International development resumes: What you need to know

By Ingrid Ahlgren 23 December 2010

A resume or curriculum vitae presents an applicant's first chance to make a favorable impression on a potential employer. In international development, many international organizations say they like resumes and CVs in reverse chronological and hybrid formats. Photo by: Photorack

Job seekers in international development have several choices when it comes to resume and curriculum vitae formats. But which among them do employers prefer?

Based on interviews with hiring managers and development professionals, the reverse chronological and hybrid resume and CV formats appear to be the most popular. Both highlight the work experiences of applicants, with the most recent position mentioned first.

Kate Warren, director of global recruitment services at Devex, said most applicants for positions in U.S. Agency for International Development-funded projects use the reverse chronological format.

“USAID would want to see CVs and would not accept functional [skills-based] resumes,” Warren said. “Focus on your most recent jobs, titles, and locations. You need to demonstrate that you have all the skills they need, experience working on similar projects, or experience in the same country.”

This article is for Devex Members
For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the author

Ingrid Ahlgren

Ingrid is a Devex correspondent based in New York City. She worked as a staff writer for from 2007 to 2009, helping to write guidebooks, including the "Vault Guide to the Top Government and Nonprofit Employers." Before moving to New York, she was a researcher for National Geographic Traveler magazine in Washington, D.C. Ingrid holds a master's in journalism from the University of Missouri. As the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, she grew up all over the world.

Join the Discussion