If you’re unsure about creating a German resume or CV, follow our guide before creating one!
Want to write a German CV (Lebenslauf) in English?
CVs in Germany are straightforward, which can be helpful if you want to avoid coming across as self-promoting or business jargon-heavy.
They also make a good impression when sent unsolicited, as they leave little room for misinterpretation. However, as with any document, it is always best to tailor your German CV according to the specific needs of each job application you submit.
CV writing in Germany is traditionally structured around providing a summarized overview of your experience and skills, followed by a below order:
We recommend including your essential information like name, address, contact information, and previous designations in the personal information section because German recruiters expect to know more about you!
Profile photo – The Germans will judge your professionalism by considering your profile picture. So make sure that the picture is professional but not too formal.
Have a long name? – It is advisable to use the first name you want to be called and the last name when registering for a German job, and this thing will reduce the confusion on the employer’s side as to what name should be called.
Phone number – If you’re using a German number, add it to your CV. Otherwise, consider adding your skype ID.
Nationality – If the employer can verify that you are a citizen or national of the country in question, they may not need to apply for a work visa.
Address – Must include the country with the city code
Mention your previous work experience in chronological order, and begin with the most recent. Then, for each position, add the name of the company, the period worked there, your designation held, and your key roles. Plus, outline key significant achievements you’ve made in your previous work if any!
In this section, you need to include your high and low-level education. Make sure to add the name of the university and program you studied. Many people also include specialized areas of study within the degree program.
These skills can include Computer Skills, Personal Skills, Language skills, Technical Skills, and Awards. These should be relevant to the job.
Hobbies & Interests (Optional)
Although this section is optional but has significance, don’t forget, Germans love facts, so if you add this action will add more value to your CV and make it accurate.
Courses and Certificates
Increase the value of courses by adding the course provider’s name, relevant content, and instructor name or position.
How German CV is Different From English CV
- Without picture – There is no specific etiquette for attaching a picture to a CV in English, but required in German CV.
- CV order – CV data is always in reverse chronological order. This is the opposite of how German CVs are structured, i.e., the CV begins with professional experience and vocational training.
- Personal data – No personal data should not be missing from a CV, as this would violate local legal requirements. In addition, information on marital status, age, religion, or origin should not be included in an English Language CV.
- References – In Germany, references are not very common in a CV but are mandatory in an English CV.
- An English CV will typically lack a date, whereas German CVs will usually include one. Additionally, German CVs usually feature a signature at the bottom.
- Cover Letter: A cover letter should include only the most relevant information regarding job requirements in error-free English.
6 General CV Tips for Germany
- Keywords and Experience: Write important information first, use keywords relevant to your field and experience, and customize them to each vacancy.
- Short Objective: Objectives tend to be generic and focus on yourself. Recruiters would rather see what you can provide for the company. Hence, starting with a summary is more effective than an objective.
- Length doesn’t Matter: A German CV does not need to be shorter than one and longer than two pages.
- Limit Font and Color Choices: We recommend staying within a few select font types, sizes, and colors when designing your Europass CV, and this will help keep the design consistent and professional-looking. Using a custom-designed template is always better than using an existing Europass site!
- Relavent Experience: If you are applying for a position in finance, then include your experience with Excel and financial modeling. If you are applying for a position in marketing, then include examples of your creative work and how you developed target markets. Each application requires different information, so tailor your CV specifically to the job opening.
- Short and Focused: It is recommended not to include all your experience, skill, and qualifications – keep it to the point by only listing those relevant to the job role.