Sooner or later we are all faced with the challenge of presenting ourselves as the intelligent, successful, motivated and experienced people we are on one piece of paper: the curriculum vitae. We have summarized some of the most important points for you.
A CV should be tailored to the specific position you are applying for. The goal is to present yourself as the best fitting person for this job. So, do your research, be sure about what they are looking for and adapt your CV accordingly.
Usually a CV is 1-2 pages long. It is advisable to put some effort in design elements so that employers see your motivation for the job. A typical CV consists of the following elements:
Name, address, phone number, email address, professional media (LinkedIn, Xing, …), nationality, and date of birth.
Professional quality is very important. Usually Universities offer free opportunities to get a professional picture, for example at the Long Night of Careers.
Education: list the universities where you have studied, start with the most recent one.
- Indicate the duration of your degree
- Write the title of the degree, specialisation, the name of the University
- Specify your focus, show them what you’ve learned
Hint: If you had outstanding grades or if a specific project might be interesting for your future employers, make sure to highlight it. If you are applying for an academic position, make sure to include the names of your supervisors (“name-dropping”). If you are applying for a position in a country with a different grading system, translate your grades in words (e.g. “excellent”, “very good”, …).
Professional experience: list relevant experience as bullet points
- start by specifying the date/duration of employment
- then the title of the position, the company name and if you think it might help include the names of your supervisors
- describe your activities, the technical skills you developed and highlight the ones that are of interest for the position
Hint: Show them very clearly what your skills are and where you have acquired them.
If you had the opportunity to do a special training, follow a specific course, attend a summer school or got a relevant certificate, it is important to mention it, this could help you to stand out from the other candidates.
Here you will mention all the software that you are able to use. If you like you can state your level.
Publications and Conferences:
If you are applying for an academic position you should mention publications and the attendance at conferences. These kinds of Super-Curricular activities show your enthusiasm for your field of interest.
Mention all the languages that you studied and your level (native/ proficient /conversational/basic, or alternatively: B1, B2, C1, etc.)
This part is not to be neglected; it can very much positively distinguish you from the other candidates. In this section you can list your activities and hobbies (e.g. association, sports, music, art, volunteering, …) and the quality that you developed through them (organization, supervision, budgeting, …).
References: there are 2 possibilities:
- either you mention the references: name, relationship (professor, internship supervisor, …), email, and phone number
- or you keep the references private at the first stage and simply write “References upon request”. The recruiter will have to contact you first to get your reference contact and you will be able to notify your reference person that he/she might receive an email from this particular company for this specific position.
Finally, make sure to ask someone for proof reading and good luck with your application!
Author: Sonia Lebboukh
Edited by: Cécile Vitali