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Everything you need to know about preparing your CV in Austria

When applying for a job in Austria, it makes sense to know what a hiring manager expects to see on a CV. Here's what you need to know.

Everything you need to know about preparing your CV in Austria
There are some big differences between Austrian CVs and those you might be used to. Photo by Lukas from Pexels

If you’re from an English-speaking country there are some notable differences to be aware of when it comes to drawing up your CV.

Making a few small changes can boost your chances of getting an interview significantly. 

After all, applying for a new job is already time-consuming – so make sure that hard work doesn’t go to waste.

How are Austrian CVs different?

The difference in CV style and format in Austria will depend on where you’re from in the first place.

For example, if you’re from the UK, USA, Australia or New Zealand, a big noticeable difference will be the use of a photograph on an Austrian CV.

Yes, hiring managers in Austria want to see what candidates actually look like – even at the initial stages of the application. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about finding a job in Austria

This can be an intimidating prospect. Especially if you come from a country like the UK where it’s frowned upon to include a photograph to avoid discrimination based on appearance.

But, as the saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. 

Just be careful with the choice of photograph.

It’s best to go with a professional image that gives the impression you’re a reliable person. This means holiday snaps or pictures from a night out won’t send the right message.

Next, Austrian CVs don’t include a career objective. This is what the cover letter is for.

CVs should only contain facts and details of hard skills, plus a description of tasks completed at each role.

Save the sprinklings of personality for the cover letter and the interview (if you get one).

Most Austrian hiring managers also prefer CVs that are maximum two pages long.

So use those two pages wisely and let the facts tell the story.

What personal details should be included?

Like most countries, there are some key personal details that should be included on a CV in Austria.

The obvious details are name and contact details. But what about the date of birth?

In some places, asking for an applicant’s age is actually against the law, like in Ireland and the UK as a result of the Employment Equality Act. This means a date of birth should not be on a CV.

But in Austria, hiring managers will expect to see the date of birth, so it should be included.

Other details to include are nationality, place of birth and whether you have a valid work permit or visa for Austria.

For British people, it’s a good idea to include whether you have the Article 50 EUV card or even an EU passport (now that the UK has left the EU) to prove that you have the right to live and work in Austria post-Brexit.

Then you should include education and work history in a chronological order, followed by language and IT skills, any voluntary experience and a brief overview of hobbies.

Finally, if a job is not advertised in English or doesn’t state that the role is in English, it’s probably a German-language role.

In this case, a CV should be translated into German.

What about Europass?

Europass is a CV builder that is used throughout the EU with the aim to standardise the CV format.

It’s available in 29 languages and allows users to store a CV in the Europass library.

Austria is a European country so a Europass CV is accepted by Austrian employers. But many hiring managers don’t like it because of the generic format and lack of customisation.

If writing a CV in Austria for the first time, a good approach is to use Europass as a guide for the right information to include. And then add some individuality with the layout.

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What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

There comes a time in many people’s working life when overtime is required (or even welcomed). But what are the rules in Austria?

What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

Working overtime (Überstunden) usually means earning extra money – but it also requires more work and less time for your private life.

Plus, whereas some people might jump at the chance to boost their income, others might not have the capacity to take on more work due to family commitments, or even poor health.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

So what happens if your employer asks you to work overtime in Austria?

Here’s what you need to know.

What are regular working hours in Austria?

Regular working hours are set by the Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz), which applies to most private-sector employees in Austria over the age of 18.

The law states that regular working hours are eight hours within a 24-hour period, or a 40-hour week.

However, this is not set in stone as working hours can be adjusted by collective agreements or negotiations with an employer. 

This means a working week can be reduced to 38 hours, for example, or a working day increased to 10 hours to allow for a four-day work week or flexible working.

Likewise, shift work has different rules and staff can work up to 12 hours during one shift without stepping into overtime territory.

FOR MEMBERS: Will a 4-day week and free German lessons help Vienna’s transport network find staff?

What is considered as overtime?

If someone has a job with regular working hours of eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, then overtime starts when they go over those hours. But only if there are no previously agreed exceptions in place.

Furthermore, employees can only be expected to work overtime if it does not create a conflict with their other responsibilities, such as child care or health care.

For anyone that does work overtime, they should be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their usual pay.

For part time (Teilzeit) staff with a set number of contracted hours (e.g. 25 hours), the pay for overtime is 1.25 the usual rate. This is known as “extra work” (Mehrarbeit).

READ MORE: How Austrian employers use private detectives to check if workers are sick

What are the rules for working overtime in Austria?

According to the employment law in Austria, staff can work up to 20 hours per week in overtime. This means up to 12 hours a day and up to 60 hours a week.

But any request by an employer to work overtime can be refused if it would result in working more than 10 hours per day or 50 hours a week. An employee does not have to give a reason for turning down overtime.

It’s also worth noting that conditions around overtime can vary depending on an employment contract or collective agreement, so always check the rules in your workplace before agreeing to (or declining) overtime work.


Overtime – Überstunden

Extra work – Mehrarbeit

Full time – Vollzeit

Part time – Teilzeit

Flexible working – Gleitzeit