Application with US translation agency
Thread poster: Julia Glasmann

Julia Glasmann
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Nov 25, 2008

Hello everybody.
I am just busy preparing my CV and accompanying letter for an application with an American agency. The thing is: I am German and live in Germany right now and am only familiar with how things work here. So my question is: Are there any important differences between a German CV and an Amercian one? Same question goes for the letter.
So far I have only worked as a freelancer so any input, advice, idea is highly appreciated!!! I really want that job

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:52
English to German
+ ...
Are you applying for a full time position? Nov 25, 2008

There are some differences -

The structure is different (the time line is reversed), American resumes are rather future-oriented compared to the German past-/experience-oriented ones. It is an entirely different style.

If you wish you can contact me via my profile page - I will be happy to provide any input possible.

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Local time: 08:52
Avoid personal information Nov 26, 2008

Hi Julia,

I know nothing about the accepted norms for CVs in Germany, but as an American, maybe I can give you some tips on what is expected in the United States. I used to work at a company where I sometimes helped the Human Resources Department interview job candidates for bilingual (Spanish/English) positions. I assessed the candidates' Spanish skills and gave a general opinion, but the hiring decisions were not up to me. And I can tell you that there were actually some good candidates who were ultimately unsuccessful because they included inappropriate information on their resumes.

Basically, for an American resume (you usually need a resume, not a CV for a normal position) you should avoid including any personal information that is not entirely pertinent to your ability to perform the job. Things I've seen on resumes that are NOT appropriate when applying for a position in the U.S. are: photos, age, gender, marital status, number of children, etc. It just makes Americans uncomfortable to see this sort of thing on a resume, so don't do it!

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention this in case it would be helpful. Good luck with the job search!


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Local time: 05:52
German to English
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Personal details Nov 26, 2008

Hi Julia

I'm basing my reply on my experience living and working in Switzerland, and am assuming that the conventions in Germany are similar to those I've seen in Switzerland.

I noted that Swiss resumes typically contain personal information that is not commonly found in their North American counterparts. For example, information regarding your age or marital status are typically not given -- certainly not in Canada, anyway. Inclusion of a photograph is also not standard procedure.

Best of luck,

(looks like Clare beat me to it!)

[Edited at 2008-11-26 02:37 GMT]

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Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:52
German to English
re: resume Nov 26, 2008

After comparing the german (austria) version of my resume with my english one (amer.), the differences that are most apparent, in addtion to the absence of personal info, are that education is listed after experience in the american one. Directly after the name and contact information is where your objective is stated, i.e. position your applying for, goals. Although including a photo is not common practice, it isn't necessarily a faux pas.

As already stated, include only information that is relevant to the position for which you are applying such as education, experience, special skills/training or refences if available.

Good luck!

Quick response to a previous poster. Personal info on resumes don't make americans uncomfortable, rather employers in the US view such information as place of birth/age, marital status, etc. as irrelevant and are unwilling to take the time to look through resumes that suffer from tmi (too much information). They want just the facts pertaining to the position.

[Edited at 2008-11-26 11:42 GMT]

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