The English application: Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae


A picture of you is an absolute no-no in the CV. The absence of a picture ensures the exclusion of inequalities and discrimination. After all, no candidate should be discriminated against because of their skin colour or physical characteristics. Rather than one’s appearance, one’s professional and academic skills and knowledge must serve as qualifications for the job. This is the norm in English-speaking countries.


Use a heading only in the British CV. The heading for an application in the UK or Australia is ‘Curriculum Vitae’. The American CV bears no heading.

Personal details

The English CV contains only the most important personal data, including your first and last names and your contact details. The potential future employer must know how to contact you. Therefore, along with your telephone and cell phone numbers, make sure to mention your country code. Even if you apply via email, remember to include your email address. Your marital status—whether you are single, married or divorced—has no place in an English CV.

Your nationality and date of birth can be added to the personal data section in the British CV. In the US, your age and nationality are irrelevant to the employer. But nationality can be left out even in a job application to the UK.

Short and sweet

What should be included:
  • First and last names
  • Address
  • Telephone and cell phone numbers, including country code
  • Email address
  • Date of birth only in the British CV
What should be avoided:
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality

(Career) Objective or personal statement

Include only one of these two categories in your CV because they may overlap in content. If you use both categories, however, ensure clear differentiation and distinct content. For job applications in the UK or Australia, these categories are not necessary in the CV. But if you are applying in the US, the career objective or personal statement is mandatory.

For the career objective, state in a maximum of two lines what you want to achieve in the new job, where you want to go personally and what you are applying for exactly.

Since the personal statement tends to be used for self-promotion, indicate your most important qualifications and skills with respect to the new job. This brief characterization should be no longer than two lines. Avoid phrases like ‘dynamic’ or ‘motivated’, as these cannot be proven. Use statements such as:

Well experienced in … (e.g. the subject of your bachelor’s or master’s degree)
professional skills in … due to …

As all of this information is available in detail in your CV, it is verifiable. Your personal statement must provide additional value to the reader. Thus, the personal statement must not be written in a rush. Incorrect or inappropriate sentences could make you come across as arrogant. A sophisticated personal profile provides a concise overview of your goals and skills.

Short and sweet

  • What are your skills?
  • What do you want to achieve?

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