• 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
Striking pictures capture moment of migrant shipwreck

The operation wound up late on Wednesday without finding any further survivors or victims.

Two men jailed in Italy for social media terror threats
The threats were accompanied by photos of the monuments and written in Italian, French and Arabic. Photo: Jason Howie/Flickr

The two men had downloaded an online "manual" which covered the production of home-made explosives, carrying weapons and operating clandestinely on the internet.

Five migrants dead in shipwreck: Italian navy
500 people were pulled to safety and seven bodies recovered after a heavily crowded boat overturned off the Libyan coast. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

UPDATED: The navy said at least 550 people had been pulled to safety but added that the rescue operation was still underway and that the death toll could rise.

Italians petition to save paradise island's hermit
Some call it home: the island of Budelli, Sardinia. Photo: Luca Giudicatti

"Without him, the island's ecosystem would be severely compromised by now."

Italy finds 'body-filled' wreck of WWII submarine
Italian divers have located the wreck of a T-class Second World War submarine. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Experts say the bodies of 71 servicemen are still sealed inside the airtight submarine.

Video
200-metre sinkhole swallows cars in central Florence
Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was probably caused by erosion from the River Arno.

Rome in €500m plea to restore historic icons to former glory
A man dressed as Julius Caesare takes part in an event to mark the anniversary of the legendary foundation of the Eternal City in 753 BC, on April 19th, 2015. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

"We need help to ensure Rome continues to be a reference point in terms of beauty for the whole world."

Italy says another 3,000 migrants rescued off Libya
Migrants rest aboard the rescue ship "Aquarius", on May 24th after a rescue operation in front of the Libyan coast. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The overwhelming majority of those arriving in Italy so far this year have been from sub-Saharan Africa.

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
Florence's Ponte Vecchio. Photo: Colby Blaisdell/Flickr

Ponte Vecchio is one of the world’s most famous bridges. Rebuilt after a flood in 1345, it was the only bridge across the Arno that the escaping Germans did not destroy during the Second World War. Many put the bridge’s survival down to a Nazi official, as Stephen Caruso reports.

And Lonely Planet's 3rd 'must visit' Europe destination is...
This Italian town is a 'must see' this year. Photo: Gatnau/Flickr

Drumroll, please.

National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
Culture
7 breathtaking alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Politics
Long-term Brit in Italy barred from EU vote vows to fight on
2,522
jobs available