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How to Format a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The most important thing to remember is that a CV is a “selling tool” and that the sole purpose is to attract the attention of the Hiring Manager related to their open requirement.

What we sometimes don’t understand is what happens to a CV once it is sent to the customer for Hiring Manager review. Generally, a Hiring Manager will not review a CV in their core hours of work but more in their downtime or after work (this is based on speaking to over 20 Line Managers in the GCC). So, ask yourself the question, do you think that Hiring Manager will look through 6+ pages of skills and experience to find what they want? The answer is clearly no.

Below, you will find some extremely useful tips and advice on how to format and present your CV for your next dream job.

Understand the job requirement – How many times have you previously applied for a job opening without fully knowing the employer, job responsibilities, required skill set and career projection path? Before you apply for any role, whether that be through an online advertisement or portal or through your recruiter, make sure you recognize what is required to successfully apply for the vacancy and what the employer is actually looking for. Based on this, you will be able to tailor your CV accordingly. If you really want that job opportunity, you will put in the extra effort to make sure you at least get the chance to interview with that company

Summary – I once introduced what I thought to be a perfect candidate to a Hiring Manager for a multinational organization only to be told, if he is that good at sales, why am I learning about this candidate skills and achievements only after the 6th page?! From that day forward I have always advised the candidates I am representing to carefully read through the information provided and write a custom-made summary for that position that aligns their skills and experience to that particular role at top of the very first page of the CV. This is where you play a key role in “selling” yourself and showing the Hiring Manager why they should speak to you.

Keep it clean – Unless you are applying for a Graphic Designer role, keep the CV clean. What do we mean by that? Have you ever seen a CV with 20 different fonts, formats and colours? Hard to read isn’t it! A well-written CV should have one readable font and colour and be organized in a clear manner (see below in our CV builder) so that the Hiring Manager is not pulling their hair out trying to understand your skills and experience. P.S. Resist the urge to insert company logos and certifications as well

Keep it short& structured – Although we can appreciate many candidates will have a wealth of experience spanning many years, try to keep the CV to a maximum of 4 pages long. Going back to the summary, if written correctly, you will be able to present your achievements and knowledge in one paragraph rather than over several pages.

A typical CV should be broken down into the following sections

Personal Profile – (Name, Gender, Nationality, Date of Birth, Residence etc)

Summary – (this is the part that should really sell your overall skills, experience and achievements related to the role)

Key Skills – (A bullet point summary of their technical and personal skills)

Employment History – (this should be a clear description of the duration, the employer and job title of where you have worked previously and currently. In some cases, it is helpful if there is a brief description on the company of where you have worked if they are not well known)

Education – (Quite simple, make sure you provide the correct degree, course and educational institute attended)

Certifications – (Any certifications, qualifications and accreditations you possess)

We hope the information above is found useful. Whilst we have enclosed our own experience within this page, this has also be based on years of gathering feedback from Hiring Manager from all over the world. To help you achieve the perfect CV, please follow the link below that will take you into the Resource Right CV Builder.