Content of a résumé
- First of all, provide your personal data. This includes your full name, current address, telephone number and email address (unless you have already written those in the letterhead or on the cover page), date and place of birth and nationality (if you are not a national of the country in which the company is located).
If you are using a letterhead with your contact details, do not repeat them. This leaves only your birthday, place of birth etc. The following will suffice:
First Name Last Name
born on 1 January 1996
unmarried, able to relocate
- The section on your education must include the types of school you visited, the names of the schools, and your qualifications (consider including your grades). Depending on how much space you have left on your résumé, include only the school where you have obtained your highest qualification. If you served in the military or performed alternative civilian service, state the period and maybe the field of work.
- The section on your higher education must include the subject or subjects you have studied, the name of your university, your areas of concentration and, if applicable, the type and title of your final project or doctoral dissertation.
- The section on your work experience and/or internships must include the following where applicable: the type of vocational training you have completed and the place where you completed it, your qualification(s), the type of work you have done and the relevant position(s), and your past employer(s) and period(s) of employment. Consider including a brief description of the work, presented in bullet points (accounting, event organization etc.).
- Make sure you include information about any periods of living abroad in your résumé. You could even include them twice: once in the education section and again in a separate section on periods spent abroad. Many recruiters specifically look for this information. In this case, you would be writing the following in the education section, for example: 2005–2006 Erasmus+ semester abroad at XY University in Barcelona, Spain.And in the section on your stays abroad: 2005–2006 Semester abroad in Spain. This is one of the rare cases where repeating yourself can be beneficial.
- If you have already completed some professional development or continuing education, feel free to include it if you think it is relevant to the employer or your personal profile.Also list foreign-language skills and IT skills. Include the level of proficiency, i.e., for languages: native language, near-native proficiency, business fluency, written and spoken fluency, intermediate written and spoken proficiency, basic proficiency. Alternatively, you can list a recognized certificate and its level (C1, C2 etc.). If you claim better proficiency than “intermediate written and spoken” in any language, be prepared to be addressed in that language occasionally during your job interview.
- When stating your interests, such as sports, voluntary or charitable work, political activities (be cautious with these!) or arts, include only those that are relevant to the company to which you are applying. Always be honest and authentic.
- Do not forget to include your signature, the date, and the place of signing!
- You do not need to include information about your family or parents, your own children, your religious affiliation etc. Employers are not allowed to ask for those details.
- Use the American-style layout for your résumé, i.e., list your current position first and work backwards. A clear structure is key. Date all entries with a period, either in the format [month/year–month/year] or [year–year]. Always be consistent in your formatting. If you know someone who is an expert on job applications, it will be useful to have them review your résumé.
Format of your résumé
As a general rule, always send PDF files. The recipient will be able to open them without difficulty, and they will keep their formatting. Word documents can cause problems if the recipient uses a different Office version.
Send a single PDF file only by combining all individual PDF documents (cover letter, résumé, annexes—in this order) into one.
Make sure that your file is not too large, i.e., max. 3 MB (some companies accept files of up to 5 MB). If you are applying by email, point out in the email text that you have attached your cover letter and application. The cover letter itself should not be in the email text but in the attached PDF. For more information about applying online, see our career information pool at the Career Center and our collection of links in bibsonomy