How does the CV in English differ from a CV in German?

In the American and British regions, a so-called Curriculum Vitae (CV) is written. The following are the most important differences between a German CV and an English CV:

  • Without picture: In the English CV it is not usual to attach a photo.
  • Summary: A short introduction of the person at the beginning.
  • Sequence of the data of the CV: In contrast to German CVs, a CV is always structured in a counter-chronological way, i.e. the CV starts with the most recent stages of professional experience and training.
  • No personal data: Information about marital status, age, religion or origin does not belong – also due to local legal requirements – in an English CV. Of course, there should be the possibility to contact us, i.e. e-mail address, telephone number and/or contact address should not be missing.
  • references: The indication of references is not yet common in Germany, but in an English CV it is mandatory.
  • An English CV does not contain a date and signature as opposed to a German CV.
  • Hobbies and interests should be as relevant as possible for the desired job.
  • Often a cover letter is also requested with a CV. This letter should contain only the most relevant information in error-free English as continuous text.

By Dr. Achim Gast

Executive Search Consultant for Chemical Industry, Paints & Coatings and Plastics Processing Industry

Dr. Achim Gast is Managing Director of DELTACON Executive Search. Together with his team, he is responsible for the chemical industry, paints & coatings and the plastics processing industry. In addition to his work as a Executive Search Consultant, Dr. Achim Gast has 30 years of management experience in sales, development, production and executive management functions in the chemical industry.