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The UAE CV Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in the UAE needs more than just the obvious UAE CV with the UAE cover letter writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You will be confronted with problems that probably did not even cross your mind when you become interested in jobs in Emirates.

Do not underestimate the influence employment in Dubai can have on your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.

A CV is similar to a resume in that it provides more details about one’s professional qualifications, experience and education. However, the term "Curriculum Vitae" most often called CV, typically carries a different meaning depending on whether one distributes the CV within the US, Canada or internationally (external to the US or Canada) or is seeking a faculty, academic, research, clinical or scientific position.

You can turn your current resume into a CV. A CV is similar to a resume in that it outlines your professional qualifications and history, but it does so with more detail by adding to the resume the detailed descriptions of your educational and/or professional experiences and personal information that may include nationality, date of birth, marital status, etc.

Arabic and English are spoken widely and used in public places. Urdu and Hindi are also spoken.

When applying for jobs in the UAE, you may use either English, Arabic or other foreign languages, depending on the company and your fluency. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing English or Arabic will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers.

Prepare yourself - before writing your CV research the company you want to work for. Such information will help you to adapt your CV more effectively to each specific job and use proper examples illustrating your achievements.

Write your UAE CV in reverse chronological order - starting with what you have done most recently or functional order - information structured per item, emphasizing experience or knowledge of the Middle East.

The aim of your UAE CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it.

Employers in the United Arab Emirates want to see in great detail what you have done, who you have worked for, when you worked there and what your accomplishments were. The UAE CV that covers a work history of 15 years or more should easily be 4 or more pages long.

Begin the UAE CV with your “Personal Details” listing name, address, contact information including your telephone number and e-mail address. Often CVs are kept on file for lengthy periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number, with the international access code and e-mail, are most important.

Next, write an “Objective” or “Summary” statement. Remember that this statement can limit the positions that you will be considered for. Write this statement wisely, so you may not be overlooked.

Follow with “Education”. List the degree obtained, study major, the school, the city and the year the degree was granted. If you have more than one degree, list the highest degree first. Describe your level of oral and written knowledge of languages.

Then, under “Professional Experience” detail, the company name and the time spent at each particular position, your job titles and a thorough description of your responsibilities - emphasizing areas relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Make your CV more effective by providing examples to illustrate your achievements. Use power words and action verbs such as contributed, organized, demonstrated, trained, managed, developed, coordinated etc. Bullet points these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.

After the above items, you can have extra headings for things such as additional coursework or seminars, publications, special licenses, software, hardware, operating systems, computer languages, personal information including nationality, marital status, date and place of birth, gender, military service, etc.

Discrimination laws are not as stringent in the United Arab Emirates as they are elsewhere in the world. Subsequently, carefully consider what to leave out of your CV. If you are not married, it is not wise to mention that you “only” live together with a partner – it does not comply with the Muslim religion.

It is more common in the UAE to apply for a job through the Internet. However, you should be aware that an electronic CV does not look the same as a standard one. Employers often scan CVs, so make your CV scannable by avoiding for example lines, italic fonts etc.

Warning! Internet applications will not be processed unless photographs are scanned to the application

Always include a cover letter with your CV, but never attach any official documents, like diplomas or testimonials to your application.

It is best to avoid putting references on your CV unless you have been specifically asked to provide them. Employers usually ask for references when they actually need them. This is a strong indication that an employer is interested in you.

Check the spelling and grammar of your UAE CV. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and language usage errors in Arabic or other languages or if you need help in organizing your CV, send it to a professional for assistance.

Remember that your CV must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your CV writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples and CV templates.

Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
You should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. The online CV should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Other UAE CV Info

To be successful in your UAE job search and get the job you want, you need to prepare the UAE cover letter and the UAE CV which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in the UAE.

When you receive an invitation to the UAE job interview, you may apply for a UAE visa and a UAE work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the UAE dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not being hired for available jobs.

Check the job interview dos & don'ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your UAE CV!