CV Formats: How to write a resume in different European countries

CV Formats: How to write a resume in different European countries

You are almost ready to dive deep into your job search but first, you need to familiarise yourself with The Dos and Don'ts of Your CV: what works and what doesn't! Despite some general rules that apply regardless of the country, industry or company, there are also country based CV requirements to follow that shouldn’t be ignored. Today we are giving you both a general and location tailored CV insights that will help you shape the perfect CV.

When it comes to writing your CV, appearance is key! A CV that is untidy, disorganised and too long is extremely off-putting to recruiters and hiring managers. Although your experience may be incredible, the appearance of your CV could be damaging the chances of your CV being read by the recruiter.

To get started with your CV, let's have a look at the common CV Do's and Don'ts... Later we will get into the country specifics!

 

Dos and Dont's:

The CV Dos 

  • Keep It Concise

Use keywords and bullet points and only include relevant and valuable information. You don't have a lot of space to sell yourself so keep it relevant. 

  • Use The Reverse-Chronological Resume Format

In most of Europe, Recruiters want to see your most recent experience at the top, this helps them to see what you did last and from there they can continue reading your past experiences, qualifications and skills

  • Keep it neat and well-formatted

 A neat, well-formatted CV will be a lot more appealing to a recruiter and should hopefully encourage them to continue reading. 

  • Use a professional font style and size

 Use a clear, professional font such as Arial, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Times New Roman etc. These fonts are easy for the recruiter read and stick to a font size of 12. This makes the recruiter's life easier. 

The CV Don'ts

  • Include too much irrelevant information

Keep your CV relevant to the job you are applying for, you don't want to bore the recruiter. 

  • Forget to update your contact details

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, you may have a WINNING resume but if the recruiter has no way to contact you - what's the use!

  • Add too many colours and distractions

Although it is nice to think outside the box and to make your CV stand out. There's a thin line between adding your own personal touch through one or two colours and adding too many distractions and loud colours. As we mentioned, your CV needs to look neat and well-formatted or the recruiter will avoid it.

  • Make your CV longer than 2 pages

There's absolutely no use waffling on and adding unnecessary text just to make your CV longer. The more concise the better, stick to a 2-page maximum - depending on how experienced you are, sometimes one page is best to keep your experience relevant! 

 

Country Specifics CV Requirements 

Although these rules apply to most if not all European countries, it's important to check what is expected in the country you are in or plan on moving to.

Different countries have different rules and expectations and it's important to familiarise yourself with these to increase your chances of employment in your dream destination! 

 

Spain, Portugal & Greece

  • CV length? 1-2 pages

  • Include a photograph of yourself? Yes

  • Include personal information? (Age/Exact Location) Yes

  • Arrange your CV in reverse chronological order with the relevant, recent experiences at the top, followed by qualifications and then education. 

 

Germany, Holland & Belgium

  • CV length? 1-2 pages

  • Include a photograph of yourself? Yes

  • Include personal information? (Age/Exact Location) Yes 

  • Arrange your CV in reverse chronological order with education first, followed by qualifications and then work experience. 

United Kingdom

  • CV length? 1-2 pages

  • Include a photograph of yourself? No

  • Include personal information? (Age/Exact Location) No

  • Arrange your CV in reverse chronological order with the relevant, recent experiences at the top, followed by qualifications and then education. 

 

Scandinavia:  Norway, Sweden, Finland & Denmark

  • CV length? 1-2 pages

  • Include a photograph of yourself? Yes

  • Include personal information? (Age/Exact Location) No

  • Arrange your CV in reverse chronological order with the relevant, recent experiences at the top, followed by qualifications and then education. 

 

If your country isn't on here, don't panic! Have a look at these country-specific examples to see what is accepted in your destination. 

When you feel as though your CV is ready to send, we highly recommend using a CV review service for a second (expert) opinion. You will receive valuable feedback on the look of your CV, the content and the overall format. Using a CV review service will give you the added confidence and security you need to kickstart your job search!

 

Since you have just become a CV expert, the next topic up tomorrow is Cover Letter writing. Believe it or not, Cover Letter preparation is just as important and the key to your job search success. 

Oct 14, 2020 by The ELJ Team

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Helpful and very effective

posted by Pedzisai


Great, I got to know the CV requirements of the country where I plan to move to

posted by Zeynab


Great tips! I just realized that by default I always have my recent experiences before education and depending in the country I might need to switch those blocks.
Thanks!

posted by Carlos


Useful advice

posted by Synne


Very helpful and well explained.
Thanks ELJ

posted by Zlatko


It seems that I have observed the UK standards without really knowing it. It was really useful to read about the different country specifics and I will use this new knowledge for sure. Thank you!

posted by Mi


P.S. I have sent my CV to Greece, United Kingdom, Portugal, Romania so far.

posted by Jo


Good to know these tips for localization.

posted by Jo


Really useful!

posted by Juan Antonio


Thanks a lot

posted by Lawal Mohammad



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