When it comes to resumes, standards in the UAE can be different from many parts of the world. Here's some tips on what to include.
3 October 2013| Last updated on 8 June 2017
Your CV is like your advertisement when you are job hunting. It tells the potential employer about your educational background and your previous experience. It is also important as it gives the person who is hiring you an insight into your personality, writing habits and attention to detail.
Some people recommend that you hire a professional agency to compose your CV document. However if you choose to do it yourself or to use a professional template we have some tips for writing your CV so that it meets the UAE standards.
The most important thing to remember is that there are no discrimination laws in the UAE. This means that the employer is allowed to specify what you should look like, your age and your nationality when looking to employ a candidate. Therefore your CV should be adjusted to reflect your physical attributes, as well as your nationality and personality.
The cover letter
The cover letter is used to introduce your CV to potential employers. It is basically an advertisement as to why they should hire you. The cover letter should be adjusted in order to reflect what the specific company’s requirements are. Including the hiring manager’s name onto the cover letter is a nice personal touch to add.
Your cover letter should be specifically tailored to the company's profile and needs. An employer can spot a generic letter a mile away. Do not, under any circumstances, use text message abbreviations such as "ur", "u", "r" and the like anywhere in the CV.
Check both the cover letter and the CV for spelling errors. Technology is so good that nowadays you don't need to be a proficient speller. The spell check can do the work for you.
Do not regurgitate your CV onto the cover letter. The letter should show a bit of your personality and why you think you would fit into the company, and also why they should employ you.
Photograph – your CV should include a recent photograph of yourself. This is to show the employer what you look like. A passport sized photo on the top right hand side of your CV is the norm. Ensure that it is not a photo that you've knicked off Facebook, or one where you are exposing cleavage or it looks like you are out on a night on the town. The photograph that you include should reflect your business persona and be as professional as you put forth in the CV.
One page CV – in western countries we are advised to have only a one page CV, however in the UAE one page will simply not suffice. Two full pages is the best size for a CV.
Personal information – include the following into your CV
• Nationality because your cover photo and name do not always signal where you come from. Employers may specify that they are looking for a specific nationality. Furthermore, salaries are dictated by nationality in some fields in the UAE.
• Age, some employers will require the women that they hire to be of a certain age.
Keep in mind that gender is sometimes a factor when employers are hiring.
When writing about your previous experience or your skills embellish on the information and exaggerate enough to make yourself seem like you are the best thing that ever happened to your previous company.
Remember that your CV should show personality and reflect all the positive aspects of you, it is difficult to do on a piece of paper but a little bit of imagination can go a long way in getting you that interview.
Written for ExpatWoman by Nela Lukic