CV checks at the event «Lange Nacht der Karriere»
Is there a difference in how I should structure my CV when applying in the US compared to Switzerland? What is the best structure for a CV? How much information do I need to provide to potential employers?
These are some of the questions we discussed with Bachelor and Master soon-to-be graduates during the CV checks at the event «Lange Nacht der Karriere» (see also the blog entry No network, no job? – Paneldiskussion an der «Langen Nacht der Karriere») . In general, we were impressed with the high standards of CVs presented and the positive responses from the students to our feedback. Mostly, only little tweaks were needed to further improve existing layouts, structures and the appropriate amount of information.
Here our most important tips for an appealing and spot-on CV for graduates:
- Limit your CV to the relevant information.
List your personal details, your educational path, professional experience and your additional skills and highlight the most important information (i.e. which Bachelor program you graduated from including the title of your thesis and final grade; what were your most important tasks during recent job experiences). But limit the information to what is really necessary and relevant. As a university graduate with limited professional experience, your CV should not exceed two pages.
- Choose your picture carefully.
Select a picture where you look directly into the camera with a friendly and open facial expression. Only wear light make-up and make sure your hair looks neat. When deciding what to wear, opt for a light colored top or blouse that doesn’t show too much décolleté. The background should be unicolored, i.e. white or light beige. The picture may be taken by a professional photographer.
- Tailor your CV to the country you are applying for.
Depending on the country you apply for you will need to alter not only the language, but also the content and structure of your CV. For example, a CV sent to a company in the US should not contain a picture or your birth date, but on the other hand a short and to the point personal profile. Always check if there are different standards before applying.