How to prepare a good CV in German ? advice from CV man

Due to the fact that a number of highly sought after companies are located in the German-speaking areas, a CV in German is well worth considering. What is required is a document proving that you are the best choice your prospective employer can make. As each country has slightly different requirements when it comes to application documents, German employers also have their preferences in this area. We have gathered the most crucial points you may find helpful while preparing a CV in German which opens doors to new opportunities in said country.

What to include when writing a CV in German

  • Keep the outline of your documents simple and classy ? occasional bolding is all you need. Including
    a variety of fonts and shapes will not make the application more professional.
  • Follow the generally accepted guidelines regarding the arrangement of particular segments. CV?s in Germany tend to include a professional-style photograph in the upper right corner.
  • Divide your CV into two columns. Under each heading (e.g. professional experience, education) left side is for facts (dates, places, positions), while the right side is for details such as experience, tasks assigned, areas of activity. Remember to reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent first).
  • Be relevant ? provide essential information, your most crucial competences, without delving too deep into details or personal topics. Avoid boasting or showing off, at least try to keep it to the minimum. Also, bullet points are better than blocks of text.
  • It is advisable to attach copies of any relevant certification, diploma, course you have taken. It will make you more reliable and serious.

What to avoid when writing a CV in German

  • Do not provide contact information that is not valid or you have problems with accessing. Remember about providing a country code for your phone number.
  • Gaps in your career are not acceptable ? you should explain in the documents why you were unemployed, e.g. due to military service, illness, travelling.
  • Showing off with your professional titles as this will act in your favour in most cases. There are only a few fields (e.g. medicine) that accept titles in front of your name in job applications. Instead, provide
    a comprehensive record of your education in the document.
  • Do not mistake the ?additional information? area for a place to quote your soft skills. A German employed will expect to read about your language skills, IT competences, etc.
  • Exaggeration is dangerous ? whether it applies to language skills, IT abilities or any other information included in your documents, everything can be easily checked.
  • If your command of German is not proficient, it is better to apply in a language you know best (preferably English). This option will not create potential misunderstandings.

Currently, it is relatively straightforward to apply for a job abroad. What you need most of all are well-prepared documents that present your candidature in the most favourable manner. In previous posts were have discussed the features of a good CV and cover letter in other languages. Should you require any help in relation to translating or proofreading your documents into German (or any language) please contact us at

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