Which is the right resume or résumé

Perfect CV: 15 tips for a résumé

The résumé is often the most important assessment criterion for an invitation to an interview. We reveal how you can make your curriculum vitae as meaningful as possible and avoid formal errors - and thus create optimal chances for the job!

We have15 of the most common questions about the résumé and have the right answers for you here:

  1. How do I become visible to employers?
  2. How can I make a real impression?
  3. Which details should I forego?
  4. Can I integrate digital media?
  5. How do I correctly weight the categories personal, training and professional experience?
  6. How do I deal with gaps in my résumé?
  7. What if my resume gets very long?
  8. How detailed should my marital status information be?
  9. Should I list personal characteristics such as soft skills?
  10. How important is the “personal interests” section?
  11. Which additional qualifications and training measures should I name?
  12. What if I only worked for a company for a very short time?
  13. When is a résumé in English appropriate?
  14. What if there is no common thread in my résumé?
  15. Should I sign my resume?

>> Click here for our infographic on the topic of #PerfectCV!

 

And what the HR managers have to say on the subject of a résumé and what they pay attention to first, you can find out here:

 

 

 

15 Answers to Common Questions About Writing the Perfect Resume

How do I become visible to employers?

Once you have created a résumé, you can easily upload it to Monster. Since employers search for suitable candidates for vacancies directly on Monster every day, you will become visible to the responsible HR managers.

Upload your CV here

Basic rule number one: first things first! Yes, you went to school, then studied and then found your first job. But if you build your resume like this, you'll start with what your new employer is least interested in.

You can download templates for a tabular CV free of charge. Filling out will be made easier for you with practical comments and explanations.

Your professional experience belongs at the beginning of the résumé, followed by studies. You can briefly summarize your school days in one point. The last qualification is sufficient, for example "Staatliches Mustermann-Gymnasium, Musterstadt - Allgemeine Hochschulreife". As a freshly graduated graduate, in the best case scenario you have already gained experience in internships or part-time jobs, which you should list under work experience in order to make it clearly visible.

Pay attention to a reverse chronological structure for all points - you sort from the most recent to the most recent event.

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How can I make a real impression?

The entire application - and thus also the résumé - is practically a written offer to sell. You should therefore summarize the best "sales arguments" under a separate heading, for example as "Profile" or "Special strengths and successes". The best thing to do is to place the points right at the beginning under your contact details so that the HR managers can see what you're capable of right from the start and are still fully attentive.

With this structure you can also list things together that actually have nothing to do with each other in terms of content. In one list, “XY Foundation scholarship holder”, “Three foreign languages ​​in spoken and written” and “Voluntary engagement as ...” can be listed below each other. Often these points are even more impressive, true to the motto: "Wow, a jack of all trades!"

And that is exactly the goal: Your résumé should impress. For this reason, there is also an iron application law: When in doubt, for the braggart. Do not be humble! When it comes to foreign language skills, “good knowledge” is the lowest level. Especially with English it should be at least "very good knowledge". Of course, this information should then also correspond to the real conditions.

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Which details should I forego?

Be careful not to mention too many details on your résumé. In the meantime, nobody cares what profession your parents do, just as little as their religious affiliation - unless you apply to a church-based employer.

For someone in their mid-thirties, the mention of the driver's license is just as strange as the high school diploma, even if you are still proud of the one before the decimal point. A photo in the upper right corner of the CV can be problematic with regard to the General Equal Treatment Act. However, other recruiters put aside applications that do not contain a photo. At the moment it is still customary in Germany to have a photo on the résumé. You can find more about application photos here.

Nowadays personal details are much more reduced than they were in the time of the previous generation: Thus the maiden name is not mentioned, nor is name changes due to divorce, adoption and the like.

This also includes the names and / or occupations of the parents or spouse.

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Can I integrate digital media?

For a perfect résumé, applicants pull out many registers: homepage, video, podcast, Facebook, Twitter. Inserting HTML links is still rather uncommon, even in the digital and technical industries. However, it is becoming more and more popular for applications in which a digital portpolio is expected. These include, for example, web designer jobs or application developer jobs.

If you want to use new media on your résumé, it is absolutely crucial that they are of high quality - otherwise you better keep your hands off them.
Don't overload your résumé either. It doesn't have to be any technical gimmick, a good video is enough to convince the hiring manager that you are a "digital native". As long as the classic version of the curriculum vitae is still the common variant, it should be the main source of information for the HR manager - and multimedia presentations just the freestyle.

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How do I correctly weight the categories personal, training and professional experience?

There is no fixed rule here, but the following division has proven itself:

  1. For young professionals, personal data and interests should make up around 20 percent, and training and soft skills 80 percent.
  2. Applicants with professional experience use around 10 percent for personal matters, 30 percent for training and 60 percent for their professional career.

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How do I deal with gaps in my résumé?

Gaps in the résumé are always difficult with applications, because many HR managers then suspect that the applicant is a "problem case" and sort out the application directly.

If there are gaps in your résumé, don't panic! Add - in addition to the regular information in the résumé - after your personal data, a "brief profile" with the most important points from the sections "training" and "professional experience". This will direct attention away from the gaps and towards your strengths.

Don't try to fill in the gaps in your résumé with small cheats or lies, because sooner or later that will be exposed. Instead, put these parts of your life in the most positive light possible.

Here are some examples:

  • Avoid the word “unemployed”, instead write “phase of professional orientation”.
  • If you have been out of work for a long time, explain that you used this time for professional development - for example to deepen your foreign language or PC skills.
  • If you ran your parents' shop for a few months because your parents were sick, this is a very positive "gap" for the HR manager. Because such an activity requires organizational talent, initiative and possibly leadership skills.
  • Longer stays abroad are also rated positively because they bring a lot of life experience with them. Parental leave or caring for family members are now also booked as a plus point.
  • Nowadays, a “time of reorientation” is no longer a negative point, but rather a valuable experience.

If you have gaps in your résumé, be more cautious. If you've been surfing in Hawaii for six months, the HR manager will hardly be impressed. So write what he wants to read - without lying. That would be noticed at the latest when he asks for job or internship references. So be creative in filling the gap on your resume. The interest in getting to know new cultures, for example, is rather well received by the recruiters!

For example, prolonged unemployment after graduation counts as “career orientation”. Perhaps you also continued your scientific work that you started with your thesis. If there is a gap between two professional positions, you can "extend" the first as far as the job reference indicates - you do not need to mention remaining vacation or a phase of leave.

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What if my resume gets very long?

The golden rule applies to the résumé: no longer than two pages in A4 format. If your resume is large, don't start using smaller font and shortening the spaces between sections. Legibility and clarity suffer as a result, and these are very important for HR managers!

Instead, concentrate on the essentials: For example, ‘omit further training measures or internships that are irrelevant for this company.

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How detailed should my marital status information be?

The indication of the marital status is no longer mandatory. As a rule, it only makes sense to write something about it if you hope it will benefit you. For example, if you are applying for a job where you often have to work late or on weekends, the indication “single” in your marital status can definitely increase your chances. Otherwise, such an indication is rather old-fashioned.

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Should I list personal characteristics such as soft skills?

Soft skills are particularly helpful in situations where you lack the necessary experience. Pay attention to which skills are particularly important for the company and explain how you applied these skills using an example.

For example, if you apply for a project manager position, you can mention an activity on the board of your sports club and add that you are in charge of the organization of the club and its events. This not only proves your commitment, but also your organizational talent. You also show that you can work with a limited budget and on schedule and that you have leadership skills - these are all qualities that a good project manager should have

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How important is the “personal interests” section?

Recruiters like to look for further points of contact, especially with regard to the interview. As a rule, three to four pieces of information are sufficient, because this is not about documenting your active leisure time behavior. Always remember that hiring managers always interpret information and draw conclusions from it.

For example, if you state that you are involved in an extreme sport, you are likely to be viewed as being overly risky. If, on the other hand, you practice a team sport, this says a lot about your ability to work in a team. It is of course great if your interests also have something to do with the industry or your job. Of course, the same applies here: Always stick to the truth!

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Which additional qualifications and training measures should I name?

If you have acquired several additional qualifications and have taken part in numerous further training measures, you should make a targeted selection - not least so as not to overload your résumé. Limit yourself to the points that are relevant to your potential employer and, above all, to the position for which you are applying.

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What if I only worked for a company for a very short time?

If the short period of employment is due to external circumstances, you can safely name it, for example “termination of the employment relationship due to the insolvency of the company” or “... due to restructuring measures after the merger with company XY”. Employment for the duration of a specific project is also generally not a problem. Here you can focus on the fact that you have been hired as a specialist to strengthen the team.

If the employer has separated from you for "personal" reasons, you could possibly describe the employment as a fixed-term contract or internship - of course you mustn't lie openly here either, but if you can, you can present the facts a bit "creatively" . Or you explain that you wanted to reorient yourself professionally.

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When is a résumé in English appropriate?

You should only submit a résumé in English if this is expressly requested in the job offer. Otherwise, you should always write your résumé in the same language in which the job advertisement was written. Alternatively, you can use the official "corporate language" of the company you are applying to as a guide.

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What if there is no common thread in my résumé?

A missing common thread, i.e. a lack of straightforwardness in the curriculum vitae, is usually seen by HR managers as a lack of consistency and often as poor life or career planning.

For example, if you change not only the company but also the industry every two years, you obviously don't really know what you want - that is the mindset of HR managers. You should therefore try to explain the reasons for your career change as clearly as possible. Of course, the following applies: Stick to the truth, but also try to present your professional career as positively as possible. For example, point out the wide range of experience you have gained over time.

If you are at the beginning of your career, however, you should try to avoid such a professional "rolling course" altogether. It is therefore important that you position yourself accordingly and set a clear goal for your professional life.

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Should I sign my resume?

Yes, at the end you name the place and date and sign it yourself with a fountain pen - very classic! In the case of an online application, the signature can be scanned. Your résumé is now complete and complete; additions such as a postscript or a note are inappropriate.

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Your résumé is in place - and now?

 

Creating a good résumé takes some time and effort - but it is also your most important "sales document" after all. Do you want to get even more out of your CV so that the work is really worth it? Upload your résumé to Monster now! Every day, recruiters use our résumé database to search for qualified candidates like you. You shouldn't be missing there! And what path to a new job is more convenient than simply leaning back and being easily found?

 

 

The answers were written by business editor and career expert Christoph Stehr.