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How to Write a CV/Resume

 
LebenslaufFor internships, volunteering and Working Holidays, we often need your Curriculum Vitae in the language of the destination country. For the unpaid projects, it is mainly for the purpose of giving the internship/volunteer organization an understanding of your capabilities and interests. For the remunerated jobs, it is to convince your potential employer to choose you.
 
On this page, we give you 10 tips for a better resume.
 
Since there are no global standards of exactly how to write a resume, we cannot suggest golden rules as to how it should look. What is important is that it consists of short and concise explanations of who you are and include relevant content pointing to the project that you wish to do. The experience/educational qualifications are arranged chronologically, as is common in English speaking countries; a short motivation section is included as a covering letter.
 

10 Tips for creating a resume for internships and volunteering abroad:

 
1. Tabular Form
 
Nowadays, everyone worldwide expects a CV; however, no one has the time to read extensive text. Concise points are preferred, that one can see at a glance.
 
2. Ensure correct translations
 
The CV should be in a language that is common in the country at which you are applying and used by the people you will work with. Take time for a good translation. If you have not mastered the language, get someone who speaks the language to look at the resume. If you send us your CV in Word format, we can make corrections before we pass it to your desired country. You should at least write the name of the place you are going to correctly. Be realistic about specifying your language skills. When you write "perfect Spanish, spoken and written", and your resume is full of errors, your information is not considered very credible. By no means should you send an automatic translation from Google Translate.
 
3. Please translate names of schools, institutions, etc.!
 
While usually it is said that names of schools, institutions or companies are not translated, no one in India, China or South America will understand names of schools, institutions or companies such as "Gymnasieskole", "Uitgeversconcern", "Jugendhilfe Essen", "Wirtschaftsblatt Verlagsgesellschaft gmbH", etc. or country-specific abbreviations such as "ESO" or "LEP". Please translate such terms to the language in which you write the CV. You can then provide the original name of the institution in brackets.
 
4. Make a meaningful CV
 
It is difficult to attain projects for candidates whose CV is "empty", where, save a few personal details and schooling, no further information is included. Even if you are only 16 or 18 and still have no work experience, try to add things that are related to the activity that you want to participate in. E.g., if you want to work in an orphanage, you can mention that you have been taking care of younger siblings..
 
5. Age and Photograph should be included
 
In the Western world, it is often said that you do not need to provide information such as gender and date of birth or add a picture, so that there is no discrimination. However, for internships in countries of Africa or Asia, such rules do not apply. There are internships specified for certain ages (you only get visas for certain age groups in some cases) and sex. The absence of such information in the resume, might result in the rejection of the same. A photo should be provided.
 
6. Be careful with culturally controversial job experiences
 
Many common student jobs in the Western world are seen at other parts of the world as jobs taken up by members of lower social strata and do not correspond to the "status" of people who study at a university. The mention of such jobs can confuse people who look at your CV. Particularly in the Arab countries, India and Africa, women "working in a bar" is equated with "prostitution" by many people. So you should avoid mentioning such "bar" jobs (especially if you are applying for a "role model" job, like a teacher in a school). If you apply for a hotel internship, experience working at a bar however might be useful to mention. If you are unsure, please feel free to ask us.
 
7. Hobbies and interests only if they are thematically relevant
 
Please do not add hobbies and interests unless they are thematically relevant to the project that you would like to take part in. If you, for example, have been playing amateur theatre as a hobby for several years and are applying for a job at a youth center or a school, it is relevant, since you could engage with children and young people in theater. Hobbies like "watching TV", "listening to music", "making friends" are best avoided, not only because they are irrelevant, but unprofessional.
 
8. Use a reputable email address
 
By the time you are looking to enter an internship or volunteering project and "into professional life", you may want to consider whether email addresses like "Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!", "Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!", "Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!" or "Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!" are still appropriate.
 
9. Proper Formatting
 
Today, basic knowledge of computer applications is required for almost all jobs. You should be able to apply reasonable formatting (headings, paragraphs, list items, etc.) in your resume. Similarly, you should, if you include a picture, insert it compressed to a reasonable size and in jpg, so that the CV is not 30 MB in size. In many countries, Internet connections are slow and you pay for the download volume per megabyte; therefore one cannot expect people to to download large attachments. The file format for your resume should only be PDF, Word (.doc or .docx); or .rtf (Rich Text Format). Ohese are formats that anyone can open and read worldwide. Do not send your CV in formats that are not standard, like .pages (Apple). Open Office Formats should also be avoided.
 
10. Familiarise yourself with the country you are applying to, before drafting a motivation letter
 
If you are prefixing your resume with a motivation letter, avoid blunders in it like "I've always wanted to go to South Africa" (if you are applying for an internship in Tanzania) or "Africa is a country that has interested me for a long time" (Africa is not a country but a continent). Such errors show that you have spent little time to think about your plan to travel abroad.
 
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These 10 points are only an indication, based on our observations. You do not have to worry a great deal or think that creating your resume is an insurmountable obstacle that you cannot overcome. We usually have a good relationship with the organizations, so errors may be "forgiven". But of course, if you can make the effort to do better, why not?

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