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Expert CV writing tips to help you land that job

Updated: Mar 23



Having a resume that is crisp and concise that highlights your education, training, and core competencies are essential. Your aim should be getting your CV in front of the recruiter or hiring manager, who will primarily be looking for educational and skill relevance over ‘cultural fit’.

We spoke with recruitment expert Anne Hodges, Practice Director at Global Management Systems (GMS), to pick her brain on what an ideal CV should look like. Here are Anne’s top tips for creating a CV that will help you stand out and get an interview.

Tip 1: Show residency in the UAE

It is very important to demonstrate that you have either working experience or are familiar with local culture.

Tip 2: Use the word 'sabbatical'

For moms that have taken time off to raise a family, cover off this time period in your CV as ‘sabbatical’. Additionally address all other gaps in career, including maternity leave or relocations.

Tip 3: Choose your skills wisely

Select your top 6 – 8 skills that have typically been a part of your KPI (key performance indicator) deliverables. If you are still unsure of what they are, imagine someone asking you ‘why were you paid?’, then list the top skills you used in your last two roles.

If you are hoping to change your career and have selected a new career path, my recommendation would be to demonstrate this on your CV under ‘training in process’. This gives the recruiter or hiring manager deeper insight into your career interests and how you are developing yourself in these areas that might lack years in experience. Listing ‘training in process’ is also critical if you want to demonstrate self-awareness about gaps in your knowledge. It shows that you are current and understand the requirements of the 2021 workplace.

Tip 4: Consider information sequence

Ensure education, recent or current training, and certifications in process are positioned on the first page of the CV.

Tip 5: Highlight your best in every role

Achievements and accomplishments should be listed above your duties or responsibilities for each role.

Tip 6: Add a professional photo

A CV photo, in my experience in the UAE, has been an important request by hiring managers so it’s worth adding one to your CV.

Tip 7: Consider a fresh new template

Search in MS Word Resume 2020, and select a format that appeals to you. Simply download and create a new CV. Don't know where to start? Click here for more insights or review top examples here.

Tip 8: Level up with extra training

While not technically related to polishing your existing resume, it's also worth considering additional training and courses to improve your chances of landing a new job. Head to MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), which offers relevant university courses that will help you bridge the gap you may have from your current role to the one you are aiming for. LinkedIn Learning is another great place to start your free training.

Alternatively, check out Coursera, SkillScouter, digitaldefynd or edX for free online courses.

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