Thursday 22 February 2024 (UAE)

Writing a CV

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Writing a CV or Resumé (in Dubai and UAE)

What is the point of a CV? To get a job interview, not to get a job. Remember that.


When sending an email application letter and CV

The letter accompanying the CV

Any job application should include a covering letter. It is almost always going to be the first document that gets read (or perhaps just glanced at) so make it a good one. If it's not, then your CV probably won't get read. The job application letter should:

If you're responding to a job advertisement, use the advertisement to help you write the letter, referring specifically to the candidate requirements.

Writing your CV

There are numerous books around that will offer Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing advice. One useful book we like (for job-hunting rather than CV writing but has some good advice anyway) is "What Color is my Parachute" (more American in style than British). For English speakers, USA CV style tends to be more sales oriented than UK style (some would say aggressive). Try and find out whether a company is US or UK oriented. Note that due to the multinational nature of companies and employees in Dubai and the UAE, a US company may have UK personnel reading your CV and vice versa. For companies based in Dubai and the UAE but originating from another country, try and find out if there are any formats or items specific to that country which you should use.

Remember that usually the point of a CV is to supply enough information and market yourself sufficiently to get a job interview, not a job - that's the point of the interview. There are many styles and formats for writing CVs. Whatever you decide to follow, it's pointless if the company you apply to doesn't like it. Here's our brief list of suggestions for writing a CV.

A CV is a personal document so although you should write it with the company and job in mind, you also need to be happy with it. Ignore or adapt any CV advice you read to suit your personal taste. But if you get no interview offers, then change something.

Salary information on CVs and application forms

It's common for new employers to want to know your last salary. Essentially, it's none of their business, they should offer to pay you what you're worth to them, not what your last employer thought you were worth. However if you say that then it is unlikely to help your case, especially if you say it on your CV or in an application form. So do one of the following.

Reasons for job termination on CVs and application forms

It's normal for prospective employers to want to know why you left your last job. And if you got sacked because you were useless, you should be able to understand why an employer would want to know that. If you don't understand why or don't understand why you got sacked, you really should figure that out before applying for another job - it will be more useful to you than reading a thousand job application guides.

However, the point of a job application is to get an interview, not a job. So therefore, keep reasons for leaving previous jobs to yourself as much as possible. If you state them on a CV, no matter how positive or justified they sound, you cannot predict how the person reading your CV will react, and it is almost impossible to give a job leaving reason in such a way as to enhance your CV. At best it will remain neutral (for example completed contract), and often it can be seen negatively.

For job application forms where you cannot avoid giving a reason, either put "contract completion" (or similar), or "moved to new company" (or similar). The point is to keep it as neutral as possible.

Chronological CV

Some CVs are written in a chronological style with an emphasis on the sequential nature of employment, and incorporating Experience, Qualifications, Abilities, Employment all in historical order based on jobs. This is quite common and you may prefer that style.

Remember the following when writing your CV

Example CV

Note, this is not a comprehensive example, just one idea to get you started. There are many many resources out there with better examples - go to a library and look at a few books, or buy one or two. Or search online but there is a lot of random noise out there choking up the good stuff.

Gisa Jobmate

A dedicated and capable guard dog with extensive experience of protecting homes and commercial properties in a wide variety of climates. Qualifications include BARC Level 3.
PO Box 00000
Upper Doggone
  Tel +123-4-0000000
Mob +123-50-0000000

King Fido, Baskerville, Upper Doggone, tel +123-4-0000000. From 2004-present

  • Protection of King Fido's beach house with additional responsibilites for security checks of visiting fleas.
  • Successfully implemented a new automated intruder alert system which resulted in a 100% elimination of unwanted guests.

Canine Protection Systems, Baskerville, tel +123-4-0000000. From 2002-2004.

  • Part time evening employment (while studying at BSI), patrolling suburban residential areas.
  • Reliable member of CRU (Cat Response Unit) with special responsibility for water cannon operation.
  • Winner of dog of the month award 4 times.

Baskerville Security Insititute, Baskerville, tel +123-4-0000000. From 2001-2004.

  • BARC (Bachelor of Advanced Rebuffals for Canines) study, graduated with 3 woofs and a bone.
Interests and hobbies
  • Muttball, chess.
  • Board member of K9 Friends since 2005.
Other information
  • Full bite license from the Doggone Ministry of Dog Licensing (valid 2005-2010).
  • Nationality: Mongrel
  • Date of Birth: 01-01-1999
Last update Thursday 31-Jul-2014
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