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Written by Karl KahlerKarl Kahler

Europass CV: the pros & cons of a Europass CV

9 min read
Europass CV: the pros & cons of a Europass CV
Artwork by:Katya Simacheva
The Europass CV is a free system designed to create CVs in Europe. While it does offer some advantages, it also has several drawbacks. Take a look at our tips for creating a Europass CV and learn about the reasons why it may not be the best option for you.
  • What actually is the Europass CV?
  • Why the Europass was created
  • How a Europass CV is structured
  • Creating a Europass CV
  • The pros and cons of the Europass CV template
  • Our top Europass CV tips
  • How to create the best CV for a European audience

So, what’s the Europass CV?

The most recent version of the Europass CV was launched in 2020, with the hopes of making CV creation tools accessible to everyone. It's an online platform that allows you to create free professional documents. However, while it’s great in theory, many career experts have dubbed the Europass as generic and insufficient. Creating professional career tools isn’t always easy (trust us – we’d know!) but that doesn’t mean that job-seekers should be stuck with inadequate CV templates. 

While the Europass is well-meaning, it's evident that the current system is inadequate when it comes to meeting the needs of job-seekers. After all, Europe is a diverse continent full of varying languages, cultural nuances and differing social expectations. This means a one-size-fits all approach simply won’t work! 

Why the Europass CV was created 

The Europass was born from a dream of making it easier for European job-seekers to find employment. While this may seem simple, it was actually a decent achievement: creating a centralised platform for an entire continent to create professional documents and find work is no easy feat!

There are a range of Europass CV templates, including the European Language Passport, Europass Mobility, Europass Diploma Supplement, Europass Certificate Supplement and, of course, the Europass Curriculum Vitae. Each template fulfils specific criteria, e.g. the Europass Language Passport helps candidates highlight their language proficiencies, however, if it seems like a ton of extra and unnecessary work, you’d be right! Most employers are looking for a simple template without unnecessary noise. Unfortunately, the Europass CV contains a lot of sections and features that may be considered unnecessary for the job you’re applying for. 

How to create a Europass CV

To create a Europass CV, you’ll need to access the Europass CV website. You’ll know it’s the official website when you see the official European Union logo and the website ends in .eu, an official domain of the European Union. You’ll be greeted with a welcome message and in details on how to login and start creating your CV. There will also be additional information on how to use the website. That’s it! 

Advantages of the Europass CV 

  • It’s free. Yes, the Europass CV is free. This is, arguably, the biggest benefit of using the Europass CV, even considering its major drawbacks. You can also use the Europass website to create free cover letters. 
  • It’s used widely across Europe. Employers know a Europass CV when they see one. This can be considered a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it!
  • You don’t have to be from Europe, or in Europe, to access the Europass CV website. It’s important to note that a Europass CV is never required to apply for a job in Europe. In fact, using it may deter employers who are over the same run-of-the-mill, generic Europass CV designs.

A great CV should be more than just free and familiar. Read on to learn more about the Europass CV and its disadvantages. 

Drawbacks of the Europass CV

There are some differing opinions from experts about the Europass CV. Some people think it has some major issues, like an old-fashioned and generic design, a difficult interface for making CVs, and issues with the website and text formatting. It's worth noting that there are many other online services and templates for creating CVs, and some are even free. Given these alternatives, one could argue that a government-created CV service like the Europass CV system may have become outdated and fails to meet the needs of the modern-day job-seeker. 

Many people find the Europass CV template unattractive and underwhelming 

Unfortunately, the Europass CV has received a lot of criticism regarding its design. With large, empty spaces, awkwardly sized text, gaps in odd places and other poor formatting choices, the CV design is often considered unattractive by employers and job-seekers alike. 

While we're sure a lot of work went into developing the Europass CV system, we want professionals to be confident in their CVs and job prospects. It's important that CVs are well-designed and expertly-formatted, which is why we've enlisted the help of world-class designers and career experts to help us create some of the best professional tools on the market. When using a professional CV template from CVapp.ie, you can be certain that your CV is optimised to leave a positive, lasting impression on employers. 

Writing tips for the Europass CV

The Europass will prompt you to fill in sections with text, so to make your writing convincing, you’ll need to use actionable language that helps convey your professional potential. We also recommend avoiding generic clichés, such as “team player” or “great leader.” This language is often interpreted as stale and boring, and doesn’t really tell employers much about your professional potential! 

We also recommend using numbers, facts and figures where possible: especially when describing any previous achievements, tasks or responsibilities you fulfilled. For example, “Implemented SEO strategies and improved website traffic by 35%” sounds much better than “Completed SEO tasks for the previous company.” We have a ton of great examples on the CVapp.ie website to help get those creative juices flowing. 

When it comes to the Europass CV, it’s best to limit your CV length to 1-2 pages. Generally speaking, when it comes to a CV, less is usually more. A CV should highlight your professional strengths and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. 

How to craft an engaging European CV

At CVapp.ie, we believe in providing the best professional tools for users. From our experience, we know that generic, standardised CVs are more likely to get tossed into the unsuccessful pile. Boo! For this reason, we believe that it’s best to pass on the Europass. A quick Google search for articles on the Europass can confirm this, as employers and candidates realise that tailored and personalised CVs work best. 

But wait: what’s the difference between a resume and a CV? 

While some countries, including Ireland, France, Germany and many other countries in Europe call it a “CV,” other countries, such as the United States and Canada, prefer to call it a resume. Resumes in North America tend to be between 1-2 pages and typically highlight the employment history, education, skills and professional profile of a potential candidate. Sound familiar? That’s because a CV in Ireland and a resume in the United States is, pretty much, the exact same thing! We have a ton of resources on the CVapp.ie website to help you create a riveting resume if you’re applying for jobs in North America, making it easier than ever to impress employers across the Atlantic! 

It’s important to note that North America can also have differing versions of a CV, including an “academic CV” or “long-form CV.” These CVs help convey your academic achievements to potential employers interested in your academic background. Typically, these CVs would feature any scholarships, research experience, publications, grants or other information relevant to the academic job you’re applying for. 

How long should a European CV be?

In Ireland, the typical length for a CV is around 2-3 pages, however it's important to remember that the length of your CV depends on the specific job you're applying for, and the type of industry you're applying to. When job postings are looking for candidates with extensive experience and expertise, they may expect a more detailed CV that spans 2-3 pages. On the other hand, employers hiring for entry-level positions are typically satisfied with a simpler, one-page CV.

The main thing to remember is that a CV should always emphasise the most relevant and outstanding aspects about your professional career and the value you can bring to the table: you don’t have to list everything!

Key Takeaways 

  • While the Europass CV is free, it's also insufficient in meeting the needs of modern-day job-seekers. Additionally, many of the designs on the Europass CV website are outdated and unattractive to employers who are over the generic structure of the Europass CV.
  • If you're certain about using the Europass CV, be mindful that you'll be adding yourself to a long list of candidates who are likely to be ignored. Don't let yourself be overlooked: check out our CV templates on the CVapp.ie website to create compelling, professional CVs with ease.
  • For best results, we recommend using a professional CV platform like CVapp.ie. We can help you create high-quality CVs with the added benefit of easily personalising your CV content. We make finding your dream job easy!

So, what are you waiting for? 

Check out the CVapp.ie website to start advancing your professional potential today!

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