Preparing CV for European Solidarity Corps projects

European Solidarity Corps is a programme managed by the European Commission. It offers volunteering opportunities (2-12 months) in the European Union and partner countries for the participants in the age between 18 and 30 years old in the different fields connected with culture, citizenship, education, ecology and social works. Read more about the programme here.

If you are applying for the projects of European Solidarity Corps, Curriculum Vitale (CV) is one of the most important elements of your application, that’s why it is important to prepare it in the best possible way. CVs typically include information like work experience, achievements and awards, scholarships or grants etc. We prepared some tips for you that can help you to enhance your CV:

1. Use English only (or the local language)

Usually, the organisations working with European Solidarity Corps are using English as their working language, at least on the level of international projects. It is important to use a single language in the whole document. In some cases, it is possible to make the application in the language of the organisation that you are applying to.

2. Give useful information about yourself

Your CV should answer the following questions: What are you specialised in? (your professional strengths)? What exactly is your work experience? (if it is your first job: academic path, experience from internships, volunteering, etc.) What results/successes have you achieved in your previous experience (internship, stage, etc.)?

3. Think about “Personal skills and competences”

Even if this is your first proffesional experiece, you can reflect back on other areas where you have ‘added value’ (ie as a member of the school council, volunteer etc.). Consider what your contribution was in those roles and be prepared to discuss them at the interview.

The task mentioned does not need to be complex and can be fairly simple but it is how you performed the task that counts and that is what you need to express to the recruiter. 

4. Add a good photo & work on graphic design

Graphic design of your CV should be transparent and represent your personality. You can use for example free online software Canva (www.canva.com) to improve the looks of your CV choosing one of the templates and adjusting the colours and fonts.

Your photo (if you want to add it) is also an important part – think what message do you want to send to the person who will recruit you and prepare or choose the photo that represents you the best.

5. Check it twice! 

Check for mistakes ( typo’s or grammatical errors); a CV with errors doesn’t look good! Print your CV once you have finished it and check it again…

6. Keep your CV up-dated

Every time something significant occurs in your professional life, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important. 

7. Optional: Europass format

You can prepare your CV in Europass format – Europass is a European Union initiative to increase transparency of qualification and mobility of citizens in Europe. Documents in this format are highly recognised by organisations working with European Solidarity Corps. Read more about Europass here.

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