How to write a German CV

How to write a German CVIt is now 18 years since I first applied for a job in Germany.  In the autumn of 1992 I returned to University armed with a collection of addresses of companies in Germany that I wanted to apply to.  Many of them I had found in newspaper advertisements whilst on holiday, others came from a directory of British companies with German offices.

In the end, I wrote to 75 of them.  I sent a cover letter explaining that I was looking for a 12 month placement as part of my degree course and included a my CV (that’s the resumé for my American readers!)

A few never responded.  Others wrote back thanking me for my interest, but saying they could not offer me a placement in their company.  However one did invite me to an interview at Gatwick airport, and the following year I started work at the German branch of Psion.

Knowing what I do now about applying for jobs in Germany, I probably made a few mistakes with my CV.  If not in the content, at least in the presentation.  Although, of course, word processing back then was nothing compared to the possibilities available now.  So not only have I learnt a lot in the last 18 years, but the technology available to applicants has changed as well.

Then when I first arrived in Germany to work here permanently, I switched sides.  I became the employer.  I was the person reading the CVs and deciding who to invite for an interview.

Eventually I started advising second year undergraduates on the process of finding and applying for a placement in Germany, and at this point all those years of experience came into place.

“You should write a book” one of them said.  And now I have.

“How to write a German CV” is an e-book about exactly that – how to write the all-important German CV.  It is a step-by-step guide which takes you through the process of writing your CV, or resumé, in a style that German employers expect.

Because one of the most important things that I have learnt, is that the German CVs are considerably different to the ones that you write in the UK or US.  Things that are the norm there, are just not done here.  Other things that a German employer will expect, may not even be allowed in other countries.

I’ve explained all of this in the e-book.  To find out more, click here.


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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