6 ways to make recruiters notice you on Devex

How can you make yourself stand out? Photo by: Steven Depolo / CC BY

Over 800,000 global development professionals have profiles on Devex to help them find jobs, make professional connections and showcase their skills to our online community.

Hundreds of international development recruiters search Devex every day to find candidates for positions ranging from home office project managers to local national project leaders and short-term technical consultants. For a variety of reasons ranging from lack of time to wanting to keep a search confidential, some of these jobs are never advertised.

Having a well-completed profile on Devex means you won’t miss out on such opportunities and can even be in the enviable position of recruiters calling you. With our one page profile process, it is now even easier to create and update your profile, even on mobile.

To help guide your process, we dug into the numbers to see which fields recruiters used most to search for people on Devex. Not surprising, keyword searches were the most popular way for recruiters to identify potential candidates.

Using the right keywords and terms, for example, those you see in the job descriptions of positions you are interested in, is critical to optimizing your online profile. However, the other popular fields may be less obvious.

READ: How to make your Devex profile count

Here are the other top six fields recruiters use when searching for candidates. If you want them to find you, make sure you have these six things in your Devex profile.

1.     Citizenship

International development employers often have strict parameters around the citizenship of the people they employ for specific positions. For example, an NGO or consulting firm working on a grant or contract from a donor like the U.S. Agency for International Development or U.K. Department for International Development may be required by their funder to only hire local nationals for their projects. Multilateral organizations like the African Development Bank or Inter-American Development Bank can only hire citizens of member countries. Recruiters want to make sure potential candidates will fit within these requirements before wasting your or their time.

Since there are scenarios when someone may have more than one citizenship, you are able to include up to three on your Devex profile. It can be tempting to add additional countries where you would like to work to the list, however, be sure that you are an actual citizen of any you include. Recruiters can usually tell by looking at your work and personal history and if they start to doubt your citizenships, they are likely to doubt the authenticity of other information in your profile as well.

READ: Top resume mistakes local professionals make

2.     Years of experience

Even if you have a well-completed profile and CV, make sure you complete the years of experience section and update it to reflect your current experience level.

Like citizenship requirements, donors often put in place strict years-of-experience requirements for positions on the grants and contracts they award to NGOs and consulting firms. Recruiters working for these organizations pay close attention to how many years of experience — sometimes down to the month — candidates have to make sure they comply.

Recruiters also want to make sure they are focusing their search on people at the right career level so they will seek out people within a specific experience range, say five to 10 years for a midlevel position.

If you are not sure how to calculate years of experience, generally add up all of the years of relevant work experience. While years spent studying should not be counted, if you did internships or other relevant work during your studies, most employers will count that toward your years of experience. If you are looking to transition to global development from another sector, think about the number of years of work experience you have that is transferable to the work you seek.

READ: How to overcome strict foreign aid job requirements

3.     Location

Separate from citizenship, recruiters want to know where you are currently located. For reasons of budget or time, they often look to see who is in country already when conducting a search. They also assume you may be more likely to be interested in their position if it will not require a move. Since many global development professional frequently relocate, make sure you keep your country of location updated and accurate.

4.     Languages

For many global development positions, fluency in a specific language is a requirement. Even if you included it in your CV, make sure you add any languages you speak at a professional level to your profile.

READ: Recruiters' most wanted: French-speaking aid professionals

When recruiters use the language field to narrow down candidates, it is almost always because fluency in that language is critical to the job. So while you can, and should, include languages you speak at a basic level in your resume, only include those which you could work in on the language section of your profile. Otherwise, you may have an awkward conversation later when you need to reveal your lack of fluency.

5.     Education

Again, because education can be a strict requirement for many employers, recruiters want to focus on candidates who already have the academic qualifications they need for the job. Make sure to include all completed degrees in the education section.

READ: 8 things to consider before pursuing a graduate degree

6.     CV

#GradWeek: Your global development career questions, answered

From the six things you — as a soon-to-be grad — should do right now to what recruiters look for in a cover letter, visit this #GradWeek page for answers to all of your most pressing career questions.

With the proliferation of online profiles and sites like LinkedIn, many say that resumes and CVs will soon be a thing of the past. However, they are still very much important for global development recruiters. For nearly half of the searches conducted on Devex, recruiters filter only those candidates who have uploaded a CV.

So even if you have a well-completed profile, make sure you also upload a recent copy of your resume. You can upload up to five versions that showcase your various areas of expertise. If you choose to include more than one version, be sure to clearly name them so recruiters understand the difference. For example, one could be titled “Project Management” and the other “Monitoring and Evaluation.”

Another advantage of uploading a CV: You are more likely to rank higher in keyword searches.

READ: Should you be sending 2 resume types? Recruiters share their top CV advice

To learn more about how recruiters search for people on Devex and how to make sure you stand out, watch this video. To update your profile make sure to log into Devex.com, go to “My Account,” and click “update” next to the profile section.

Whether you’re a seasoned expert or budding development professional — check out more news, analysis and advice online to guide your career and professional development, and subscribe to Doing Good to receive top international development career and recruitment news every week.

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This article was last updated on 14 November 2017

About the author

  • Warren kate 1

    Kate Warren

    Kate Warren is Executive Vice President and resident talent and careers guru at Devex. With 15 years of global development recruitment experience advising international NGOs, consulting firms, and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.