CV Writing Scenarios
What will your next job be?
Will it be in the field or HQ? Will it be in management, programme, policy or operations?
Will it be with the UN, an NGO, a donor, a consulting firm or a research organisation?
Career journeys and opportunities in international development, humanitarian action and the wider non-profit sector are as varied as they are plentiful. From working with people of all ages and levels of experience, here are some common scenarios I work with when rewriting CVs.
Maybe you see yourself here...
- You: You haven't had to update your CV for a while and it's looking outdated. It's also rather long and rambling. You have accomplished so much over the last few years that you aren't sure how to make your leadership and value stand out.
- My approach: I will take time to learn your career objectives and which qualities and achievements you need to promote the most. Since you are likely to have a substantial network, I would design a layout that has instant visual impact and reveals your most striking and valuable statistics .
Field to Headquarters
- You: You have completed a few field missions and are striving to assume responsibility in a similar area at a regional or headquarters level. Your CV shows vast experience but isn't getting shortlisted.
- My approach: I will examine and highlight your leadership and technical strengths and successes, and bolster them with (accurate) statistics and impacts that show you can manage a higher scope of responsibility.
National to International
- You: You have been a national staff member for several years and are seeking an international position. You have sent off many applications but you don't seem to get noticed.
- My approach: I will showcase your motivation, qualities, knowledge and successes that can be up-scaled or applied in another context.
Operations to Programme
- You: You feel stuck in your operations or programme support role and want to move into a project or programme, maybe even into a project manager position. You know the sector(s), you know the issues and you have a great to deal to offer, but you can't seem to sell yourself or stand out.
- My approach: I will examine your transferable expertise and knowledge and the contexts in which you have worked. I will emphasise these through persuasive text and layout, and highlight your contributions to programmes and their successes.
Officer to Manager
- You: You feel ready to pursue a management role, but your CV isn't hitting the mark. Maybe it's too technical, doesn't sufficiently highlight your management achievements, or possibly lacks confidence.
- My approach: I will extract the tasks you have managed or overseen and then emphasise them through layout, possibly with a dedicated sub-section highlighting your achievements and competencies. The chances are you've done more than you realise!
- You: You have a lot of theoretical knowledge about international aid and development, but only 2-3 years' work experience. You are highly enthusiastic but that doesn't seem to impress your recruiter.
- My approach: I will look at your specialisations and achievements in your educational, professional and voluntary life to date. I will then zoom in on the parts that show off aspects like levels of responsibility, team orientation, leadership and influence.
Ready to order your new CV?
For many years I have been struggling with my resume and I have consulted many resume experts. Until a friend of mine recommended me Sally and her vast experience. Not only is she thoughtful, she connects with her client in order to understand you better. In the end, the CV is a reflection of who I am. I can only recommend her!
Cornelis, NGO Finance & Business Support Specialist
I've been through many revisions of my resume during the years, but if I have to point out the best job I have no doubt, Sally is no.1. My CV is now better looking, more eye-hitting and concisely shows my skills and competencies. The final result? Fewer applications than in the past and more interviews. Just great.
Alessandro, NGO Procurement & Logistics Expert