Business, work and life in Germany in English

How to make a resume for work in Germany: samples and examples of resumes in German and English, rules of drafting, hints and tips

§ Rules of drafting a resume, documents included in the resume to find employment

In the process of job search and employment in Germany, job seekers prepare a resume or, more precisely, a set of documents for the prospective employer, put all these documents in a file and send them to the company by mail (or email, depending on the requirements of the employer). Human resources specialists carefully examine these documents and decide whether this person is suitable for their proposed position or not. If the decision is positive, the person is invited for an interview. Then, based on the results of the interview, a decision is made on their employment.

In this process, the resume plays an important role. Personnel officers do not have much time for considering resumes, they have to process dozens or hundreds of incoming documents, however, based on the documents you sent, they decide whether your qualifications and interest in the work are sufficient for the position ou would like to hold and whether it is worth inviting you for an interview. The resume has to be written so that they can quickly get the answer to the question. Although there are no legislative requirements for compiling resumes in Germany, German career development and employment specialists advise to follow a number of rules to create a successful resume.

Bewerbung(Germ.) - the candidate's proposal to take the place of work offered by the company; includes a number of documents. In this article, the word "resume" refers to the proposal of the applicant.

First of all, we would like to note that the concept of a "resume" in some other countries differs from the one in Germany. In Germany, a person looking for a job sends to the company offering a workplace a "Bewerbung" - their offer to take this job. This offer embraves a number of documents, a resume (a personal history report or biography) and a cover letter among them. In some other countries, for example, the prospective employer is often provided with a resume alone. In this article, for simplicity, the word "resume" shall mean namely the proposal (Bewerbung), which includes the documents listed below.

List of documents included in the resume (Bewerbung):

Rules of drafting a resume

The key to a successful resume is its content: your education background, qualifications, and work experience. The mere design of a resume does not impress the personnel department. However, the way the resume looks, the orderliness in the documents, the way the cover letter is compiled, the photo and a number of other factors can say a lot about the applicant and impact the decision on employment. Therefore, follow these few simple rules so as not to lose your job opportunity just because of a poorly compiled resume. The following few rules will help you draw up a successful resume:

Further, the article considers in greater detail the compilation of all the documents necessary for a resume.

§ Resume covering letter, cover letter for employment

A cover letter - along with a personal history report, is an essential part of a resume. In this letter you make a description of your education background and work experience related to the position, for which you are applying, and also express your interest in working in this enterprise. Avoid common phrases and describe the abilities and work experience that you have and that are related to the position you are applying for. For a cover letter in Germany, exactly all the business letter rules of DIN 5008 recommended by the German Institute for Standardization shall apply.

The letter should be brief, split into sections: all this, along with compliance with the recommended form, creates a good impression of the applicant for the job.

Basic requirements to the cover letter format

Number of pages 1, 2 at most
Font size 12
Font easy to read, for example: Arial, Times New Roman
Margins left: 2.5 cm, right: 2.0 cm, top: 4.0 cm, bottom: 2.0 cm.
Formatting do not use many different formatting styles: bold, italics, underline, etc.
Subject line In bold
Greeting "Sehr geehrte Frau" or "Sehr geehrter Herr"
Body text rubricated
Addressing the "Sie" or "Ihr" address has to be capitalized
Conclusion "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" and the signature
Attachments in conclusion inform about attachments to the letter

In the letter conclusion, you usually have to mention when you could commence the work and, if necessary, the idea of your salary. In addition, the conclusion also expresses an expectation-request for an invitation to an interview.

Example of an employment resume cover letter:

Example of an employment resume Nr 1 Example 1.
An example for downloading in the MS Word format can be found in the resume samples and templates section.

§ Title page, photo for a resume

The use of the title page is not a mandatory requirement; if it is not used, the photo of the applicant should be placed in the personal history report. However, the use of the title page makes a good impression. The title page should contain the following data: the applicant’s name, surname, address, contact details, a photo of the applicant for the job, as well as the job title.

Particular attention should be paid to the photo, it can make a good impression and factor into the decision of a personnel officer. Avoid photos taken on your own, it is better to order a photo for a resume in a professional photo studio. Photo studios usually know what a photo meant for a resume should look like, usually it is processed immediately and you will be able to get a digital copy thereof. Examples of photos for resumes can be found on the Internet, see the links below on the page.

Examples of the title page for a resume:

Examples of the title page for a resume Nr 1 Example 1.
An example for downloading in the MS Word format can be found in the resume samples and templates section.

Examples of the title page for a resume Nr 2 Example 2.
An example for downloading in the MS Word format can be found in the resume samples and templates section.

§ Personal history report for employment in Germany

A personal history report is a brief and clearly arranged description of life, presented mainly in the form of tables. It is the main document that an employer uses to determine whether a candidate is suitable for the job or not. The personal history report should give a clear picture of your qualifications, education and work experience. The information should be presented briefly and should not cover more than 3 pages. Although the personal history report is usually prepared one for all job offers, it can still be modified for each job individually: give a more detailed description of the more important items and reduce the volume of the less important items for some particular job.

The personal history report should be designed in the same style as the cover letter, covering letter; the same font size and type face are welcome. If you do not use the title page with a photo, the photo should be placed at the very beginning of the personal history report on the right.

Although the classic personal history report design is described here, there are a lot of different designs available on the Internet for free use.

How to arrange the data in the personal history report?

You can use one of 2 options: do it (1) chronologically, starting from school education or (2) in reverse order, starting from the latest place of work. The 2nd option is preferable in Germany. See so that there are no gaps in your personal history report. The personal history report usually contains the following information sections:

Example of a personal history report for employment:

Example of a personal history report Nr 1 Example 1.
An example for downloading in the MS Word format can be found in the resume samples and templates section.

§ Copies of documents attached to a resume

In Germany, as a rule, a resume is accompanied by copies of documents confirming the information contained in the resume, including: qualifications, education background and work experience. The availability of documents for retraining or advanced training creates a positive effect, since the candidate for the job is ready to learn and achieve goals. A standard set of documents that are attached to a resume in Germany includes:

Arrange all the documents in the order, in which the information in your personal history report is presented, either chronologically or thematically. When sending the documents by e-mail, all copies of the documents have to be combined into a single file.

§ Open job application (the so-called initiative résumé) (in German: Initiativbewerbung) - for job search without an advertised vacancy

Typically, job seekers send their resumes to a company when they find information about a suitable vacancy. However, in Germany it is also customary to send your resume to companies that have not advertised vacancies, this type of job search is called Initiativbewerbung or an unsolicited application (the so-called initiative resume). The set of documents for sending an unsolicited application is exactly the same as in an ordinary case. However, in the cover letter and the personal history report, it would be worth drawing the attention of the would-be employer to how your profile meets the needs of the enterprise or how it is related to the activities of the enterprise. To submit an initiative resume, do as follows:

§ Folder/ File with documents for a resume

If you send your resume by a regular mail letter, then all the documents and copies should be put in one portfolio file and then in an envelope to send mail. In Germany, special files for resumes Bewerbungsmappe are usually used for sending resumes and documents, from which the documents can be easily removed and put back; Klemmordner files are well suited. Experts do not recommend using large files that take up a lot of space, as well as standard transparent files or stitching all resume sheets together.

§ Method of sending a resume, e-mail text

When reading the information about a free vacancy, pay attention to the ways, in which you can submit your resume to the company. If nothing special is said about it, use the official standard method - sending documents by a regular mail letter. However, recently many businesses have preferred to receive resumes by e-mail or through their Website-this makes the verification and decision-making process much faster. Pay attention to the electronic format, in which you are invited to send a resume, if nothing special is said, use the PDF format. All the documents have to be arranged in the same order as when sent by regular mail. Please see that the file with copies of documents is not too large, no more than 5 MB.

The email message is usually very short, although you can write a few sentences about your work experience and education background, as well as why you are suitable for the specified vacancy. As the subject of the letter, you can write "Bewerbung als [job title]"

Sample e-mail message for sending a resume in the German language:

Sehr geehrte Frau [last name of the contact person],
Sehr geehrter Herr [last name of the contact person],

anbei erhalten Sie meine Bewerbung für Ihre ausgeschriebene Stelle als [job title]. Ich freue mich auf ein persönliches Vorstellungsgespräch.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
[Full name]

§ Free resume samples and templates in the English and German language

Here, in the MS Word format, you can download sample documents mentioned by us above on this page. Please note that the text of the documents should be only in black; the red color in the documents is used to clarify, which data needs to be replaced. After replacing the information highlighted in red, change the red color to black. Further examples and samples in German can be found through the links below on this page.

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