CV Test, for Germans applying for work in the U.S.

Some of the (wrong) multiple choice answers to the short quiz below are, admittedly, offered tongue-in-cheek. All questions, though, address issues that come up frequently with candidates who are used to German-style job applications and the typical German “Lebenslauf” (CV/resume).

Unfortunately, for the respective applicants, we see by far not only job seekers who are fairly new to the American way of applying for a position making some – or all! – of the basic mistakes reflected in this test.

Over the past 12 months, we were initially puzzled to receive some CVs with such flaws also from some otherwise highly qualified applicants – executive assistants, engineers, even senior managers with German background – who have been working in the U.S. for a long time.

A quick scan of their respective work history helped explain what was going on here. Most of them had held their last position, usually with a subsidiary of a German company in the U.S., for a long time, and had been hired for that position – way back when – straight from Germany.

With the recession barely behind us, and employment opportunities as limited as they still are, it should be a no-brainer to update your CV, to be prepared for a very different job market. If you are still in Germany and just received your U.S. “Green Card”, or if you are in the U.S., and already have a long and successful track record of working with (German-owned) companies in America – the short test below is supposed to help. Enjoy!

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For individual and more complex questions regarding your resume, or for help with your current job search, ask the friendly specialists of the Germany-USA Career Center Career Adviser Service – wir sprechen Deutsch!