Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Your curriculum vitae (CV) is an employer's first impression of you. Our general and Germany-specific CV tips will help you leave a positive impression on employers.

# CV Overview

What is a CV?

LinkedIn

CV CONSIDERATIONS

GERMAN CV

CV SECTIONS

TEMPLATES

# What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a brief overview of you. It should answer these questions:

  • Who are you? 
  • What can you do?
  • How are you a good fit for a specific job/company? 

INDUSTRY/COUNTRY DISCLAIMER

Each industry and country has their own CV requirements. It is your responsibility to match your CV to the industry and/or local standards so your experiences and skill-set are clear to the person reading your CV.  You can use this general and Germany-specific information as a starting point, and then research CV standards for specific industries and/or locations.

# CV Considerations

Here are general considerations that apply to all CVs, regardless of country or industry.

CONTENT

  • Write your CV from the employer's perspective. Only include relevant information for the position you’re applying for.
  • Use reverse-chronological order; start with your most recent experiences.
  • Be honest about your abilities; don’t over- or underestimate them.
  • Tailor your CV to the specific position you’re applying to.
  • Write out abbreviations (ex: Master of Science instead of M.Sc.).

FORMATTING

  • Use the same formatting throughout the document.
  • Be clear and concise with the information you include. Each point should be 1 -2 lines long.
  • Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Limit your CV to 1 or 2 pages. 
  • Save the CV as a PDF (unless requested otherwise) as FirstName_LastName_CV

# CV Sections

Generally required:
  • First & last name
  • Email address (use your @edu.escp.eu address)
  • Phone number
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Here you list every degree you have or are working on. Always include post-secondary (bachelor & master) degrees; in some countries and industries you also list your high school degree. As a current student, this section should be listed first. Once you graduate and have your first traineeship/job, move this section after your professional experience section. Always include:
  • Name and location of the institution
  • Degree title
  • Start and end dates
  • Here you list all paid and unpaid experiences like jobs, internships, relevant volunteer experiences and major class projects (ex: CCPs). Always include:
  • Position title
  • Name and location of company/organization
  • Start and end dates
  • 2 - 4 bullet points describing your main tasks, responsibilities, projects and outcomes.
  • Here you list all skills that are relevant to the position you're applying for. These include certifications, language and IT skills. Always include your proficiency level for each skill using these levels:
  • Languages: native, fluent, proficient, beginner. For applications in Europe also use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2).
  • IT: expert, proficient, beginner
  • Extracurricular activities are additional activities that you do regularly outside of your classes and work/internships. Focus on activities that are relevant to the position you're applying for and/or that highlight skills that aren't listed in other parts of your CV (ex: teamwork, leadership). They can include:
  • student societies
  • professional organizations
  • student government/class representative
  • volunteer activities
  • The interest section is a short way to show your personality and your last chance to highlight soft and technical skills. List special roles (ex: team captain, state/national champions), if applicable. Examples include:
  • sports
  • music/arts
  • # Bullet Points

    Many employers only read your CV for 5 - 10 seconds. It’s important to present your information in a clear and short way to help them quickly get as much information as possible. Bullet points can help you do this.  

    A bullet point is a short description of the tasks that you did in a specific job. It should have the following structure:

    Power verb + what you did + how you did it +result/purpose/impact

    The power verb describes what you did (ex: analyzed, created, built).  

    List of sample power verbs

    BULLET POINT TIPS

    • Quantify or add IT/language skills to better describe your abilities.
    • Use a variety of power verbs in your bullet points.
    • Use the same bullet point size and shape throughout the document.
    • Tailor your bullet points to each job post. Show that you have relevant experiences.
    • Include 2 -4 bullet points per position.

    # LinkedIn

    LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform. Here people connect with their professional peers, find jobs/internships and exchange ideas.

    LinkedIn users create their own profile that acts like an online CV. LinkedIn profiles include work experience, education, volunteer activities, skills, etc.

    Each profile includes Skills & Endorsements and Recommendations sections where users can endorse each others' skills or write recommendations as further proof of their abilities.

    Many of our CV tips apply for LinkedIn. LinkedIn for Students also has tips just for students.

     

    ESCP's LinkedIn Page

    LinkedIn Tips

    • Fill out your profile as much as possible to give a holistic impression of yourself.
    • Complete a LinkedIn profile in every language that you know fluently.
    • Use a professional photo.
    • Write a 3-4 sentence description of yourself and your goals in the About section.
    • List a variety of skills in the skills section.
    • Ask your supervisor and colleagues for a recommendation and/or skills endorsement to give your skills more credibility.

    # German CV

    Each country has their own CV requirements and preferences. This section has complementary information on CVs in Germany. 

    A German CV is strictly an overview of your past experiences. German employers expect the following from your CV:

    • Clear structure and formatting
    • Honest information. If you list a skill, you are expected to perform it at the level listed. 
    • No gaps in your experiences or studies. List what you did during any gaps longer than 1 month (ex: travel, volunteer).
    A German CV has 

    ✅ your date of birth

    ✅ high school information

    ✅ GPAs in the German grading scale

    ✅ language skills in the CEFR scale 

    A German CV does not have

    ❌ a summary or objective statement

    ❌ a list of skills. Show those skills in your bullet points.

    ❌ relevant coursework 

    A German CV may have

    ❔ a professional photo. Traditionally CVs require a photo. This is becoming less common among non-traditional employers.

    ❔ German or EU citizenship, if applicable

    ❔ your German address, if applicable

    # Next Steps

    • Create a rough draft of your CV.
    • Tailor your CV to the specific position and organization you're applying to.
    • Proofread your CV! Use our CV Check List to guide you.
    • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
    • Ask for feedback from multiple people! If your CV isn’t in your native language, ask a native speaker for feedback. 
    • Make an appointment with an ESCP Career Advisor for feedback.

    # Your Contacts

    Dr.
    Michaela Wieandt

    Head of Career Development

    mwieandt@escp.eu
    +49 30 32007-166

    Barbara Jedele

    Manager,
    Career Development

    bjedele@escp.eu
    +49 30 32007-243

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