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Tuning up your curriculum vitae to suit varied countries

Notwithstanding the country you are in, employers all over the world look for unanimous qualities when it comes to hiring workers. Nonetheless, workers should know that there are some unique qualities that some employers look out for. These qualities may differ from one country to another.

As compared to the short CV delivered to many employers in UK, employers from other countries might come looking for extra information. Some want to gauge if the employee, they intend to hire, will cope with international living standards.

Content on your curriculum vitae
Regarding the fact that not all countries expect the same outline, you have to be cautious of what you decide to put on your CV. While some countries want you to indicate lots of information, some favour less content on your CV.

As such, the most important information that should never be left out is the previous job positions held, names, places, dates, responsibilities, as well as referees where applicable.

Other things out of the ordinary but worth inclusion are speeches and articles published. Indicate them and the actual dates you presented them. Remember to put your ID or passport number and indicating religion at times could work in your favour.

Curriculum vitae format
As indicated earlier, different countries like different levels of content on your CV. Therefore, the best thing for you is to write a conclusive summary of everything you consider important. This puts you in good terms with those that like much content as well as those that like condensed content. Again, do not forget to write your details in reverse chronological order.

A detailed country by country guide on how to prepare your CV


In the final months of 1998, Austria’s economy, suffered a huge blow. This was due to the effects from Russia’s financial crisis that affected Austria’s highly esteemed trading partners. The good news, however, is that Austria has been on the rise economically speaking.

Despite the setback, Austria’s economy still grew by a remarkable 3.3% in 1998. Compared to the European average growth, Austria bests it by a full 1%.

Rapid growth, rising employment rates as well as low inflation promise nothing short of better wages, prices, and growth in productivity over the years. All these are an indication of a better future.

Of importance to us is the Austrian curriculum vita. To start with, it is prepared in reverse chronological order. Start your CV with personal particulars such as name, address, phone number (indicate international access code) date and place of birth as well as your civil status. Next, you should mention your level of education (indicating results as well), your language skills in addition to your practical experience whereby you should not forget to indicate apprenticeships as Austrians attach great value to it.

In the end, do not forget to indicate extramural activities. These include; special interests, hobbies and any voluntary work you have been involved in previously. This last category is of great importance too as Austrian employers find it quite significant.

Another thing worth attaching is your photo. Take one of your most recent copies and write your details at the back. Attach it to and do not forget to indicate the date on your CV as well as signing at the bottom.


As compared to EU’s official unemployment rate, Belgium fares quite well. Although the unemployment rate is relatively low, they lose it when it comes to the participation rate with regards to active population in the labour market. As a matter of fact, the country is one of EU’s lowest with a meagre 56.8% in comparison to France’s 60.1%, Netherlands’ 66.7%, Germany’s 61.8% and Denmark’s 77.5 % which is the highest in the EU. The US and Japan comparatively measure 74%.

One major reason behind this is the early retirement schemes with people retiring as early as 52 years of age. The participation rate for those in their late fifties and early sixties is a mere 22% in contract to EU’s 36.3%, with the UK alone scoring 59.4%. Therefore, there are numerous opportunities in Belgium.

Language competence is fundamental; remember to indicate it both at oral and written levels. As much as language plays an important role in this country, you should stick to writing your curriculum vitae in English. Writing in French should be a reserve of those who use it as a medium of speech frequently. After all, writing in French does not necessarily earn you any extra points.

Just like Austria’s preference, Belgium’s CV letters should be in reverse chronological order, meaning most recent things first. This however is not the case in Flanders where people prefer chronological CVs. No need to worry, however, for the majority of those in Wallonia would go for the reversed chronological CV.

Belgians had a tendency of liking long CVs. Nevertheless, nowadays the CVs have been shortened to a maximum of two pages. The CV should further be full of facts and be written in a precise and professional manner. Personal details should commence including your civil status. The next thing on it should be your education status which should include your high school. As for results, they are only indicated where there is a direct relation to the job in question.

Consequently, you write down all of your work experience including all your student jobs, holiday assignments and apprenticeships. All of these are regarded highly in Belgium.

Though compulsory military service got abolished lately, if you are male, you could indicate whether you have undergone any. This increases your chances of getting employed.

The Czech Republic
Since the year 2000, the Czech Republic has shown considerable economic growth. This was after three years of recession.

Since 1997, their GDP had been on the plummet. For a country that had experienced an economic boom in the mid 90’s, it was only fair to have a 2.5% and 3% increase in 2000 and 2001 respectively. All thanks to the return of the foreign investors who were the main reason behind the boom in mid-90s. The investors invested approximately $5 billion in 1999 and 2000.

On the other hand, unemployment rose from 3% in the mid 90’s to 9% in 2000, perhaps due to restructuring that led to the closure of plants operating at losses. Nonetheless, they have struggled to maintain an unemployment rate below that which is politically instituted at 10%.

It is worth noting that the structural reforms and economic recovery strengthened Czech Republic’s progress towards attaining the status as an EU member within 2003-2005.

When it comes to the CV in Czech Republic, it is prepared chronologically. It should further be brief, straight to the point and well structured. 1-2 pages are ideal.

Your particulars should include; name, address, nationality, telephone and/or fax number, civil status and date of birth. Please note that the telephone number should include the international access code prefix.

Education achievement should be in chronological order and should include all qualifications and diplomas accomplished. Specify where, when and what you have studied.
When it comes to language, mention your mother tongue and the fluency level in any other languages you are conversant with.

On the work experience section, you should mention your practical experience exhaustively. This includes apprenticeships. Mention the job description and responsibilities you carried in each and every position held with finality. Give as much information in regards to any skills you might have acquired, and you think they might be of importance to an employer.

At times, references should be indicated in the CV but it’s not mandatory. After the times of communism, the Czech Republic established their home-made national recruitment habits, which do not necessarily go in line with the traditional academic selection process.

Many have referred to Denmark as a country where the employment ‘magic’ took place.

As per its population, Denmark is a small country. In 1997, the population was 5.25 million. For Denmark is no exception, like other countries in Western Europe, population stabilisation took place over the years. Most recent predictions indicate a rough figure of around 5.5 million by 2025.

Persons above 59 years of age have been projected from 21% - 26% in 2025 which translates to around 300,000 people.

The young people below 19 years will be stable at around 22%, while working class adults have been projected to fall in population.

Although this has raised concern on the increasing burden on the economically active area of the population, this could work in favour of job seekers from other countries.

Hypothetical applications are accepted almost instantly. With a short CV of up to two pages, and including all details deemed most relevant, you can get employed in Denmark.

To start with, write down your personal details, followed in reverse chronological order by your academic qualifications, work experience and extracurricular activities. Recent graduated should indicate their examination grades.
In your work experience, put a particular emphasis on your practical experience. Attaching a picture is almost not necessary, but at times a Polaroid is taken during the interview.

Take note! Do not use the usual ‘dear Mr/Ms……’ instead, use ‘for the attention of Mr/Mrs……..’


Finland’s economic success is majorly attributed to the information technology sector. Nokia leads in revenue realisation, and this has raised optimistic levels in Finland’s economic status.
Many are of the opinion that Finland has found its place by participating in the single currency platform, as well as its membership at the EU.

From the grim days of 1993 and 1994, when Finland had Europe’s highest unemployment rates apart from Spain, now it boasts an improved situation at 10%. Though still high, the situation has improved tremendously over the years.

With the current shortage of skills in the high-tech sector, Finland has more things to worry about. There are too many people trained, but their skills are not actively needed, others live in the wrong place while the rest are over 50 years of age.

The problem could further worsen for many people are set to retire soon. Since the birth rate is not enough to cover these gaps, there is a dire need for people to employ.

Some measures have already been put in place with the international monetary fund advising that the country should rise its retirement age. This is after realisation that immigration is not that much of an option for the country has sealed its gates quite literally to outsiders. They have no option but to outsource in the near future, and this is where you come in.

The CV in Finland is just but another document indicating someone’s achievements. It should never be submitted without a covering letter.

 At the top, you have to indicate your name and in Finnish language or even Swedish, the word curriculum Vitae (ANSIOLUETTELO).

Next, you write down your address and telephone number with a prefix of the respective international access code. Your CV should begin with your name, date of birth and your civil status.

Academic qualifications are to be mentioned in reverse chronological order. Consequently, indicate your practical experience, main tasks in your current work and your publications where applicable. Also, remember to indicate your linguistic abilities.

Both the letter and the CV should either be in Finnish or Swedish.  The language, you choose, should be what you stick to all through. Therefore, foreign job seekers should have at least basic knowledge on the either of the languages. In the IT sector, there are unique chances of you landing a job even when the only language, you are conversant with, is English.

Other exceptional skills sought after include communication skills, social skills as well as team work capabilities. The mere fact, that you cannot fit into a team could keep you from getting employed in Finland.

By the end of 2000, unemployment had been projected to fall by 9%. This contrasted to the 12.5% of the jobless individuals during Lionel Jospin’s reign in 1997.

During the first three months of this year, around one hundred and forty thousand jobs were created all over the private sector. Within one year, a total of four hundred and thirty thousand jobs had come into existence. This was without doubt the biggest improvement within a span of three decades.

Essentially every sector was in the process of bringing in new jobs. The services sector played the biggest role in making new employment openings with a rise in employment of 4.2% within one single year.

When it comes to curriculum vitae, you have to deliver a hand written cover letter. Perhaps the only place you will find an exception is in the IT sector. French employers are very keen on graphology and base selection on it. Mind you, more than 80% of the French employers use this criterion.

When it comes to order and arrangement, you can present your information either reverse chronologically or in thematic grouping manner. Whichever it is that you choose, the CV should be short, and exact to the point. The maximum, you can go, is two pages, no more no less.

Besides your name, address and telephone number, your personal details indicated on the CV should include your nationality and CV status. Do not forget to put your country’s access code as a prefix to your phone number.

Usually, it is imperative that you provide your age instead of your date of birth. As for education, you only need to mention the highest academic qualifications that you currently hold.

Come to language skills, and you have to list everything in detail. Work experience has to be mentioned with exact job description following in tow. Anything, you put in your CV, should be nothing but the truth for you will have to answer questions on the same when you go for your interview.


Over 10.5% or four million of the population in Germany remain unemployed. Though at times there are upsurges in job openings during spring in construction and catering industries, it is not always the case.

Despite these high levels of joblessness, prices still rose in 2000 by 1.5%, as compared to the 0.7% of 1999. It was all due to the 3% proceeds from inflation and tax increases on energy.

Matters of job seeking and the German CV have always been strictly chronological in order, otherwise referred to as TABELLARISCHEN LEBENSLAUF in German. A photo should also be attached with details written at the back. Use a paper clip to attach it at the top right-hand corner of your CV.

When it comes to signing, your CV should be signed at the bottom right opposite to the date, which is normally on the left corner. It is also common practice to indicate your civil status, your school results and whether you have a driver’s license. On the civil status part, you should indicate whether you have children as well.

In the past, the civil status section included parents’ names and respective professions as well as religion. This is no longer worth mentioning.

Take care! Your style of writing should be free of any poetic descriptions or show of prejudice. German employers hate to see any traits of these. Start with your personal specifics i.e. phone number, address, name, place and date of birth and civil status. Next you should write all your educational qualifications which are accompanied by the respective results and work experience complimented by apprenticeships.

Another thing, which you need to consider, is that there should be no gaps in your CV. This normally relates to the importance of indicating each and every period of your career since you left school. The transition should be seamless. You better indicate the times when you did not have a job rather than leave some time unaccounted for.

German employers are quite focused on the job. Your personal attributes are not of their business. Only mention interests that are related to the kind of job in question. Perhaps the only thing, they would be interested in, is your languages proficiency.

While seeking for a job in Germany, you ought to provide solid proof of anything indicated on the CV. If it is education requirements, you ought to attach the relevant certificates. As for former working places you should include a recommendation letter from your former employer. Do not forget to sign your CV at the bottom.

Official unemployment rates keep on moving upwards. For four continuous years, growth rates have been up and around 3% yet no reasonable changes have been noticed when it comes to the deteriorating employment rates.

Seasonal jobs related to tourism are what dominate the job market. Considering this come up for less than half a year, many people are left jobless as soon as the job melts away.

In regards to CVs, there are no particular rules. The CV should range from three to five pages, though not mandatory if you attach your photo it is highly appreciated.

CVs in Greece can either be handwritten or typed. Over the ages, however, handwritten CVs have faded out. Chronological order must be maintained when writing your CV.

At the end of your CV, a signature is mandatory. Indicating practical experience is a wise decision. You can also indicate where you went for your industrial attachments, university projects and any other courses taken. Listing hobbies are not a must but where indicated they are favoured.

All said and done, write as much as you can for a Greece employer is no doubt impressed by lots of content.

In this country, there is a stable 5% rate of employed individuals. While the economy no longer grows at a rate as fast as that of the past, there is still considerable expansion in the IT and tourism sectors.

Irish CVs are not limited to certain lengths. However, Irish employers like them short and the maximum amount of pages is two.

In your CV, mention only facts and figures. The other things such as skills, hobbies and any other relevant stuff should be indicated on the attached letter and not on the CV.

This kind of CV is quite flexible; you can write it in either chronological or reverse chronological order.*

Begin with your personal details especially your place of birth or religion. You can then write down your academic qualifications next, and work experience follows thereafter.

Hobbies are the next thing you should put on your list. Ireland employers pay great attention to extracurricular activities and any unique achievements. Jot them down in your CV and if you are a fresh graduate, consider writing down anything you have achieved outside your area of study.

Italy compares to France and UK in terms of per capita income. The backbone of the economy is wide-spread industrial sector.

However, there are some disparities as the north hosts the industrial sector hence it is quite developed. As for the south it highly relies on agriculture hence it is less developed.

On average, therefore, the unemployment rate is 12%. The south carries the bulk of it as 20% of the people living there are unemployed.

This country too does not have firm CV regulations. Your CV however is received warmly when it is brief. Make it two pages, and you will probably win the favour of Italian employers. Remember also to prepare your CV in chronological order.

In your personal details, include, your date and place of birth, nationality, phone number with a prefix of your country’s access code and your civil status. Hobbies should not necessarily be mentioned, and a photo is not necessary too.

For men, it is vital that they indicate if they underwent their military service or not.


The country has a population relatively meek. Though there are just ten million people, Hungary has a well-defined agricultural and industrial division. In the year 1999, it had a growth rate of around 3.5%.

When it comes to per capita foreign investment, Hungary heads the region. It was one of the very first countries in central Europe to begin privatizing its industries. They have well-outlined structures on the same and investment has recently been channelled towards private sector companies such as those dealing with packaged foods.

This has seen up to 42% of the workforce getting employed in industry and commerce while 32% of the rest employed in the service industries.

Here CVs should be typed and written in detail. You should particular emphasis on your academic qualifications as well as hands-on experience. Your CV should be 1-2 pages long, well-structured and focused.

You can choose between a chronological or reverse chronological order. You can further choose to write in the format of functional CVs.

Personal details should include: name, address, phone number or fax, email address, nationality, civil status as well as the date of birth.

When it comes to education, mention any qualifications and diplomas you have been awarded. Language skills should also be indicated in detail. Mention your mother tongue and describe the level of fluency when it comes to other languages.

Although Hungarian is not a must, proper knowledge of the same is considered an added advantage. Under working experience, make sure you mention all your experience including industrial attachments during study. Mention the exact job description as well as the responsibility capacity held in previous employment positions. Under the same heading, indicate your knowledge and skills in a manner most appealing to the employer.

This is EU’s smallest member country. Amazingly, it has a very healthy economic growth. Since the mid-80s, the country has the lowest unemployment rates.

The country runs a very successful steel industry that has become out to be one of the most successful ventures in the world.

Economic growth averages within 5% every year all the way since 1985. Even when other countries suffered the 90s recession, Luxembourg was side-stepped almost entirely. In Luxembourg, public finances are the healthiest all through Europe. Unemployment ranges within 2.7%, and that is without doubt the lowest across the EU.

With regards to CVs, there are no specific laid out procedures. Style and content are based upon the candidate’s nationality. No precise format is related to Luxembourg.

Normally, the CV should be in French, unless otherwise stated. For example, if the advertisement is in German, you should phrase your CV in German. If the advert is in English, you should then phrase your CV in English.

The Netherlands
Every other day, job vacancies are available all through Netherlands. Those officially unemployed are nowhere near 3% of the population. However, every 100 people 65 are active in the labour market, while 35 are not.

This leads to the Netherlands having one of the highest non-participation rates the world over. Government actions, to change the situation once and for all, have not paid off. Employers have no choice but seek workmanship from outside. In areas such as IT, there is a gap of up to 8.7% that needs filling.

In the service sector, 5.3% slots are available. Surprisingly, the job vacancies keep on growing, and there are only more gaps that need filling in the long run.

A Dutch CV utilises a direct factual style. It is in chronological order, and the CV should be a maximum of one page.

The CV should only include fact and figures. Other things considered relevant to the job application should be attached in a separate letter. A Dutch CV has to be written in the third person singular.

Further include, personal details, education achievements without indicating results, work experience short of dates and hobbies if any.

Employers in Netherlands view hobbies and any civic responsibilities with great importance. Remember to mention these in your CV; also, make sure they are related to the job in question. It is best that you match your CV to each specific job’s requirements.

Unemployment levels deteriorated during the 90s in Norway. The period in and around 1993-1998 saw the country record a low level as per European standards.

However, unlike the predictions that unemployment would be on the rise over the years, it did not turn out so. It increased slightly in late 1999 but still maintains low levels.

New entrants in the job market in Norway find it hard getting jobs. The main limiting factor is the language for employees have to be fluent in Norwegian. Other factors include the discord in the training received from home countries, as well as little knowledge on the Norwegian work culture.

This is however not the case all through. Some working areas have vacancies and need workers from elsewhere. Such sectors include health-care, construction and some engineering sectors.

When writing your CV, arrange it in reverse chronological order. The maximum amount of content is two pages.

Commence your CV with personal details, I.e. name, address, telephone number and date of birth as well as your civil status.

You might also consider the inclusion of your hobbies in your CV. Education achievements should go hand in hand with the results. Indicating work experience is also vital just as it is important to include language skills.

When it comes to listing referees on your CV, make sure you consult those people whom you intend to put on your list as they will probably be contacted for confirmation.

Do not write a CV full of self-praise, Norwegian employers hate such kind of CVs.

Poland was among those countries from the former Soviet Union that held free elections first and introduced market forums almost at the same time in 1989.

In spite of a rise in unemployment levels, there are signs of recovery. This no doubt cultivates a path towards getting improved economic status though some things still stand unclear.

A clear layout on your CV is a must when it comes to looking for a job in Poland. Make separate heading for all that you choose to indicate i.e. education, past experience, academic qualifications as well as hobbies. All of these should not exceed two pages.

Recent graduates should prepare their CV in a reverse chronological manner while those looking for jobs not directly connected to the level of their study can prepare a functional CV.

Marital status inclusion is a must. Other things worth including are past work experiences even if they were at voluntary level.

It is a plus if you mention your proficiency in languages both oral and written. Other than polish, the other languages, that employers look for, are English, French, German, as well as Russian. Additionally, expertise in basic computer knowledge is a plus.

Other than listing various qualifications, you are expected to attach the respective certifications during interviews. A point of uniqueness sets in for some polish companies that provide specific forms that you are supposed to fill as opposed to delivering CVs. In such forms, make sure you answer every question. Leaving out blank spaces does not augur well with your potential employers.

When Portugal was joining the EU, Portugal was one of the poorest founder members. Growth has been constant over the years, and the country has taken great strides to maintain the employment rate below 5%.

When preparing your CV for a job application in Portugal, you ought to list down your details in reverse chronological order. Several pages work out well, but there is a set maximum of around 3-4 pages.

Various sections should be numbered separately. Start with personal information such as date and place of birth, address and phone number, civil status, education qualifications, professional training among other things that you consider relevant. This helps your potential employers ascertain whether you are the right person for the job.

Other out of the job qualifications worth mentioning include computer skills and any other training received from seminars. Graduates fresh from the university should prepare a list of all the courses they have gone through. Concerning work experience, it is good that you mention all of your former employers as well as the tasks and responsibilities perfumed during that period.

Since the 1989 revolution, this is one country that has made great strides towards development of democratic statutes and a fair market economy. The private sector keeps on growing speedily, and recent legislation on reforms in regards to economics only serves as fuel to this positive fire.

For you to make it in Romania, you need at least one degree. A Romanian CV, therefore, contains your name, address, contact information, date and place of birth, age, nationality and your civil status.

Moving on, you should include information relating to your education achievements, as well as a hobby or two. At the bottom, sign your CV and indicate three references, not forgetting to write down their respective contact information and job descriptions.

Russia seems to be on a consistent downfall. The economy keeps on tumbling while public services are no better.

Since 1999, the unemployment rates have been above 6.8% and keep on rising. CVs here are handwritten, and strict attention is paid to detail. Russians expect a fully-fledged list of events since you got your academic qualifications.

2000 will remain a histories year in Spain as more than 14.2 million people were in employment then. Only a little 15.01% of the population were jobless, as compared to 16.9% of the population that was jobless in 1999.

The Spain government actually aims at bringing Spain to the levels enjoyed by other countries in Europe.

In reality, this is attainable for the first quarterly survey showed that twelve of seventeen’s Spain regions the unemployment ratio was below the national average. Later on, it would improve to 10%.

CVs in Spain carry no strict rules. All, you need to do, is prepare a properly structured CV not any longer than two pages. Of special regards, is that there should be no spaces in between headlines.

Under the heading DATOS PERSONALES (Personal Details), you have to write your passport or ID number. When it comes to work experience, do not forget to mention all of your former employers, as well as the tasks and responsibilities awarded in the previous positions.

Another important heading is OTRAS ACTIVIDADES (other activities). Under this heading, include things such as whether you have lived abroad previously; include any publications under your name, as well as apprenticeship sessions. You can also attach your photo to the curriculum vitae.


The economy of Sweden continues to favour high growth rates, as well as moderate wage pricing for the employees.

A 3.8% increase in GDP was recorded in the years 1998 and 1999. This set the ball rolling for a strong employment inclination notable growth in the household sector, as well as success in the exports division. Other areas with immense improvements and great economic distribution include telecommunications.

Thus, employment has increased by a total of up to ninety thousand people. This matches up to an increase of 2.2%. Male employment increased by 2.1% while that of the women increased by 2.4%.

Majority of these positions have been created in the private sector. This is one unique country that takes into account the unemployment rates of people living in Sweden, but not born there. This rate fell over the years with a noticeable decrease, 17.5% in 1997, 14.8% in 1998 and finally, 12.8 % in 1999. This led to a synchronised increase in employment levels of up to 54.5% in 1998 to 56.8% in 1999.

Although this are noticeable improvements, unemployment among foreign-born people living in Sweden are still twice fold the amount of the population as a whole.

All said Swedish employers prefer job applicants familiar with the Swedish language. For that reason alone, you better start learning Swedish on your own or enrol for some lessons.

Your CV should be short and precise, not exceeding two pages. It can either be in chronological or reverse chronological order. Start with your personal details. When it comes to date of birth, you should follow the format: YYMMDD. Swedish CVs should also confirm whether you have a driver’s license or not. Do not forget to indicate this.

Agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Nonetheless, it carries with it less than 10% of the available workforce. Around 40% of the population are employed industry trade and handicraft, considered a secondary sector.

Though Switzerland has many exports, the fact that it is not part of the EU makes its export less compared to its potential. That said, more than 50% of the population is employed in the services and tertiary sector, which comprise of banking, tourism and so on.

A Swiss CV is similar to that required by German employers. A photo is to be attached at the top right corner. The CV can further be chronological, reversed chronological or functional. Since Swiss employers attach value to experience, include all the jobs you have worked as well as apprenticeships and university industrial attachments.

Language skills, as well as computer basic knowledge, are worth mentioning. Extracurricular activities too and hobbies and/or interests should be listed on a separate piece. Include two or three references and do not forget to attach copies of any academic qualifications indicated in the CV.