Advice for Germany

  • Your CV is the core of your application. In some cases, it will be the only document that the HR officer reads.
  • When applying for a work placement, a one page CV should be enough. Certainly no more than two pages! Focus on the facts and skills that are relevant to the opening.
  • Avoid gaps in your CV. HR officers always find that suspicious. At best, they will ask you in for an interview afterwards; at worst, they will simply put a disjointed CV to the side.
  • CVs today should always be written in table form. Beware of older guides! Less than 15 years ago, it was common to write fully formulated CVs in Germany. 
  • A CV should always include:
    • Headline: name of the candidate and/or the word “CV”;
    • Photo (see below);
    • Personal data (name, address, telephone, email address, and date and place of birth);
    • Education (beginning with secondary school and including university and any other training);
    • Work experience (former placements and jobs);
    • Skills (computer, language, etc.);
    • Hobbies / volunteering;
    • A list of your publications (if applicable);
    • Awards (if applicable);
    • Place, date and signature.
  • Even though it is controversial (and not even completely legal in Germany since 14/08/2006!), most HR officers in Germany still expect an application photo on your CV. If they expect one, send them one. But never send a snapshot of poor quality or that is too private. Experts agree that the success of an application in Germany is dependent on the quality of the photo like nowhere else. Ask a professional photographer to take a picture that is both formal and individual. The web is full of examples of good and bad practices:
  • Hold back your private information. Mention hobbies only if they are relevant to assessing your personality or to the targeted placement. Citing “shopping” or “partying” as a hobby will knock you out of the running (unless you are applying to a company working in those domains).
  • You can download sample CVs and templates here:
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