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How to build a CV for Masters in Germany

The ultimate guide on preparing a resume from a Graduate Admissions Committee members at German universities.

April 19, 2024

CV or Resume is a requirement for applying to Bachelors, Masters, MBA or PhD programs in German universities. Test scores like IELTS simply show one skill of the candidate, but CV is where university recruiters can really understand who you are and what makes you different. We asked tips from members of Graduate Admissions Committee at these universities on preparing a resume, and here's what they have to say:

The German CV format: Lebenslauf

Lebenslauf is a summary of your personal, educational, and professional background. Universities use automated parsers for filtering resumes, therefore it is important to use a simple format. Some programs ask for the CV in the Europass format, if not, we recommend using FlowCV for building your resume.

Sections of the Lebenslauf

The Lebenslauf should be contain the following sections:

  1. Personal Info: Provide your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  2. Academic Background: This section lists your degrees and scores. Include the name of the institution, dates of attendance and any honours you have received.
  3. Work Experience: Here you add details on your jobs and internships starting from the current one in reverse chronological order. Include the job title, responsibility and key achievements. Keep the description succinct, with short bullet points and keywords.
  4. Skills and qualifications: Highlight skills, certifications (including online MOOCs), awards and any qualifications relevant to the MS program. This includes test scores like GRE & IELTS.
  5. Publications: German universities place a high value on research experience, make sure to list your publications with the Journal / Conference Name, year of publication and IBAN / reference number.

Tailoring the CV to the program you are applying to

It is important to understand what the selectors are looking for in a profile. Here's how to customize your resume for individual universities:

  • Check for requirements: Does the program ask for a specific language or a minimum GPA criteria? Highlight those in your CV.
  • Keywords for the program: Applying for MS in Artificial Intelligence? Talk about the aspects of the project with keywords like LLM, tensorflow etc. Also applying to MS in Mathematics, talk about the same project with keywords like statistical sampling, loss function etc.

Tips for preparing a strong CV

  • Use a standard, simple format for the CV. Fancy colorful templates risk not being parsed correctly, and will cost your application.
  • Keep the resume concise and easy to read. Aim to keep it in one page with a 12 point font.
  • Reviewers look for results. Include statements like: "Optimized by X%", "Grew by Y%", "Built XYZ with 10k daily users"... Numbers are key.
  • Tailor your CV to the specific program you're applying to.
  • Use a professional tone and avoid using slang. Ask ChatGPT: "Make this sentence concise and professional: ..."
  • Proofread your CV carefully for spelling and grammar errors. Use a checker like Grammarly or GradGPT AI CV reviewer.
  • Include volunteer work, contests and extracurricular achievements. Universities like candidates who will fit well with the student community, and this means showing you'll engage in activites outside of pure study (sports, art, music, cultural activities, volunteering etc.).
  • Watch out for these mistakes that most candidates make!

Useful resources

College applications are not easy. Go through the blog for understanding and preparing for Masters in Germany.

If you have prepared your CV, the next step of the application are:

⚡️Try out the AI profile evaluator, LOR and SOP Writer powered by ChatGPT!

Want expert guidance on higher studies in Germany? Get in touch with us.