CV ADVICE

HELPFUL TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED

In an age of LinkedIn, Xing and other business platforms employers will still expect to get a CV from their applicants. At Worldkonnekt we are often asked for our advice as candidates update their CV and we are likely to share our experience. Below you will find some tips to keep in mind to avoid some of the common mistakes while preparing your CV to increase your chances to get your next job opportunity. 

GENERAL ADVICE

Overall Impression
The first impression is very important. Keep in mind that employers will always see your CV for a split second before they are actually able to read the content. To increase your chance to get an invitation for a first interview, you should structure your CV in a presentable, organized way that leads the reader through your CV. 

CV and Cover Letter 
When submitting your CV to Worldkonnekt we would appreciate you taking the time to add a short cover letter to your CV, explaining what you are looking for in your next professional challenge and where you gained the most relevant experience. This will make our first initial conversation with you a lot more efficient and we can introduce suitable positions to you immediately. Make sure your CV reflects your qualifications and career trajectory clearly. 

CV Structure
A well-presented CV starts with an initial brief summary followed by your career history, starting with the most recent position. Always point out how your experience relates to the position you are applying for and avoid long, bulky text blocks. We usually advise people to use bullet points for a better overview and to help the reader to gather information much quicker. Don't forget that there are some differences between German and English CVs that you should take into consideration. See below for more information about English and German CVs.

What happens after submitting your CV to Worldkonnekt?
After you submitted your CV to Worldkonnekt one of our consultants will be in touch when one of our open vacancies fits your requirements. We will then discuss your profile and specific roles with you in more detail and will ask you any questions we might have to ensure the best match for you and our clients. It might occur sometimes that we do not have a vacancy that matches your skills at the time of your application. In that case we will keep your information in our data base and will contact you as soon as we have a position available that could be of interest to you. Please be ensured that we always ask you for your explicit permission to forward your CV and that we will not send your information to any third parties without your knowledge. 

 

CV ADVICE

CV Language
If you are not sure what language to write your CV in: the general rule of thumb is to write it in the language that is required for the position. If you are applying for a position based in Germany we would prefer your CV in German and if your position is anywhere outside of Germany we would usually ask you for a CV in English. If you have your CV written in both languages, please send us both. But don't worry if your CV is in another language for now. Once we discussed the role with you and received your permission to forward you we will kindly ask you to send us your CV in the language our client requires. The downside to this is that it is often very time-consuming and will delay the process which means somebody else could have already gotten the interview. 

Initiative Summary
A well-presented CV starts with your personal data followed by a brief summary about your career experience and the challenge you are looking for in a new position. Mention the fields in which you gathered most experience in the past and point them out very clearly.

Work History
When listing your work history, start listing the most recent one first. With each position mention our title, the time frame and the industry the company is acting in. We usually advice people to write your responsibilities in bullet points underneath each position (starting with the most important tasks) to avoid writing bulky text blocks. 

Targets
If you are applying for a sales position leave some space after you listed your responsibilities. It is important to list your achievements in percentages and your turnover for each position. 

Language Skills
In our specific niche we specialize in German- and English-speaking roles. Many companies see the ability to speak other languages as a big advantage. It is therefore advised to mention all languages you speak together with an indication of the ability level (e.g. native, professional working proficiency, limited working proficiency, etc). It is very important to be honest in terms of your proficiency of speaking these languages. A candidate with "professional working proficiency" should be able to communicate and negotiate fully in the respective language. Often times "false labelling" is discovered during an interview and can end up in an uncomfortable situation. 

Target Words
It might occur sometimes that we do not have a vacancy that matches your skills, qualifications or desired development at the time of your application. If not noted differently we are keeping your CV in our database - one of our primary places to search when a position becomes available. Make sure you are aware of this candidate searching method and the suitable target words. The more accurate you describe your skills and qualifications the more likely it is for your profile to come up our next search.

Size
Though there is no precise rule, two pages are usually the right length for a CV. If you are very experienced and a long time in your profession you might be an exception to the rule.

Double Check
This sounds trivial, but before submitting your CV we strongly advise you to check for grammar and spelling mistakes several times. The best and well-known method to avoid mistakes is to ask a fresh pair of eyes to read through your CV. 

Format
The right format for a CV, if not stated otherwise, is PDF or Microsoft Word. If we need to alter a few things (in consultation with you), we can change them easier in a word document and forward your CV to our client without a big time delay.

Repetitive Wording
Repetitive wording, phrases and expressions can be very difficult to read and downgrades your CV. We have created a word cloud of some expressive words that can help your thought process.

 

 

English and German CVs - The Main Differences

At Worldkonnekt we have most of our mandates in Germany and the United Kingdom. There are usually small differences between applying for a position based in Germany or a position in the UK. In general CVs in the UK have a stronger focus on qualifications and skills of an applicant rather than the personal background information of the applicant. Personal data is only mentioned when necessary for the respective position. In Germany applicants usually give a bit more information about their background and personal interest. I

Below you can find a few major application differences between the countries.  

Applying in Germany

German Flag

  • Cover letters are usually expected in Germany and usually more extensive than in the UK.
  • It is common to put an appropriate and current portrait picture on the CV. 
  • The date of birth, birthplace and nationality are added to the CV.
  • It is up to you whether you want to add your family status and your religion.
  • References are sent out with the application. Complete and written references are the most common form together with a contact number for verification purposes.
  • The CV and cover letter end with the date and the signature of the applicant. 

 

Applying in the UK

UK Flag

  • The CV is usually longer in the UK than it is in Germany. The cover letter is commonly shorter.
  • It is not common to add a picture to your application.
  • The date of birth, birthplace and nationality are not added to the CV.
  • Most applicant do not mention their family status or their religion.
  • Written references are not necessarily added to the application. If the applicant passed the initial stage of the application process the employer will ask for the respective documents. It is much more common to add a few referees who are able to give an oral reference about you and your past performance. 
  • No date or signature is put at the end of the CV. 

 

If you need any further help or you have any queries regarding your CV, get in touch and we will help you to get the most out of your CV. 

 

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