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The right CV for an application in the UK

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How to Get a Job in Britain with the Right CV

Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of applying for a job in Britain. Knowing what to leave in and leave out of your Curriculum Vitae (CV = Lebenslauf) is vital.

  • Don’t include a photograph unless you are asked to. Your employer will get to see you looking good at the interview.
  • There really is no need to mention what your parents do for a living, even if they are famous. This is about you, not them.

  • Start off with a short Personal Profile section. Briefly mention your skills and experience, and why you are the person for this job. In Britain, a good work record counts as much as qualifications. If you do have academic qualifications, mention them briefly. You can scan them in PDF format and attach them to your email application. It’s good to change your profile to fit the job you are going for, but…
  • Don’t lie. Ever. Enough said.
  • Fit your skills and experience to the right kind of CV. There are some good templates out there to base your CV on. Check out the excellent CV library website ( for some examples at the “How to Write a CV” section. They will even give you a free check of your CV when you submit it.
  • Just give the jobs and skills relevant to the job you are applying for. People do not have time to read through every detail of your life unless it is relevant.
  • You don’t need to give your age, skin colour or religion. It’s your business, not theirs.
  • Either give a list of your jobs with the skills you have got from each job (a Chronological CV), or list your skills with the job you did to get those skills (a Functional CV). Keep it short and sweet.
  • Give a referee‘s name, telephone number and email address, but ask them first. It’s also fine to wait for an employer to ask you about somebody who knows you from a work environment. In this case, write “References available on request”.
  • Upload your CV on the many UK job websites that are out there in cyber space. Head hunters also have websites with a specialised focus on job types. Some examples are Reed EmploymentCV library, Secs in the city‎, and Top Language Jobs.
  • If someone is interested, they will probably phone you after a day or two. Be ready.
  • Talk about your hobbies and interests at the end. Sometimes being a bass guitar player or a surfer can really help. It’s human nature to find something in common with somebody else.
  • If you want to add that you are married and have children or are single, please do, but you really don’t have to. Add a section called Personal Details. If you have a Driver’s Licence, it’s good to mention this.
  • German citizens do not need any visa to live and work in Britain.
  • You need a covering letter to go with your CV, but that’s another story.
  • Use key power words to show an employer what you can offer. Some examples are:  “determined”, “implemented”, “created”, “devised”, “coordinated”, “conceived”, “thinking outside the box”, “organized”, “planned”, “skilled at”.
  • Ask somebody who is a native speaker of English to check your CV. Choose a Brit for the UK (an American for the USA, an Australian for Australia etc, if possible).

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