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Old 17.01.2011, 16:52
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CV in English or German? Advice please

At present I don't speak good enough German yet to be able to apply for a job which requires it. I am studying and getting better, but......

I was told by friends and contacts that one can find jobs in Zug and Basel and Zürich where it is not a problem if you don't speak German. Also certain hotels may need an English only speaker ( with emergency German)This is a positive aspect!

I have been researching and hunting etc to locate some of these companies.

Do I send the CV in English or do I get help and get it translated into German?

I need a little positive input on how to think and plan with this.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:01
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

What's the point of having it translated if as you admit, "you cannot speak good enogh German yet" All you are doing is pretendig you can do something which you can't. It will quickly get found out, you waste their timne and your time, not to mention jeopardising and eventual possibility later on.

My suggestion to you is work hard at learning German as it would appear you have no special skills otherwise, without being rude. (you mention un specified Hotel work) Once you have good German, you will be on a level of most other candidates applying for the jobs you want. Only speaking English does not a lot here, you need either German and French in hotels. Even the CFF train controllers speak a minimum of 2 national languages and most can get by in English it seems.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:11
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

Ok. I did not put the special skills and degrees and stuff in my request for input, as this was not the point.

But thanks for answering.
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Old 17.01.2011, 17:46
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

I would not write a CV in German unless your German is "verhandlungssicher".

It might give a positive first impression, but they would quickly find out otherwise. Keep learning German though. It is very important to get
a good job.
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:39
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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Ok. I did not put the special skills and degrees and stuff in my request for input, as this was not the point.

But thanks for answering.
I was told by friends and contacts that one can find jobs in Zug and Basel and Zürich where it is not a problem if you don't speak German. Also certain hotels may need an English only speaker ( with emergency German)This is a positive aspect!

So which job were you expecting to take in a Swiss hotel that doesn't require languagres ? I guess it couldn't really be dealing with clients if you are unable to communicate, so domestic staff or kitchen staff....
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Old 17.01.2011, 18:50
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

Having recently used the services of a headhunter based in CH, their very clear advice was, you write the cv in the language of the job advert ... on the basis that this is nearly always the primary language that is required for the job. It sounds like you couldn't do a job that primarily required German, yet so for the time being when replying to jobs advertised in English, go with English.

HTH!
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Old 18.01.2011, 05:28
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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I would not write a CV in German unless your German is "verhandlungssicher".

It might give a positive first impression, but they would quickly find out otherwise. Keep learning German though. It is very important to get
a good job.
Thanks, this is the info I was looking for.
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Old 18.01.2011, 08:36
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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you write the cv in the language of the job advert ... on the basis that this is nearly always the primary language that is required for the job. It sounds like you couldn't do a job that primarily required German, yet
There may be other reasons for having a German CV though - it shows you are making an effort to learn the language and apply for jobs. That can be viewed positively by employers... and the RAV, or whatever the equivalent might be in the area of Switzerland you happen to come from, who generally require you apply for "X" number of positions per month while unemployed.
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Old 18.01.2011, 09:13
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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That can be viewed positively by employers... and the RAV, or whatever the equivalent might be in the area of Switzerland you happen to come from, who generally require you apply for "X" number of positions per month while unemployed.
Ok ... but if the job doesn't need German .. which seems to be the jobs the original poster is going for .. it would seem strange to submit a German CV no?? Maybe you mean submitting an English one and a translation? At least get the German version checked by a native speaker ... can just imagine the effect of a CV with errors shot through

I am learning German too, and have taken the exams at various levels and used those results to show my ability to speak/use German in my CV. There was a post only last week about the benefit or otherwise of listing language exam B1 level in German in a CV which you could look at.
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Old 18.01.2011, 09:15
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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There may be other reasons for having a German CV though - it shows you are making an effort to learn the language and apply for jobs. That can be viewed positively by employers... and the RAV, or whatever the equivalent might be in the area of Switzerland you happen to come from, who generally require you apply for "X" number of positions per month while unemployed.
If you have to pay someone to have A CV professionally translated, how is that showing an effort in learning the language? Just shows you have the money to get it translated.
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Old 18.01.2011, 09:16
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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I was told by friends and contacts that one can find jobs in Zug and Basel and Zürich where it is not a problem if you don't speak German. Also certain hotels may need an English only speaker ( with emergency German)This is a positive aspect!

So which job were you expecting to take in a Swiss hotel that doesn't require languagres ? I guess it couldn't really be dealing with clients if you are unable to communicate, so domestic staff or kitchen staff....
Every job nowadays needs communication skills.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:06
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

Speaking from experience (or rather, my wife's experience) when using the RAV (unemployment office) to look for jobs, they only suggest you translate your CV to German once you have almost finished level A2 (one level below B1) German classes (and make sure that is stated on the CV). I assume they know what they're talking about.

So, as your German is below that, I'd agree with other posters on this thread and suggest keeping the CV in English.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:10
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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Ok ... but if the job doesn't need German [...] it would seem strange to submit a German CV no??
Yell yes, of course. If he/she can find enough English-only jobs to apply for.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:13
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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Ok ... but if the job doesn't need German .. which seems to be the jobs the original poster is going for .. it would seem strange to submit a German CV no?? Maybe you mean submitting an English one and a translation? At least get the German version checked by a native speaker ... can just imagine the effect of a CV with errors shot through

I am learning German too, and have taken the exams at various levels and used those results to show my ability to speak/use German in my CV. There was a post only last week about the benefit or otherwise of listing language exam B1 level in German in a CV which you could look at.
Hello, you understood what I had in mind. Thanks for the advice I will get the German translation well checked, so it is not a bad spot in my applications.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:14
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

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If you have to pay someone to have A CV professionally translated, how is that showing an effort in learning the language? Just shows you have the money to get it translated.
I didn't suggest that. Most German courses seem to involve some element of writing formal letters and CVs, or it is possible that Corne has friends who can look at the CV that Corne has produced and suggest improvements (so Corne would actually be learning some German in the process), and so on.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:00
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

I would send a CV in English then attach a very shortened brief version of you CV. I was unemployed here for a few months and this is what the employment office suggested to me.
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Old 18.01.2011, 17:06
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

Just my 5 cents from someone who not so long ago was asking same question. Now, looking back I would advise you to translate your CV in German (of course, let it check for mistakes etc).

And then - send the version you think is appropriate (or ask which one they would like to receive).
Of course, you can mention later, that your German is not as good as in your CV, as your CV has had beeing prepared for weeks and with spellcheck and with dictionary etc (applied to me), therefore it looks like you have perfect German while it is not the case in the spoken language. It is normal.
It is also normal and even expected, that you ask someone to check your CV.

Now, look from this point of view: some Sachbearbeiterin does not speak English, but she needs to sort out resume's. Even though job itself does not require German (or too much German), you have no chances, just because person X does not feel like to bother with Engl. resume. Easier to take someone else from the pile she can understand. This comes also from observations at workplace.
If in doubt but there is a possibility, send better 2 resume's in different languages and no diploma's, then one in wrong language (if in doubt!)

And the final argument: CV is a long lasting document. It is kept sometimes "just in case" and they might call you back in a year (also happened to me). In the meanwhile, you might already speak very well German (people expect this if you live here).
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Old 18.01.2011, 17:25
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

Sviz, you said exactely what I was thinking and trying to sort out with sending a translation into German along with the English version.

"Now, look from this point of view: some Sachbearbeiterin does not speak English, but she needs to sort out resume's. Even though job itself does not require German (or too much German), you have no chances, just because person X does not feel like to bother with Engl. resume. Easier to take someone else from the pile she can understand"

this is what I thought I should somehow prevent from happening!

Thanks for the input!
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Old 25.01.2011, 19:25
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As someone who over the past 4years has lived with a German partner and established fluency now thinking and working in the German language every day, I cannot understate the utmost importance of working off your proverbial practicing speaking German. Even though your job description may imply that you need only English, if it is ANY job in Switzerland that is outside the exclusive high qualified industries of international firms (which have all but headhunted you from your home country) - you WILL, sooner rather than later, 100% sure, need to spontaneously and confidently: -talk to clients ; - solve problems or discuss issues with co-workers: -communicate with superiors, consultants,...IN GERMAN!!!!

Faking your application in order to project your desire for FUTURE German competency, is comparable to applying for a chauffeur job with a fake driver's license at the age of 12, because you loved Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy.
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Old 25.01.2011, 19:47
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Re: CV in English or German? Advice please

OP needs job now. She has got basic German already, so not really lying.
But I think I wrote enough in my previous post.
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And the final argument: CV is a long lasting document. It is kept sometimes "just in case" and they might call you back in a year (also happened to me). In the meanwhile, you might already speak very well German (people expect this if you live here).
Idealism is very nice, but it does not pay bills, does it? And here we all pay bills every month. And to pay bills one has to do all the tricks just to get a foot inside
...and then get fluency and later better job.

I also had German speaking partner. But if you do not exercise your professional job with him day to day you have no chance to get your language skills. Unless, of course, it is household-like business. And even then - not sure.
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