Saudi Arabia CV: Best Practices and Tips

April 17, 2023 1 Comment

Your CV is your first impression.


Crafting one that meets Saudi Arabia’s unique standards can be tricky. With cultural norms and professional requirements to consider, it’s not just about listing your qualifications.

Do you worry about how to present your experience? Or perhaps how to make your CV stand out?

To answer these questions, we’ve researched and compiled the best practices for CV writing in Saudi Arabia.

Let’s explore what makes a CV truly shine.

How to write a Saudi Arabia CV?

Here are the key points for writing an effective CV for jobs in Saudi Arabia:

Personal Details

  • Begin with your name, address, contact information (phone number with international code, email address).
  • Ensure contact details remain accurate long-term.


  • Write a concise 1-2 sentence objective or summary statement highlighting your key qualifications for the role.
  • Tailor this to the specific position you are applying for.


  • List your highest degree first, including degree name, major, university name, location, and graduation year.
  • Mention language proficiency levels.
  • Include relevant certifications, training, honors, awards, etc.

Professional Experience

  • List in reverse-chronological order, including company names, job titles, employment dates.
  • Provide detailed descriptions of responsibilities and achievements using action verbs like “managed”, “developed”, etc.
  • Quantify accomplishments and use bullet points for maximum impact.
  • Focus on skills and qualifications relevant to the target role.

Additional Sections

  • Memberships in professional associations
  • Computer skills, languages, licenses, publications (if relevant)


  • Keep it concise, 2-3 pages maximum depending on experience level.
  • Use a clean, readable font like 11pt Arial on A4 paper.
  • Print on white paper and do not attach documents unless requested.

General Tips

  • Research the company and tailor your CV to the role requirements.
  • Emphasize experience and knowledge related to the Middle East region.
  • Avoid personal details like marital status that may lead to discrimination.
  • Have a professional proofread your CV for errors before submitting.

The key is creating a targeted, achievement-oriented CV highlighting your relevant qualifications for the specific job in Saudi Arabia.

How can I tailor my Saudi CV to match the job requirements?

To tailor your CV for jobs in Saudi Arabia and match the specific requirements, here are some key tips:

Highlight Relevant Skills and Experience

  • Carefully review the job description and identify the key skills and experience required.
  • In your Professional Experience section, emphasize responsibilities and achievements that directly match those requirements, using powerful action verbs.
  • If you lack direct experience in a required skill, highlight transferable skills from other roles that are applicable.

Customize Your Summary/Objective

  • Write a concise 1-2 sentence career summary tailored to the specific role you are applying for.
  • Highlight your most relevant qualifications and years of experience that position you as an ideal candidate.

Prioritize Relevant Sections

  • Reorder section headings to prioritize the most important and relevant information for that job up front.
  • For example, if certifications or technical skills are crucial, move those sections closer to the top.

Use Keyword Optimization

  • Identify important keywords from the job posting related to skills, technologies, certifications etc.
  • Strategically incorporate those keywords throughout your CV, especially in the summary and experience descriptions.
  • This can help your CV get past automated screening systems.

Localize for Saudi Culture

  • Include your marital status and number of dependents, which are valued by Saudi employers.
  • If you have experience working in Saudi Arabia or other Gulf countries, highlight this exposure.
  • Demonstrate awareness of Saudi business culture and values through your language.

By carefully analyzing the job requirements and tailoring your CV content, formatting, and language accordingly, you can create a targeted CV that resonates with Saudi employers for that specific role.

Should I include my marital status in a Saudi CV?

Yes, it is generally recommended to include your marital status when writing a CV for jobs in Saudi Arabia. Here are the key points regarding including marital status on Saudi CVs:

  • Marital status is considered very important information by Saudi employers. They view being married, especially with children, as a sign of commitment and stability for an expatriate hire.
  • Saudi employers typically prefer to hire married candidates over single candidates. Having young children is seen as even more favorable, as it allows spouses to better integrate into the Saudi lifestyle.
  • If you are single, it may be viewed more skeptically by some Saudi employers who could question your commitment to relocating long-term.
  • It is acceptable and expected to list your marital status (single, married, divorced, widowed) under the personal details section of your CV, along with your name, nationality, and number of dependents.
  • If unmarried but living with a partner, it is advisable not to state that, as it goes against cultural norms in the conservative Saudi society.

Is it necessary to include a photo in a Saudi CV?

Including a photo on a CV when applying for jobs in Saudi Arabia is generally acceptable and sometimes expected by employers. Here are the key points:

  • In Saudi Arabia, it is common practice to include a professional headshot photo on your CV. This helps employers put a face to the name and can make your application more memorable.
  • While some experts caution against including photos due to potential biases, in the Saudi cultural context, having a photo is seen as normal and expected.
  • The photo should be a professional-looking headshot, not a casual or social media-style photo. It should portray a neat, conservative appearance aligned with Saudi norms.
  • Certain industries like hospitality, customer service, media etc. may place more emphasis on including a photo to judge professional presentation.
  • However, the content of your CV – qualifications, skills, experience – should be the main focus, not an over-reliance on the photo.

Are there any cultural considerations when writing a Saudi CV?

Yes, there are several important cultural considerations to keep in mind when writing a CV for jobs in Saudi Arabia, based on the information provided in the search results:

  1. Include Personal Details: It is expected and acceptable to include personal details like marital status, number of dependents, nationality, date of birth, etc. on Saudi CVs. Being married with children is generally viewed more favorably by Saudi employers when hiring expatriates.
  2. Use Formal Language: Communication in Saudi culture tends to be more formal and indirect compared to Western styles. Use honorific titles, polite language, and avoid being too direct in your CV content.
  3. Demonstrate Cultural Awareness: Highlight any experience you have working in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East region, as this exposure to the local culture is valued. Tailor your language to reflect an understanding of Saudi business norms.
  4. Consider Gender Dynamics: Be mindful of gender considerations in the conservative Saudi society. For female candidates, providing options for female interviewers or gender-segregated spaces may be appreciated.
  5. Include Photo: It is common practice and expected to include a professional headshot photo on your Saudi CV. Ensure it portrays a neat, conservative appearance aligned with Saudi norms.
  6. Emphasize Relevant Skills: Highlight skills, certifications and qualifications that are particularly valued in the Saudi job market like languages (Arabic and English), technical expertise, leadership abilities, etc.

What are the best formats for a Saudi CV?

Here are the recommended best formats for creating an effective CV when applying for jobs in Saudi Arabia:

Word Document Format

  • Using a Word document (.doc or .docx) is one of the most preferred and widely accepted formats for Saudi CVs.
  • Word allows you to easily structure your CV with clear headings, bullet points, and a professional layout.
  • Word documents are compatible across different systems and can be read by applicant tracking systems used by Saudi employers.

PDF Format

  • Saving your Word CV as a PDF file is also a recommended format for Saudi job applications.
  • PDFs preserve the original formatting and ensure your CV looks consistent across different devices and systems.
  • PDF CVs cannot be easily edited, protecting the integrity of your information.
  • However, ensure your PDF is text-based and not a scanned image, as image PDFs may not be readable by CV screening software.

Online CV Builders

  • Using online CV builder platforms like CV Gulf, FlowCV etc. can help create professional Saudi CV formats easily.
  • These provide pre-built templates tailored for the Saudi/Gulf job market.
  • Online CVs can be downloaded in Word or PDF formats once completed.
  • Ensure the platform offers English and Arabic CV options suitable for Saudi employers.>

Formatting Best Practices

  • Use a clean, readable font like Arial or Times New Roman in 10-12 pt size.
  • Structure with reverse-chronological order for experience and education sections.
  • Include sections like personal details, career summary, skills, achievements etc.
  • Keep length around 2-3 pages maximum based on experience level.
  • Use colors and designs minimally to maintain a professional appearance.

1 Comment

  1. Tausif Ahmad khan
    February 28, 2024

    please share resume in best format.

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