I currently need to write a CV in German and decided to with moderncv. I find the class quite good. One issue I have is that the content and style of a German CV can be quite different than one for USA or another country. Does anyone have a template file (i.e. a complete document with dummy data) for a German CV (Lebenslauf, Bewerbungsschreiben)? This could be an already successfully used CV where the personal content has been replaced by fillers.

I think a complete template would be most useful, not just for me, but also for others, especially LaTeX beginners.

  • Do you want to create a small documentation here? The class moderncv has small slight deficits. I think in relation to this question we should create a parallel question for using europecv. – Marco Daniel Oct 25 '11 at 15:46

This is not a template, but a way how I did my CV, always successful:

  • Using a scrlttr2 template for a nice cover letter (Anschreiben)
  • Using scrartcl for the CV (Lebenslauf)
    • For tabular CV tabularx and booktabs (tabellarischer Lebenslauf)
    • Defining a macro for CV categories, for easy final adjustments of widths and spacing
  • Including scans of certificates and testimonials via pdfpages
  • If you would like to have the same header and footer on all pages as in your cover letter, an easy way would be creating an "empty letter" and including its PDF output by atbegshi or everyshi in the CV or in the attachment with scans.

This way I get a clean tabular CV as I want it, I don't like using a fancy ready-made template. To make it look great, I use LaTeX ;-) and its great extensions like microtype and more, getting letter and CV which look much better than the usual wordprocessor documents.

  • 1
    Too bad that all pure LaTeX examples for CVs and cover letters on the web look ugly. moderncv is the only example I've seen that really looks convincing. – user17106 Oct 4 '12 at 8:47
  • 5
    Stefan, could you perhaps post/paste ((a link to) an anonymized version of) both the cover letter and the CV ? Would be much appreciated! – nutty about natty Jun 26 '13 at 10:01

I want to mention that next to moderncv there are the class europecv and the package koma-moderncv.

The class moderncv is on of the famous class creation CV. Sadly there are no documentation.

The package moderncv combines the benefits of the koma-script classes and the commands of moderncv.

The package europecv is a new package and is an unofficial class for European curricula vitae.

To answer this question I want to focus on moderncv.

At the beginning it is very important to know which packages will be loaded by moderncv

etoolbox, ifthen, color, fontenc[T1], marvosym, url, hyperref, fancyhdr,
graphicx, tweaklist
%via option

The class provides thre predefined styles

  1. the style casual (default)
  2. the style classic
  3. the style empty

The style empty has no special settings so the relevant styles are casual and classic.

The style can be load with the command \moderncvtheme[option]{style}. The allowed options for the style are:

  1. a color of the list: blue, orange, green, red or grey (to set the default color of the style)
  2. the font roman (default the font is sans serif).

The personal date can be set by the following commands:

\firstname{} %required
\familyname{} %required
% optional
\address{street and number}{postcode city}

The predefined styles can be manipulate by the redefinition of the followings commands:

% symbols used
\listitemsymbol, \addresssymbol, \mobilesymbol, \phonesymbol, \faxsymbol,
\emailsymbol, \homepagesymbol,

% colors
\firstnamecolor, \familynamecolor, \titlecolor, \addresscolor, \quotecolor, 
\sectionrectanglecolor, \sectiontitlecolor, \subsectioncolor, \hintcolor

% fonts
\firstnamefont, \familynamefont, \titlefont, \addressfont, \quotefont, 
\sectionfont, \subsectionfont, \hintfont

% styles
\firstnamestyle, \familynamestyle, \titlestyle, \addresstyle, \quotestyle, 
\sectionstyle, \subsectionstyle, \hintstyle 

Examples with some explanation can be found on CTAN: moderncv-example with tex-file



\cvlanguage{English}{Skill level 0}{I try it}

Known Problems

To change the color of a predefined colors you must use:


Manipulation of the predefined hyperref setup.

The class loads the package hyperref with the command AtBeginPreamble and set the command \hypersetup with \AtBeginDocument with the following predefined settings:

      baseurl       = http://,
      pdfborder     = 0 0 0,
      pdfpagemode   = UseNone,% do not show thumbnails or bookmarks on opening
%      pdfstartview  = FitH,
      pdfstartpage  = 1,
      pdfcreator    = \LaTeX{} with `moderncv' package,
      pdfproducer   = \LaTeX{},
      bookmarksopen = true,
      pdfauthor     = \@firstname~\@familyname,
      pdftitle      = \@title,
      pdfsubject    = \@firstname~\@familyname,
      pdfkeywords   = \@firstname~\@familyname{} curriculum vit\ae{}}}

To change some of these settings in the preamble you can use:

   pdfcreator    = My Name,

I made my CV using moderncv (linked here: http://www.matthiaspospiech.de/beruf/lebenslauf/) The document content is documented well in the moderncv docs and I did not use something special.

Only the preamble is bit complex, since I modified some of the moderncv code, as you can see below:



% moderncv themes


% personal data




%  \AtTextUpperLeft{
%    \setlength{\@tempdima}{\textwidth-5.0cm}%
%    \put(\LenToUnit{\@tempdima},\LenToUnit{-7.5cm}){% 
%      \includegraphics[width=5.0cm, height=7.5cm]{../../../Fotos/Auswahl04.jpg}
%    }%
%  }%


%  \settowidth{\headerwidth}
%    {\firstnamestyle{\@firstname}~\familynamestyle{\@familyname}}
  \par}% to avoid weird spacing bug at the first section 

  \phantomsection{}% reset the anchor for hyperrefs
  \par\nobreak\vskip 1ex\@afterheading}% to avoid a pagebreak after the heading





And as already meantioned, there is not much difference in german and engish/american cvs. The cover letter is created with koma script. I may provide a complete template after I have a new job.


I am not so sure about the structural differences between a German Lebenslauf and an anglo-american CV. In my experiences they tend to blur these days; for instance, many German employers also prefer "reverse chronological", that is, begin with your current position and last degree and not with your primary school. My observation: The higher the position you apply for, the fewer "classic" elements of a Lebenslauf are considered.

Of course, some differences still exist. For instance, American CVs sometimes do not contain a photo nor personal data (marital status, kids, date of birth, ...) to hinder all kinds of discrimination, while these elements are still a "must" in a Lebenslauf. The Wikipedia article provides a compact overview over the typical elements of a Lebenslauf.

In any respect, I am not a big a friend of CV/Lebenslauf templates that show more than how to use the commands – and in this respect, the examples that ship with moderncv are fine. The content of a CV/Lebenslauf should be tailored with respect to the position one applies for and the personality of the applicant. Both do not fit well into a template.

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