CV and certificates – classic components of an application. There are also a few things to keep in mind to make your application a real career booster. In the last blog post I gave you tips for your cover letter, you can read them again here. Now I will tell you what I pay attention to as a recruiter when it comes to CV and certificates.

CV – this must be included

The resume is your flagship. Your bait that you cast for us recruiters that leaves us no choice but to invite you.
So what belongs on your resume?
Clearly your professional milestones:

  • When and where did you work and for how long?
  • What did you do there?

One and the same job title can cover completely different areas of responsibility. It is therefore always advisable to add a few short notes about your tasks under each position. This gives us the opportunity to understand you and your job. The CV also includes school education.

The optimal structure for the CV

For new entrants to the profession, the CV should be structured as follows: academic achievements in chronological descending order and then any secondary employment. For professionals, work experience is usually relevant, so it should be at the top of the CV, with the academic background following.

There is no right or wrong in the order or in the chronology. It always helps to keep in mind what is relevant for the recruiters and the department. As a recruiter, the first thing I want to know is: What are you currently doing – and does it fit my position?

I assume that you attended elementary school years ago, and therefore it does not have to be on your CV. Often applicants did an apprenticeship a long time ago, but then slipped into a completely different field and are now practising a different profession. So it’s best to move what you are currently doing to the top. Because that is particularly exciting for us personnel officers.

Further education & hobbies – making the right choice

The resume does not always have to be about your professional career. Further training shows that you are committed, so please list them. However, if you attend ten per year, you should consider which ones are relevant to the position. Keep in mind that as a recruiter I would like to get the information relevant to my position as quickly as possible, so limit yourself to what counts.

What about personal information? Nowadays they are no longer obligatory, but they can of course be of benefit to you. You are applying for a position as a car test engineer and are passionate about vintage cars in your private life? Then mention it! Such information is worth its weight in gold, both in your resume and in your cover letter! You are doing an honorary position? That’s to your advantage, so why not mention it?

If you’re not sure, get a second opinion. This often helps, because sometimes people who know you well see things more clearly than you do.

The Appendix: Less is more

The final part of the application is the diplomas and certificates. Yes, I will repeat myself: Think twice!
If you have graduated from university, we do not require a high school diploma. That’s a prerequisite, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to start studying. You should present a job reference for each of your previous jobs. If this is missing, it will raise questions for the interviewer. It is different with the current station. As a recruiter, I understand that there may not be a job reference because you don’t want to “spook the horses” at your current employer.

And what about certificates?
Further education is great and if you have something to show, you naturally want to show it. But here too you should weigh up the pros and cons: What is really relevant for the position?

When I open a document and 28 pages of references and certificates jump out at me, I feel overwhelmed. It is best to always limit yourself to the certificates that might be interesting for the position. If something is missing, I can always request it.
I hope there were a few helpful tips – and I look forward to the next great applications!


Lisa Fleischmann

Lisa Fleischmann

Personnel officer

Lisa Fleischmann’s area of expertise as personnel officer is the automotive sector. Already during her dual studies at a car dealership, the Köln native recruited technicians and engineers. For TÜV Rheinland, she is on the lookout for talent in the area of vehicle testing and driving tests. In addition to her passion for travelling, she is a real nature lover and enjoys hiking or spending time in the garden with her dog.

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