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Select the template that best fits your experience level or career goals


Follow the guided template to add your skills and experience to show your best self.

Need more inspiration? Check out our recruiter-approved CV tips below

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Once you’ve built your stand-out CV, find your dream job on the world’s largest development job board.

Ask the Expert

We asked our CV writing expert, Heidi Arriola, from the Devex Talent Solutions team to answer your most commonly asked questions.

Based on our research, most U.N. agencies no longer use the traditional U.N. P11 CV format. Since 2018, they have moved increasingly to an online platform, where applicants are made to input their CV and other personal information in their own website, Inspira.
The best way for you to highlight your experience if you’re coming from the private sector is to look at the roles you are interested in, identify your transferable skills against the job description, and then ensure that you emphasize them in your CV. Make sure to show not only your responsibilities but also your accomplishments and contributions. Quantify them as much as possible.
For example, for roles in project management, international development recruiters look for an indication of leadership skills and familiarity with operations management. If your goal is to land a project manager role, we recommend that you take a look at your professional experience and expound on any experiences or results that demonstrate strong leadership, coordination, and operational management skills. Indicate quantifiable results if you have them. For example, instead of saying, “Responsible for the operations of the HQ and satellite offices,” you can revise it to, “Oversaw five staff in managing a $15,000 monthly office budget for maintaining day-to-day operations of the HQ and satellite offices.”
There is no single template for consultancy-type work, but it’s recommended you use the functional CV template rather than the typical CV, which shows your jobs in reverse-chronological order. In using this, you can showcase your most relevant areas of expertise and projects more effectively, as opposed to the reverse chronological CV format, which might not clearly present your concurrent projects, as development consultants tend to have overlapping engagements.
There is no recommended length for CVs, and the one-page rule does not apply in development. For professionals with many years of experience (8 to 15-plus years), the length of the CV could be up to 5 pages. However, keep in mind that international development recruiters review many CVs on a daily basis, so taking the time to review your CV to ensure you highlight your key qualifications is the best way to go. As you go, expound on your most relevant roles, don’t worry about the length or the number of bullet points. The main point here is to cover all of your contributions and impact as much as possible; once done, you can take another look at your CV for any repetitive statements and reduce them accordingly.
As for the format, we recommend keeping it as simple and straightforward as possible so it would look consistent across all software and platforms.
Yes, certainly. Volunteer and internship work are not in any way insignificant, especially if your work led to valuable contributions to the project or the stakeholders. You should also take the opportunity to revisit these engagements, as they show not only your advocacies but also the skills you gained or were able to hone.
Volunteer work is especially valuable if you come from the private sector, and became interested in global development through these experiences. Your career progression should tell this story in your CV, and this also includes internships. Both types of work, even if they were part-time or brief, can strengthen your CV.
If this is not explicitly requested in the job description, you may opt to leave this information out, and then send it later on in the process. When asked, ensure that your references are aware and that you provide updated contact information so it’s easier for recruiters to reach them.
We highly encourage you to tailor your CV and application documents to the requirement of the role. Take time to review the job description and do your research on the scope of work so you can carefully match your experience and skillset against the job description. It pays to tailor fit your CV — particularly, the key qualifications section — and expound on any duties and achievements you feel are relevant to the role. Additionally, use industry-specific jargon and buzzwords, including acronyms, such as MEAL, M&, MNCH, VAM, among others, to show your good familiarity with the industry. In using these acronyms, you imply that you know the ins and outs of the work and speak the language.
As part of the recommendation to always tailor-fit your CV to your applications, feel free to include training experience — the granting institution and date you received the training — that are relevant to the position you are applying for. This way you can further establish your credibility and expertise. If you have received specialized management training that covers soft skills such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and time management, it would be great to include that in your CV as well. If you feel that the training you participated in thus far is not relevant to the roles you are applying for, then you may opt to remove them for now and save these for other applications where they have more value.
While hiring managers of international development organizations prioritize in-country experience as it often implies deep exposure to multicultural contexts, they are, more often than not, also interested in applicants who have worked on projects outside of their home country as long as their involvement is significant; it could be that a person worked remotely on projects based in emerging countries. It is also a huge plus if you have experience working with diverse colleagues of different expertise or nationalities. Certainly, exposure to projects outside one’s home country is valuable, but you should be able to showcase it in such a way that it highlights your familiarity with international standards and processes.
The best advice we can give is to take a step back and analyze your work experience, especially the skills — technical and soft skills — that you have demonstrated thus far. Next, take a look at your career history and focus on any transferable skills related to the sector you want to transition into. For example, if you’re a senior M& specialist and wish to move to senior project management roles, perhaps chief of party or program lead, we recommend that you flesh out relevant skills such as people management, coordination, and communication skills, as these are often the desired skillsets for lead project management roles. We also recommend venturing into the new sector by exploring consultancies or volunteer work related to the sector you want to transition into so you’ll have some level of exposure and understanding prior to applying.