Learn the dos and don’ts of writing a CV in Luxembourg and discover how to make a great impression at job interviews in the country.
Given that half of the population (47.4%) of Luxembourg are foreigners, it is hardly surprising that the country’s workforce is made up of many different nationalities. This also means that the business culture is slightly different from other European nations.
Nevertheless, there is a strong emphasis on networking, and it is common for companies to receive spontaneous job applications. Therefore, if you are job hunting in Luxembourg, you will need to go beyond the traditional methods. This means utilizing any contacts you have, phoning around to find out your job prospects, and sending out your CV speculatively.
But before you get to this point, you will need to write a great CV that makes you stand out from the crowd and land you job interviews. So, to help you get started, this article covers everything you need to know about preparing your Luxembourg CV and how to make a positive impression when meeting potential employers. It includes the following information:
- Applying for jobs in Luxembourg: what to expect
- How do you write a CV in Luxembourg?
- How do you write a cover letter in Luxembourg?
- Job interviews in Luxembourg
- Recruitment tests and tasks in Luxembourg
- Qualifications in Luxembourg
- After the job interview in Luxembourg
- Help and support for job applicants in Luxembourg
- Useful resources
Applying for jobs in Luxembourg? Learn how to tailor your CV for the local job market and make it stand out from the crowd with a little help from TopCV. Their CV experts are on hand to provide a free, confidential review to help you make your resume shine and you land you an interview.
Applying for jobs in Luxembourg: what to expect
Considering that Luxembourg has three official languages (Luxembourgish, French, and German), you can expect to find job offers advertised in any of them.
Unless stated otherwise, you should send your application in the language used in the advertisement. However, for speculative applications, you should aim to write in French or English if you are addressing a large multinational.
Even though French is the main business language in the Grand Dutchy, some sectors may differ. For example, the public and health sectors tend to require Luxembourgish, while the trade industry often uses German, and the financial sector uses English.
While you can search for jobs online, it is important to be aware that many businesses in Luxembourg find candidates through networking. Therefore, it is a good idea to participate in networking events and keep your LinkedIn profile up to date so you can connect with potential recruiters.
Job advertisements in Luxembourg typically include the following information:
- Job title
- Contract type (e.g., traineeship, permanent)
- Type of work (full-time or part-time)
- List of tasks
- Personal requirements (e.g., language skills, educational qualifications, previous experience)
- Application deadline
- A link to the application form or contact information
Most job adverts will include an online application form where you can add your Luxembourg CV and cover letter. However, there may be times when you need to introduce yourself via email and attach these files. In this case, you should express your interest in the position in the email and briefly explain why you are the ideal candidate for the role. Your cover letter will then go into more detail about this.
The recruitment process
The recruitment process in Luxembourg is usually quite thorough and can involve a number of interviews before a job offer is made. Naturally, if you are applying from abroad, this can take longer and may include a round of phone and online interviews to begin with.
It may take some time before you hear back from a company after sending a job application. However, it is a good idea to follow up after a few weeks to ensure that they have received it.
During the first interview stages, you may be asked to complete some tests or tasks, including language assessments. Some companies will also request references from previous employers.
If you are successful, you will be contacted via phone or email with an official offer and starting date. Notably, unsuccessful candidates may receive an email, but it is not always possible, especially if there are too many applications.
How do you write a CV in Luxembourg?
Most job applications in Luxembourg are in French or English. However, you should always respond to a job advertisement in the language it is written in. This means that you may have to translate your CV into a different language.
When constructing your Luxembourg CV, you should ensure that it has all the relevant information and that is it easy to read and digest. As a general rule, you should use plain font and include headings to separate each section, as well as bullet points to keep the information concise. Ideally, it should be no more than one page of A4, unless you are applying for a highly skilled position.
Here are the sections to include in your Luxembourg CV:
- Personal details at the top: Including your full name, address, telephone, email, place of birth, and nationality
- A recent passport-sized photograph: This should appear in the top right corner. Make sure it is a professional photo with a neutral background.
- List your educational qualifications: Start with the most recent first, such as the Diploma/Degree level, and then work backward
- Your work experience (in reverse chronological order): Keep this brief with bullet points that highlight your skills that are relevant to the role you are applying for
- Any practical training or specialist qualifications
- List your language skills: State your proficiency in oral, written, and spoken form. If you know your level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), use it to be as specific as possible (B1, B2, C1, C2).
- Any computer literacy skills
- Mention any extracurricular activities/hobbies
You are not obligated to mention your marital status or age on your CV in Luxembourg. In fact, it is advisable to leave these details out as employers are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, or sexual orientation.Insider tip from our local editor
Tips on writing a Luxembourg CV
Tailoring your CV for different countries is essential if you want to meet the requirements of the local job market and the expectations of potential employers.
Here are some tips on how to write a Luxembourg CV:
- Add a link to your LinkedIn or personal portfolio website at the head of your resume
- Adapt your CV to align with the position you are applying for, highlighting specific experiences that are relevant to the role
- Use keywords that match the job you are applying for. If you need help, you can search the ROME database (in French), which lists the competencies required for each type of job in Luxembourg.
- Add infographics to help concise certain information, such as language or technical skills
- Only cover two pages of A4 if you are highly qualified (e.g., have more than ten years of experience) but group the most essential information on the first page
- If you are not confident in your language skills, ask a local friend to review your CV
- Always proofread your CV and check your spelling and grammar thoroughly before sending it
Luxembourg CV templates
If you need more help writing your CV, the public employment service in Luxembourg, L’Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM), has created a guide on how to draft your CV to meet Luxembourg standards.
There are also numerous online CV builders and templates that can help you compile your resume:
How do you write a cover letter in Luxembourg?
A big part of any job application in Luxembourg is writing a strong cover letter, which should always accompany your CV.
Your cover letter be no longer than one side of A4 paper and should be typed in either French or English unless the job advertisement states otherwise. Having said that, Luxembourgers still value graphology, which means that some companies may prefer handwritten letters.
The tone of the letter should be formal and professional, and written in a way that clearly conveys why you are the best person for the job.
It should be short, succinct, and broken into three separate paragraphs: one that highlights your experience, another that focuses on the company, and a final paragraph that explains why you are a great fit for the position, using examples that direct the reader to your Luxembourg CV.
Here are some important things to remember when writing your cover letter:
- Include your full name, address, and contact details on the left-hand side and the employer’s name and address on the right-hand side with the date below
- Make sure that you have the correct name of the recipient and spell it correctly. If you don’t know who will receive it, consider using Dear Sir/Madam.
- Include information about how you found the job and why you are applying for the position
- End your letter by expressing your interest in the company and your desire to have an interview, and sign off with ‘Best Regards’
Phrases and accented letters
While English is widely spoken in Luxembourg, it is worth knowing a few expressions in French and German. After all, these two official languages are an integral part of the business world in Luxembourg.
Below are a few useful phrases to learn:
- Dear Sir/Madam: Chère Madame, Cher Monsieur (French) / Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren (German)
- Dear (first name): Cher/Chère (male/female in French) / Lieber/Liebe (male/ female in German)
- Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me: N’hésitez pas à me contacter si vous avez besoin d’information complémentaire. (French) / Sollten Sie weitere Informationen benötigen, zögern Sie bitte nicht, mich zu kontaktieren. (German)
- I look forward to hearing from you soon: Dans l’attente de votre réponse. (French) / Ich freue mich, von Ihnen zu hören. (German)
- Best Regards: Cordialement (French) / Beste Grüße (German)
Notably, both German and French use a variety of accented letters, including the following:
If your keyboard does not have these features, try holding down the letter to see the list of accents (on a Mac) or use a set of keyboard shortcuts (on Windows).
Job interviews in Luxembourg
What to expect at an interview
Naturally, if you have secured a job interview, you should prepare for it as much as possible. After all, employers want you to show an interest in the position and the company. Therefore, be sure to have a good knowledge of both, and get ready to discuss how your personal experience and expertise make you an ideal candidate for the role.
Given that many organizations in Luxembourg are international, your interview may be conducted in French, German, or English. Therefore, make sure to confirm which language you will be using ahead of time so you can prepare your answers accordingly.
Interviews in Luxembourg may include four or five rounds, with a mixture of phone, online, and face-to-face meetings. Most of these last around 30 to 60 minutes. In some cases, you may also be asked to complete a few tasks, especially when applying for a senior role.
A member of HR will usually lead the first phone or online interview. If you are applying from abroad, you will likely have a round of these before you are invited to attend a face-to-face meeting at the office.
What is the dress code for job interviews?
Luxembourgers pay close attention to appearance and always try to dress smartly. Candidates are expected to wear professional business attire at an interview.
Men tend to wear suits and ties or a combination of smart trousers and a blazer, while women typically opt for suits or formal dresses. Of course, it is also important to turn up to a job interview looking well-groomed and polished.
Some things to avoid wearing to a job interview include:
- Caps and bandanas
- Open shoes and sandals
- Sweats and jeans
- Unkept clothes
If you are on a tight budget, the international charity Dress for Success has a branch in Luxembourg that offers professional attire for women. Alternatively, you can scout around the various second-hand clothes shops which often sell formal wear for a bargain price.An insider tip from our local editor
Questions to expect in an interview
Here are some typical questions that you may be asked in a job interview in Luxembourg:
- Why do you want to work in Luxembourg? If you are applying from abroad, explain why you chose Luxembourg as your next destination
- Tell me about yourself: Give a two to three-minute response covering your background, interest in the field, and previous experience. Focus on relevant skills linked to the role you are applying for.
- Why are you interested in this position/company? Explain what you love about the job, highlighting the company values and how they align with your own
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? Talk about your strengths, focusing on what you can bring to the company. For weaknesses, name two or three things that you are trying to improve and explain what steps you are taking to do this.
- Which local languages are you fluent in? Mention the languages you are comfortable using at work and those you are looking to learn/improve (if applicable)
- What are your career goals for the future? Your answer may vary according to the position. For an entry-level job, you may discuss your future career. For a managerial role, however, you might want to explain how you see the company developing and how you can help it achieve its goals.
Questions to ask in an interview
At the end of your interview, a recruiter will often ask if you have any questions for them. This is your chance to prove you are serious about the job. Asking one or two questions may help you stand out from other candidates.
Here are some questions to consider asking:
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities associated with this role?
- What are the most immediate goals to accomplish in this role?
- What are the biggest challenges facing the company today?
- Are there any training opportunities available?
- How would you describe the company and the working environment?
- What are the next steps in the recruiting process?
As a rule, you should stay clear of sensitive topics such as politics and religion and avoid discussing personal matters that are not relevant to the job.
When are salary and benefits discussed during the hiring process
Job offers in Luxembourg don’t always state the salary and benefits for the position. Instead, you will likely discuss this in the first or second stage of interviews. The interviewer will usually initiate the conversation by asking about your salary expectations.
Before the interview, it helps to do some research to find out the average salary for someone with your experience and get an idea of the income range you want to aim for. For reference, the average income in Luxembourg is €6,308 per month, which is the highest among the EU Member States.
Tips for job interviews in Luxembourg
- Research the company and write down important facts, including the field of activity, branches, and how it has developed over the years
- Ask the interviewer in advance which language the conversation will take place in
- Study the job requirements and try to plan your answers to the possible questions from the interviewer
- Arrive on time and dress appropriately
- Follow the lead of the interviewer, ensuring you don’t sit down until invited. Greet them with a brief handshake and refer to them by their surname (preceded by Monsieur or Madam as appropriate) until you are invited to use their first name.
- Stay positive – in most interviews, you will be asked about previous/current employment and experience. Whatever your views, always refrain from negative comments and focus on positive aspects, scenarios, and outcomes.
- Speak slowly – although Luxembourgers are excellent linguists, it is still prudent and polite to talk slowly and clearly and avoid colloquial language and idioms they may not understand if you are not conversing in their native tongue
- Always use the formal ‘vous’ when speaking French, rather than the informal ‘tu’
- Luxembourgers tend to be reserved about their personal lives, but you should still be ready to discuss your extracurricular activities and hobbies if asked
- People in Luxembourg are often direct and to the point in business. Therefore, try to promote yourself as a quality candidate, but avoid showing off and try to use humility.
- Have copies of your Luxembourg CV, educational certificates, and reference letters with you in English and/or French
Online and phone interviews
When applying for jobs in Luxembourg, you will likely have an initial phone or online interview. These require the same preparation and diligence as a traditional face-to-face meeting, however, there are a few extra factors to consider.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your online interview:
- Check your internet connection or phone line beforehand
- Familiarize yourself with the platform, including how to connect and disconnect the audio and video
- Choose a quiet and professional-looking place to have the interview and ensure that your face is clearly visible and well-lit
- Practice interviewing on camera beforehand to feel more relaxed and focused on the day
- Prepare a script to refer to in case you forget anything, and include questions to ask at the end
- Dress in business attire
- Minimize distractions (e.g., silence any phone notifications)
- Tricks like putting a Post-it note on the camera will prompt you to look at the camera
- Speak clearly and avoid interrupting the interviewer
Recruitment tests and tasks in Luxembourg
You may have to complete a few tasks or tests during the application process in Luxembourg. Recruitment tests can include the following:
- Competency tests: These demonstrate your proficiency in a technical skill that may be needed for the job
- Language proficiency tests: These are written or spoken assessments that show your level of fluency
- Numerical reasoning tests: These test your mathematical skills
- Personality tests: These help give an insight into your personality and behavioral responses
Below are a few websites that can help you prepare for these tests:
Qualifications in Luxembourg
Luxembourgers hold academic qualifications in high regard. If you studied in Luxembourg, you should present a copy of your diploma with your application.
Students from outside Luxembourg, however, will have to transfer their diplomas and qualifications to be recognized in the country. You can do this by contacting the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.
For professional qualifications, you should reach out to the Department for the Recognition of Diplomas (Service de la reconnaissance des diplômes). They will then determine if your professional qualifications are enough to practice the same position in Luxembourg.
After the job interview in Luxembourg
After your job interview, you can expect to wait a few weeks to hear back from the employer. However, some companies may take longer, especially if there are multiple interview rounds. You can ask the recruiter for an estimated timeline so you know what to expect.
If you are successful, you will likely receive a job offer via email or a formal letter. In some cases, however, you may receive a phone call to discuss the job offer verbally before you receive written confirmation. If you don’t hear anything for a while, though, you can always follow up with an email.
Although it is not standard in Luxembourg, unsuccessful applicants may receive feedback after the interview and some suggestions on how they could improve their chances in the future.
Your starting date will depend on the company and your availability, as you will need to give notice to your current employer if you already have a job.
In Luxembourg, new hires often go through a trial period, which, according to the country’s labor law, can range between two weeks and six months.
Before you can get started, you may need to provide some documents, such as your personal identification (passport or national ID card), resident permit (if you come from outside the EU), bank account details, and tax and social security number. Notably, non-EU residents can apply for a work visa after signing their work contract.
Help and support for job applicants in Luxembourg
There are several organizations and websites in Luxembourg that help with writing CVs, prepping for job interviews, and other employment-related support.
Here are just a few to explore:
- ADEM: Luxembourg’s national employment agency offers a range of services for job seekers, including assistance with CV writing, interview preparation, and job search strategies
- House of Entrepreneurship: The Chamber of Commerce platform offers support for entrepreneurs and investors in Luxembourg, including free workshops, financial aid, and networking events
- Job portals and directories: You can find job listings on Jobs.lu, Editus, ADEM, and our own Expatica Job Board
- Recruitment agencies: Agencies such as Hays, Randstad, and Robert Half help individuals search for jobs in Luxembourg
- ADEM – Luxembourg’s national employment agency which provides information for job seekers including finding and applying for jobs, getting trained, and applying for unemployment benefit
- Guichet.lu – the country’s official website for administrative services such as recognizing foreign diplomas and professional qualifications