[Job application] Curriculum Vitae (CV) Preparation

For the people who has academia background and want to apply for industry job. (entry level)
Point out the CV differences between Germany and English speaking countries.

Key info:
> Maximum 2 pages
> Each CV got first view in less than 60 seconds – very important to have eye catchy, clean and tidy CV. No misspelling word allowed – review by other friends and native speakers
> Counter chronological, align left only
> Avoid full sentences (no subjects: I, we, you,…) – use bullet points
> Remove “chart junk”, don’t waste ink, as concise as possible, but can still show your strength
> Prepare a mother template and change the CV specifically match to the position you are applying for.
> Use the keywords in the contents of CV according to the job advertisement

The following is an example CV with 10 different check points:

Page 1
Page 2

A. Picture is definitely NOT recommended in the CV for the application in the U.S.A. and UK. Interestingly, it’s a traditional style in Germany. Thus, some of the companies might expect to see your profile picture. A nice professional picture with facing towards to your content of CV could be good but not necessary.

B. For PhD position in Germany can also be listed in working experiences. However, what if it repeat in the education? You can highlight the transferable skills that you obtained and might be used in the future job in the working experiences part.
Phrase the content with Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR technique) to create a brain cinema and use number describe measurable part.

C. For industrial job, “employment experiences” should put at the first section; whereas, for academia (research or PhD) position, “education” could put at the first section

D. If one only have little experiences?
Depends on what kind of job you are applying. Sometimes, internship and “meaningful” mini-/ part time jobs could be list a bit. Only listed when you can say some good story out of it.

E. Is grade necessary?
Only when you have excellent grades. If not, don’t list it unless the company require for it.
If you put it, please transfer to the grading system according to the country. For example, 1-6 in Germany or GPA in the US. Put “excellent or very good” to highlight. You can also put the ranking if the ranking is nice.

F. Clean and tidy format is necessary for triggering the interest to read your CV.
If adding color, max 2 colors (e.g. black and green in the example) are fine. Unless you are good at designing a very nice combination and applying for a creative job, this could be differ.
At least 2 cm at each side of margin.

G. A footnote with name and email is not necessary. It’s fine if you would like have it and if the CV still look nice.

H. Some stories except your work and study would be very interested for people to know how you de-stress and what kind of your personality might be.

I. References: list out the contact information of the people whom you worked with before. If academia, then will be professors or postdocs you strongly interact with.
Should including: title, name, institute, emails, phone numbers
They might really call them and ask for reference, so be sure to ask for permission of the people in this contact list.

J. Signature is not necessary, but it’s German traditional style. So if you are applying for German company, you can put on signature and date (date should be the same as cover letter)

These are what I have learnt from a job application workshop for PhD candidates. I’ve already taken similar courses before; however, there are still some part of my CV to improve after this workshop.
This article is simply for sharing what I’ve learnt of CV part in the class.
For the cover letter and interview part, I will write in another article.
Feel free to share whatever you know and experienced about CV preparation to everyone here in the chat!

If you are not sure about what kind of career path after your PhD, welcome to go to Science Careers to check out what kind of science occupation might fit you.