A standard format for CVs is being promoted by the European Commission as the war for IT talent forces employers to extend their searches beyond national boundaries.
The proposal aims to provide European citizens with easier access to training and employment in Europe, as well as to help guarantee equal treatment of candidates and offer greater transparency of qualifications and skills.
The move is described as key to helping the European Union (EU) achieve its objective of becoming the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world.
Viviane Reding, the European Commission member responsible for education and culture, explained that recognition and transparency of qualifications was still a major obstacle to cross-border training and employment.
"The European CV, which presents skills and experience clearly and comparably, is a step in the right direction. I call upon the member states, teachers and trainers, employers and job guidance and job seeking services to contribute to disseminating it," she said.
The CV has been developed in co-operation with EU governments, employers and unions, and can be used on a voluntary basis to present skills and experience in either paper or electronic form.
Although advocates maintain that the CV is particularly relevant to those who run online recruitment sites, or allow people to submit CVs online in a set format, some recruiters aren't quite so convinced.
Simon Crockett, operations director at IT recruitment consultancy Michael Page Technology, said: "It's completely impractical to implement.
"Does it mean that you can't consider someone with the most sought after skills because their CV is in the wrong format?
"Ultimately employers want to see good candidates. The quality of how well candidates summarise their experience gives us a much better understanding of them.
"If CVs are in a standard format they're not representative of the candidate and that's not necessarily a good thing."
Job candidates have also greeted the proposals with some scepticism, suggesting that employers could be missing out on a huge potential pool of candidates who don't meet the requirements of employers on paper.
One technology company employee said: "Your CV is your selling point. It's personal and demonstrates what you're about.
"People won't have access to jobs that they may well be suited to simply because their CV doesn't have a university degree or X qualification on it."
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