Writing a CV for the Middle East !

When you start crafting your CV, you are writing an advertisement to sell yourself to the prospective employer. Your CV is designed to promote your skills, qualifications, experience, and education that make you the perfect fit for the position.

If you are applying for a job in the Middle East, there are certain nuances that you need to be aware of. Just as your CV should be tailored to each specific job, it should also be tailored to fit different regions and cultures around the world as you are considering employment across international boundaries. Hiring managers and organisations in the Middle East have different requirements and in case your CV isn’t crafted correctly, you’ll not stand a chance of getting through the initial screening.

Pasted below are the points that needs to be considered while selling your credentials to the employers in Middle East.

Include a Photo, Nationality and Date of Birth and Gender
If you want your CV for employment in the Middle East to get scanned though at a initial level, you need a photo to go along with your paperwork. You could be considered for an interview simply because you are attractive and presentable. The best way to conform to the specific factors a company is looking for is to include a photo at the top of your CV.
Depending upon the industry the company serves, it may be deemed undesirable to have individuals of a certain nationality employed within the organisation. As a result, companies can (and do) specify nationalities. If you have a mixed background or hold dual citizenship, list those the employer identifies as desirable on your CV. Whatever you do, do not hide these factors when applying for a position in place such as Dubai.
It is not uncommon for companies based in Dubai and other parts of the Middle East to specify an acceptable age range for applicants, or even consider one gender over the other for certain roles.

Professional qualifications
State your professional qualifications together with the date of your qualifications and any awards received.

Computer skills
It is important to indicate your proficiency on the computer programmes and packages relevant to the role you are applying for.

Languages
In a country where Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu and other languages are widely spoken, any language skills you have should be clearly articulated.

Position
Display your most recent job first and then work chronologically backwards (using months and years in the dates) giving less space to earlier jobs. Since space will be at a premium, your objective must be to inform and excite the reader.

Responsibilities and achievements
Whenever possible, include the experience relevant to a particular job and always quantify your responsibilities and achievements so that employers can quickly identify how you can add value to their business.

References
References do not have to appear on the CV, although be prepared to provide references on request. It is a good idea to state that you have business references available.

In addition to the basics that should appear on your CV, it is also advisable to consider the following points when preparing the documentation ahead of your job search.

Accuracy and content
Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and incorrect dates create a bad impression so double-check to ensure you have 100% accuracy. Keep your CV brief, ideally to a maximum of three pages.

Other Style Guidelines
Last but not least, there are a few style guidelines to keep in mind when writing a CV for employment in the Middle East. Recruiters want to know as much about you as possible, so do not stick to one page with your CV. If you need two pages to highlight the benefit to the company in hiring you, then use two pages.

Whenever possible, glorify and exaggerate work you’ve performed in the past. There is a big difference between glorifying and lying. For example, if you worked as a data entry specialist, do not simply write “efficiently managed data spreadsheets.” Instead, write that you “created an efficient data-entry method that increased productivity X%.” You aren’t lying about your skills; you are merely calling attention to them in a dramatic manner.

Finally, the overall style of your CV should be strike a recruiter as visibly pleasing, even fancy. When applying for US and UK jobs, recruiters tend like to see clean CVs. For a job in the Middle East, add some style to your CV to give it an appearance that stands out in the crowd. You don’t need to go over the top. Simply consider some thin black lines for borders and consider setting your photo in the header. Little touches go a long way.

Cover Letters
Cover letters are a matter of some debate among recruiters. Some prefer to see one, some do not. If you apply for a job in the Middle East, you need to either write a great cover letter or ignore it completely. A poorly written cover letter lacking any clarity is going to do more harm than good. When you write your cover letter, make it relevant and personal.
Take the time to figure out the name of the individual that will be reading it and address the letter directly to that individual. Keep the letter short and sweet. Highlight the important factors that make you a perfect fit for the position and give that person a compelling reason to read your full CV.

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One Comment

  1. Good article! Lots of useful info.

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