Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, it needs more than just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi 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 the Saudi job search.
Do not underestimate the influence employment in Saudi Arabia 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.
For an employer, the first impression of you is your CV. It must leave a favourable and lasting impact. A successful CV is one that will appear in most searches and generate the most interviews.
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 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.
The aim of your Saudi CV should be to persuade the employer to invite you for a job interview. Therefore, your CV is a marketing tool, which you should customize to the market in which you intend to use it. Write an introduction that contains many power words and action verbs. Scanners that are programmed to select specific words notice these keywords.
Arabic is an official language. English is spoken widely and used in public places.
When applying for a position 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.
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.
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 examples properly illustrating your achievements.
Targeting the job title of a position you apply for, write your Saudi CV in a short and professional style using action words. Write your CV in reverse-chronological order – starting with what you have done most recently or functional order – information structured per item. Make no more than two to three pages depending on the length of your work experience. Emphasize experience and/or knowledge of the Middle East.
The intention of your 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 Saudi Arabia want to see in detail what you have done, who you have worked for, when you worked there and what your accomplishments were. The Saudi CV that covers a work history of 15 years or more should easily be up to four or more pages long.
Begin the Saudi 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 no longer than two sentences. Remember that this statement can limit the positions that you will be considered for. Write this statement wisely, so you may not be overlooked. Employers will look here first before proceeding with the rest of your CV.
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.
In addition, list certifications and training received. Mention any Honors, Awards, Scholarships and Internships. Include any information that might be appropriate for your job search.
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. If you have not had much work experience, try including temporary, holiday or voluntary jobs.
Make your Saudi CV more effective and emphasize what you have to offer to the employer. Use power words and action words to describe your achievements, such as contributed, organized, trained, managed, developed, coordinated, etc. Provide examples that fit the job, to illustrate your achievements. Focus on the skills and qualifications that are required for the position. Bullet points these at the start of a sentence for maximum impact.
Optionally you may add the “Memberships” section where you list any professional affiliations, associations or memberships of interest to employers.
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 Saudi Arabia 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 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.
Computer print or typewrite your CV hard copies on white A4 format paper. Use the same font and style as your cover letter. Use a font that is easy to read such as 11 points Arial.
Always include a cover letter with your CV, but never attach any official documents, like diplomas or testimonials to your application unless you have been asked to provide them.
It is best to avoid putting references on your CV. 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 Saudi CV. Use the word processor’s spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation in usage errors in Arabic, English or other language 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.