Job applications

CV's, Cover letters and interviews

Job applications

A Brazilian application includes a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and sometimes a cover letter. Other documents, such as qualification certificates are not common.

If you are applying to work with Brazilians (and due to the Brazilian restriction for foreign employees you probably will be), your application should be written in Portuguese. To be on the safe side, write both an English and a Portuguese version.

The most important section of a Brazilian application is the CV which is sometimes extended by a cover letter. The main rule for both components is to be succinct and objective.

Brazilian CV's (Currículo)

When writing a Brazilian CV try to avoid using too many details and do not exaggerate when it comes to your qualifications. The length of the CV should be 1 page at best but must not exceed 2 pages.

Leave out elementary education and marital status and focus on demonstrating the skills and qualifications that are required for the position. Present the stages of your education and the acquisition of skills in a reverse chronological order starting with the most recent.

The order of the information included is not determined and depends on the position you are applying for. A suggestion of subjects to be included is presented in the following:

  • Personal details (Dados Pessoais) - Includes forename and surname, date of birth and contact data
  • Education (Formação Acadêmica)
  • Professional experience (Experiência profissional) Includes the name of the company, period of employment and position.
  • Further qualification (Aperfeiçoamento profissional) Includes advanced training and skill enhancement
  • Language and computer skills (Línguas e informática) Includes the level of proficiency
  • Further information (Informações adicionais) Includes exchange programmes, volunteer work and further information related to the position

Cover letter

The cover letter should include your personal motivation for the desired position and present your qualifications and skills in a professional tone. You can also include examples of how you work on your Portuguese language skills and connect your professional stages with experiences and achievements. Always remember to keep the cover letter concise and avoid exaggeration.

Job interviews in Brazil

To prepare for an interview make sure you know the technical terms of your sector in Portuguese, as well as some details on the company you are applying for. Also be prepared to practically demonstrate your skills and experiences.

The job interview plays a decisive role in the Brazilian application process. You will probably know most of the general rules from your home country, (e.g. showing a positive attitude to your last employer, avoiding simple yes/no answers) and they also apply to Brazilian job interviews.

What differentiates it from many other countries, however, is that interpersonal skills often play a more important role than technical qualifications and competencies. Brazilian interviews tend to be a bit more personal, and often some humour can help you establish rapport with the interviewer. However, be cautious as this does not necessarily apply to every situation.

Further reading

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