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.
# 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?
# CV Considerations
Here are general considerations that apply to all CVs, regardless of country or industry.
- 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.).
- 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
# 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).
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 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.
- 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).
# 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.