European curriculum vitae: how to use it

If you want to apply for a job, an internship or in any case an opportunity in Europe, the Curriculum Vitae is essential. However, you must consider that there may be different requirements to be indicated in each destination country. A particularly important document, which simplifies the preparation of the application on European soil is the Europass CV. What is it, how is it made and how should it be used? But above all, how to compile a European curriculum vitae? We’ll explain everything to you!

Does your CV contain what you know and the experiences you have had? If you want some tips on how to write it, read the article “How to write a resume: guidelines for an effective CV”.

What is the Europass

Europass is more than a CV: it is a free service offered by the European Union, which assigns different documents and templates for the “application “In question. This allows you to present your qualifications, work experience and skills in an understandable and transparent way in all EU countries.

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The Europass, therefore, consists of the following documents:

  • CV, which helps you to present your skills and qualifications effectively and clearly;
  • Language Passport, a self-assessment tool for language skills and qualifications;
  • Europass Mobility, which records the knowledge and skills acquired in another European country;
  • Certificate Supplement describes the knowledge and skills acquired by holders of vocational education and training certificates;
  • Diploma Supplement describes the knowledge and skills acquired by holders of higher degrees.

Let’s focus on the curriculum in European format.

CV in European format: where it is and how it is made

The European model curriculum is available in all languages ​​in Europe: you can find it here, on Europass’s official website, ready to be compiled and downloaded.

The European format curriculum is divided into various sections, which can be filled in freely, in fact, the only mandatory field is the name. If you decide not to complete some sections, because you don’t consider them necessary, no problem: they will be hidden at the time of download!

In addition to the usual personal data, work experience, education and vocational training, personal qualifications and skills also need to be explained in detail. Language skills are defined according to the common European proficiency level so that, for example, a human resources manager from another country is able to relate your language level to that of other candidates from all over Europe.

In the next paragraph, we will see how to compile a European curriculum in more detail.

How to fill out a European resume

First, you will need to fill in the “Personal Information” area: your full name, your address and all your main contacts, i.e. telephone number, e-mail address and possibly also your site, if you own one. You will also need to indicate your date of birth and nationality.

The next section is short and is called ” Desired Occupation “. In fact, indicating the job you would like to offer is one of the first elements to add when compiling a European curriculum vitae!

Then you can choose between two different ways: if you have just graduated, or graduated, and do not yet have professional experience, you can jump directly to the ” Education and Training ” section. Otherwise, if you have already done other work, focus on the category ” Professional experience “. On the left indicate the start and end date of your experience (report “current” if you are still doing that job) and on the right the role you covered, the company name and some more information about what you did, activities and duties.

Also ” Education and training “must be completed in a similar way: remember to always indicate the university where you graduated, if you have carried out any particular project, and some indications on the subjects taken and the knowledge acquired.

The last area is the ” Personal Skills ” area, where you can bring back all your hard and soft skills. First, write down the languages ​​you know: first your native language, then the ones you have learned. Of the latter, report your degree of Comprehension, Speaking and Written Production to actually give an idea of ​​your abilities.

Below, keep talking about your skills. On the left write the type, for example organizational, communication, artistic, computer skills, etc. On the right, explain what you can do and also in what context you learned it (if it is relevant!). Finally, with the wording “Other skills” you can add your hobbies, your passion or if you practice a sport: everything can be useful when you compile a European curriculum vitae! The last but very important element is the authorization to process ” Personal Data “.

Five tips for compiling the European curriculum vitae

To compile a resume in European format at its best, you don’t have to think only about what to write, but also how to write it! Let’s see some tips.

1. Focus on the specific job position

Employers typically spend less than a minute reading a CV before deciding to move on. So make sure you produce your CV by including all the useful elements important for that job position.

2. Be brief

Two A4-sized pages are generally more than enough, regardless of your education or experience. Is your work experience limited? Describe your education and training first; highlights voluntary work and internships.

3. Be clear and precise

Use short sentences. Avoid commonplaces. Focus on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience. Give specific examples. Quantify your results and update your CV as your experience develops.

4. Don’t lie

Don’t artificially inflate your CV: just write the truth, skills or qualities you feel you truly possess. If you don’t, you will likely get caught at the job interview and could jeopardize your selection process.

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5. Check your CV after filling it out

Correct any spelling errors and make sure the layout is clear and logical. Ask someone else to reread your CV, to make sure the content is clear and easy to understand.

European CV yes or no? Some presentation advice

Let’s face it: the graphic form of the European CV is not particularly attractive, for this reason, this CV is often rejected by candidates, in favor of others that are more scenographic but often less clear.

Using the CV in European format does not affect you: everything depends on your ability to make it attractive with words. Present your skills and competences in a clear and logical way, so that your hallmarks stand out. Enter the most relevant information first. Pay attention to spelling and punctuation. Keep the suggested font and layout, but use your imagination, even if you’re filling out an outline: add a quote, take care of the resume photo, insert a couple of catchy closing sentences.

The CV Europass is just a model. It is up-to-date with respect to the specifications required in the various EU countries, but you must not take it as a dogma. In general, your CV should be concise, understandable and of course, it should be free of spelling errors.

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