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cv in uae

Grab a UAE Recruiter’s Attention, Drop the Buzzwords

You’re probably doing it wrong.

Our story begins on a Sunday morning. It’s 7:53 AM and I’m staring, bleary eyed, at the CV of a man who is passionate about human resources.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m out of bed far earlier than any recruiter should be, perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but at this point at 7:53 AM, I am very, VERY suspicious of this man’s claims.

How can he be passionate about HR? Does he wake up every day, brush his teeth and just like, live HR? Some iterations of my current mental image about this guys’ rabid adoration for the broad and prestigious field of human resources are beginning to disturb me and I stop thinking about it.

The profiles which go largely unnoticed are those filled with superlatives, kitsch phrases and absurd adjectives.

There’s a point I’m trying to make here. As a consultant in UAE, I view perhaps 100 CVs a month. As you can imagine, as far as quality and reader engagement go, these can be a bit of a mixed bag. The profiles which go largely unnoticed are those filled with superlatives, kitsch phrases and absurd adjectives.

Superlatives are equivalent to clickbait posts

Let me put it a different way: the clickbait you see on social media, those adverts that promise “1 weird tip to lose belly fat!” or “how this mom earned $1000 a day from home!” Yeah, those. That’s what the majority of ‘buzzwords’ thrust in to a CV (and thus shoved right in the face of an employer) are akin to. How many times have you actually clicked on one of those links?

Now I’m back looking at the HR fetishist’s CV: “I want to work with an esteemed multinational company”. Do you? Why not try the McDonald’s dishwasher role then….

Adding value to your CV writing

Basically the inclusion of a stock set of superlatives in your CV devalues your actual skills, achievements and abilities. I’m much more interested in hearing what a candidate has accomplished in their career or education to date. Let’s take an acute example of this from “Mr. HR’s” Curriculum Vitae.

“I’m a details orientated (sic) go-getter: a dedicated and proactive team player, with a flair for management…”

Woah, woah, woah there buddy. For a start, if you’re going to put that you’ve got serious attention to detail, make sure you don’t make a grammatical error right afterwards! As I said, this whole sentence could add so much more as a series of illustrations of ability, preferably in a concise, readable format.

Check this out:

“During my time as project team leader at X company, I encouraged and mentored my colleagues in completing X project on time, under budget and to the complete satisfaction of the client”.

And… boom, with this example you’ve got pro-activity, dedication, and managerial experience as well as leadership abilities all rolled in to one. What’s more you don’t sound like an advertisement for slimming tea!

Completing the transaction with your potential employer

Every job offer is a transaction between you and your prospective employer. If you want to stand out, it’s important to tangibly add value to their organization, and your CV is usually the first physical example of your work (the product they are buying) which an employer will get to see.

Create the fireworks, not profess your love for aesthetic pyrotechnic devices

Put simply, it’s much better to show what you’re capable of through examples of your work, your interests and your achievements than to simply fluff your CV with a bunch of space filling, nice sounding words. If you’re that unicorn candidate they’re looking for, you need to prove you can create the fireworks, not profess your love for aesthetic pyrotechnic devices.