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How To Write A Curriculum Vitae In English?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:43 am

Hi all. I´m planning to apply for a new job and for some reason the company (although being German) only uses the English language on its website. Even their job offers are in English. To me that implies I better write my application in English.
So here my question: What are the latest standards for a job application, curriculum vitae and resumee in the Anglo Saxon world?

Thanx in advance for any help!

I know how to do it in German and (when I am not as tired as right now) my English is quite good, but there may be different styles and ettiquettes.

The Metro might be the Sub(optimal)way
Posts: 2566
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 4:16 am

RE: How To Write A Curriculum Vitae In English?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:03 pm

Here in the States we make a distinction between a resume and a curriculum vitae. In the formal sense, a "cv" is used for specific, professional positions such as academia or law. In those cases, you'll need to follow a style guide specific to the profession. If you were applying for a teaching position at a university, for example, you would probably follow the M.L.A. style guide.

If you are applying for a business position you would create a resume. Resumes have become quite loosey-goosey in terms of structure and style.

Assuming that you need to create a resume, here are a few guidelines that will help:

- Resumes should be one page only; most human resources people regard a two-page resume as pretentious, or at least overkill.

- Include your name and contact information where it is easily accessible, preferably at the top of the page.

- A typical resume starts with a Summary or a Objective section first. This gives the reader a thumbnail description your qualifications and your goals. Here's an example: "Professional Web Designer with 6 years of experience seeking responsibilities developing security infrastructure for an e-commerce company."

- You also need to establish a section for your Education history and your job history (Experience). Again, you want to be brief. You do not need to include very detail - you'll do that on a job application form. If you graduated Magnu Cum Laude or won a professional award, then mention it. List dates, but don't get too detailed.

- One of the best pieces of advice that I have read is to use action verbs. Instead of saying "responsibilities included...", turn it around to sound proactive. Use words such as "spear-headed", "managed", "organized", etc.

- Do not include information on marital status, age, and number of children. Avoid sending photos (unless you're applying for a beauty pageant). Such references are also considered out of bounds.

As far as how it looks, the rules are pretty loose. Make it readable. Make it succint. A resume is a "brief" description of your history and aspirations. Most human resource people that I deal with complain about long-winded, overly detailed resumes. They want to get to the point quickly.

I'll try to find some examples for you.

Hope that helps.


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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:34 am

RE: How To Write A Curriculum Vitae In English?

Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:39 pm

I don't think that there is a correct format but this link will give you a guide. Don't forget to tailor it to the job you are applying for.

Do a search, there are plenty of sites offering help.

You could also send in two CVs, one in English and one in German.

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