Saudi Cover Letter Writing Guide

April 17, 2023 0 Comments

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, work in Saudi Arabia needs more than just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi cover letter writing and translation – it requires thorough preparation. You will experience problems that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to search for jobs in Saudi Arabia.

Do not take too lightly the huge influence the Saudi cover letter can have on the results of your adventure! For example, you will experience the unusual immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, weird selection trends and strange management culture.

Your Saudi cover letter is the very first thing an employer will see. The cover letter is used as an introduction and should accompany your CV, whether e-mailed, posted on a job site, mailed or hand-delivered to an employer. It is common to send one page typed cover letter with your CV.

The purpose of your cover letter is to make sure your CV is read. A human or a piece of software scans job applications in seconds. In both cases, the reader is checking if your skills and experience match the criteria detailed in a job ad.

Your first step in writing a cover letter should be to go through the job ad and underline the keywords used by the employer/recruiter. As long as you can back up your claims, try to use these words in your cover letter and CV.

Arabic is the official language of Saudi Arabia. English is widely understood and used in business and public places.

When applying for employment in Saudi Arabia, you may use either English or Arabic, 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. The basic knowledge of English is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

If you are submitting an English version only, it is helpful to duplicate in Arabic your name, contact address and company names, unless you are certain that the recipient of your cover letter and CV is an English speaker.

The cover letter should not repeat your CV. A personalized, targeted, well-written cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart, grab the employer’s interest, and draw them in for a closer look at your CV.

Take the time to research every employer’s organization and customize your Saudi cover letter to fit the position. If possible, personalize each letter with a real person’s name. Place the name of the recipient, their title, company name and address in the left-hand corner. Such personalization would increase the retention of your application.

Often the cover letter is more relevant to employers than the accompanying CV because CVs refer mainly to the past time with exception of your present job. Employers are interested mostly in the future of the companies. Therefore, your letter should refer to your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future, rather than your past achievements.

Using simple language explain your motivation and why you are the right person for the job. Emphasize what you can do for your potential employer, not why their company would be good for your career. Exploit facts about the company collected through research of public information sources, references or insider contacts.

Begin your Saudi cover letter with your name, nationality and contact information including your address, phone/fax and e-mail. Often cover letters and CVs are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with an international access code and e-mail address are most important.

Saudi cover letter usually contains three or four paragraphs. Write in a short and professional style using action words. Be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible. Break any paragraph, which is longer than seven lines, into a short easily understandable one.

The opening paragraph should state the job you are applying for and that you are confident you are suited to the role. Try to grab the employer’s interest with the first sentence of this paragraph.

A second paragraph should tell the reader why he or she should be interested in you.

A third paragraph could be used to highlight one or two career achievements relevant to the job.

Close your cover letter, by expressing willingness to explain your application in more detail during a personal interview.

Send your cover letter together with your CV. Send no other attachments such as diplomas or testimonials, unless they have been requested.

Use the same font and style as your CV or resume. We recommend using a font that is easy to read such as 11 points Arial as well as A4 white paper for hard copies of your cover letter. Sign hard copies.

Some large multinational companies use their own job application forms instead of personal cover letters and CVs. So, pay attention to the open questions that try to establish your social and transferable skills. Never leave any blank spaces.

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

Remember that your Saudi cover letter must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. We recommend that you send your Saudi CV together with a cover letter.

If you have difficulty with your cover letter writing use a cover letter sample and cover letter template.

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