So, How Do You Write A Danish CV Anyway?
When moving abroad, there are lots of things to take care of, from packing and finding a place to live, to learning a language (sometimes) and understanding the way a new culture “communicates.” These new cultural nuances do not only happen to your everyday life activities, they also happen to your CV.
Who would have thought that CV writing and preparing applications to apply for your dream job could be different depending on the country we live in. We might not even think about it since we think of our skills as being the same as they were in our home country.
However, just like learning new cultural customs, there will be aspects to consider looking at and/or modifying for when you get your CV ready to apply for a job in the country your dream job is located in.
And Denmark is no exception to this – This is what we learned during the online event “The Danish CV – A Recruiter’s Perspective” that we hosted in collaboration with Headstart and hereweareDenmarkpodcast in mid April this year (2021).
We were so lucky to have Nicki Møller, a Danish recruiter with us to answer the questions of internationals regarding job applications in Denmark.
One thing worth mentioning before sharing practical and actionable tips that you can start using TODAY is that the time a recruiter spends looking at your application is short. In fact, less than a minute. Maybe 30 seconds. So it’s important to be clear and to the point when writing your CV.
Another important factor to mention is that Danes love cover letters – more on this below.
But before we continue, let’s remember the difference between a CV and a Resumé.
- A CV is the complete story of your work experience and educational background.
- A Resumé is the most relevant and/or recent experience you’ve had work wise.
Is There Such A Thing As A Danish CV?
Yes… and no. Yes, this can be annoying at first, however, we’ll answer some of the questions you might have here. (If you do not find your answer here, let us know. And if you do have more tips, leave them in the comments 🙂 ).
So, what do we mean when we say that there’s a Danish CV?
We mean that if there’s something that’s really important when applying for your dream job, then that would be to give as much information about yourself to the person reading your CV and Cover Letter about why you’re good for the position and who you are.
When we say that there’s a “Danish CV,” we mean that your application should include five key pieces of information which must be visually clear.
- A picture of yourself: it’s nice to be able to associate the skills and experience on a CV to a person’s face
- Easy to find keywords of your core skill set
- A tagline/small description of your professional profile
- Current/last employment situation
- Work experience and education years
When we say that there’s no such thing as a “Danich CV,” we mean that the information in your CV is more or less what you should add in your CV when applying to a job in most countries. And while there are cultures where including your family name or where you went to high school might be relevant, in a Danish CV this type of information is not.
A Rapid Do/Don’t list:
- Not much experience? Include high school
- 3+ years of experience? Leave high school out
- Describe how you helped/what you did during your position in a company, not just the tasks
- Be clear on what’s been volunteer work and what’s been employment
Order of work experience
- Always your experience in a timeline (by year)
- Be unique: choose a color or a design that you can replicate on your Cover Letter. Be unforgettable.
- If you have them, add one or two. If you do not have them, start thinking who might be able to put a good word in for you and reach out to ask if it’s ok for you to add their email/phone number to your CV
Are you wondering about length? Well, we do too. Because it’s nice if you can only have one page, but of course there are positions where you will have to go over that, especially if you’re a researcher.
What we did learn during “The Danish CV: A Recruiter’s Perspective” event that can be a game changer is YOUR Cover Letter.
Yes – it can seem daunting since this means you need to write a specific cover letter each time you apply for a job. However, once you have mastered the information you should include in it, there will only be a few minor changes you’ll have to make when applying to different places.
Your Cover Letter is the perfect place to explain/mention:
- What you’ve done as a recent graduate
- Career gaps/transitions
- If you’ve been working as a freelancer
- The answers to questions that might arise from looking at your CV.
And here is an example of how you can write it in short paragraphs:
Dear [name of the person you’re sending this to]
- Where you found this job ad [portal]
- The reason you’re applying; your skills, your motivation, etc.
- What makes you unique: your skill combination and how you can contribute with your qualifications
- How you are prepared or have prepared for the role: training, volunteering, previous positions, etc.
- How you can help the place you’re applying to achieve their goals/mission
- Tell them why you’re excited to work there and “humbly” show off; share what you’ve done right in other positions
- Say goodbye in your own way and be personable. You’re good to go!
Make sure you:
- Write a tagline describing your profile in a few words
- Add a motivation section
- Add the same picture you use in your CV
- Look for the person who’s likely to be reading your Cover Letter; you can find this information on LinkedIn or the company’s website
The event was set up to last 45min, but it ended up being longer as Nicki kindly stayed to answer questions from attendees. You can watch the recording of the event on Headstart’s website.
We hope this helps – Ah! And one last thing; call the person posting the job ad or someone from the company before sending your application and after. Make yourself noticeable.
And yes! Networking is important. We will be talking about that too soon.
here we are Denmark Chapter
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If you’re a recruiter in Denmark and would like to publish an article here about job hunting, please reach out!
We’re happy to share content that could help foreigners in their search for a position in Denmark.