EC proposes standardised CVs

A new proposal aims to help allow greater jobs movement and training across EU countries

The European Commission has proposed a standardised CV format.

This is not a late April Fool's joke, but a real proposal from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. Some might argue that individually created CVs are one of the best tools for employers to screen out unsuitable applicants, but the agency has designed the new standardised CV to help people facing difficulties when trying to find work or training in other EU countries.

The proposed format has all the usual fields you would expect, ranged in a column on the left, including "Personal Information, Work Experience, Education and Training, Personal Skills and Competences."

The language section is more detailed than a typical UK CV as "Mother Tongue and Other Languages: Reading, Writing and Verbal skills" are included.

It continues, "Social Skills and Competences: Living and working with other people in multicultural environments, in positions where communication is important and situations where teamwork is essential (for example culture and sports), etc."

It concludes with "Technical Skills, Artistic and Other Skills" categories. You can easily customise elements of the European CV and treat it as a starting template. The format is designed to appeal to job applicants that are inexperienced with writing CVs and workers hoping to widen their employability across the EU.

Marcia Roberts, external relations director of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, was sceptical about the proposal, but said it could provide an advantage as long as is only used on the initiative of job applicants. "As the standard CV is used more, it will place those using it at a positive advantage," she said. "It will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of ensuring your qualifications are presented in a way employers can understand, and show them you are ahead of the game in the jobs market. So what at first sight might be perceived as a silly EU meddling proposal may in the end turn out to be of real benefit to workers and employers alike."

You can download the European CV here in a choice of 13 languages. More information is on the European Training Village site.

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