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South Africans in Germany

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Curriculum Vitae and Resume

It is important to have your CV or Resume in the correct format. In Germany the prefer a Resume for job applications.

  • CV –  a full history of your academic credentials and details the whole course of your career. Your research experience, rewards, publications and memberships can be included
  • Resume – a one or two page document listing the key facts of your professional experience, education and skills. The emphasis is on skills


  • You always apply in the language of the job posting, so if the job is advertised in German, your application should be in German as well.
  • No longer than two pages
  • Include a professional looking photo
  • Adjust your emphasis depending on the job requirements – do not elaborate about your financial background if you apply for a programming job. Keep it relevant to the role
  • Triple check for spelling and grammar mistakes (you can use a tool like Grammarly)
  • At a minimum you should list your profile, personal information, education, works experience, skill set, certifications and language abilities
  • Your hobbies and personal interests do not belong on a German resume
  • Profile – a short description or introduction about yourself, your skills, experience and qualifications – again keep it relevant to the role. Almost like an elevator pitch
  • Personal information – Include your first and last name, nationality, date of birth, contact information and a photo. You could also add your marital status.

Resume Formats

Documents to attach to your application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Testimonials
  • Proof of education if asked


CV / Resume Der Lebenslauf
Cover Letter Das Anschreiben
Testimonial Das Zeugnis
Recognition Die Anerkennung
Interview Das Bewerbungsgespräch / Vorstellungsgespräch
Study curriculum Das Studium
Degree Der Abschluss
e.g Bachelor Degree is Der Bachelorabschluss

Related pages:

Career coaching – we added a pdf file with questions and answers from a career coach