CV: all tips and information
The CV is the heart of your application. It is important that you structure the resume in tabular form and provide clarity. If the content also fits, you have come a great deal closer to your dream job. How good that our free samples and templates are available. Practically nothing can go wrong with this. We will also show you how to build and structure the perfect (tabular) CV, how to name and formulate the individual points. There are many more tips, taboos, and examples: Which language skills and hobbies must be included (and which not) so that your CV is convincing?
Why the-résumé is-becoming-more and more important
The tabular curriculum vitae is an essential part of every application. It’s extremely important – and it’s becoming even more important right now. Why? Because …
- … more and more companies are doing without a cover letter. This draws the attention of the HR department even more to the résumé.
- … more and more companies are using professional HR software. The software puts the résumé through its paces – in other words: it matches the advertised position – and is completely incorruptible.
For a human resource manager made of flesh and blood, the résumé is also the most important Document of the application, as this structures all the essential information about the applicant in a – hopefully – clear form. Personnel managers can quickly see whether a candidate fits the vacancy on the job exchange by looking at their résumé. The tabular curriculum vitae is also essential for a short application or speculative application.
CV in the application
CV and application letter or cover letter form the center of gravity of the application documents. The elements of a complete application are:
You should only include a cover sheet if it offers real added value. It is more of a free choice than a duty – in contrast to a résumé. The tabular curriculum vitae must be included in every application.
CV in the application folder
In the typical application folder, the cover letter is loosely on top. If you open the application folder, the résumé appears first. If a cover sheet is used, the curriculum vitae follows.
Important: Cover letter and CV are both signed by hand. In the case of an email application, on the other hand, usually only a single PDF is sent as an attachment. The PDF contains all the documents that would have been included in the application folder. Here, too, the curriculum vitae follows the cover letter in the application document.
List point by point, date next to it, done. Stop! Please don’t treat your resume like a leper – by barely touching it. It should be drawn up (at least) as carefully and meticulously as the cover letter. For each new application individually. The tabular résumé is not only a defining factor in your application – it decides whether you will even be shortlisted. Basically, it follows a clear scheme. These points are dealt with one after the other:
- Personal data
- Desired position
- Professional career and work experience
- Education (including school and Studies)
- Knowledge and further education
- Interests and hobbies
A tabular representation of the professional career is usual – usually in two columns: on the left the dates and periods of time (format: MM / YYYY – MM / YYYY), on the right the information on previous stations, skills, interests, hobbies. your resume should make it clear to the HR manager at first glance that you have the necessary qualifications and experience for the vacant position. In short, that you are the best man or woman for the job. The tabular curriculum vitae comprises two to a maximum of three A4 pages. Three pages is only an appropriate length if you have ten years of professional experience under your belt or have been a long-standing manager. It is better to be brief. Your curriculum vitae is purely a collection of facts, not prose.
What content belongs on the CV? First of all, it depends on your previous career. The professional vita is a condensed and focused presentation of your previous abilities and work. It should be as complete as possible. In this context, your previous professional positions and training (including school and university) are particularly important. It is important to describe your successes in keywords or half-sentences and to back them up with hard facts or figures. This motto serves as a guide for the formulation of the individual stations:
What did I work where, what were the tasks and what did I achieve for my employer during this time?
For the other points such as additional qualifications, certificates, interests or hobbies, the following applies: Only what fits the advertised position and is relevant for it belongs in the résumé. You can leave out superfluous information – useless reading ballast! It is crucial that you list all your stations and skills in a clear and structured manner. This content and information belong in every CV:
The basics are always right at the beginning: first name and surname, address, contact details, birthday, place of birth, marital status, and, if applicable, nationality. You do not normally need to list your denomination. Religious affiliation can only be an important factor with special employers – for example with church organizations in the social sector. Be careful: It should have happened that an applicant has mixed up his date of birth and thus maneuvered himself out of bounds. It also makes a bumbling impression if you have misspelled your own name out of nonsense – for example, “Schmidtt”. An application photo is voluntary but advantageous.
Tip: Write the term “Desired position” together with the job title in exactly the same way in your application. The psychological effect is enormous: On the one hand, you expressly claim the position and indirectly emphasize that you really want the job. On the other hand, the detail shows that the curriculum vitae was adapted individually, i.e. only for this position. Little effort, big effect.
Professional career and work experience
The American version of the résumé has changed meanwhile also implemented in Germany. That means: You start with your current or last professional position. Then follow – in reverse chronological order – the positions before. A must to structure the resume like this, but it is not. You can also work your way back to front in chronological order and start with your first professional station. This is particularly useful for young professionals who still have little experience. It is only important that you consistently stick to the chosen variant and pay attention to a clean layout and uniform formatting. You supplement the individual stations with key points that are as short but meaningful as possible. A possible parental leave is also a separate ward. Mentioning them may mask a gap in your CV.
The chosen chronology ( American or Follow chronologically ) here as well. In addition to studying and possible scholarships, the training includes vocational training, school education including school leaving certificates and final grades. Military service or alternative service should also not be withheld, as otherwise there may be a gap in the résumé. It is quite possible that questions about training will be asked later in the interview. Prepare for it!
Experienced professionals with many years of expertise no longer need to list internships in their résumé. But internships are extremely important for young professionals. Above all, you should point out what experience and knowledge you have gained during the internship – and why this is an advantage for the position you are aiming for. So, if possible, establish a direct connection between internship and job.
Knowledge and skills that you include here could:
Hobbies and interests
The truth is: hobbies and interests on the résumé don’t just satisfy the recruiter’s innate curiosity. They are relevant because they round off an applicant’s personal profile and soft skills. They show your personality – and if these preferences go well with the job, all the better! It is best to name interests that emphasize strengths and talents that you also need in your job. Example: You want to hire an insurance company that also ensures valuable jumping horses and racehorses. The hobby riding would – of course only if it is true – fit wonderfully. Or you emphasize your membership in associations or honorary positions. But again the note: Please do not overload your CV. If in doubt, leave out a point so that the application remains clear. Clarity, overview and career are key.
Place, date, signature
One important detail at the end: you add your signature handwritten in the résumé. With your signature, you document the correctness of the information. You can still enter the place and date in the word processor. The data shows that it is up to date and signals individuality to the HR manager. Statement: “This is a unique piece, not an old mass-produced paper.”
Curriculum Vitae Driver’s License
An existing driver’s license should be listed in the” Special Skills “section on the CV. You should only indicate that you have a driver’s license if this is required in the job advertisement or if it is essential or advantageous for the job. This is the case for example with:
If your job requires a lot of travel activity, a driver’s license is of course an advantage. Or if you have to take on short-term shifts in your job. Those who then live in the country and do not have a driver’s license are often lost. Otherwise, this information is irrelevant and can be deleted from the CV.
More and more companies – including medium and small – are relying on HR software. The application process is becoming increasingly automated. So-called CV parsers or applicant tracking systems filter the incoming applications. Apparently unsuitable applicants are sorted out from the outset without a human employee ever having a look at the résumé. The filters can be set as desired and focus, for example, on skills, professional experience or qualifications. Applications that do not meet the requirements are automatically sorted out. The classic case study is the grade: Anyone who has not achieved a given grade at school or university is left behind. What does this mean for applicants?
- First, that they should refrain from submitting a creative application. If the machine makes the preselection, a creative application will be in vain. A computer is not interested in unusual layouts and creative contortions.
- Second, that you should pay close attention to the job and task description in the job advertisement. Your CV will reflect the job advertisement if possible. So it picks up on the terms that also appear in the advertisement.
Above all, as an applicant, you have to identify the employer’s must-have requirements. If business fluent English skills and the programming language C ++ are mentioned in the requirement profile, then these two keywords should also appear in the résumé. You can include one in the Foreign Language Skills column, the other under IT Skills. However, robo-recruiters are not yet being used across the board. In a small company, a creative application can very well be well received.