The Europass CV is a CV recognised internationally across Europe which has many advantages for those wishing to work abroad or who have previously worked in a different European country.
The CV is structured on an international basis and gives job applicants flexibility in how they list their work experience, academic background and other sections of their CV.
The advantages of the Europass CV mean that those applying for a job in a European country or moving from one European country to the other can use this CV format to apply for their job, without having to worry whether recruiters will understand their job application or personal profile presentation.
This guide explains the sections of the Europass CV, as well as the best ways and tips to write each section. It also includes other sections and documents of the Europass which form the European Skills Passport.
Which sections should be included in the Europass CV?
This section will break down each section of the Europass CV with a description of the details you must include.
The first section is your personal details with a space for an optional photo.
Photos on CVs
In the UK many applicants choose not to disclose too much personal information, such as their age or sex. This is a social norm and depends on your own opinion. If you wish to include a photo, you can do so. Countries such as Spain use photos on their CVs, so if you are applying for a job in Spain, it may be more appropriate to include a photo on your CV, than for example if you were applying for a job in the UK.
Job applied for/studies applied for/personal statement
This section can be personalised with either the position for which you are applying, your preferred job, studies for which you are applying or a personal statement.
This gives individuals flexibility and the opportunity to be able to choose which option suits their personal profile best. Furthermore, it gives recruiters an immediate outline of your career or study objective.
The third section is your work history and experience in industry. You should list the most relative work experience you have for the job and keep each entry separate from the other. Always list your work history in a reverse chronological order and remember to highlight skills or abilities from previous jobs which could be useful in your new job. For more information, you can read about how to write the work experience section of a CV here.
Education and training
The following section is a compiled list of your academic background where you can also list training courses or other educational qualifications. Similarly to the work experience section of the Europass CV, it is recommendable that you list your education and training in a reverse chronological order. For further information, read our advice on how to write the education section of a CV.
The skills section of the Europass CV enables you to first list your mother tongue, as well as another foreign language you may speak or have previously studied.
Top tip: be careful with your estimates of language abilities and try to keep the levels you state accurate. Sometimes interviewers check or surprise you with a little test!
The personal skills section of the Europass CV is divided into different sets of skills:
- Language skills
- Communication skills
- Organisational/managerial skills
- Job-related skills
- Digital skills
- Other skills
There is also a small section at the bottom of this section where you have the option to list your driving licence and specify which type of licence you hold.
The Europass CV format is composed of a two A4 page structure, which is an advisable length for a professional CV. More than two pages is difficult and makes the read longer for recruiters. Short and sweet is always better and presents you clearly and concisely.
This section of the CV enables you to list anything that the Europass CV hasn’t already covered which you would like to mention. It’s important to remember that although this section is titled “additional information”, it is still necessary to keep its contents relevant to the job position for which you are applying.
You can choose to list a variety of additional information. For example:
- Honours and awards
If you wish to attach other documents with your CV, such as a copy of your PhD, you may list the various documents in this section of the Europass.
Please note: this section is not a compulsory section of a CV and instead, may only be essential for specific job applicants.
Other sections of the Europass
The Europass is not just composed of a CV document, as it can be combined with multiple Europass documents, forming the European Skills Passport. The five documents which complete the European Skills Passport are:
- Language Passport
- Europass Mobility
- Certificate Supplement
- Diploma Supplement
This is the Europass CV which has been explained in the sections above. If you feel that you still require more explanation, you can read more about the Europass CV here.
The Language Passport is a separate document which you can use as a way of detailing the languages you speak and explaining the various levels using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Not only do you explain your various language levels in detail, but you can also include linguistic and intercultural experience (e.g. if you did a work placement abroad), as well as list language qualifications, certificates or diplomas.
This document is used to record any experience or work placement abroad where you acquired a certain set of skills or knowledge. You can even record voluntary or academic experience.
The Europass Mobility document is available to anyone who wishes to complete it. It must be backed by both the sending and receiving organisations/companies/schools with necessary information completed and signed with an electronic signature.
The Certificate Supplement is essentially a document size version of the Annexes section of the Europass CV. Here you can expand on any certificate or achievement that you have attached with your job application to show recruiters the knowledge or skills you may have gained.
Please note: this document only accompanies the certificates you attach with your job application, it does not replace them or act as an original copy.
The Diploma Supplement does the same job as the Certificate Supplement; however, only for diplomas, degrees or higher education certificates.
You can attach your PhD certificate with your job application and then use a Diploma Supplement to explain the course of study, knowledge gained etc.
Please note: in the same way as the Certificate Supplement does not replicate the actual copy of a certificate, the Diploma Supplement does not act as a copy of the original certificate, it is merely an accompanying document which explains further detail of the degree or diploma achieved.
The assortment of the above documents together form the European Skills Passport, which is a recognised method across Europe of applying for a job application or presenting your personal profile to an organisation, school or company. You can read more about the European Language Passport here.