Starting from your name, your CV is the single most important document to put you on your way to finding your dream in UAE. Not just any CV, but the one that resonates and relates to the requirements of the employers in UAE. It has to be designed to be more attractive, unlike the clean U.S style. There are many free CV templates for the UAE job market online.

How to write a professional CV for Dubai Specifically or UAE Generally?

One of the CV tips for Dubai is to understand the type of CV that would work for the Middle Eastern job market. The CV layout look is one of the many aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Don’t fall to make your Dubai CV in “the following layout”, there are too many things than just a couple of thin black borders to marginalize your chances of not getting considered further. Thus, I was born the need to write this CV writing guide for job seekers in Dubai so that they don’t miss any important aspect when applying for jobs in the Middle East.

Does Professional CV Writing for Job Search in UAE Help? {Benefits but short}

Yes, for sure, consider a place where half of the population or even more is working in an office or another organizational setup. Everyone is either looking for a job or seeking an improvement in their current salary. In this kind of context, how can you ignore the impact a professional CV can create in finding you your dream job in the UAE.

Why Do You Need to Write A Professional CV for the Job Markets Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah or UAE in General?

Before we start the conversation or read further CV tips for Dubai, there are certain things that you need to consider as benefits for which you must have professional curriculum vitae.

  • You can communicate effectively your expertise, experience, education, and experiences.
  • The most obvious mistakes that ex-pats make in their CVs can be avoided through expert help or by yourself.
  • A cover letter adds to your chances of getting hired by a company that can easily find you among so many other templates based CVs without properly addressing the potential employers’ concerns and needs.
  • Lastly, yet probably most importantly, a professional Resume helps you better negotiate your salary with the potential employer.

CVs VS Resumes

CVs and Resumes are used in different parts of the world. For instance, the UK use CV and the US and Canada, a Resume. If you don’t know about this difference, there is no way you will get the job even of an office administrator. People often struggle to find a job because they don’t understand that most Middle Eastern employers are looking for a CV. This is one of the primary reasons a lot of qualified people suffer. If there is a case study on why good people with the right qualifications from western countries not able to get a job in UAE, one of the primary reasons may be their inability to understand the kind of professional profile the firms expect. Thus, before a firm in Dubai would check the background of an applicant, you need to perfect your resume before you should expect an interview.

Dubai CV Writing Tips – Considerations Before You Start

Important things to consider before you start working on your Dubai CV.

1. CV Length

The resume or CV is lengthy. You don’t need to add too much length but it is OK for Dubai’s CV to be not more than 3 or 4 pages. A Dubai CV is mostly not confined by length. But this does not mean that you have all the independence to stretch your Dubai specific CV to any length. However, the good news is that with more space, you can take off the side or header thing. Still, keep one of the CV tips for Dubai is to intelligently use the space on your curriculum vitae, and not waste precious space telling things that employer won’t be interested in knowing or which won’t add much value.

 2. Including Photo in Your CV (No discriminatory laws)

You can include a professional passport size photograph on the right side top of the first page of your CV, right after the name, address, and contact details. However, there are no anti-discrimination laws to prevent employers from discriminating against potential employees. Although the employers are professional, they still do not include a photo unless it is a type of job that requires customer-facing or where there is a need to show your face.

3. Nationalities are important for Your CV

Nationalities are important for your Resume for Dubai. Thus, it is important to include your nationality, and include all of your nationalities if you have more than one. Sometimes, your photo (if you wish to include) or your name may not correctly reveal your country of origin. For instance, if Homer Simpson was not from the US but any other country, he would have to include his nationality to reveal his true nationality, telling his boss of his true country of origin differently, something like, “Facts Are Meaningless. You Could Use Facts To Prove Anything That’s Even Remotely True.” Thus, revealing your nationality, dual citizenship, ethnic group, or other information of a similar nature is super important.

 4. Introduction to your previous employers to include in your Resume

Professional CV writing is hard and it is even harder to have a winning CV. One of the CV tips for Dubai in this complete professional CV writing guide is to give a brief overview of your previous employers. This is particularly true if your new potential employers won’t know about them, something which a large number of novice or amateur job hunters in Dubai forget to mention, missing a crucial professional CV writing tip.

5. Date of birth – Why Employers Would Like to See It In Your CV?

Date of birth is important since employers want to know about your age. For instance, it is hard to imagine someone above the age of 50 years applying for an entry-level position.

6. Languages are an important part of your curriculum vitae

Imagine a place with over 200 nationalities working together, in a place like Dubai. Now, if you don’t include a commonly spoken language in Dubai or UAE, you may be decreasing your chances of getting a job. Imagine a construction manager who can speak multiple regional languages to easily communicate with the labor. Some of the most commonly spoken languages include Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese, and Malayalam besides English. Also, consider Punjabi another language that is spoken by a lot of residents of the UAE. Thus, if you speak any language, even at a basic level of proficiency, consider including it in your curriculum vitae.

7. Importance of a Cover Letter besides writing a professional CV

A great cover letter can go a long way in getting you the job of your dreams. However, there is an important aspect of a cover letter that you need to understand. Try writing a job-specific cover letter so that you can match your expertise, educate, experience, and skills with that of what the job requirements are. Else, you can write a generic role that gives an overview of what achievements you have accomplished to find a role somewhat similar to what you are looking for.

 8. The LinkedIn profile becomes increasingly important along with your resume

The life of a recruiter working in Dubai or UAE is pretty difficult. They need to deliver bottom-line results with so many hiring targets to achieve every month, quarter and year. Now, the recruiters and hiring managers in the UAE don’t just look at your CV. They also look at your LinkedIn profile too. Thus, make sure that you have an updated LinkedIn profile too. Make sure that the information on your LinkedIn profile syncs with what you have shared on your curriculum vitae.

9. CV VS Resume when finding a job in UAE (Brief overview of the differences which exist)

When it comes to applying for jobs in UAE, both the terms are used interchangeably. Although the employers in UAE consider a CV more appropriate. However, you cannot consider CV as just the only want to create a good everlasting first impression. The word CV and PDF formats are mostly in use.

Here are some of the differences to consider when you are contemplating whether to create a CV or Resume when applying for a job in Dubai.

  • One of the most common differences is the length. A CV is usually longer than that of a resume, for the Middle Eastern job market as well, like anywhere else in the world.
  • One pertinent information piece to remember is that a resume for Dubai is focused more on accomplishments.
  • The CV format or resume format used for applying for jobs in UAE follows the chronological order.
  • In most cases, a resume is a one-page document. However, a CV can be extended to two, three, or in very rare cases up to four pages.
  • Among key CV tips for Dubai is to adjust the length being mindful of the fact that whether you are trying to create a curriculum vitae or a resume.

10. Important Personal Information to Include in your Dubai Specific CV

It is important to remember that when you are moving to UAE or just working there, your potential employer is interested in a lot more information because of the nature of the local job market, with a lot of dependence on foreign workers coming to choose Dubai to work in as ex-pats.

Here are some important pieces of information that you need to consider adding to your for finding a job in the UAE.

  • Your complete phone number or telephone number with country code so that employers can easily contact you.
  • Your marital status may be important for legal matters or visa processing among other potential needs.
  • Many companies offer free family accommodation and medical insurance, thus, you need to provide information about these personal details about the number of dependents.
  • Add to your CV or Resume (at the end but at a prominent enough place), your passport details, and expiry date (particularly if your visa is about to expire as you may be on a visit visa or looking for another job if made redundant).
  • Always create a professional email address instead of something like jforjohn4@example.comor aslamsunnyboy@example.com. Unprofessional email addresses don’t add any brownie points to your hiring process but certainly help you avoid that stereotyping if you have an unusual, casual or informal sounding email address.
  • Make sure that you add your current address accurately besides your phone number so that the employer knows about your availability status when considering call you for a job interview.

11. Driving License is Important for Working in Dubai But Not Indispensible for your resume

Although driving may not necessarily be an important part of your job but you may need to commute to work on a car or another passenger vehicle. Thus, if you have a valid international driving license, always mention that in your curriculum vitae.

12. Contact Information must be updated to make it easy for employers to contact via your CV

The first key contact is your phone number. Second your email address. Also try to add any other ways to get in touch with you, for instance, a URL to your most updated LinkedIn profile, a Skype Address, and a WhatsApp number can come in handy if you are applying from another country. Since WhatsApp makes it easy to send you a text and get in touch with you. Make sure that your email address has added the email addresses of UAE job portals so that their emails land in your inbox and not into your junk or spam folder.

13. Be Careful of the Muslim Culture Traditions while writing your curriculum vitae

UAE is a Muslim country, governed by Islamic principles. Therefore, you need to be careful not to write about a hobby or something that offensive to any religion, particularly Islam. Your employers may not necessarily be Muslims but they may not consider a person for their company if they consider you cannot get along well within a country that may have a different set of rules and regulations than your home country.

 14. Salary Considerations If You Have A Family When Sending Your Curriculum Vitae in Dubai

Children’s educational expenses may be paid by your employer. Thus, if you have children, include their details as well and if appropriate, add their level of education so that the employer can take that factor into consideration when deciding for your compensation package.

Dubai CV Writing Tips – What To Include?

One of the Dubai CV writing tips to perfect it for Middle Eastern employers to carefully work on every part that matters. This small guide is particularly more useful for those job seekers who apply for a job in UAE or Dubai for the first time and just came here to find work as ex-pats. The following steps shared below will surely prove to be the best CV tips for Dubai to increase your chances of getting hired by employers in the UAE.

 1. Career Summary, Performance Profile, or Objective Statement

Consider your CV a personal ad or personal sales brochure. This has to start with a solid personal statement giving a perfect profile snapshot. For early starters of professional life with close to no experience, they may call it a career objective or career summary.

This first step in your career not just gives an overview of your objective but also helps employers evaluate your seriousness and the kind of expectations they must possess about your performance if considered. It is not one of those stringent requirements but a solid way to ensure that you are better able to negotiate your salary, posing an aggressive can-do attitude when applying for future roles in the Middle Easter job market.

 2. How to Add Photo to Your CV If You Decide or Need to Include It?

Adding a photo is considered one of the easy steps, but make sure that you only add a perfect passport size photo that reflects you in a highly professional way. A professional photographer for your Dubai CV reflects your seriousness towards securing a job as someone who is formal in their approach, belonging to any gender.

3. Different Types of Skills to Consider Including or Excluding

The skills can be divided into technical or profession related, interpersonal skills, and IT skills. Let us break down each of these to help you know the right approach. Skills are one of the most crucial CV tips for Dubai to take into consideration because local employers consider them as an integral part of your resume. These are not the most exhaust list of acceptable skills. Among soft skills and other skills, you need to be cognizant of the requirements of your potential UAE employer.

Let us take the example of a Senior Sales Manager.

Job Related or Technical Skills

Some examples may include Business Development, SalesForce Motivation, Market Penetration, Product Launches, Brand Activation, and Sales Targets among others.

Interpersonal Skills

Examples for interpersonal skills for a Senior Sales Manager may include Leadership, Work Under Pressure, Emotional Perseverance, Deadline Oriented, and Mindfulness among others.

IT Skills

Some of the examples that you may consider for the IT skills include MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and CRM Software like Sugar CRM or Salesforce among any others that they may know of using. Remember, being tech-savvy and including those skills at any managerial can pay off immensely. So never discount even smaller tech-savvy skills that can help you stand out from a heap of aspiring job applicants for any position regardless of being at entry or C-level executive level. 

4. Key Responsibilities Won’t Suffice, Consider Adding Quantifiable Career Highlights

Focus more on quantifiable accomplishments instead of just key responsibilities. Employers are looking for what kind of success you have accomplished in previous roles and hoping that you can potentially replicate the same kind of results for them. Examples may include X number of new individuals hired, Y % increase in sales Y-o-Y, led a team of Z number of individuals or for that matter any other quantifiable accomplishments that can distinguish you and increase your chances of getting a job interview call.

5. Focus on Most Critical Key Responsibilities Only

One common mistake that job seekers in the UAE often make is to try and keep repeating the same things with different sentences by paraphrasing or rephrasing them. It will not help you but leave an unprofessional image of you upon the employers. Thus, you must consider carefully evaluating the responsibilities you are including and do not repeat sentences.

 6. Education, Training, Conferences, Workshops, and Certifications Matter a Lot

List down the name of each degree you have obtained. Start from the latest and go back in reverse chronological order. Showcase your university and educational qualifications. Besides, training is important, particularly if it is related to your job. Always include the training or any other procedure, qualification or certification related to your occupation as it will increase the level of interest of employers in giving you a job.

7. What If You Have More Than 10 Years of Experience? What To Do With Your CV for Dubai Then?

The period of employment significantly increases when you reach senior management or C-level executive cadre. Thus, it can become overwhelming what to include or exclude in your employment history. Besides Dubai employment purposes and even generally, once you have reached a senior-level position, don’t try to include everything you have done to justify that position title. Since you are not applying for a marketing assistant position but a General Manager or VP of Business Development like positions. Focus more on the last ten years of your work experience, and experience going back more than ten years should only include select few accomplishments that make the most commercial sense.

8. What if You Don’t Have Any Experience at All?

Employers will still consider you for a role if you no experience at all. There is no short of job listings starting from personal assistant roles to big job opportunities that can potentially help you grow. However, when you prepare yourself for such opportunities, make sure to focus on what you have done and learned in the past. For instance, the community work or work was done as an intern can help. For instance, you may have done some school projects or have some senior secondary school academic achievements that will help you make a mark. When trying to get a job with no experience in the Middle East to focus on whatever you have done that can be showcased relating to education, skills, internships, volunteer experience, and anything or everything that can help you create a great first impression on potential employers, HR managers, and recruitment firms.

9. What If You Have Work Experience Outside Dubai?

Do not panic if you have no job experience working for a company in Dubai in particular or UAE in general. You can consider including a single line or two about each of the companies to showcase the reputation of a particular company or organization. Companies that you have worked for may have important figures to include their introduction showcasing their value proposition. Avoid using abbreviations and instead, use their full names.

For instance, 

ABC company is a leading name in the XYZ industry, with an annual turnover of USD 10 million and 400 employees working for it, established back in 1989.

This is just an example to help you know how to showcase your previous employer to the potential UAE employers and make a mark.

10. Hobbies & Interests Are Important for A Dubai CV – But You Need to be Mindful

Try including hobbies or interests that directly match what your main job is in your profession. This is one of the straightforward CV tips for Dubai that many don’t keep in mind. Inclusion of interests and hobbies related to your profession will let the potential employer know about your seriousness in learning more about your job and becoming good at it, something that can help you better negotiate your salary and get the feeling of being irreplaceable.

For instance, if you are a copywriter and you like to read the new and more innovative ways of becoming more creative at our craft, you can mention that in your resume.

Or if you are technical support engineer looking to work in an IT company in Dubai as a network administrator, and you remain updated on the latest IEEE standards and relevant upgrades in that arena of technology, you can surely be looked upon in a favorable light instead of just focusing on interests like jogging, swimming, dog training, or an endless of other such potential hobbies.

11. Don’t Discount the Importance of References (The Ones Who Would Endorse You and Not Backout)

References can play a critical role in getting you a job in the UAE. The UAE employers want to ensure that the person they are hiring has a clean record and is serious about getting a good job of the tasks assigned to them. Try finding individuals as references who are working at senior positions in companies within the UAE.

12. Creating a CV and Applying for Jobs in Gender-Specific Roles

Gender Specific Roles - CV Tips for Dubai

If you see a job that specifically mentions a particular gender, e.g. Male or Female, you need to only apply for the job if you fit that criterion. Similarly, in some cases, they make ask for a particular nationality because of the nature of the job like Indian, Pakistan, Bangladeshi, Lebanese, America, British, etc. Make sure that you also match this requirement so that you increase your chances of getting hired. Mention that particular nationality or ethnic group on your CV too as sometimes your name may not indicate necessarily what your country of origin is.

13. Don’t overlook the cover letter

Write a cover letter to go with your CV or resume, since it provides you the space to reason and justifies yourself as the right candidate for the job. Ideally, if you write a cover letter that targets the requirements of the job by the employer and matches those with your skills, expertise, experience, education, and overall professional persona. Instead of sending the same cover letter for every job, try this approach of sending customized cover letters to significantly increase your chances of getting a job in UAE’s job market. It is one of the most crucial CV tips for Dubai.

14. Networking Can Sometimes Help (Give As Many Job Interviews in UAE As Possible)

There are many job opportunities but not every single one may have been announced. A lot of companies fill their vacant positions through walk-in interviews. Thus you must network a lot and deliver your CV by hand too to increase your chances of getting hired. Also, try networking through online platforms like LinkedIn to find jobs that may suit what you are looking for. You never know if the lady luck chooses to smile at you and you land a job through word of mouth reference.

Other than UAE job sites, some other ways to find jobs may include the following.

  • Government job portals
  • Emirates Job Bank
  • ae or National Training Platform
  • Virtual Labor Market
  • Search at online job fairs
  • Look through the classified websites where sometimes employers post jobs.
  • Recruitment agencies can also help you find a job.
  • Sometimes, big companies working in UAE announce jobs directly on their websites so there you can also find and apply for jobs or send your CV directly to these companies with the email subject something like “Applying For – Name of the Position.”
  • Try your luck creating a profile on professional networking sites online.

15. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated at all times

Reflect a positive image of yourself by keeping your LinkedIn profile updated. You can hire a professional LinkedIn makeover service in UAE to increase your chances of getting hired. Besides following the other CV tips for Dubai, ensure that your resume and LinkedIn profile match regarding the information shared in both these places.

16. Networking is the key, just don’t only rely on applying online

Time is a critical factor to start applying ten days or two weeks before you even land in Dubai and mention the date of your arrival so that you can get for yourself more job interviews.

Job sites in Dubai play a crucial role thus always create profiles on them and make sure that your CV is updated so that you increase your chances of getting found by relevant recruiters, HR managers, or employers.

17. Use Google Alerts

Try to input data into Google alerts by creating a Gmail address. For instance, if you are looking for a senior sales manager job in for instance Dubai, you can go google.ae/alerts to create job alerts like “senior sales manager job Dubai” or other similar keywords to get the alerts right in your mail inbox. Remember, a lot of jobs are announced every week. However, if you do not first find them and apply for them on a timely basis, you won’t be able to know about them or even if you do, they will get filled way before you even know about them.

18. ATS Importance and Its Increasing Use by Recruiters in UAE

ATS Friendly CV or Resume - CV Tips for Dubai

When it comes to getting yourself found by recruiters or employers, you need to rely on an efficient data-entry system, called ATS. ATS stands for the applicant tracking system, and one of the general instructions or CV tips for Dubai is that you need to include keywords related to your job and industry. This is one of those specific issues that you need to take care of if you want employers to find you when they are looking for an individual similar to yourself in skills, expertise, experience, and education. These general instructions won’t suffice so also try to complete your profile on all job sites of UAE that you choose to use, including specialties, and skills to increase your chances of having profile views by potential employers.

19. Screening VS Technical Job Interviews in UAE

After using these CV tips for Dubai, be mindful of the challenges of a job interview. To make it concise, you will usually have the first screening interview and then the technical interview for the job. It is always best to talk to the HR manager of the company in which you are applying for a job to know about each interview opportunity and how you need to prepare yourself. This will not just let you in advance about the company and its expectations from you in terms of answering particular types of questions but also showcase your seriousness in getting the job.

 20. Salary Negotiations and Potential Expenses of Living in Dubai

When negotiating for a salary, you need to be mindful of your expenses since accommodation takes a large chunk of your earnings. Secondly, you need to consider the living expenses of Dubai if you are coming here alone or with your family.

 21. Don’t Underestimate the Level of Busyness of the Recruiters and Recruitment Consultant Firms in UAE

Do not follow a casual approach when forwarding a CV. Besides using these CV tips for Dubai, always think of ways to further enhance your profile and remember that recruiters in the UAE job market are pretty busy. Thus, you need to ensure that your approach remains seriousness and shows commitment reflecting from your CV, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and also your job interview, should you be given a chance to advocate your suitability for an announced role.

 22. Consider A Recommendation Letter If Possible

If you can, always ask for a recommendation letter from your previous employer. In case you are a student, you can ask your professor or lecturer. This you can send along with your CV to further add to your credentials as an appropriate candidate to be considered for a job.

Conclusion of CV Tips for Dubai

Conclusion of CV Tips for Dubai

In this highly competitive job market of UAE, communication is the key to either you would get a job or not. Thus, be careful and never waste time, particularly if you have just lost your job or came to the UAE on a visit visa. Time is money and this is particularly very true for UAE, thus making the most of it while you can.

Besides these invaluable CV tips for Dubai, here are some others to help you improve your chances of finding a job of your dreams in UAE.

  • If you can, learn Arabic as it can come in handy since a lot of jobs require bilingual proficiency.
  • Make sure that you do not exaggerate your CV or Cover Letter, but try to make them as professional as possible.
  • Ensure that your CV is updated on a timely basis and has the same information shared on your LinkedIn profile.
  • A job search in UAE requires you to remain proactive and never take a lapse approach. Never miss a job interview even if does not seem too exciting for you initially.
  • Sometimes, job seekers in the UAE do not share their most updated or commonly used email or phone number. Make sure that you have not made such a mistake.
  • When applying for a job, make sure that you are not scammed and only reply to the email addresses ending with an authentic web address of the company’s URL. Examples may include name@comanyxyz.comor hr@companyxyz.com. Make sure to cross-check by logging into the website and if you find their website to be suspicious use a search engine to write the name of the company or its website with the word to scam to know if they are for real or not.
  • If you are paying to a company for a job (recruitment companies), they are not genuine, so be careful.
  • Keep adding more credentials to your job by taking courses, certifications, and training that can help you increase your chances of getting hired.
  • Try growing your network not just in the UAE’s job market but also online with the HR managers, recruiters, and potential employers who may be interested in getting your services.
  • Also, remain updated on the local culture, values, and traditions so that you do not come across as being out of place when going for a job interview.

For a free professional review of your CV or Resume for the UAE, GCC, or MENA job markets, please drop us an email at info[at]cvwritingdubai.com. You can also ask for live examples to look at the type of CVs we produce and the amount of work that we put to ensure that job seekers can stand out against such a massive competition to get hired for the same role.

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