The CV

Your CV is the key part of your application, as it clearly lays out the most important information and arguments that speak for you. Your application must be generated with the help of a computer. The CV itself can by all means be longer than one page, but more than three pages is definitely too much!

The following points should be included (where applicable):

  1. Personal details
  2. Secondary education
  3. Vocational training and professional experience after school, if applicable
  4. University education
  5. Work placements
  6. Experience abroad (studies or work placements)
  7. Extra-curricular activities
  8. Language skill
  9. Computer skills
  10. Hobbies that are significant for your personal or professional development
  11. City, date and signature

Taking two to three pages, make a clear statement on why you are the ideal person for the job, based on your specialised competence and personality.

You should therefore make sure that you go into more detail with activities from your professional career so far which are relevant to the new task field you are aiming for. Rather than just listing the bare facts, use key words to explain – in one or two lines - the application areas relevant for the new position.

Personal Details

Surname: Mustermann  
First name:Max
Address:Musterweg 24, 97421 Musterstadt
Date of birth: 7 June 1951
Place of birth:Schweinfurt  
Nationality:    German 
Marital status: single

Secondary Education

  • Schools attended (primary school is not usually mentioned)
  • Degree with final grade average

Language Skills

Language skills are indispensable on your CV. Your level of competency in a language is important as well.

The following gradation is widely used:

  •     Basic
  •     Medium
  •     Good
  •     Fluent (written and verbal)
  •     Business fluent
  •     Native speaker

Remember to include your native language!

If you acquired a special certificate in your language training, e.g. the Cambridge Certificate, TOEFL-TEST, etc., you should mention that as well.

The Application Photo

The value of an application photo is often underestimated. However, it is a crucial element in conveying a positive and professional overall impression. The clothing, hairstyle, posture, facial expression and quality all leave a first impression.

Always have your application photo taken by a professional photographer and make sure that you have a neat and tidy appearance. No self-attempts and definitely no passport pictures from a machine!

The photograph itself is generally affixed to the upper part of the CV, above or next to "Personal Details".


Please note that the above tips only apply to applications with German companies. Companies abroad may have different
application procedures and regulations.