Europass Curriculum Vitae Writing Tips

Man giving CV in a job interview
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As the European Union has grown, more and more standards are being implemented by the European Parliament in order to increase the quality of life and to bring it to a certain level where the citizens collectively living and working in the EU will all enjoy equal rights.

When you apply for a position inside any of the member states of the EU, whether you are studying or simply trying to gain experience, one of the most important issues is to be able to make your expertise and capabilities clearly understood to your potential employer.

What is Europass?

On December 15, 2004, through Decision No 2241/2004/EC, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a single transparent framework for qualifications and competencies by establishing Europass.

Europass consists of five documents: the Europass Curriculum Vitae (CV), the Europass Language Passport, the Europass Certificate Supplement, the Europass Diploma Supplement, and the Europass Mobility document. The first two forms you can fill in yourself, while the other three are filled in and issued by competent organizations.

Creating Your Documents

If you don't have a CV yet, you can create one online using the Europass CV builder. You can create a cover letter using the same system. If you already have a CV, you can upload it and edit it online. You'll need to save it to the cloud or export it when you're finished.

You can use the Europass system to create a Skills Passport and Language Passport, and to review the Certificate Supplement, Europass Mobility, and Diploma Supplement you will need to apply for jobs within the EU.

Europass CV Writing Tips

Creating the Europass CV is the first and most important step in your job seeking process. Before you start writing your Europass CV, there are a few points that you need to know.

Your Europass CV is the initial contact with a potential employer, and you will need to capture the employer's attention in the first 10-15 seconds of reading your Europass CV. That is the only way you will secure an interview for that particular job. But, before you start writing it, you should remind yourself about a couple of important steps:

Review examples before you get started. You'll find PDF examples for each country in the EU online. Use them as a guide for creating your own CV.

Your skills and competencies have to be clearly and logically presented so that your experience will stand out. Pay attention to detail, since that is the substance of your presentation. This includes spelling mistakes and punctuation.

In general, your Europass CV should be brief. Usually, for a person with just a couple years of experience, two pages are more than enough. For professionals with more experience, you can write a Europass CV with more than two pages. If you are applying for an executive position, you will have to indicate past experience in more detail, including reasons on why your potential future employer should consider offering you an executive salary. In this case, write your Europass CV with as many pages as necessary.

Always adapt your CV to the job description of the position you are applying for. Try, even, to highlight potential qualifications you possess that are being requested by an employer. Don't lie in your CV, as that lie can be discovered before or during the interview.

Europass CV has a standard logical order in which to present your capabilities and expertise. You will need to complete:

  • Personal Information
  • Working Experience description
  • Training and Education description
  • Skills and Competencies description

Formatting Your Europass CV

Keep to the suggested font and layout of Europass CV, as this is standardized by Decision No. 2241/2004/EC. Print your curriculum vitae on white paper in order to make sure that layout is correct.

Remember that the content and gist of your CV must be evident to the potential employer within 10-15 seconds of reading it. Due to this, you should always use short sentences. Concentrate on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience, and explain any breaks in your studies or career.

When you are finished writing your Europass CV, be sure to have someone else review and check it to make sure that the content is clear, easy to understand, and contains no spelling mistakes.

Keep in mind that in the European Union, your Europass CV is the key to success in your job seeking process. It has become the standard document used to apply for any job in any member state of the European Union, while also making it easier for job seekers and employers.

When to Use a Curriculum Vitae Instead of a Resume

In the United States, a curriculum vitae is used only when applying for academic, education, scientific, or research positions.

A curriculum vitae can also be used to apply for fellowships or grants. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia, employers may expect to receive a curriculum vitae rather than a resume.

Choose an Appropriate Curriculum Vitae Format

Make sure you choose a curriculum vitae format that is appropriate for the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a fellowship, for example, you won't need to include the personal information that would otherwise be included in an international CV.