CV Guidelines and tips to improve your cv

Looking for a job is daunting and most people find it scary to talk about themselves if the goal is to make the other want to hire you. These CV guidelines will help you craft a ‘killer CV’ to make that first important step in the process: getting noticed.

Cover image of the document with people on their laptop at conference


The goal of your CV is to market yourself as best as possible and show that you are the right candidate for a certain position. Make sure the reader can pinpoint the important and relevant skills in your document. Always keep in mind that a CV should be focused, and not just a list of all previous academic or work experience.



General convention states that currently a CV should be one to max. two full A4 pages.

A single page CV:

Here you need to keep in mind that every word and information needs to have a purpose and your document should only list what is necessary and relevant to each specific position. It should be short and sharp. The most impressive points should be quickly and easily identifiable. Fitting everything on one page is hard work, so choose wisely the most important & relevant information.

Two-page CV:

Make sure to have all the important information on your first page and to start your second page with a new, strong header. Moreover, empty space at the end of a CV is usually considered as lack of experience or lack of organization skills. Therefore, you need to ensure that you fill both pages completely. If there is not a clear reason to use a second page, then it is preferred to stick to a single page CV.



The order and arrangement of the information in a CV are very important. Do realise: The amount of space given to a section reflects the amount of importance you attach to it.



Your name should always be on top of your CV, serving as the title of your document. Depending on the country you are applying to, the personal details you need to include vary. However, for most European countries the personal details that are required include current address, phone number and personal e-mail. The need to add a photo differs per country, but if you add one, make sure it’s a professional picture.



A short statement, a career objective, a profile summary, or a career narrative. Different words but all referring to those few lines in which you describe yourself, briefly but to the point. Think about writing your own elevator pitch for inspiration.



In a recent graduate CV, education normally comes first, as this section is one of your biggest selling points and should therefore be presented as early and sharply as possible. Ideally it should only include 3 items max, i.e. your highest diplomas.



This section needs to be clearly presented to help the reader easily follow your professional journey and understand the significance of each experience and your specific role in it. Create inclusive bullet points & short sentences with relevant keywords. Choose relevant information to include in your sentences/bullet points. And remember, voluntary work experience and side jobs are also work experience!



Add all your additional training and any other co-curricular courses, as well as any other relevant seminars/workshops, MOOCs, extra-curricular courses, summer schools, certifications etc. - anything that contributed to your overall formation and would bring value to the application. Information should be targeted – make sure it’s just a selection of experiences, not an extended list.

Note: Follow a similar structure for all your experience-based sections. Examples of additional sections you can include: Relevant Projects, Volunteer Experience, Memberships & Community Involvement, Awards and Achievements, etc. Highlight



You can present your language, digital and other skills in columns or another graphical representation. Follow a clear structure and have important points in bold to make it easy for the reader to quickly spot the relevant information in each section. (Don’t forget to include your mother tongue). Sort skills by category and include certifications and level of competence when applicable.

Interview guidelines

Looking for a job is daunting, certainly if you are a fresh graduate trying to make the most of your mobility experience. Apart from a few rare exceptions, most people find it scary to talk about themselves and certainly if the goal is to make the other want to hire you. These interview guidelines will help you to make get hold of your nerves and enjoy the job interview. Try and turn it into a conversation – that’s the nicest that can happen for both parties involved.

Cover image of the document with people shaking hands


Finally! You’ve managed to land that job interview. The key to success here is: preparation. There is nothing worse for an employer to conduct an interview with someone who does not really know what she or he is doing there. Before the interview take a good look on the company’s website and social media to gauge their vibe and communication style. Researching the company’s values, mission, and goals as well as the people you will be working with, is a step that you should not overlook. This will help you align your answers to their expectations, adjust your behaviour and show them that you are an awesome fit for their team.



Don’t forget to check your connection and test your web camera and microphone beforehand. Set up your camera in a way that compliments you, use your headset – preferably – to avoid poor sound quality and adjust the lighting in the camera setting’s or in your room to ensure that you look you look your best in the frame. Do check your background.



Dress code is a thing. And when we talk about ‘properly dressed’, it is not only about your clothes. Maybe you want to rethink that big beard or your dark nail polish, as they could take away some of your professional attitude. Look at the organisation’s website to gauge the image which they aim to project. If in doubt, play on the safe side, don’t overdo it, and choose an appearance that reflects the work field you want to enter. Also think about body language. Sudden movements and stiff posture will make your interviewer(s) tense as well, while crossed arms and laid-back style of sitting makes you look arrogant. Make sure to sit up straight and not in a closed position. On top of that, each country has a different style of non-verbal communication; in some countries eye contact is very important, whereas in others it should be avoided. Make sure to read into this beforehand.



Being in the comfort of your house or in a familiar setting doesn’t mean that you can dress in a comfy outfit. You should dress the part! Throw on your favourite business-casual outfit and look professional from head to toe, exactly as you would if you were invited to an in-person interview.



Job requirements vary, so ensure to read each job specification carefully and single out the traits that are deemed important. Answer using examples, test your examples with a few friends. Do the chosen examples underline what you want to illustrate?



Having a test run on Skype sounds great but pay attention to what platform the interviewer uses. And if possible, practice the interview with a friend using that platform. This way you could not only test if everything is working properly but you could also get feedback on how you look, speak and your body language. And yes it is OK to keep a notebook next to you or even to put post-its on your screen with general info, and sneak a peek during the interview. Just ensure that your notes are in bullet points, in a readable font, and know exactly what is where, so you won’t get distracted from the conversation.

So now that you know all the important tips... take a deep breath, relax and don’t forget your gorgeous smile. Always remember that there is a reason that your application stood out, so be yourself and be confident. You own it!

Competences center and how to highlight your skills

Cover image of the competence booklet with people looking up and taking notes

Competence booklet

A booklet with infographics that helps students understand the competence profile obtained through their Erasmus mobility programme.

Competences center

The Competences centre contains a list of competences divided into clusters and identified through a process of HR mapping of youth workers and mobility students, and research carried out by the ErasmusJobs project activities that targeted students, recruiters and Higher Education Institutions.

The competences are aligned with the ever-changing labour market and its demands based on the global developments, as well as policy documents, mechanisms and processes such as Sustainable Development Goals, European Youth Work Agenda, European Skills Agenda, Skills Forecast and more.

Visit the competences center