Do you want to apply for a job in Germany? You should know how to write your CV or “Lebenslauf” according to German standards. The CV is a vital aspect of a job application, along with a cover letter. A job applicant must familiarize with the way German employers want CVs to be presented. Some employers even use resume parsers to fetch the details from the resume. Click here to find one of the best resume parsers.

Your CV or resume conveys your strength and weakness to hiring personnel and recruiters. Therefore, you should present yourself with a strong resume. The recruiters expect attention to detail for the applicant’s resume. 

This guide will help you create an outstanding CV that would speak for you when employees look at your CV. International candidates can take advantage of this guide to know the details of the CV format they will use in Germany.

Germany CV Requirements (Lebenslauf) – Structuring CV contents

German companies and recruiters require applicants to present a German-language resume. However, there are exceptions when it comes to international jobs and positions. These types of jobs do not need German language skills. Many people may not know the differences between a standard CV and a German CV. To stand out with your job application, you should understand what is expected.

What are the differences to expect? In the English resume, especially in the United States of America, a resume represents a one-page that summarizes an applicant’s relevant information and work experience. However, a CV is more than two pages and comes with details like academic background and others.

Resume and CV are used interchangeably in Germany. Applicants are expected to create a summarized one or two pages. The documents should be automatically scanned in electronic format or with the eyes. This means that you should correctly use the relevant keywords and information, like skills, values, abilities, and expertise.

1. Professional experience

The work experience segment should be the key selling point or central to their applications. You should highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order. This means that you have to begin with your recent position. You should highlight your work history with the exact location and date of each work. Applicants have to be specific when it comes to the position they held. You should use bullet points and strong, active language when listing your achievements. This makes it easier to differentiate and read. If you have employment gaps, you should account for them.

Write your work experience in the following way:

  • Position
  • Company, location, description
  • Summary of responsibilities and achievements
  • Employment timeline

You can make an exceptional presentation by using percentages when you highlight some work experience. 

2. Length

The length of your resume is essential. Most employers may not take you seriously if you cannot summarize your personal experience in a CV. You can sell yourself positively to your prospective employers with a two-page resume. A CV should be crafted to open interview doors and help you secure jobs in Germany. You do not need to stuff your CV with irrelevant information. While you mention your career goals, skills, and academic achievements, you should make them stand out in a precise approach.

3. Photo

German employers and recruiters take pride in professionalism. While most countries do not request a photo of applicants, Germany needs a work-appropriate and high-quality image. This aspect of your CV is not mandatory. However, if you must add a photo to your CV, it must be professionally taken. Adding photos to resumes has become a common practice in the country.

4. Personal Information

You should place personal information on the top of a CV. This information includes phone number, home address, name, date of birth, and email address. It is expected that applicants add age to their CVs, or it will be regarded as incomplete. In addition, applicants can add their marital status, place of birth, including the number of kids. 

  • Name: Applicants should write out their first and last names. They should use their real names.
  • Title: Write out the position or professional title you want to apply for in your prospective career.
  • Address: You should highlight your full address professionally, including your home country if you want to apply for jobs from there.
  • Phone number: You should include your country code in your CV.
  • Email: You should use your professional email address. Do not use the email address you used on your present job.
  • Social Media/Website: Applicants can link their blogs, professional Twitter, LinkedIn, job portal profile, or portfolio website.

5. Personal Summary

Personal Summary or Profil is a summarized part of a German CV, highlighting the applicant’s experience, credentials, and skills. Profil is not crafted as a detailed part of the CV. However, it offers a summary or objective of yourself in a few sentences. This makes a strong case for you when employers scan through your resume. 

An objective highlights the applicants’ goals and motivations when they apply for jobs in Germany. The information should include education, skills, and relevant information, including what you want to bring to the company.

Applicants with extensive work experience can quickly summarize in resumes. They have the opportunity of listing their important career stages, relevant achievements, past jobs, and professional growth.

6. Education

You should mention your educational qualification in chronological order, starting with the most recent qualification. You should include your university name, location, academic degrees, and duration of studies. For graduates and students, they should list the selected courses they attended at the universities. Finally, they should prove their qualifications for the job positions.

If you have additional qualifications like networks, scholarships, awards, associations, voluntary activities, programming skills, training, certificates, and language skills, add them to your professional experience. For Researchers, they can list their publications as an additional page to their CVs. You can add optional information like honors, GPA, or academic achievements.

7. Optional Sections

To add additional sections to your resume, you should ensure that it stands out. Some of the things to include are:

  • Certifications and awards: Applicants can add relevant awards and certifications pertinent to the sector or position they want to apply for jobs. You can add online courses if you do not have enough work experience.
  • Language skills: When applicants are highlighting their language skills, they should list them as Basic, Intermediate, Proficient, Fluent, or Native.
  • Publications: You can add your professional or academic publications to your CV.
  • Personal projects: Applicants who want to improve their chances of getting positions or jobs can list their experience, dedication, or passion.

8. Skills

Skills may not be mandatory for you to fill in your resume. However, it is illustrative when adding the section to include personal skills or certifications not related to school. This can come as language proficiency. In addition, you can customize this area to a job like programming skills, technical certification, or soft skills (management, leadership, communication, management, etc.)

9. Volunteer experience

The volunteer experience section is not mandatory. However, adding this section can be an excellent idea for your chances of gaining a position or job.

10. References

References should come in written form or “Arbeitszeugnis.” Arbeitszeugnis come from companies where employees worked previously. You do not include references as we do in most countries, where contacts are only shared.

11. Cover Letter

If you want to write any cover letter, it should be to the point and concise. It should not be longer than a page. You do not repeat things you have in your resume. A German cover letter should have this format:

  • Address: Mobile number/telephone and email address.
  • Addressee: This should come with the full company address in Germany and the second line, the name of the contact person.
  • Date
  • Applicants Subject matter 
  • Salutation 
  • First paragraph: This talks about the reason for writing.
  • Second paragraph: It highlights what you can offer.
  • Third paragraph: This should be your follow-up.
  • Short closure
  • Signature

Useful websites for writing CVs in Germany

Some useful websites you can use for writing your CVs in Germany include NovoResume, CVmaker, TopCV, and Resume.io.

Conclusion

Employers and recruiters value applicants with well-detailed and well-organized CVs. Therefore, you should ensure that your CV has the correct information. With the number of software that handles the extraction of details from a resume, you should consider using a suitable tool for your business. Each tip we have highlighted in this article would help you create a perfect resume for a German company.

Finally, you do not have to overwork yourself when writing a resume in Germany. From the work experience to the cover letter should be original and real. You do not have to spice the resume to seem questionable. Before you make your submission to a company, you should give it to a second person or a professional to read through first.