As many other people, you may have ambitions or studying, working or doing an internship abroad. Living abroad brings you closer to other cultures, helps you learn or refresh existing language skills and creates great opportunities for personal and professional development. But what is the easiest way to apply to an international university or company? The Europass CV.
Before we take a look at the Europass CV, it’s helpful to understand what Europass is as a whole.
In line with the principle of free movement of persons, goods and services within the European Union, Europass is an initiative which seeks to simplify the process of studying or working abroad for European jobseekers. With the understanding that no qualifications are the same in each country, Europass makes it easier for employers to compare and evaluate qualifications and for jobseekers to present their skills and experience in a clear and transparent way.
While Europass is a handy tool for creating your CV, the layout is very basic. On the other hand, Jobseeker offers more options for a nice layout. You also have the option to create your CV in multiple languages. If a job description specifically requests a Europass CV, then you will need to use the official website to create one. Otherwise, it is not necessary.
The European Skills Passport
The Europass CV is one of five documents that makes up the European Skills Passport:
- Europass CV
- Europass Language Passport
- Europass Mobility
- Europass Certificate Supplement
- Europass Diploma Supplement
The Europass CV is a template consisting of standard CV sections: personal details, the position you’re applying for, professional experience, education and training, skills, and additional information (publications, presentations, projects, awards and honours,
This structured layout saves you having to look up the CV conventions for different countries and getting your qualifications recognised by different authorities.
To create a Europass CV, go to the Europass website, and create a Europass profile. Once you’ve completed this step, you can create your CV in as many languages as you wish. However, you’ll still need to translate the body of your CV yourself.
Europass Language Passport
The Europass Language Passport is a self-assessment tool to assess and evaluate your language skills, and to present these skills and language qualifications in a way that is understandable to employers.
Based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), the European Language Passport is a useful way to explain to employers the different skill levels for the languages you speak: listening and reading, speaking and writing. Letters are used to describe language proficiency at six levels:
- A – Basic user
A1 – Breakthrough or beginner
A2 – Waystage or elementary
- B – Independent user
B1 – Threshold or intermediate
B2 – Vantage or upper intermediate
- C – Proficient user
C1 – Effective operational efficiency
C2 – Mastery or proficiency
Breaking down your skills this way helps them understand whether you are able to use your language skills in a professional environment.
You can also list language courses you’ve taken or any intercultural experience which may have boosted your language skills. If you’ve had a bilingual upbringing, taken part in language tandems or even just lived with a bilingual housemate, it can be difficult to showcase the skills gained in a standard CV. This is where the Europass Language Passport helps.
Bear in mind that the European Language Passport is now integrated into the Europass CV in a section called ‘Language Skills’.
If you’ve studied or worked in a European country, you can request a Europass Mobility report from the academic institution or employer. This is a document that captures and communicates the skills and knowledge acquired from studying or working abroad.
It is not possible to create this document yourself. You will need to ask the academic institution or company organising the placement to register with the National Europass Centre in your country. The host partner (school or organisation) will also need to register and complete the necessary information. Both parties will also need to provide an electronic signature.
Europass Certificate Supplement
The Europass Certificate Supplement helps employers to understand vocational qualifications (practical, work-based qualifications) which can be challenging to explain. It provides information on:
- the course content
- the level of the qualification and how the grading system works
- the education system in which the qualification was issued
- the institution that issued the qualification
Note that this document does not replace official certificates. For further information on which institutions can issue the European Language Supplement, contact your National Europass Centre.
Europass Diploma Supplement
The Europass Diploma Supplement describes the knowledge and skills if you have graduated from higher education (higher professional education or university). It expands on official degrees and diplomas, making them easier to understand by employers or teachers abroad.
As with the Europass Certificate Supplement, the Europass Diploma Supplement is not intended to replace official degrees or diplomas.
It is important to note that some universities and awarding bodies issue both supplements automatically while others do so on request. Some may not even issue them at all. To be on the safe side, always request a Certificate or Diploma Supplement before you complete your course as you know when you might need it.
CV in another language
Do you want to create a CV in a language other than English, but haven’t specifically been asked for a Europass CV? Let Jobseeker help you. With the click of a button, you can change the section headings to another language. However, bear in mind that you’ll still need to translate the body text of your CV yourself.
If you speak the language fluently, you can write your CV in the respective foreign language yourself. On the other hand, if your grammar is a little shaky if you’re feeling none too confident about your language abilities, the better option is to have your CV translated by a professional translator or a native speaker. Whichever language you’re applying in, it’s essential that there are no spelling, grammatical or lexical (vocabulary mistakes).
While there are various translation tools available online, these are usually only helpful for translating a word here or there or for translating from a foreign language into your own language to get the gist of a text. However, as far as translating whole sentences into a foreign language goes, they’re not 100% accurate, they ‘learn’ from other people’s translations – good or bad.