How to pimp up a German CV: Three easy steps

When you apply for a job in a start-ups in Germany, the Curriculum Vitae (CV) is one of the most important documents. For the HR Manager, your application is by far the best way to get a first impression—and often it is your only chance.

1. KISS—Keep it short and simple

The correct length is actually not too hard to find (although there are plenty of applicants who write whole books about their professional careers).

  • Remember: One A4 page in a CV for 10 years of professional experience.
  • Try to concentrate on 3 to 4 of the most important bullet points instead of listing all tasks you did in your career; everything else distracts from the essential part. 
  • Too short a CV may not be smart, too: The interviewer will have no idea of who you are and what your main skills are.

2. Proper Outline

After setting out the document, it makes sense to put the information in an intelligent structure, so that recruiters out there get to see the most important stages and information at a glance.

A popular and logical structure for a German CV is:

  1. Personal data (contact details, address, date and place of birth)
  2. Academic qualifications (university degree, major field of study; other schools attended)
  3. Career (all previous jobs and internships, if necessary)
  4. Further developments and skills (language course(s); additional training; volunteer training)
  5. Other skills (language skills; computer skills, if necessary; driver’s licence; interests)

Remember: It depends on how long your academic career is.

Tip: Depending on how long your professional career is, Points 2 and 3 should be definitely changed. So, when your work experience is longer than 1 year, make sure that your last position stays on top. A 35 year old man with 15 years’ of working experience sets his focus on his work achievements rather than his university degree.

3. Professional picture

After you have set up the content, the part that first jumps to the recruiter´s eye is still missing: the application photo.

Although it is no longer necessary in an application to integrate a photo in many countries, it still enjoys great popularity in Germany (although many HR managers would deny this).

Make sure that your expression is friendly but not too cheesy
Never try to make one of these embarrassing poses, like supporting your chin on your clenched fist. Terrible!
The best placement is often the upper right corner of the first page

The perfect German CV: Need some help? 

Did you write your last professional application years ago and now you have no idea how to set it up properly? Do you need support in creating a perfect CV in German and perhaps also in designing the cover letter? No problem: Our Startup focuses on creating outstanding CVs and also individual cover letters in English, German and various other languages.

Get in touch with us now! We are pleased to help.

About the Author

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
We aim to create well researched, detailed content related to technology, jobs, HR tips, Career Advice, Interview Guidance, and Preparation that helps on how to grow your professional image and find a dream job.

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