Career Services

CV Tips

On an average, over 100 applicants compete for a single position. Consequently, to make the first shortlist, your CV or resume has to stand out. Make that happen by following a set of guidelines. Remember, HR managers who follow industry best practices in recruitment are looking for the same key elements that we are suggesting as CV tips.

Before we start, store this in your memory: the recruiter takes just 5 seconds to make a judgment about your CV. Everything we are going to share with you is to help you win… in the five second window.

Avoid mass mailing

Surest way to be ignored is mention the names of multiple prospective employers on the mail. If you mail your CV to ten employers at the same time, no one is going to show interest in your application.

Now you know what is right, and what can be wrong in your CV. Go ahead, and draft a CV that looks good even in the first five seconds. Good luck in your job search!

No pronouns

Your CV should not contain the pronouns"I" or "me."

Create a CV that reflects your level

The image you wish to create with your CV must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for. A badly drafted CV can convey that you are a mismatch for the position you are seeking.

Pay attention to the typography

The smallest size you should use is 11 points, but 12 is probably safer. Arial font and Times Roman are good choices for font.Do not use capital letters for emphasis as it jars the eye and makes reading difficult.

A customized CV for each employer

We know that's a time consuming process, but if you want a job that is the best way. Most candidates create a standard CV and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it saves time, but greatly decreases the chances of securing an interview. Bear in mind that a trained recruiter can spot a standard CV and standard cover letter.

Use numbers

Don't just mention that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by AED 75,000, by 60% and so on.

Achievements instead of responsibilities

Most candidates are obsessed with recording their responsibilities in prior jobs. Describe your achievements instead.

Explain the benefits of your skills

Merely stating that you can do something will not impress the employer. Explain how it will benefit his company, and to connect it to tangible results that you have achieved in the past.

List the most important information first

Follow this rule for the overall order of your CV, as well as for individual sections. Your previous work experience will be the most important part of the CV, so mention it early. When describing your experience or skillsets, list the most important ones first.

Use bullet points

No one has time to read long paragraphs of text. Use bullet points and short sentences to highlight your educational background, experience and professional objectives.

Mention certifications prominently

Recruiters often look for industry specific or domain specific certifications or training. If you are a certified project management professional, mention PMP in your CV along with the institute that awarded the certification.

Use effective titles

Since time is short, the recruiter first looks for the titles in your CV, so make sure they grab attention. Try to be as descriptive, giving the employer a good idea about your past work experiences. For example: Bad title: Accounting Good title: Management of A/R and A/P and Record keeping

Use the right keywords

Most companies, including the smaller ones, are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Check the published job description and related job ads for a clue on the keywords the employer might be looking for.

Don't forget the basics

The first thing on your resume should be your name. It should be bold and with a larger font than the rest of the text. Make sure that your contact details are clearly listed.

Crisp vs. long and boring

The objective of your CV is to land an interview, and the interview can land you the job. Make your CV crisp and clear, not long and boring. Restrict the length to one or max two pages.