So you write an English CV

The English CV – also Curriculum Vitae or short called CV – differs in some details from the German. That pictures are, you know certainly taboo. But on what you should still pay attention? Studis Online it explained to you.

In English CV a photo is not only unnecessary – it is absolutely uncommon!

Sometime needs almost every student an English CV – whether for an internship, a job or a place to study abroad.
What difference between CV and resume: design and structure
“My first English CV I had to write, when I applied for a Master in England,” said economics student Claudia Horn recalled. The problem: “I had no idea how to write a CV. I then translated my German piece by piece. Besides the fact that I had my picture omitted, I have changed nothing “.

When CV there are major differences between Europe and the United States: While with us a model dominates that the Euro Pass – one developed by the EU standard CV – relatively close to that, to American CVs differ in some cases significantly.

This article refers primarily to the major European standards, but also shows some differences from the US. The good news: English CVs are not too standardized. So there are no complicated rules, which have to read it. Most tips that apply for the German CV, are correct in English.

As in German, the objective is the English CV to make all stations and activities in previous lives comprehended quickly. The reader has to look at the resume and can make an image within a few seconds.

The design

Here you will find the CV of the fictitious Bachelor graduate Susanne example, who has just completed her studies in Media Studies.The structure of CV

An English resume should not exceed two pages in length – in the US it may be longer with extensive professional experience.

With a good design of CV acts clearly, tidy and thoughtful. So Utilizes no superfluous decorative elements such as lines and moldings.
For example – CV We have used the font “Helvetica”, the font size is 11, the headings are in 14 Should you have space problems, you can reduce the font size to 10 – they should be less not but.

Other good fonts Lucida, Calibri, Verdana, Euphemia, Sathu or Arial.
It is important that the font looks serious and is easy to read. As the Germans applies: No superfluous information. Approximately 90 percent of all CVs have the heading “Curriculum Vitae”.

But that it is a resume that is already visible its format from five meters. Why repeat a known information?
Mind less obvious and it is even more important: the name. Exactly this should you precede large. Also can you emphasize words like address, email and telephone. Because everyone can recognize a phone number and an email address, without being pointed out specially. And: A signature is not necessary in English CV.

The structure

Sebastian Horn Daschstudied economics and politics in Erfurt, Madrid, Nottingham and Paris. He wrote the two study guidesBachelor according to planand master plan to .

After many years as a freelance journalist and academic advisor Sebastian now works as a project manager at Wikimedia Germany. In his blog www. horndasch. nethe writes about education issues.

Like us, the English curriculum vitae with the names and addresses begins. Unlike in Germany, however, it is unusual to call the personal status (married or not). Photos are
The design of CV
frowned upon and even the birthday is mentioned less and less frequently in order to prevent discrimination.
The nationality is only necessary if it is relevant to the position – for example in the case of necessary Arbeitsvisen.
So who is applying as a German within the EU, may be his nationality away. Personal Profile and Career Objective After the personal details often followed by two in this country rather unusual categories: Personal Profile and Career Objective .
As both a little overlap, you will usually only find in a CV. Selects both of you, you have to make sure that they contain different information.

Caution: In European CV is a Can-category, in America, the profiles integral part.
Whoever competes in the US, it should forget any way. In the Personal Profile you can submit yourselves a brief characterization. For the Bachelor graduate from the example CV this could be as follows:
„Young Professional well-experienced in social media with a Bachelor’s degree in media sciences; co-founded student-run marketing agency; proven technical skills in leading media software; ability to work under high pressure.“

But the staff profile is not without pitfalls: A self-characterization may sound slightly pretentious and self-absorbed. Many make the mistake enumerate characteristics that are not provable.

For example it is unhelpful to call itself a “dynamic, motivated and creative”, because who does not like that? In the example CV we decided, instead preferring to call the Personal Profile, the Career Objective.

Unlike the Germans, where you simply called the job title under “Anticipated position”, you should generally stay in an English CV and call your main arguments. The student in the example CV writes the following:

    „To work as a marketing professional in the social media industry, applying my experience as the co-founder of a student-run marketing firm and my Bachelor’s degree in Media Sciences“

She calls not the exact name of the position to which it applies, but says, where they generally want to go in the sample resume. Naturally, this should correspond to the place – while applying for a newspaper would write something else.
January Perret, Deputy Director of Career Services Nottingham University, in the two categories has mixed feelings: “Personal Statement and Career Objective can be very powerful and provide a succinct overview of the objectives and skills of a person.

Poorly made, but they may also be unnecessary or even harmful.
The content should therefore bring added value to the reader to represent a positive addition “Whoever feels uncomfortable, the categories may also omit -..

Except it applies to you in the US Education and Professional Experience follow with Education and Professional Experience two Categories that apart from the language does not differ from the German counterparts: the stations are backward chronologically listed with the recent developments first, the title contains the most important information (position, organization, location), including follow the main tasks and information.
As the European resume primary school is irrelevant. An entry could in this case are as follows:

02/2011 – 04/2011 Intern at the Social Media Agency „Neo Medien“, Berlin
Contributed to the design of the social media strategy for a German blue chip company Represented Neo Medien at the „Mediascope 2011“ conference in Cologne

Perhaps do you notice when reading that the sample graduate uses active verbs:Contributed and Represented . Many people would instead write the following “Participation in the Media Scope 2011 conference in Cologne” .
This is not wrong, but it is not very precise and sounds passive. The active formulation – “Represented Neo media …” – sounds better and is more precise.

This raises, Jan Perret out: “We advise all to use active verbs to make clear what you did exactly. In the third person, the tasks and achievements of the reader remain rather vague. ”

In the example CV We have transferred the notes of the graduate into English, while the table used in the article to study in the UK. Of course this is only useful for an application in the United Kingdom.

If you are unsure, you can dispense with the translation of notes. Engagement and Volunteering honorary positions and commitment are always positive and should be mentioned in the CV necessarily. But where?
It has several stations, can form a dedicated category entitled Extracurricular Activities or – – as in the example CV Voluntary Activities on.

If the commitment is limited to only one thing, a separate category would seem exaggerated. In this case, you can offer your commitment later call among your personal interests.

Skills As the European you are also in English CV to his computer and language skills. Your driver’s license does not need her here mention, as long as this is not explicitly required in a job posting.

Should you your knowledge can prove through language tests and certificates, you should also list these. In our sample CV the student had, for example, performed particularly well in the TOEFL test.

Hobbies and other interests. Hobbies include in an English CV. January Perret stresses however, that the section never hobbies should call. “I guess the title, Activities’ or ‘Interest’. , Hobbies’ sounds in English very childish.
“In this case, you should not leave it at a short list. “Employers want to see details. A list of them does not say much, it must be made clear how committed you are and how well you do your thing.
My advice is to select two or three activities that really say something about you. ” A graduate in our sample CV plays as long been strongly committed football. Would they call only “football” as an activity, it could also be that they regularly kicks in summer in the park. Therefore, they wrote:

I have been playing competitive football for several years and currently play for my university team. Apart from keeping me fit, it also teaches me about the importance of teamwork.


In English-speaking countries are internships and job references not common. For this reason, play a major role references that can provide potential employers information about the candidates.

Among the references you are to two or three people call that can say something about you – For example, the former head of the internship, and a professor who knows you well.

Important: You are to ask people before you call them in your CV.

The main differences between CV and resume

curriculum vitae resume
Foto Yes No
Status Possible No
Birthday and place And Possible, but not necessary
nationality deducible only if not from the name and place of birth Only when a work visa is necessary
personality Profile No Yes, possible
Karriereziel Possible call shortly desired position Yes, call position and important qualifications
Hobbies Yes keep short Yes, with details
credentials No Yes, possible
Date and signature Possible No

Write correctly

For non-native speakers of English is not quite as strict attention to spelling and grammar – but you should give you trouble.

January Perret advises to seek help at the other: “According to my perception non-native speakers should be very careful with spelling and grammar.

Anyone who is not quite sure someone Competent should ask for help. In addition, one should use in English CVs no flowery language.

Employers prefer a clear language and structure. ” In English, to write almost anything small, even nouns. But there are exceptions: So with names, countries and securities applies capitalization.
It is for example not ” b achelor of a rts in e ducation” but ” B achelor of A rts in E ducation” and not “a german university”, but “a G erman university”.

With headlines you can decide you if you want to write anything large or rather small. In the example CV both “Professional would experience” and “Professional E xperience” correctly.

The important thing is that you decide in the CV for spelling and then through hold consistently.
In the example, life cycle we choose uppercase. This you can but do as you please. Claudia Horn had made many mistakes in their resume:

Linguistically My English CV was okay. But have one hand called my marital status and other, omitted personal interests and references. The master’s degree course I have but nevertheless preserved.