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Transitioning to a global development job? Here's how to write your CV

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A growing demand for specific skills and expertise in development is creating job opportunities for transitioning professionals from a range of backgrounds. CV expectations, however, differ from other sectors. If you are trying to make a move, here are some tips for translating your experience in your CV.

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Transitioning to a global development job? Here's how to write your CV

  1. 1. Transitioning to a global development job? Here’s how to write your CV
  2. 2. Global development is a highly competitive field demanding a diverse range of skills and expertise. Shifts in hiring trends are presenting job opportunities for professionals from different backgrounds to fill these skill gaps. If you are transitioning from another sector you might be most accustomed to the 1-2 page resume format favored by the private sector. For the global development sector however, the usual CV writing rules don’t apply. Considering a career in global development?
  3. 3. CVs which are longer in length and include additional information are the norm in the global development sector. Due to the nature of the work, with short-term projects and consultancy gigs, it is acceptable for mid-to-senior level global development professionals to have a CV anywhere up to five, or even six pages. If you are transitioning from another sector though, aim to keep your CV to two pages by including only the most relevant work experience. Global development CVs
  4. 4. Your CV might be holding you back Professionals from a range of backgrounds have the skills which can translate into career in global development. A recent Devex survey found that over 92% of recruiters believe there will a similar or greater demand for candidates from a non-traditional background, such as the private tech sector. However, even if you are qualified for the job, simple CV mistakes involving formatting and language could see your application quickly dismissed.
  5. 5. Translate your skills and experience Make sure you are describing your previous roles and experience in a way which will resonate with global development professionals and recruiters. Look at the language used in the job ad and translate your experience to reflect this. Adapt your CV using industry keywords such as project or program manager, capacity building, monitoring & evaluation, compliance officer, finance or grant management
  6. 6. Tailor your CV to the job description Previous job titles might not hold much weight in the global development sector which uses different keywords and titles. Make it immediately clear to the person reading which position you are interested in by adapting your previous titles and job summaries. Read the job description noting which requirements you meet and which specific skills you have. Demonstrate how you used these skills to implement an action and achieve a result – give the reader context of, for example, what size of project you were managing, the number of staff you supervised or the business leads you were responsible for generating.
  7. 7. And remember to include… CVs in the global development sector allow space for you to include additional information such as training courses or certificates and language skills. You should also mention any voluntary or regional experience you have which could make up for your lack of field experience. As a Devex career account member you can also find global development CV templates to help you get the format just right.

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