Everything you need to know about writing a German Resume

Germany has been and is going to be the top corporate destination for the skilled technical workforce from India in some upcoming years. The recent visit of German vice chancellor to India regarding the skill shortage in Germany marks the beginning of this fruitful opportunity for Indian workforce. It is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to bag some of the most lucrative roles in Germany before they are filled. 

But, as you take the first crucial steps to kickstarting your career in Germany, it can get a little daunting. You might have questions like where to begin? How to apply? How to write a German Job application? How make your German application stand out?

Don’t worry. DevHof is your knight in shining armour, when you’re feeling a bit lost in the process. DevHof will help you with an end-to-end guidance in your job application process for Germany. So let’s first begin with where it all starts. The German Job application. In this blog, We have laid down some of the most crucial points you must keep in mind while writing a German job application.

Writing a German Resume

Writing German resume is totally different from how you write your resume for US and UK. And Indian resumes are more on a higher level of detail, they won’t work when you go abroad for work. Therefore it is important that the resume must suit the recruiting environment for the German culture. 

While writing, you will take a number of considerations into account such as cultural preferences and professional standards. Here is how you start: 

Look for suitable roles 

The first step in every job role international and domestic is looking for a suitable role. Researching before applying will ensure that your skills are rightly aligned with employers requirements. And in cases like applying abroad it gets even more critical to be very specific about the roles and responsibilities you can take up. There are other things you must analyze such as the company culture, the business model, the rules and regulations, hiring processes and most importantly, look what exactly the company is looking for in the role. 

Typically speaking German resumes are documents with hard and fast facts and do not consist of unnecessary embellishment or sugar coating.

It needs to be free of superfluous and dubious information. It is better to avoid any outrageous assertions regarding your skills or something else that the employer is not looking forward to. Here’s how you begin:

Header content

The German resume name, or German CV is known as the Lebenslauf, and this is widely used in Europe and other countries. At the beginning of your German resume, you will include a header that consists of your name as the title including your smiling face passport size photo.

The first section 

The first section in your resume or German CV is your personal information which is titles as Persönliche Angaben, or Personal Information. This section will need your first and last name, place and date of birth and contact information. Each detail must be mentioned separately and neatly. 

Formatting

German employers are very precise in reading the resumes so make sure they are presented in a professional manner or in simpler terms, avoid using any fancy fonts, colours, etc. It implies that candidates must choose an elegant way to representing information rather experimenting with new layouts or creatives.

Spelling and language 

Spelling and grammar speak a lot about your professional outlook. Making any mistakes can be perceived as negligence and a laid back attitude for the work. Even a simple typo could risk your chances of landing your dream job. Always remember that linguistics are kind of a first impression your employers will get of who you are. So they are keen and very particular about well-written and linguistically perfect resumes. Since there will be hundreds of candidates to analyze, they will eliminate candidates first hand on the basis of their resume presentation. 

So it is always a good idea to do the proofreading with some professional guidance. Heed expert advice on resume writing. Next is taking advice from friends, ex-managers who have already had experiences of being interviewed by German companies. You can take up tips to frame your own resume.

Layout and Sections 

Structure of your Resume 

Use the right structure and style to create a German resume for German companies. There are some rules that are universally applicable to all German companies. The format of German resume differs a bit from the general format of resume. The following are some tips that you can use to lay out a German resume in the pertinent manner:

Length of the resume 

The general German resume length is 1-2 A4 pages. You must not exceed this length because anything more than this will be discarded. Always use one standard size and style of font through the resume, and  little different titles or subtitles. You should also avoid a lot of formatting with italic or bold lettering.

What to Include in the Resume? 

The most common parts of a German resume are these:

Personal and contact details or Persönliches and Kontaktinformationen

This portion of the resume must include a professional passport size photo on the top-left side along with the personal data, and the name of the candidate as titlee. You can place it at the side or just below the header of your resume. The contact details must include the following:

  • Address – Adresse
  • Phone number – Telefonnummer
  • Email – Mail
  • Website or professional online profile such as LinkedIn

Some personal details mentioned below are also included to add some factual nature in the data. These details aren’t usually necessary in American or British resume.

  • Date of birth of applicant, written simply as born – Geboren

German recruiters are more concerned about your skills and your experience and what exactly you can mean for their company in terms of profitability. 

Work Experience or Berufserfahrung    

The work experience must be listed in reverse chronology with the most relevant or recent experience at the top and then earlier ones. Every previous role must include the employment stint with dates with the names in right corner and dates in the left-hand column. This information includes:

  • Job title
  • Company name and sector 
  • Location – Full state name if you’re applying to work abroad.
  • A short and concise description of your role with most pertinent details of each post held.

Unlike American resumes, the information here is purely factual and does not need to incorporate professional achievements or demonstrate skills used on the job.

If you have any internships or volunteer experience, include them, as long as they are relevant to the vacancy. Include everything chronologically.

Education or Ausbildung

The education section is another section that needs to be carefully set up. For freshers or entry-level candidates, it is a possibility that your good academic history with brilliant grades appeals to the German employer or the hiring manager. Make sure to list the courses and certificates in reverse order in chronology, i.e start with the recent and more relevant certification followed by the earlier or less relevant courses.

Also, take special more of the German education system while mentioning your grades. Show German equivalents of your grades or your qualifications for example, a 4.0. GPA is considered the highest grade in America., and the same grade is the lowest representation of grades in Germany. 1.0 is the highest or the maximum grades in a German education system one can obtain. With 2.0 the second-highest and so on. 

Universities in Germany are also segregated into various sectors. Find which one applies to you:

  • College or University – Universität
  • Teacher College – Pädagogische Hochschule
  • Art College – Kunsthochschule
  • Technical Institute – Fachhochschule
  • Training Institute – Volkshochschule

Also, you will need to have official certificates translated according to German counterparts in English. Make sure you find out online which one applies to you. 

In Germany, Magister is the name given to a master’s degree, and a PhD is same as recognized in English.

Skills or Fähigkeiten

Use bullet points to list a mix of soft and hard skills that you possess and which relate to the vacancy or sector you’re looking to work in.

You can also add languages known and IT skills to express your knowledge in various languages. Make sure to mention the name while also explaining the function of any specific programs you have used so that the hiring manager can understand the practicality of this skill.

With languages, you should describe your proficiency in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference detailing levels from A1 or beginner to C2 or native fluency.

Hobbies and Interests or Interessen und Hobbys

Interests and hobbies are normally not seen on American resumes. This portion is dedicated to personal interests on a German resume. This section can be considered important as it enables your employer to have an understanding of your character as a whole.

But make sure you mention only relevant hobbies that provide evidence of your previously mentioned experiences or skills. Also, this is a useful section to mention if you wish to showcase your understanding of the culture or present extra skills that can be beneficial to the company, such as leadership roles for associations or social clubs.

And you’re all set to apply to your first German firm. Keep all of these points in mind while writing your resume and you’ll definitely find your way. All the best!

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