German Language Blog

Der Lebenslauf – curriculum vitae Posted by on Oct 8, 2011 in Culture, Language, Traditions

Maybe some of you might be in the situation to make an application for a job in Germany. Therefore I thought on helping you a little.

So what does an application look like in Germany? Well, the answer is not that simple. It totally depends on the branch of trade you´re working for and, of course, the company that you are going to contact. If you want to work in an artistic profession for example, it would be advisable to enrich your application with examples and references of what you already did in the past. If you want to work in a factory, a curriculum vitae and a cover letter should be enough.

I personally work as a project manager, so my application would also consist of customers or brands I worked for, projects that I have been responsible for and so on.

But one thing is needed in almost every application: The curriculum vitae.

So here´s a little manual how to arrange a „Lebenslauf“ in table form in Germany (though there´s no absolute standard, you can vary if you want!):

Lebenslauf Max Mustermann

Persönliche Daten (personal data)
Name: Title/Diploma degree, first name and family name
Anschrift (address): Musterstraße 4
01800 Musterdorf
Telefon: 01234/56789
Geburtsdatum und -ort (date and place of birth): 10.06.1978 in Musterdorf
(Forigners also should add the country)
Staatsangehörigkeit (nationality): Just name this if your family name is not clear enough.
Familienstand (family status): Ledig (single)/verheiratet (married)/…, Anzahl der Kinder (number of children), Alter der Kinder (age of children)

The following bullets are just examples. Depending on your career, you have to texture them differently. But it´s adisable not to name only periods but also fields of activity and experiences.

Schulische Ausbildung (academic education)
[dates] Name, Location and Type of school including certificate.
The mark should be mentioned in braces.
Example:Goethe Gymnasium in Bischofswerda, Abschluss: Abitur (2,0)
Grundwehrdienst/Zivildienst (military service/civilian service)
[month/year] Particularly name your fields of activity.Example:Wehrpflichtiger, Tätigkeit als Militärkraftfahrer in Eggesin
Berufliche Ausbildung (professional apprenticeship)
[month/year] Company, location, type of apprenticeship, certificate
Studium (studies)
[month/year] Name of technical college or university
Degree program
Core area
Degree and mark
Maybe the topic of your exam or graduation
Praktika (internships)
[month/year] Company, location and field of activity
Beruflicher Werdegang (professional career)
[month/year] Company, location and field of activity, focus on the tasks that are relevant for the new position.
Berufliche Weiterbildung (further education)
[month/year] Type and degree (for example seminars, workshops, tutorials)

Further bullets could be:

Auslandserfahrungen oder -reisen (international experiences journeys)
Sprachkenntnisse (knowledge of languages)
EDV-Kenntnisse (knowledge of computing)
Interessen und Hobbys (interests and hobbies) Interests and hobbies that might be relevant for the new position. Try to avoid risky sports like parachuting for example.
Referenzen (references)
Sonstiges (miscellaneous) Describe activities that don´t belong to other bullets.

Ort, Datum, Unterschrift (Location, Date, Signature)

With your signature you confirm the accuracy of the information.

Degrees for example should be proved with copies of your certificates.



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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.


  1. EP:

    I like your example. But it’s true, there really is a huge variety of ways to put together a Lebenslauf out there. If you google a few with “lebenslauf vorlage” (under Pictures) you’ll see what I mean.

  2. Nathan Keith:

    Oh yes, and also a picture, business card and signature block. Just this signature block put me past several Herr Dr. candidates for employment.

    Herr Oberst Nathan Keith, dipl.-math., dipl. Ing.