Technology Tip Sheets By Coyote Communications

Résumé & Curriculum Vitae (CV) Advice
for people looking to work in aid, relief and development


Before you write me regarding my curriculum vitae (CV) consulting services for people looking to work in aid, relief and development, please consider the following FREE advice:
One client told me spelling and grammar didn't really matter on a CV, and she was angry that I corrected such on her CV. I have seen the stack of résumés on HR staff desks from applicants that will not be considered for a position because of too many spelling and grammar mistakes. Hiring managers feel that, if you don't care about spelling and grammar, perhaps you won't care about other tasks - and they want someone who shows attention to detail.

Here is an example template of a CV to work in aid / relief / development:

Your full name
Your mailing address or residential address
The city, state and country of your mailing address or residential address
Your phone number
Your email address
Any web-based profile you have that showcases your expertise, such as on LinkedIn
Nationality or Passports held

Short statement of your expertise, such as:

I am a professional civil engineer with 10 years of experience contributing to projects in countries in Africa.

I have 15 years of experience working as a nurse in high poverty, low-literacy areas of the USA.

I am a licensed midwife with many years of experience in both providing services and training others, and can work in English, French and Spanish.

I have recently completed my MSc in Development Management and have five years of experience working in literacy-building programs in rural areas of Canada.

I have recently completed my MSc in International Relations and have five years of experience working in women's empowerment initiatives for a nonprofit helping immigrant women and Planned Parenthood.

I wish to apply my 12 years of experience in the US Army, where I lead numerous rural development projects, including those focused on building simple sanitation systems and employing local people in Afghanistan, to international development initiatives.

Do not say vague statements that imply you have no expertise or skills, such as these:

I am an enthusiastic person that wants to help others.

I have many years of project management experience.

I just graduated from university and want to work overseas.

Then list your professional experience, from most recent to oldest; you can also mix in your volunteering experience, if you feel it is relevant - what's important is what you did and what responsibilities you had and what you accomplished, not whether or not you were paid or not:

Title or role at the organization
Name of the organization, city, state, country
Dates of employment/engagement
Description of duties, with an emphasis on responsibilities and accomplishments. Note any research, data analysis, diverse work environments, or projects you directed, managed, coordinated or contributed to. Note experiences involving customer or client relations, negotiations, outreach/communications, reporting, recruiting or supervising others. Note if you worked in a low-infrastructure environment or a post-conflict environment, if you worked with people from diverse backgrounds, if you worked with low-literacy clients, particularly-vulnerable populations (people with disabilities, elderly people, teens, immigrants, ethnic or religious minorities, etc.)

Look at the descriptions of jobs you want to apply for. Look at the wording they use. Could I find similar wording in your CV? For instance, if they job says that the ideal candidate will have extensive experience maintaining budget forecasts, do you have a statement about how you maintained budget forecasts in at least one of the jobs you have listed on your CV? If the job description says the person should have experience managing events, do you have a statement about how you managed an event in at least one of the jobs you have listed on your CV? If the job description says tasks will include training people on how to use something or do something, do you have a statement about how you trained people to use or do something in at least one of the jobs you have listed on your CV?

After your work experience, list your education (although you can put your education before your work experience, if you wish):

Title of degree
Name of education institution, city, state, country
Dates as a student, or, date of graduation
List any classes you took or projects or research you completed that you believe might be of interest to a hiring organization

If you cannot list all of your work experience because you have to limit your CV or résumé to only two or three pages, then list the experience entirely in a profile on LinkedIn, and at the end of your résumé or CV, write:

For details about these and other work experiences  or  for details about work experiences prior to 2003, please see my LinkedIn profile: xxwebaddressherexx

Before you write me about my CV consulting, please do all of the above with your CV. Then look at this page of free advice for working abroad. A lot of what is on this page is what I have first advised people in previous consultancies.

Please revise your CV first based on the above, as well as the advice on this page, before contacting me about my CV consulting service.

DISCLAIMER: With this advice comes no guarantee for a job whatsoever. There are no magic words for a CV or cover letter that will assure you the position you desire, and I don't promise such.

Read more about Jayne Cravens.


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