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The Europass CV - What Is It and How to Create It?

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The Europass CV - What Is It and How to Create It?

by Will Campbell

  • CV
  • · June 13 2024
  • · 7 min read
Person writing a Europass CV

Table of contents

Crafting a CV from scratch is often a challenge. That challenge gets even more complicated if you are applying for jobs across Europe and don’t know what each country expects from a resume. The Europass CV was developed to provide an internationally accepted standard, so you can be sure you’re creating the right impression across the European job market.

In this article, we cover:

  • What a Europass CV is

  • How to structure a Europass CV

  • The pros and cons of a Europass CV

  • Possible CV format alternatives.

What is a Europass CV? 

The Europass CV is a free standardised CV format designed by the European Union to streamline the European job application process. It aims to offer a unified, clear structure that allows employers and application tracking systems (ATS) to assess international candidates' qualifications and experience quickly. Its cross-border recognition and straightforward format, make it ideal for professionals seeking job opportunities online or via email in other European countries. 

The Europass CV can be configured in up to 30 different languages, making it an effective tool when applying for positions with an international focus.

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Europass CV template 

Europass CV template

How is the Europass CV structured? 

The Europass is more than a CV, it’s a collection of essential documents that complete your career profile. The package includes three main components: Europass Mobility, Diploma Supplement and Certificate Supplement. Here we take a look at what each one consists of.

Europass Mobility

The Europass Mobility document is what many recognise as the traditional CV. It details your education, additional qualifications, job titles, personal information and skills. For each internship, course or educational milestone, you can fill out a certificate that will then be valid throughout Europe.

Diploma Supplement

The Diploma Supplement is relevant for those with a university degree. It confirms additional certifications, qualifications, and courses. Your educational institution issues this document after graduation, giving HR departments a clearer understanding of your specialisation and the value of your degree.

Certificate Supplement

Similar to the Diploma Supplement, the Certificate Supplement explains your qualifications to employers. However, it covers vocational education rather than university degrees, helping you expand your professional profile. This supplementary document is ideal for those searching for roles like electrician, mechanic or plumber.

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Pro tip

There used to be a fourth supplementary document called “Language Passport”, which has since been integrated into the language section of the Europass CV.

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How to write a Europass CV section-by-section

When we look at the Europass CV format, we can see that its content and structure are similar to that of any modern CV. Here we show you what to consider when approaching each section. The format will be familiar to most job-seekers, consisting of the following core areas:

1. Personal information

Be precise and professional. Include full name, address, telephone number, email, and LinkedIn profile if applicable. Avoid adding personal information not relevant to the job, such as marital status or age, as this aligns with European data protection standards. Learn more about when to include a photo on a CV.

2. Work experience

List your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. For each position, include your job title, the employer’s name and location, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your key responsibilities and achievements. Use bullet points and action verbs to highlight specific successes or contributions that are quantifiable.

3. Education

Again, use reverse chronological order to list your education. Include all relevant educational qualifications, training, and courses. Be sure to list the names of the institutions and the dates attended, along with the degree or qualification obtained. If you are soon to be entering the workforce after graduation, include your dissertation title if it is relevant to the job you are applying for.

4. Skills and competencies

When listing your skills and competencies tailor them to the job you are applying for. List your professional skills like project management or computer skills, and personal skills such as communication or teamwork. Use a scale to describe your level of competence, and consider including certifications or examples of how you have used these skills in a work context.

5. Additional sections

Use additional sections to add any supporting information that could strengthen your application. This might include professional certifications, volunteer work or references. Ensure each entry adds value to your CV and relates directly to the job or enhances your profile as a candidate.

must-have CV sections

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What are the pros and cons of the Europass CV?

As a job-seeker based in the UK, it is important to understand the Europass CV is technically, not a valid format. Let’s take a look at a few situations where it may be advantageous to use a Europass CV template and where it might not be the best choice.

When to use a Europass CV format

  1. Applying for jobs in Europe: If you're seeking employment in mainland Europe, the Europass CV is a recognised and accepted format. It simplifies the process for employers, who are used to its layout​.

  2. Standardising qualifications: The Europass CV is helpful if you have diverse qualifications from different countries or education systems. It allows you to present your qualifications in a coherent format​.

  3. Recent graduates: The Europass format is well-suited for those with little to no work experience who want to highlight their education and training.

When not to use a Europass CV format

  1. Applying in the UK or outside Europe: The Europass CV format is less effective for job applications in the UK or outside Europe. For example, UK employers are less accustomed to seeing pictures of the applicant or detailed personal information.

  2. Senior positions: For senior or specialised roles, a Europass CV is too generic. More detailed, custom-made CVs often better reflect experience and an extensive, specialised skill set.

  3. Creative fields: Similarly, jobs in the creative industries typically favour visually appealing, customised CVs over the standardised Europass format.

Additional pros and cons of using a Europass format CV include:

Europass CV pros

Europass CV cons

Global readiness

Limited customisation

Focus is on the content

One format for all sectors

Simplicity

Difficult to stand out

Digital friendliness

Wasted space

Recognised as a standard

Chronological order is difficult to adjust

What is a good alternative to a Europass CV?

While Europass offers a recognisable and standard format, the UK market and some European employers prefer a more tailored and visually engaging CV. A simple CV or skills-based CV showing your in-demand soft skills, strengths, and suitability for the role is more effective. Underscoring your value in a succinct and tailored way allows you greater flexibility to show your professional journey, and increase the chances of securing interviews​.

Alternatives to the Europass CV include:

The CVMaker CV Builder can help job seekers create professional CVs that stand out, offering a variety of templates and customisation options that align with industry standards and specific job requirements.

If you are looking for a customisable and standardised appearance, CV Maker has over 20 CV templates to choose from. Take inspiration from our CV example articles including industry-specific tips and tricks plus ready-to-use templates from over 130 professions. 

Key takeaways 

  1. Know what a Europass CV is: It’s important to familiarise yourself with the Europass CV format and why it exists. This is an online CV format developed to make it easier to apply for jobs across the European Union and beyond.

  2. Identify if it is the right CV format for your needs: The Europass CV might not be the best choice for you if you are applying for jobs within the UK or for senior positions. Both situations require a more bespoke CV outlining a unique professional journey.

  3. Consider using supplementary documents: If you do opt for a Europass CV, bolster your application with documents such as the Diploma or Certificate Supplements depending on whether your educational background is academic or vocational.

  4. Understand the limitations: Recognise that the standardised format of the Europass CV may not suit every job application, particularly outside of Europe or in highly specialised fields where a more customised CV is preferred.

  5. Explore alternatives with CV Maker: CV Maker offers the convenience of the Europass format but with more customisation options, enabling you to create a CV that stands out in any job market and highlights your unique skills and experiences effectively.

Next steps?

Get started with CVMaker to get ahead in your job search. Our easy-to-use CV builder allows you quickly format, update, and enhance your CV. To accompany your CV, discover our cover letter templates. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance, connect with our professional CV Writing Service. Draw inspiration from our blog for tips on how to save time, emphasise important sections and make it easier for hiring managers to grasp your unique professional offer.

FAQs

How long should a Europass CV be?

A Europass CV should typically be no more than two pages long. This length is sufficient to detail your professional experience, education, skills, and qualifications without overwhelming the reader. The focus should be on relevancy and clarity, ensuring all information presented supports your application effectively. Learn more about the ideal CV length in our blog article.

How to export Europass CV in PDF?

To export a Europass CV in PDF format, first complete your CV using the online Europass CV editor. Once you're satisfied with the information and layout, select the "Export" or "Download" option and choose 'PDF' as the format. This will generate a PDF file that you can save to your computer or device.

Is Europass CV accepted in the UK?

The Europass CV is not widely accepted in the UK, as UK employers may prefer a more tailored CV format that is customary in the local job market. While the Europass CV can still be used, it is generally more advantageous to use a format that aligns with UK standards, especially for roles that require a detailed, customised CV. Read this article for more tips on how to write a good CV for the UK job market.

Is the Europass CV ATS-friendly?

Yes, the Europass CV is designed to be ATS-friendly. Its clear, standard format and layout are structured to be easily readable by Applicant Tracking Systems used by employers across Europe. This helps ensure that your CV can be efficiently processed and that your key information is recognised by these systems.

Is the Europass CV still valid?

Yes, the Europass CV remains a valid and widely recognised format within the European Union for job applications. It provides a standardised way to present skills and qualifications, facilitating mobility across EU countries. However, its effectiveness may vary outside of these regions, where other formats might be preferred.

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Updated June 13 2024

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Written by

Will Campbell has over 10 years' experience writing for startups, employment, education and global brands. With a rich work history of over 30 part-time jobs, Will has become exceptionally skilled in advising others on how to write an interview-getting CV. When not tapping away at his keyboard, he can be found running or playing the nearest guitar. Connect via LinkedIn

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