CV in English

On this page, we will give you some tips to keep in mind when writing your English-language resume compared to a German-language resume.

Back to: Application in English

What is the difference between a German-language resume and an English-language resume?

  • Applications in English-speaking countries do not include a photo. This rule is part of the anti-discrimination laws and should therefore be followed in any case.
  • The indication of marital status is unusual and due to anti-discrimination laws it is preferable to omit it.
  • Nationalities are not indicated. Questions regarding visa status or work authorization will be addressed in the interview.
  • English-language applications do not usually include information about hobbies unless this information is relevant to the job or is an expression of personal development.

What is the difference between "Curriculum Vitae" and "Résumé"?

Both words stand for resume, but a CV and a résumé differ in terms of length.

In a CV, the focus is more on the content of the totality of all experiences made, listed chronologically. This is the most common and usually preferred form in job applications, especially when it comes to positions in an academic environment. Since this is a comprehensive summary of life and work stations, the CV is on average 2-3 pages long.

In contrast, a résumé is a short and concise summary of academic and professional background in less than 2 pages. The listing of experience is less detailed; instead, a résumé usually includes an "objective," which is a brief description of motivation or career goals.

What to look for when writing a resume

  • Personal information (= Personal Information) must only include name, address, telephone number, e-mail and (with exceptions) date of birth.
  • Date: (XX - XX); if the study program has not yet been completed: (XX - present).
  • Degree type and designation - e.g. BA or MA Economics.
  • Full name of the university plus location (specify country if applicable).
  • Optional: list of relevant courses; title of thesis; final grade.

Professional experience is listed in counter-chronological order.

  • Date: (XX - XX); if employment is ongoing: (XX - present).
  • Job title: if there is no clear job title, a title that best summarizes the focus of the work should be found.
  • Name of Employer (Company, etc.): The name should be written out in full.
  • Location: full name of city and state.
  • Optional: job and position description.

This section is divided into many smaller subsections, each focusing on additional personal skills and competencies not previously mentioned.

  • Language Skills - The listing of languages should be sorted by language level i.e. native language comes at the top of the list. A useful benchmark for determining language proficiency is 'native speaker' - 'fluent' - 'advanced' - 'intermediate' - 'basic'. Certificates (with name and grade) can be listed.
  • Computer Skills - The format is similar to that of the language section as described above. Microsoft Office skills (Word, PPT, Excel) should be included in all cases. Also important are programs such as Mac operating systems, photo editing programs (Photoshop and GIMP), and email and appointment management programs.
  • Workshops - Workshops or conferences attended or held may be listed here; provided they are of interest to the position being filled. These will be listed in counter-chronological order.
  • Experience Abroad - For relevant experience abroad, it is useful to list it in a separate section (purpose of stay, time period, and location).
  • References - A list of references can be included at the end of the application. These should be listed with the person's full name, job title, address and contact information.