How to Write a CV: The Ultimate Guide for UAE Jobs.

CV Maker helps you create your Curriculum Vitae in just a few minutes. Learn the best way to make a CV specific to your industry and that get you your dream job.

A resume isn’t right for everyone. If you’re pursuing a career in research, medicine, law or academia, you may instead need to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) for your next job application. The first step in the process: writing a CV.

What is a CV?

A CV, or Curriculum Vitae, is a detailed document that outlines your professional and academic history. It is commonly used in academic, medical, research, and scientific professions. Unlike a resume, which is a brief summary of your qualifications, a CV provides a comprehensive overview of your educational background, work experience, skills, publications, and other achievements.

The 6 basic CV sections

Before we get started, let's take a look at what a great CV looks like when it includes the right sections

How to write a CV in 9 easy steps

You're here because you're seeking guidance on crafting a CV for a job application. By following these straightforward guidelines, composing a CV becomes a breeze. We've detailed seven steps to help you create a curriculum vitae that you can confidently showcase.

Choose a CV template

When selecting a CV template, you determine the style and layout of your CV. With thousands of designs available, you can find templates for various career paths that suit your preferences. Whether you prefer a formal and professional look or a creative and stylish approach, there are templates tailored to your field. Here are three template options we provide:

1. Creative Templates:

Great for showing off your personality in a field like graphic design, architecture, or photography with unique layouts, bold typography, and vibrant colour schemes.

2. Modern Templates:

An excellent choice for emphasizing your credentials in various industries with clean lines, minimalist design, and subtle colour accents.

3. Simple Templates:

A bare-bones approach is ideal for industries like construction and logistics, featuring traditional layouts, basic fonts, and a monochrome colour scheme.

Step by Step Guide to Creating a Professional CV

Start by selecting a CV template that fits your industry and personal style. Templates can range from modern and sleek to classic and professional. Look for one that highlights your strengths and suits the job you are applying for.

At the top of your CV, include your full name, professional title, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile. Optionally, you can add your address and a professional website or portfolio link.

List your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. For each position, include:

  • Job title

  • Company name

  • Location

  • Dates of employment

  • Key responsibilities and achievements

Use bullet points to make it easy to read and focus on accomplishments that demonstrate your skills and impact.

Include your educational background in reverse chronological order. For each entry, provide:

  • Degree obtained

  • Institution name

  • Location

  • Graduation date

  • Relevant coursework, honors, or achievements (optional)

Highlight key skills relevant to the job you are applying for. Divide them into categories if necessary (e.g., Technical Skills, Soft Skills). Be specific and use keywords from the job description.

Write a brief personal statement or professional summary at the beginning of your CV. This should be a concise paragraph that showcases your career goals, key skills, and what you can bring to the employer. Tailor it to each job application.

Carefully proofread your CV for spelling and grammar errors. Check for consistency in formatting and make sure all information is up-to-date and accurate. Consider having a friend or mentor review it as well.

Once you are satisfied with your CV, save it in a PDF format to ensure that the formatting remains consistent across different devices and platforms. Name the file professionally, such as “YourName_CV.pdf.”

Keep your CV file accessible on your computer and cloud storage so you can easily update it as you gain new experiences or skills. Regularly review and edit your CV to tailor it to each job application and reflect your most recent achievements.

By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive and polished CV that effectively showcases your qualifications and enhances your chances of landing your desired job.

5 tips for writing a standout CV

Before you finish writing your CV and send it out into the world, there are a few things you should keep in mind. As you craft your document, review the following tips to cover all the critical parts of a CV:

1. Customize your CV for every job.

Hiring managers appreciate candidates who take the time to research the company and grasp its mission before submitting their application. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the position.

To effectively convey this, tailor your CV for each job opportunity. This involves carefully reviewing the job description, emphasizing pertinent skills, and accurately reflecting them on your CV. Additionally, you can incorporate the employer’s mission into your professional summary.

2. Make it visually appealing.

Ultimately, CVs are marketing documents designed to capture attention and convey your message effectively. Like a compelling advertisement, a CV should be well-organized, with consistent use of white space and fonts to enhance readability. While it’s important not to overdo it, incorporating subtle colour and design elements can help your CV stand out. Unless you are a professional designer, it is advisable to use pre-made CV templates for a polished and professional look.

3. Focus on measurable results.

Job duties provide information, but numbers narrate a story. Your CV should highlight the outcomes of your work. For instance, rather than stating, “Assisted customers on the sales floor,” you could say, “Assisted over 30 customers daily, achieving a 98% customer satisfaction rate in three years.

4. Be as specific as possible.

While it’s fine to discuss your career in broad terms with friends, specificity is key when applying for a job. Instead of saying you “oversaw projects,” detail which projects you managed and how they benefited the company. By being specific about your achievements and staying concise, you can gain a competitive edge over other candidates.

5. Proofread.

Never underestimate the importance of proofreading. Countless tales exist of recruiters dismissing a CV due to a single grammar slip or spelling error. To avoid this, we recommend reviewing the document two or three times. For a different perspective, try printing it out as words may appear differently on paper. Additionally, seek feedback from a friend, mentor, or former colleague before submitting your job application. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

5 common CV mistakes to avoid

1. Writing a generic CV.

Each CV you create should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. Submitting a generic CV indicates to the HR manager that you did not carefully review the job posting. This could lead to being filtered out by the employer’s applicant tracking system (ATS) for lacking the necessary keywords.

To avoid being generic, carefully study the job description and ensure that your CV highlights the required skills and qualifications for the position.

2. Focusing on job duties rather than achievements.

A common mistake on CVs is focusing solely on job duties. Instead, the bullet points in your work experience section should highlight the impact of your work on the company, such as increasing sales, boosting revenue, or garnering positive reviews.

3. Including irrelevant information.

While earning extra money through a side hustle is commendable, your next employer might not be as impressed. Always consider, “Is this addition to my CV relevant to the job I want?” For instance, if you’re a bank teller aiming for a higher position, you can omit your gig work as an Uber driver from your CV.

4. Failing to focus on the employer’s needs.

Employers seek candidates who will help them achieve their mission and goals. Before writing your CV, review the employer’s mission statement and ensure your CV aligns with it. The professional summary is an ideal section to highlight how you can contribute to their objectives.

5. Using an unprofessional email address.

A common mistake applicants make on their CVs is a lack of professionalism. Avoid using outdated or unprofessional email addresses like “[email protected].” Such addresses can undermine your credibility as a candidate instead of showcasing your unique personality.

Final Checklist for Your CV
  • Contact Information: Include your contact details in the header.
  • Professional Summary or Objective: A brief overview of your career goals and key skills.
  • Skills Section: Highlight relevant skills.
  • Work Experience: Detail your job history and achievements.
  • Education: Include your academic background.
  • For conservative industries, a plain template is best.
  • For creative fields, consider a bolder, more visually engaging template.
  • Use a professional font.
  • Ensure consistent line spacing.
  • Make sure all headers are the same font size.
  • Review formatting thoroughly.
  • Tailor your CV summary to be enthusiastic and specific.
  • Focus on skills and abilities that matter to the employer.
  • Go beyond listing job duties; show the impact of your work.
  • Use concrete numbers wherever possible.
  • Review the job responsibilities listed in the description.
  • Include relevant keywords in your skills section to pass screening software.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes can lead to rejection.
  • Proofread multiple times.
  • Have a trusted friend review it as well.