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Career counselling of the Study and Career Counselling Service

International applications

International applications

Application documents

Each country has its own standards in terms of the perfect job application. But wherever you apply, you should make sure that your application documents are: 

  • well-structured and with a clear message;
  • tailored to the specific employer and the position;
  • as brief and informative as possible;
  • written in the local language or in English;
  • emphasising your own practical experience.

International applications – Tips:

Insider tip

The Career Services departments of foreign universities often provide practical tips on how to apply for a job.

Applying in...

France

A cover letter and a compact one-page CV are common.

Top 5 tips & differences:

  • Writing the content correctly in French language
  • CV: No need to include your age/marital status/religious affiliation
  • CV: In the category "Compétences" the professional goals can be briefly presented
  • CV: Educational background at renown universities is relevant and can be emphasized if necessary
  • Enclosures are not common in the application

Further information:

United Kingdom

A cover letter and a 1-2-page CV are common.

Top 5 tips & differences:

  • Note: Please use British English throughout!
  • CV: No need to include your age/marital status/religious affiliation
  • CV: No need to add date or signature
  • CV: Stating two references is common

For further information and examples, please see:

Spain

The application documents usually consist of a cover letter (Carta de candidatura) and a short curriculum vitae (CV).

Top 5 tips & differences:

  • Inclusion of the identity card number (DNI) as part of the personal data.
  • In the category "Sumario" the professional goals can be presented in short form.
  • Focus on practical experience and language skills
  • Enclosures are not common in the application

USA and Canada

The application documents consist of a cover letter and a one-page resume in the private sector. A 2-page resume is usually common for academic jobs.

Top 5 tips & differences:

  • No need to include your age/marital status/religious affiliation (anti-discrimination)
  • The category Summary/Objective gives a brief overview of the relevant competencies/professional goals right after the personal data (optional)
  • The disclosure of references is common
  • No need to add date or signature
  • Application enclosures are only welcome for "complete dossier"

Further information and examples:

Australia and New Zealand

The application documents usually consist of a one-page cover letter and a resume up to three pages.

Top 5 tips & differences:

  • No need to include your age/marital status/religious affiliation (anti-discrimination)
  • The category Summary/Objective gives a brief overview of the relevant competencies/professional goals right after the personal data (max. 3 lines)
  • The category Skills Summary provides a summary of the skills already acquired (usually on page 1, at the bottom
  • The disclosure of 2-3 references from study or work environment is common
  • If necessary, indicate residence or visa status as an international student

Further information and examples:

Job interviews

The first interview for a job or internship abroad tends to take place over the phone or via video call. They usually include the same elements as a face-to-face interview, and generally stick to the same structure and focus on the same questions.

Top 10 tips for interview preparation

  1. Use a reputable name for your account
  2. Check the technology and lighting beforehand by calling a friend
  3. Make sure you have a neutral and tidy background
  4. Wear formal and appropriate clothes
  5. Rehearse greetings and a short presentation about yourself, your relevant experience and skills in advance
  6. Prepare questions for the employer
  7. Brush up on specific vocabulary and research phrases and terminology that the company uses on its website
  8. Hang up documents/key words next to the screen so that you can glance at them discreetly during the interview
  9. During the interview, make sure that you speak clearly, use calm gestures and maintain appropriate eye contact
  10. At the end, thank the interviewer for the interview and, if necessary, write a short follow-up email
(Changed: 2021-09-23)