How to make the perfect CV

Suhail Masri of job search website sees thousands of CVs uploaded onto the site every day

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Dubai is a city rich with opportunity and career potential for upwardly mobile professionals and is consistently ranked one of the top places in the region to live and work.

According to’s Job Index Survey, February 2015, almost seven out of ten employers in the UAE are hiring within a year’s time. And with a number of mega projects set to complete before Expo 2020 rolls into town, the time is ripe for job hunting. Recruiters see hundreds of CVs every day as competition for jobs is at an all-time high. If your CV doesn’t sparkle, chances are it will be ignored.

The good news is, experts are here to help. Suhail Masri of job site offers eight tips for upgrading your CV for the UAE market.

Make the CV about them, not you
Jobseekers tend to focus on want they want from a company without considering the value they could give back. When an employer is skimming through your CV, they are usually concerned about one thing: will this person create value for the company? Depending on the role, you should be able to state how your work experience matches the job requirements and what you will contribute should they hire you.

Be specific
Being precise with your experience is of the utmost importance. For example, instead of writing, ‘I exceeded my monthly sales target,’ you could say, ‘I exceeded my monthly sales target of US$5,000 by 20 percent every month.’ Employers want to know that investing their resources in you will be worth their money, and being specific about what you have done will win you brownie points.

Design it like a pro
Your CV might have the best content, but if it isn’t designed in a professional manner, it won’t grab the attention of the person reading it. Forty-three percent of employers in the region prefer a short and concise CV, as stated in the Modern Job Search in the MENA poll of November 2013. Make sure to use formatting to your advantage and proofread it at least twice before sending it out. UAE employers are also looking for your date of birth and visa status at the end of your CV.

Include a photo
According to the 2013 Modern Job Search in the MENA poll, 45 percent of employers in the region want jobseekers to include a picture on their CV.

Create a digital CV
The’s Skills and Hiring Trends in the MENA poll of January this year, revealed that 20 percent of employers will be using leading job sites above all other methods to source candidates in 2015. Adding to this, eight out of ten employers research a candidate online before calling them in for an interview. Regularly updating your online CV especially on leading job sites will ensure that employers searching for your skills will find you. Make sure you include plenty of keywords and details, such as your key skills and the industries you are targeting, as this will make your CV more searchable and competitive.

Paint a truthful picture
One of the biggest mistakes jobseekers make on their CV is to exaggerate. However, you should always keep in mind that 84 percent of employers conduct candidate reference checks before hiring, as uncovered in the Skills and Hiring Trends in the MENA poll, so you could get caught out later.

Use buzzwords
This is especially true for online CVs. We always encourage jobseekers to tailor their CVs according to the job description set out by the employer before hitting the ‘apply’ button. Although laborious, customising your CV will produce great results. Avoid using clichés and standard templates from the internet and focus more on what the job requires. According to the latest Job Index Survey, the key skills required by UAE employers, for example, are good communication skills in Arabic and English (60 percent), the ability to work as part of a team (50 percent), good leadership skills (45 percent) and good negotiation skills (45 percent). These skills can be used as buzzwords in your CV.

Where to find job openings

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