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Europass CV & Language Passport

The Europass Portfolio was developed to help people find work or study in other European countries by making qualifications, skills and other attributes more easily recognised and understood by employers and educational institutions.

Developed by the European Commission, Europass comprises five documents that can be used separately, or alongside one another. The documents are:

1.    The Curriculum Vitae (CV);

2.    The Language Passport;

3.    Europass Mobility;

4.    The Diploma Supplement;

5.    The Certificate Supplement.

The use of these five documents is completely free of charge.

This is the first in a series of three articles that will examine how the Europass Portfolio can help individuals to promote themselves to employers and/or educational institutions either within the UK or in Europe.

The Europass CV

The Europass CV was developed to provide a standard template CV document that would be widely recognised across Europe. It has proved to be incredibly popular, with 16 million people completing it online and 19 million people downloading the template.

The Europass CV is ideal for use when applying for jobs in the UK or across Europe, and has advantages for both individual jobseekers and employers.

For individuals…

- It provides an excellent platform for you to promote your qualifications, skills and experience in a clear and transparent way.

- The user friendly nature of the CV portal means it is an ideal tool for inexperienced jobseekers to use, as it provides an easy way of generating an effective CV document. The Europass CV identifies all of the attributes that an individual might wish to present to an employer when applying for a job.

For employers…

- The standard format means that applications can be easily cross-referenced and suitable candidates can be identified quickly.

- The Europass CV provides a level playing field for applicants and helps in compliance with discrimination policies. Because of variation in labour market conventions and practices in other countries, the use of a standard document has the potential to remove unfair, but largely unintentional, prejudices caused by these national employment practices.

The Europass CV can be completed online via the user-friendly web-portal or the template downloaded via the UK National Europass website. Example documents, a video tutorial and case studies are also available.

The Europass Language Passport

The Language Passport helps individuals to promote their language skills, qualifications and experience.

Despite languages increasingly being identified as playing an important role within UK businesses, many job-seekers do not adequately promote their language skills to employers.

Although some job-seekers might record language qualifications on their CV, non-formal language skills are often neglected, i.e. those gained through exposure to a language as part of a bilingual household, or through time spent living in or visiting another country.

The Europass Language Passport was designed to be annexed to a CV and contains three sections:

1. The ‘self-assessment’ section, which allows individuals to record non-formal language learning by assessing their level using the Common European Frame of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The CEFR provides a scale with six levels: with A1 and A2 being beginner level, B1 and B2 being intermediate level, and C1 and C2 being expert level.  Descriptors are used to describe what the user should be able to do to achieve each level.

2. A ‘language qualifications’ section for formal qualifications (including their CEFR level if known).

3. The ‘linguistic experience’ section that allows users to record experience of using languages in practice; for example, working, volunteering or during a study placement in another country.

The Language Passport is particularly useful:

- For individuals applying for a job that involves the use of languages.

- For employers looking to recruit individuals for specialist linguistic jobs, or jobs where languages would be a valuable asset. If this is the case, employers can request that applicants submit a Language Passport as part of the recruitment process.

The Europass Language Passport can be completed online via the user-friendly web-portal or the template, which can be downloaded via the UK National Europass website. Example documents and case studies are also available.

Written by Frazer Wallace

UK National Europass Centre Coordinator @ UK NARIC

For more information on all of the Europass documents, please visit: www.uknec.org.uk