What happens if you get to reserve list? | EU Training

What happens if you get to reserve list?

slopez8_126363 Fri, 07/24/2020 - 15:33

Hi. Can anytone tell me what happens if you get to the reserve list? How important is your background when you get to that point? For example, if I have a bachelors in Communications, would I get hired for a job in that field, or not necesarrily? Would it be positive to have a masters degree in EU law/policies, etc? I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thank you in advance.


Somedudereplyingtoquestions Tue, 08/11/2020 - 23:34


My reply is based on my own experience after having made it to AD generalist reserve list, some anecdotal experience from colleagues as well as what I have perceived to be considered relevant on HR matters within the institutions – which is not so much different from hiring practices in the private sector. It’s about finding suitable staff for a vacancy after all.

What happens when you make it to the reserve list? Well, you receive a message from EPSO in your EPSO account providing you with that info. You are invited to upload your CV on the EPSO database and some vacancies that are deliberately published to EPSO laureates will appear in your EPSO account. The reserve list has an expiration date. For generalist competitions it is the shortest and initially set for a 1 year. However, from what I have seen, they are regularly extended and expire after some 3 – 4 years or even later. You should check your EPSO account for vacancies in the EU institutions and apply for whichever you wish to apply.

In case you work in the EU institutions, be it as a contract agent, temporary agent, MEP assistant, etc. - you have access to inter-institutional vacancies on your EU institutions’ intranet website. Sometimes vacancies are formally open to EPSO laureates, however, they are not necessarily published in EPSO accounts to laureates. I can only speculate why that is – perhaps because for vacancies priority is supposed to be given to already established staff or maybe because a respective unit with a vacancy may fear that once their vacancy is published also to EPSO laureates, they will receive (too) many applications. As I said, this is just speculation for why that is.

From what I can tell, you can apply to all sorts of positions, even if you made it to a specialised EPSO competition reserve list, i.e. you can still apply for non-Auditor jobs even if you are on a specific EPSO reserve list for Auditors.

In terms of timing and how long it takes to be recruited after you made it to a reserve list – I have seen everything. Very quick recruitment within days/weeks – up to people waiting years until they receive an offer. I guess it depends on each individual’s profile, the vacancies that are available, performance at the job interview and simply luck. You may be extremely suitable for a specific vacancy and perform well at the interview, but there may be just some better suited candidate.

How important is your background? I think a lot – and I do not think there is necessarily a big difference between recruitment within the institutions or the private sector when it comes to new staff. Your academic background and work experience will determine how interesting you can be for a given unit. Many vacancies are very specific and require deliberately a legal or economic background, proven work experience in a given field, etc. Sometimes, such a thematically specific background is “appreciated” which means it will increase your chances to be hired, if you tick these kind of boxes, but it is not a must. Some vacancies are more open for “generalist” types of applicants. There are also communication specific job profiles for which in particular relevant work experience is required or at least highly appreciated.

If I have a Bachelor’s in Communications, would I get hired for a job in that field, or not necessarily? I assume it will increase your chances. From what I have seen hands on work experience in that field is also highly appreciated.

Would it be positive to have a Master’s degree in EU law/policies, etc.? I think it depends on the specific vacancy. Any EU specific knowledge can help because it will likely make it easier for you to understand your work environment. Same goes for any knowledge that you may bring along regarding any specific field. If you happen to be familiar with environmental policy, cohesion policy or digital policy, etc. it will likely make your work in communications for instance easier. Having said this, I do not necessarily think a degree in EU law/policies is a must. It can help. But so can relevant work experience related to EU policy or a specific policy field.

Hope the answers were helpful!

Thank you so much, your

slopez8_126363 Tue, 08/18/2020 - 16:40

Thank you so much, your answer was really helpful. I appreciate it. I'm sure it'll be useful to others too!


stella.dineva@gmail.com Tue, 07/06/2021 - 21:53

@Somedudereplyingtoquestions thank you for giving back, dude :) great response!