Résumé — why it’s important?

A résumé is a summary of all your past experiences and your career. It provides insights into your skills and abilities and should therefore be optimized for the respective job offer, and academic research or fellowship.

It should not be longer than 1-2 pages, if not explicitly required. Here are some suggestions and tips on how to make your résumé look professional.

Tips for Your Résumé

Your application letter may only receive 30 – 60 seconds of attention. An effective résumé should therefore attract positive attention, interest and the desire to learn more about you. It should be:

  • Clear (well organized, readable, easy to understand)
  • Concise (no duplicate entries)
  • Complete (all important and relevant information should be included)
  • Consistent (no style blends, same order of presentation)
  • Current (include data with information, rework at least once a year)

Please remember that your résumé is the first contact with the employer. Therefore, make sure that your it is clearly laid out in terms of its external form, layout and visual design, and does not contain spelling or grammar errors.

What Information Should be Included in the Résumé?

No résumé contains all of the categories listed below, so sometimes additional information will also be relevant. This listing is just a guideline. Remember: present yourself and your individual career in the best light appropriate for the job!

The first step towards a successful résumé is brainstorming: Write down all the important information and assign it to different groups. Develop hierarchies of relevance and importance. The listing in the résumé is hierarchical by relevance and date (descending – the newest and most relevant first).

The relevance of the information depends, of course, on the intended job position. Try to see yourself with the eyes of the potential employer. If he is looking for an illustrator, he certainly won’t be interested that you had an internship period in a bank.

Possible Sections of Your Résumé

  • Personal information
  • Education
  • Relevant work experience (internships, previous jobs, …)
  • Special knowledge and experience (commitment, …)
  • Languages and stays abroad
  • Computers and organizational skills
  • Other skills – memberships, interests, …
  • Certificates and references (if required)
  • Photo (if requested)

The following information may also be relevant, especially if you apply for an academic position or scholarship.

  • Diploma thesis / dissertation: title and supervisor
  • Certified awards and patents
  • Previous scholarships
  • Publications, conferences and lectures

Personal information

Your name should be noted on each page above. The following personal information is important: Name, date and place of birth (year, month, day, city, country), nationality, address, telephone and fax (area code!) And e-mail (only if you regularly check your e-mails ).


List your education in the reverse chronological order (with the name of the school, university, etc. and date of graduation).

Provisional completion of the ongoing training and – if you are applying for an academic position – title and supervisor of your dissertation. In the case of a non-academic position, you will only be able to insert your dissertation if the topic is directly relevant to the position you are applying for.

Relevant work experience

In chronological form, information on time periods, type of work and essential content of relevant employment relationships, as well as the names of your employers. Enter the full name of the company.

Special knowledge and experience

Here, you can indicate any professional experience, knowledge or qualifications acquired, which go beyond the usual level and underline your suitability for the position to be filled

Languages and stays abroad

In any language, specify the level of control: advanced, fluent, basic etc.

Certificates or language courses are outstanding qualifications. Language trips and stays abroad are also essential: Apart from your language skills, they prove your independence and worldliness.

Certificates and references (if required)

It is customary to enclose working documents with the application letter. Do not send originals but high quality copies.

Sometimes an employer will ask for personal references. Create a list of 3 people (plus phone number, address and professional activity) that are not related to you and are available for inquiries. They should know about your professional qualities.


The opinions are divided here: some companies ask of one photo, others do not as at all. Read the listing thoroughly!

If you are not sure whether a photo is desired, attach the photo only loosely. Then the receivers can easily remove it. But write your name and contact details on the photo.

Certified awards and patents

List all relevant awards and patents (type and date of award).


Name the scholarship, organization, date, title and purpose of the scholarship or project.

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