The difference between curriculum vitae/CV/resume
If a résumé is written in English, there are several options for what it is called. It depends on which country the application is for and for what purpose it is created.
Curriculum Vitae (CV for short) is the name of the résumé in Great Britain. The special features are that the CV does not contain a photo, the maximum length is 2-3 pages, information on age, religion, marital status, and origin is omitted and there is no date or signature.
It is called resumé in the USA, with one exception: If it is an academic application, the terms CV or Vita are used in the USA. Here, too, a photo and information on age, religion, marital status, and origin are dispensed with. The maximum length is one page and an additional point with references must be given. You can find more information in our article on the resume.
Structure of the CV
In contrast to the German-language résumé or the Europass résumé, the following structure is recommended for a CV:
In contrast to the resumé, in which your name is printed in bold as a heading, the designation “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” is shown at the head of the CV. You can decide whether to add the wording left-justified and add your name at the same height (in this case the abbreviation would be preferable because it takes up less space) or whether you write out Curriculum Vitae and centre it and place your name below it.
✓ Personnel details
As already mentioned, your personal information is limited to your contact details. Put your address, phone number, and email address directly below your name. It is imperative that you refrain from providing information on age, religion, marital status, and origin – this means that nobody can be discriminated against based on this information.
✓ Personal Profile (optional)
While this section is optional, it can help the potential employer get a better picture of you. It is a summary of your personal characteristics and abilities. However, keep it short and summarize the most important information in two to three lines. In doing so, ask yourself what your most important experience and associated qualifications are that you can bring to the advertised position.
✓ Objective (optional)
This point is also optional in the CV. The point is to outline your objective, that is, your professional goal, in a nutshell. This is where the information flows into which job/position you are applying for and what motivation you bring with you or what you expect from the company.
✓ Professional experience
Probably the most important point of the CV is the professional experience or work experience. This is nothing more than your professional career, which you outline in reverse chronological order (you start with the most current position and work your way back into the past. In contrast to the German-language curriculum vitae, not all activities need to be listed. Typical student jobs as a waiter or in a call centre, which are not relevant for the advertised position, you can confidently delete. Rather concentrate on what is relevant for the current job. Gaps in the CV are not a big topic in the CV, as the HR staff is aware that you have only made a selective selection of your previous experiences.
Tips for a successful CV
✓ Successful self-presentation
The aim of the CV is a good self-presentation. This means that it does not only contain keywords but entire sentences (for example with the personal Profile or the objectives). However, these should still be short and concise and summarize what you want to say with them. According to the principle: as many words as necessary, but as few as possible.
Also, keep in mind that you can give the CV a personal touch with the summary of the personal profile. In your summary, therefore, rely on a good mix of hard skills and soft skills that are individually tailored to the requirements of the job advertisement and that puts you in a good light.
✓ Use action verbs
Use active verbs (Action Verbs) instead of noun constructions for the points on the personal profile, objective, and to illustrate your successes in the course of the professional experience. As a result, your statements have a stronger effect and are more related to yourself. Here are some examples:
adaption → adapted
coaching → coached
communication → communicated
development → developed
focus → focused
improvement → improved
motivation → motivated
organization → organized
planning → planned
production → produced
replacement → replaced