities and differences between Spanish resumes

Just because two companies use the same primary language doesn’t mean you should use an identical resume. If your dream job is in Spain, your resume will be a lot different than if your dream job was in Latin America.

This rule is the same with every language. Let’s use English to put this in perspective. When applying for a job in England, you would want to label your resume as a “CV.”  But this term is nearly non-existent in America, so an American hiring manager may not know what it means.

Let’s take a look at the main differences between different Spanish resumes so you can align yours perfectly to your ideal role.

Grammar and vocabulary

Grammar in different Spanish-speaking countries varies considerably. 

One example is the use of the first-person pronouns “tú” and “usted.” Many areas of Spain consider “usted” to be rather stuffy and formal, while most of Latin America uses it when addressing anyone outside your inner circle of family and friends.

Another first-person pronoun is “vos,” which is common in North and Latin America but rarely heard in Spain.

It’s also important to note that the word “resume” varies between Spanish-speaking countries. Spain may use the term “CV,” but some parts of Latin America use “hoja de vida,” “currículum,” and “resumen.”

Cultural values

If you want to add extra flair to your Spanish resume, it’s a good idea to match the workplace cultural values of the country.

Latin America and Spain have values in common, such as promoting relationship-building and close friendships, but they also have key differences. For example, Latin America has a greater emphasis on agility, hard work, and collective success, while Spain favors a relaxed approach and respecting leadership.

Key components of a Spanish resume

A Spanish resume isn’t too different from an American one when it comes to structure and formatting. It includes a header with contact details, a resume summary, work experience, and skills, like most resume templates. You can also add optional extra sections, just like in English.

Here are the key sections to include in a Spanish resume:

  • Header: “Datos personales”: This section should include your full name, phone number, email address, and location.
  • Resume summary: “Perfil”: Two to three sentences about your experience and career goals.
  • Work experience: “Experiencia laboral”: A brief summary of your work history, including job title, company name, date of employment, and a few achievements.
  • Education: “Estudios” / “Formación”: Provide the degrees you hold and the institutions you earned them at.
  • Skills: “Competencias”: List your top skills that are the most relevant to the position.
  • Languages: “Idiomas”: This section should contain the languages you speak, using the CEFR scale to show proficiency.
  • Additional information: “Información adicional”: Any extra information you think enriches your resume, from volunteer work to internships you’ve had in Spanish-speaking areas.

These are the most common terms to use in a Spanish resume but always research the customs and language of the specific country you’re targeting. You want to ensure that your language is not only understood by the hiring manager but also appeals to their norms.

The above list is the preferred order of sections, just like in English. However, be aware that the sections can shift based on your needs. For example, students and people with little work experience should place education before work experience.

“If you want to add extra flair to your Spanish resume, it’s a good idea to match the workplace cultural values of the country.”

Optimizing your work resume in Spanish

Let’s dig into a few tips specific to Spanish resumes. While they’re similar to English-speaking applications, Spanish resumes have unique qualities. Taking the time to include them makes you more natural among local candidates and makes you stand out among expat candidates.

Here are a few unique features of a work resume in Spanish:

  • Including extra details in your header: It’s more common to add nationality and date of birth in your contact details.
  • Adding more personal details: Some Spanish-speaking countries, like Spain, prefer a holistic view of a candidate, so it’s a good idea to add extra personal details like your hobbies and interests.
  • Providing a photo: A photo in your resume seems odd to many Americans, but it’s common practice in Spain and most of Latin America. Be aware that Mexico is just like America, so exclude the photo when applying to a job in Mexico.

Another top tip we can give to all job seekers is this: if you aren’t sure of your abilities to build a Spanish resume with correct grammar, don’t do it. You can send your resume to a translator to double-check terminology, but it’s best to have complete assurance in your language skills if you’re applying to a role with a Spanish resume.

Expert Tip

Research the culture of the company you’re applying to as they can vary greatly. Spanish-speaking American companies may have customs and values that match typical American culture. On the other hand, rural companies in Spain may have old-fashioned customs different from urban Spain.

Additional resources and tools to build a successful resume in Spanish

You have a lot to consider when building a Spanish resume, so it’s best to have a tool to handle the rest for you. Crafting a resume with software like CVwizard’s Resume Builder enables you to focus on cultural details and terminology with formatting and structure taken care of for you.

For insights that are relevant to both English and Spanish resumes, we recommend you take a look through our resume articles. You’ll find a wealth of insights, including how to add your education and contact details, and how to build unique, creative resumes.

Build a Spanish Resume That Impresses Every Employer

Submitting a resume in a different language can be intimidating, but with your skills and our guide, you can craft a Spanish resume that catches the hiring manager’s eye. Just follow our top tips:

  • Research the company and its customs
  • Use terminology relevant to the country you’re applying in
  • Include extra details, such as your photo and date of birth

Now that you know the top tips for building a Spanish resume, take the advice and apply it to your specific industry. Browse our collection of resume examples to learn tips tailored to your specific role.


(1) Statista, August 8, 2023: Countries with the largest number of native Spanish speakers worldwide in 2022

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