Your CV is your ‘sales tool’ in which to market yourself to potential employers. With job openings today at a premium, it is now therefore more important than ever to fill out CVs clearly and fully, to ensure that all-important competitive edge over other candidates.
A CV should be tailored specifically for each job application you make, highlighting your skills and knowledge that are required for the position. A tailored CV illustrates to an employer that you have researched the position and company fully, and emphasizes what you can contribute to the company.
Job application procedures can vary between countries and sectors; however a good way in which to make your skills transparent across Europe is the Europass CV. Europass promotes your skills and competences, including those acquired outside formal education, in a standardised format. By making skills comparable, Europass assists the mobility of workers and learners.
Taking account of the way in which we work and interact today and the current economic climate, employers often ask that more and different skills are present on applicants’ CVs. To keep up with these developments, a revamp of the Europass CV, available by the end of the year, was recently announced.
“At the end of the year we’re launching a new format. The current Europass is now seven years old so it’s time for a revamp. We decided to redesign, informally, about two years ago, based on feedback from our users. Since the first CV was launched in 2005, things have changed a lot. The new Europass CV is more user-friendly, with new headings such as blogs, websites, Instant Messaging addresses, etc. The layout is also more professional,” says Philippe Tissot, from Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, which manages the Europass portal.
Europass, now available in 27 languages, is used in 32 European countries and beyond: to date, over 21.5 million CVs have been created online. There are five documents in the Europass portfolio, including the CV, Language passport, Europass mobility (which is a record of your skills acquired in another European country), Certificate supplement and Diploma supplement. All five documents are designed to make skills and qualifications clearly and more easily understood across Europe. However, this does not imply that all Europass CVs will look the same. Each user will present the information according to their preferences or needs, such as the choice of personal data displayed, and the sequence of their work experience, education, etc.
Advice on filling out a CV includes ensuring that abilities are clearly demonstrated. Articulating clearly is also important. Using positive power words such as ‘flexible’, ‘creative’, ‘hardworking’, ‘innovative’, and ‘reliable’ to describe personality, and words such as ‘achieved’, ‘delivered’, ‘participated’, and ‘competed’ to describe achievements often makes a good impression on would-be employers. Given that they are likely to spend only around 30 seconds browsing each CV, it needs to be succinct, well written and achieve immediate impact.
So keep an eye on the Europass website at the end of the year and be sure to download and fill out your new CV to enhance the prospects of landing that dream job!