The CV is the heart of your job application. Some general rules about writing the CV applies also in Austria. It should give an overview of your relevant experience and qualifications. HR managers often only have one or two minutes to go over one resume, so make it as easy as possible to filter the most important details.
Prepare yourself – before writing your CV research the company you want to work for by using different sources such as the website of the company, Linkedin or by searching recent news in Google about your potential employer. Such information will help you to adapt your CV more effectively to each specific job and use of proper examples illustrating your achievements. This will differentiate you from other candidates and you will have a better chances to be shortlisted and invited for an interview.
Characteristics of the CV (Lebenslauf) in Austria
In contrast to CVs in some other countries, CVs in Austria are simple “fact sheets”, listing experience, skills and education in a way that is free from embellishment, business jargon or buzzwords. Instead of being a sales pitch, Austrian CVs let the facts speak for themselves. To a lesser extent, the same principle also applies to cover letters.
In general, Curriculum Vitae consist of 1 or 2 pages. A picture should always be included Your picture will make the first impression and it should signify professionalism. But don’t worry: It’s not about looks! HR managers just want to get an overall impression of the applicant.
There’s a strict chronological order (starting with the most recent studies or working positions giving exact information about them). The Austrian resume includes personal details. We also recommend to add the information about your work permit situation: if you have one/how many hours you are allowed to work.
Content of an Austrian Resume
• Contact details
• Place and date of birth
• Your professional photo
• Higher education (major, specialisation, title of your thesis)
• Further education
• Social commitments, extracurricular activities
• IT skills
Hints and tips:
- Use a chronological structure and always start with your latest experience. Keep in mind that you should put the most emphasis on recent experience.
- There is a large focus on hard skills and the description of tasks. Include short and precise descriptions of your relevant experience Remember: you have two pages – make use of that!
- Use bullet points and avoid whole sentences.
- Pay attention to the fact that, besides working experience, other studies and activities are included.
- If there are blank, non-working periods, it’s important to explain the reasons and what you did during those periods.
- Quantify, where possible, to highlight the scope of your tasks, i.e. make use of numbers (e.g. “Organised a recruiting event with 200 participants; Handled a budget of €10,000.-“).
- The career objective is not part of the resume The use of a mission statement or career objective is not as common in Austria as in English-speaking countries. You’ll rather find the career objective or motivation in the cover letter.
- The Europass “The Europass” is a CV template validated throughout Europe. However, the template is not particularly liked by Austrian HR managers, as it doesn’t leave much room for customisation and individuality. Even so, you can use it as an inspiration for the content of your resume and just put your individual stamp on the layout.