Europass CV Writing – Part 1Posted: December 26, 2011
A Europass CV and knowing how to write them can help you apply for jobs throughout Europe. The Europass initiative was created by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training in 2005 and presented as a system to standardize the job application process for citizens across Europe, especially young people looking for positions abroad.
Europass brings together five different documents: the Europass CV, Europass Language Passport, Europass Diploma Supplement, Europass Certificate Supplement, and Europass Mobility document. In parts one and two of this article, we will discuss how to write a Europass CV.
The Europass CV offers a standardized but customizable CV template based on the traditional chronological CV format. It gives you a set of subsections to choose from when you write it, but you can rearrange these, delete those you don’t need, or elaborate on those you want to emphasize. The typical Europass CV is two to three pages long. Because of its simplicity, the Europass CV can help transcend language and cultural barriers. You can download the Europass CV template from the official Europass website.
Now, we are going to provide an overview of how to write a Europass CV, starting with the information that usually appears on the first page:
1. If requested or expected by the employer, start with a photograph at the top.
Starting with a photograph on a Europass CV is optional.
However, this is a common practice in some European countries, so you may wish to include a photo if the employer requests one, or if this is expected in the area where you are applying for a position.
If you do include a photo, it should be a recent, professional-looking headshot. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training suggests using the .jpg format.
2. Fill out the “personal information” section.
Start by writing your last name(s), preferably in small capitals, followed by your first name(s), preferably in lower case.
Below, include your address, or both your local and permanent address. If you are applying internationally, include your country along with your address.
Then, include your phone number or numbers. If you are applying in a foreign country, provide the country code along with your phone number. Follow the same guidelines with a fax number.
Finally, include your e-mail address or addresses. You can specify whether an address is professional or personal, but we recommend only listing a professional address.
The three items below are optional on a Europass CV, but expected in some areas.
You can include your nationality, followed by your date of birth in dd/mm/yyyy format, and your gender.
3. Briefly name your targeted job or occupational field.
This is a short version of what would be called an objective statement on a typical CV or resume. While these are quickly becoming obsolete in North America and are gradually falling out of style in Europe, they are still included on the Europass CV because it is based on the traditional chronological CV format.
You can use this space to provide the title of the job you’re trying to obtain, as long as it matches up with the position for which you are applying.
4. Provide your work experience in reverse chronological order.
In this section, each entry will start with the month and year you held the position, followed by your job title or the type of position you held, and your main activities and responsibilities.
If your education is more important than your work experience, as would probably be the case if you just graduated from college, move this section below your “education and training” section.
When it comes to activities and responsibilities, since the Europass CV is based on the traditional chronological CV, the focus tends to be more on duties and less on accomplishments, in contrast to modern CV writing guidelines. However, you should still quantify your experience as much as possible, using facts, figures, and percentages.
You should focus on the activities and responsibilities that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying. We recommend using bullets for easy readability.
For each company you worked on, provide a full street address, in tune with the guidelines for your personal address.
If relevant, you may also add the company’s phone number or fax number, using the same criteria for international numbers as above, along with the company’s e-mail address and website.
Finally, include the name of the sector that each company is part of. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training provides the following examples:
- Transport and logistics
- Manufacturer of motor vehicle parts
Stay tuned for part two of Europass CV Writing…
In the second part of this two-part article, we will cover the information that usually goes on the last page of a Europass CV, such as education and training, language skills, social skills, organizational skills, technical skills, artistic skills, and driving license(s).