Prepare your CV to find a job in Middle East

When you start writing your CV for a new position, you are writing an advertisement that introduces you and therefore needs to sell yourself appropriately. From start to finish, your CV is designed to promote your skills, qualifications, experience and training that make you the perfect person for the job you are applying for. When writing your CV, you should tailor it to the specific job you are hoping to get, rather than copying previous CVs that are intended for other positions.
If you are thinking of applying for a job in the Middle East, there are nuances you need to be aware of. Just as your CV must be tailored to each job, it must also be tailored to different regions and cultures. Middle Eastern hiring departments have different hiring requirements. If your CV is not properly prepared, you will never get an interview.

Discrimination exists

Most countries in the Middle East do not have laws against discrimination. For example, in Dubai it is not illegal for employers to specify the age, gender, ethnicity and nationality of people they want to hire. Probably if you come from the West, you would never have thought that these factors are taken into account.

This means that employers in Dubai and across the Middle East are free to ask you all sorts of questions, look for very specific physical traits and characteristics and judge you on your appearance. If your CV doesn’t take these factors into account, you won’t get an interview.

A picture is worth a thousand words

If you want your CV in the Middle East to survive the recruiters’ first sift, you need a picture to accompany your resume. You might be considered for an interview simply because you are attractive and presentable. Employers may even make hiring decisions based on which ethnic groups they do or do not favour. The best way to match the specific factors a company is looking for (physically) is to include a photo at the top of your CV.

Include your nationality

Employers may also make decisions based on the nationality of candidates. Depending on the sector to which the company belongs, it may be considered undesirable for people of a certain nationality to work in the organisation. Therefore, companies can (and do) specify nationalities. If you have a mixed background or dual nationality, indicate this on your CV. Whatever you do, don’t hide these factors when applying for a job in a place like Dubai.

Age and gender

Employers will screen applicants based on age and gender. 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 positions. If the position requires women between the ages of 25 and 35, don’t bother applying for those roles if you don’t fit the criteria. You will not be considered. If you do meet these factors, it is still important that you clearly state your date of birth and gender to make it clear that you fit the mould the employer wants.


Receive the best business content about Middle East

Subscribe and receive awesome content in your inbox, every month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.