• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Ten tips for the perfect Italian CV

Sophie Inge · 3 Jun 2013, 13:42

Published: 03 Jun 2013 13:42 GMT+02:00

Should I attach a photo? What about a cover letter? Do I need to translate my CV into Italian? If you’re about to apply for a job in Italy, you may not yet know the answers to such questions.

To help pick your way through Italian CV etiquette, The Local spoke to Laura Gangitano, an Italian recruitment consultant for Hays, specializing in the banking and insurance sector.

1. To translate or not to translate? “In Italy,” says Gangitano, “English is widely spoken, especially in sectors like banking and insurance. So if you’re applying for an English-speaking position, then an English CV will definitely be more appreciated."

2. Qualifications. Qualifications vary from country to country - so it’s best to give more detail, where possible. In England, it suffices to write that you achieved a “2:1” or “First,” while in Italy it’s best to put down the actual mark rather than the overall grade. “Normally, if an Italian doesn’t put down their final grade,” says Gangitano, “it suggests they got a low mark.”

3. Work comes first. “Usually, the first part of a CV will be dedicated to personal data,” says Gangitano. “Although it’s also an English thing, it’s particularly important in Italy to put your date of birth at the top of your CV.” Unlike on a British CV, however, previous jobs must be listed before education, she warns, because your professional experience counts the most. “You should list your jobs backwards, starting with your most recent experience back to your master’s, undergraduate or high school qualification.

4. Keep it professional. Employers elsewhere in Europe may be interested to hear of your passion for Italian neo-realist cinema and the fact that you play Ultimate Frisbee every Wednesday, but in Italy hobby talk should be kept to a minimum, warns Gangiatano. “The exception is only if it’s something particularly interesting or relevant, such as voluntary work.”

5. State your nationality. Gangitano counsels against leaving out your nationality: “It’s important for employers to know where someone is from – particularly whether they are from an EU or non-EU country. Many multinational companies have special policies for people outside the EU.” If you’re from outside the EU, then you won’t need to enclose a copy of your residence permit, she adds, but it helps to state that you have one.

6. Photo. “While it’s not always necessary to include a photo, if you do decide to attach one then it should be a formal passport photo – i.e. the top half your body,” says Gangitano. It goes without saying that modeling-type shots are a definite no-no and neutral backgrounds are preferred.

7. Keep it brief. Italy is increasingly out of step with the standard European CV template, according to Gangitano – and particularly when it comes to brevity. “Ideally," she says, “you shouldn’t exceed two pages – with the exception of professions such as engineering or law, where you are required to write in more depth about publications or projects you’ve been involved in. In Italy, employers tend to be more interested in where you have worked rather than what you tell them you can do.”

8. How good is your Italian? There are no formal certificates of proficiency that are recognized by all Italian employers. So you just need to state whether you have a “fluida” (fluent), “buona” (good) or “discreta” (moderate) knowledge of Italian, says Gangitano.”

Story continues below…

9. Keep the cover letter relevant. Many English-speaking countries' employers won’t even consider a candidate unless they attach a decent cover letter, but in Italy it’s optional. “I only recommend attaching one if you want to underline a specific point – such as why you want to apply to a particular firm,” advises Gangitano. But she advises against being too generic. “If you’re just going to say: ‘Your firm seems really nice and I’m the perfect candidate,’ then best to leave it out.”

10. Provide references. Although Italian employers are generally not very fussy about references, it’s a good idea to include two names of referees, with their contact details, says Gangitano. If you’ve just graduated, then there’s no need to worry - “The name of your supervisor will suffice”.

Laura Gangitano is a recruitment consultant for Hays in Italy and manager of the banking and insurance division.

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italy has 'no banking problem': finance minister
"All the countries should relax: there is no Italian banking problem," Padoan said. Photo: AFP

Italy does not have a problem with its banks, finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Sunday, despite investors fretting about nearly $400 billion of bad debts weighing down the sector.

Pope Francis visits Poland amid security concerns
"Refugees? The pope will say something on that," Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican ambassador to Poland said. Photo: AFP

Pope Francis lands in Poland on Wednesday amid heavy security for an international Catholic youth festival where he is expected to make the case for welcoming refugees, a thorny issue for Warsaw.

Italy hosts first Down's Syndrome 'Olympics'
The athletes taking part are dubbed T21s, named after the most common form of Down's Syndrome, trisomy 21. Photo: AFP

The roar from the stands in Florence could not have been louder if it had been stars Usain Bolt or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on the track.

Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Milan is vying to be Europe's post-Brexit financial and business hub. Photo: Melanie Bowman

Milan has also joined the race among European cities to pick up the post-Brexit spoils should London’s financial institutions choose to shift their operations elsewhere. But is it a viable contender?

Ekberg wannabe says Trevi dip was a 'homage to Rome'
Delilah Jay just before she waded into Rome's Trevi Fountain on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Delilah Jay

“I love Rome, I love Fellini and I love Ekberg – I’ve had so many comments on my Facebook page saying I look very much like her.”

Venice to build new bridge in memory of Bataclan victim
28-year-old student Valeria Solesin was the only Italian victim of the Paris terrorist attacks. Photo: Pierre Teyssot / AFP

Venice, the so-called 'city of bridges', is set to build one more, in honour of the only Italian victim of last November's Paris terrorist attacks.

Italy fears 'Calais-style' camps as migrant backlog worsens
There are 135,000 people waiting in Italian reception centres. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

Italy is scrambling to find extra places for incoming migrants amid fears the failure of a European relocation plan may result in mass encampments.

Italy to start performing civil unions from mid-August
Italy became the last major country in Europe to recognize same-sex civil unions in May. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Same-sex couples in Italy will finally have the chance to say “I do” from mid-August onwards, Italy's Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.

Italian mayor says sorry for Keita Balde racism
Keita Balde, a Senegalese born in Spain, is one of several black players in Italy's Serie A to have faced racist abuse in the past. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"Sport is about passion, sharing and friendship. I'm sorry to hear, as the mayor and a sportsman, that some people last night embarrassed the whole city and, in particular, the real fans at the stadium."

Rescue boats recover 17 migrant bodies off Italy
The latest arrivals take the number of migrants to have landed in Italy this year to over 80,000. Photo: Giovanni Isolino/AFP

Since 2014, more than 10,000 migrants have died or are feared to have drowned while attempting the perilous journey to Europe by sea.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,561
jobs available