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How To Draft a Perfect German CV [Format and Template Guide]

Expatrio 2024-02-15
A cup and a keyboard


Did you know that Germany is one of Europe's most economically stable and job-friendly nations? The German job market is so strong that many people migrate to Germany to find work.

Before you can begin searching for a job in Germany, you must first make sure your CV (Lebenslauf) is correctly formatted.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about drafting the perfect German curriculum vitae (CV). We'll start with an overview of the standard CV format in Germany, including tips for formatting, content, and design.

We'll also focus on critical elements that every CV should include. Finally, we'll provide you with a German CV template that you can use to get started on your job search.

Let us have a look at the Do's and Don'ts while drafting a CV!


What is a German CV?

A German CV is similar to a standard resume or curriculum vitae in other countries. It typically includes basic personal information, such as your name, contact details, and educational background. It also provides information about your work experience and skills, such as language proficiencies or technical skills.

Read on to learn more about the specifics of the German CV format.

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German CV Format

The standard format is similar to structures used in other countries. However, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of. First, German CVs typically start with your personal information, followed by your work experience and education. Unlike in other countries, it is not mandatory to include a section on your hobbies or interests.

The ideal length for the CV would be one page and can be up to 2 pages in length. You can use a simple and easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman or Roboto.

The ideal font size is 11pt for general information and 14-16pt for the headers. All sections of your CV should be clearly labeled.


Ensure you read the job description and company information thoroughly. While applying, some companies may, for example, want you to leave your citizenship out of it. So, keep an eye open for details!


What to include in a German CV?

A German CV typically starts with your personal information, followed by your work experience and education.

Your German CV should include the following sections:

1. Personal Information: Include your name, date of birth, address, and contact information, such as email address and contact number.

2. Work Experience: List your most recent positions first, followed by your previous jobs. If you have worked in the same field for many years or have an employment gap, you can list the posts in reverse chronological order. Include the company name, your job title, the dates you worked, and a brief description of your responsibilities.

3. Education: Educational history, degrees you've obtained, schools attended, and the dates, should be included in your CV.

4. Skills: Outline any talents you have for the job you are applying for, such as language skills, IT knowledge, project management expertise, computer skills, or anything else you may find relevant.

In addition to the above sections, it is good to include a part for a short personal summary. This brief one or two-sentence introduction should highlight your essential skills or experience.


Although not mandatory, many German employers prefer to see a photo of the applicant on the CV. If you decide to include a picture, it should be a passport-style recent and professional headshot.


Optional Section

In addition to the mandatory sections mentioned above, there are some optional sections. These can include fields for your interests, additional certifications or training, or volunteer work. If you have any relevant information to share, you should include it in one of these sections.


What to NOT include in a German CV?

1. Irrelevant information: Only include relevant information about the job you are applying for. Please do not include personal details such as your marital status, number of children, or religious beliefs unless stated in the job description.

2. Excessive information: The CV must be concise and to the point. Avoid including too much information or repeating information already included in other parts of your CV.

3. Lies or False Statements: Avoid lies or false statements while drafting your CV, as it will likely result in you being caught during the interview process. And it could even result in you being rejected from the hiring process.

4. Grammatical or spelling errors: Thoroughly proofread your German CV before sending it to employers. A mistake-free, well-formatted CV is a must if you want to make a good impression on potential employers.

5. Avoid Overusing Keywords: While it is essential to include keywords in your CV, you should avoid overusing them. Keywords should be used sparingly and only if relevant to the job you are applying for. Your CV will sound spammy and not so professional if you include too many keywords.


How do I tailor my German CV to specific job openings?

When you are applying for a specific job, you will need to tailor your CV to the requirements of that position. This means including information that is relevant to the job, such as the skills required and the relevant experiences.

You may also need to adjust your CV format to match the format used by the company you are applying to. For example, if the company uses a bullet point format, include lists or bullet points in your CV.

Additionally, you can use keywords from the job description throughout your CV to help make it more relevant to your application.

Tip: When applying for a job in Germany, it is always a good idea to submit a cover letter along with your CV. The cover letter introduces yourself to the reader, highlights your essential skills and qualifications, or explains why you are interested in the position more in detail.


German CV Template Ideas

If you are looking for a professional and well-written German CV, consider using a template. Many free and paid online resources are available, offering high-quality templates. This file will help you create a CV tailored to your specific needs and the job requirements you are applying for.


When you're in an interview, it's important to be engaging and personable. Avoid reading from your resume word for word. Instead, you can summarize the information on your resume and focus on highlighting relevant experience and skills.


Let's have a look at some of the finest CV template sites:

Novoresume is a website that offers free CV templates and customized designs for CVs. Refer to the German CV samples on this website to get an idea of the German CV structure.


When you use the free features and limit the CV length to one page, you may download your CV.


CVmaker is another popular website offering German CV templates. You can choose from various templates and designs and then download your CV as a PDF or Word document. is another website that offers both free and paid CV templates. The free templates are high quality and easy to use, while the paid options offer more customized design options.

A well-crafted German CV is a must if you want to make a good impression on German recruiters. We hope this article provided you with the guidelines on drafting a German CV and some valuable tips.

Follow this CV guide while writing your CV to create an outstanding CV that will wow hiring managers and lands your dream job. Happy Job Hunting!

Want to learn more about the German Business Culture?

Click on our post below to learn more!


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