Topic 3 How to write CV and cover letters, tips on job applications, validation process of previous degrees

In Italy, jobseekers should need to submit a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a cover letter to apply for a job. Then, if he/she passes the first selection, they will contact for one or more interviews.

If the job seeker applies physically for a job it is usually common to give only the CV and then the employer may decide to organize an interview.

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The CV is the way you present yourself to the employer. First impressions are always important, especially in a business relationship. So every Curriculum should have some features:

  • Clear and legible font
  • Consistency with the layout
  • Follow the philosophy: Less is more. The document has to be brief (no more than 2 pages) and relevant in relation to the job vacancy
  • If you want to add a picture (this is usually appreciated in Italy but not in other EU countries) chose a professional one

Proper Order of Sections:

  1. CV Header with Contact Information
  2. Personal Profile: CV Objective or CV Summary
  3. Work Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Additional Sections

NOTE: The sections “Work experience” and “Education” may be placed in reverse order depending on the relevancy of each one for the candidate

All the sections of the CV must be provided within the document, but there are no specific rules on how to organize or write the CV.

The most popular template that is used in Italy is the “Europass”. It can be found following the link:

Picture: Image by m.salama on Freepik


  • Brief introduction
  • The name of the job you are applying for
  • Answer these two questions:
    • Why are you interested in the job?
    • Why are you the right person for the job?
  • List of your skills and how you acquired them referring to your previous experiences
  • Specific competencies the employer is looking for

NOTE: the cover letter should be no more than 1 page

Evaluating a job advertisement

Usually a job advertisement is structured according to some basic ‘rules’ that should allow the reader an easy understanding of what the company is looking for and offers to a potential candidate.

  1. Description of the company
  2. Vacancy and role description
  3. Requirements
  1. Make a research on the company (website, headquarter, number of employees, etc.)
  2. Beware of anonymous job advertisements
  3. Evaluate the quality of the advertisement (grammar errors, etc.)
  4. The role must be clear because a lack of clarity could mean that the company does not know who to include in its team
  5. Analyze both hard skills (usually placed first in job advertisements) and soft skills and be sure to meet the criteria
  6. Be sure to adapt your CV and cover letter to the requirements provided in the job advertisement.​
Image by HelloVector from Pixabay

Validation process of previous degrees

Foreign citizens who wish to exercise a regulated profession in Italy, continue their studies or take part in public competitions must hold a qualification or professional title that has legal value in Italy. If they hold a qualification obtained abroad, they can undertake a formal recognition process.

Two preliminary requirements:

  1. Hold a residence permit in Italy (required only if the person is already in the country)
  2. Understand the reason for the recognition of the title because the procedure will be different according to the objective. In fact, in Italy there is no generic way of recognising foreign qualifications, a different and specific procedure must be followed for each different purpose.


In the Italian legal system, a sworn translation, also known as an ‘official translation’, ‘certified translation’ or ‘sworn affidavit’ is a translation that is official and legal in that it is intended for an authority or a body. it is the certification of the conformity of the translated text with what is in the original text.

This document can be obtained at the court office or privately.

Legalization is a certification attesting to the truthfulness of the title. Generally, a sworn translation of the document must be submitted to obtain legalization.

The declaration of value is an official document written in Italian, attesting to the authenticity and legitimacy of the documentation presented, issued by Italian diplomatic representations to those who have obtained a foreign qualification and intend to continue their studies in Italy, initiating procedures for the equivalence of qualifications or professional recognition.

The declaration of value does not constitute any form of recognition of the qualification but is an informative document to describe the value acquired by the qualification in its country of origin, in order to allow the Italian university or the competent Ministry to assess it to allow the continuation of studies in Italy or the professional practice.

To obtain the declaration of value, it is necessary first to have obtained a sworn translation of the qualification.

Holders of refugee status must follow a specific and easier procedure to obtain the declaration of value carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In this case, it is not necessary to present the translated or legalized qualification, but he/she has to attach to the application:

  1. Original qualification or certificate
  2. Color copy of a valid residence permit
  3. Color copy of an Italian identity document

To undertake a university course in Italy, the student must ask the recognition of his/her high school diploma obtained in the foreign country. The procedure can be carried out at the Italian Diplomatic Representation in the country that issued the diploma (Italian Embassy or Italian Consulate).

Documents required:

  1. Valid identity document
  2. Original Diploma
  3. Sworn translation and legalisation of the document
  4. Declaration of the value of the title
  5. Application for recognition of equivalence

Sworn translation, legalisation, declaration of value and request for equivalence can be requested directly at the Diplomatic Representation.

In case it is not possible to go to the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin, you can try to carry out the procedure at the third country’s diplomatic representation in Italy or at court offices.

It is not always necessary to go through a formal recognition process to work. We distinguish between:

  • Regulated professions: i.e. professions whose access or right to practice is subject to possession of a professional qualification (e.g. training qualification, certificate of competence and/or professional experience).
  • Unregulated professions: i.e. professions that do not have specific access requirements defined by law.

What needs to be verified?

Check whether the person meets the necessary requirements in the third country for carrying out the profession he/she is applying to exercise in Italy

Who should you contact?

Once it has been ascertained that the person concerned meets all the necessary requirements to be able to carry out the profession, one must apply to the competent Ministry for each professional register.

What documents must be submitted?

  1. Original qualification
  2. List of subjects studied and exams taken
  3. Translated and legalized documents
  4. Declaration of Value specifying the criteria for access to the profession in the country of origin
  5. Certificate of authorization to practise the profession in the country of origin issued by the competent local authorities
  6. Documents proving the professional experience acquired