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Tips for a UAE Worthy CV

We always encourage our candidates to tailor their CV to the type of roles they are applying for, but what is equally important it to consider tailoring to the country your job search is in. Employers in the UAE and middle East can have a different way of thinking to other countries. Below are some pointers to take into consideration if your job search is in the UAE or wider Middle East job market.

Include a photo

One thing you may not think to include on a CV is a photo, especially if you are applying from abroad. This is however very common practice in the UAE. Employers want to see that you are presentable and professional. Your CV should include a passport sized photo with a neutral background. Remember headshot in office attire looks much more professional than a selfie!

Personal Details

When reading the job description for a role you wish to apply for, you may find employers are very specific about the type of individual they are looking for. It’s therefore a good idea to include some personal details near the top of your CV, normally listed next to your contact details, e.g. your date of birth and nationality. This way the hiring managing can quickly see you fit the bill of the type of candidate they are looking for.


The UAE is an international hub, with many cultures and nationalities working together in offices, and with international companies taking on clients across the globe.

If you speak multiple languages, then impress the hiring manager by showing these off! This could be viewed as an asset to an employer, or they may have requested an additional language such as Arabic within the job specification.

CV formatting

Formatting your CV can sometimes be tricky, as individuals commonly try to make their CV stand out with graphics or being short and to the point. Companies in the UAE seem to have a preference for longer and more in depth CVs, so there is no need to try and keep tasks listed under your work experience to a few short lines. It is also best to have your CV in an easy to read bullet pointed format. This was you can also easily write out achievements and responsibilities under each job.

A side note on Social Media

While this is not something you would include on your CV (other than maybe a link to your LinkedIn page), your online presence should be a factor you take into consideration when applying for new roles. It is very common for hiring managers to check social media accounts when they are considering who they want to hire, as this can allow them to get a better idea of candidates than a CV alone.

Modesty in your profile pictures is something you should be aware of, not only within the Middle East. Make sure any profile pictures are not too revealing, as the dress code within the UAE encourages residents and tourists to dress modestly as an act of respect. You may also want to reconsider if profile pictures include alcohol and what you or other people are doing in any public photos. A more professional profile picture will give a better impression on anyone that searchers your social media.

Photos aren’t they only aspect a hiring manager might check; as what you post or tweet can also say a lot about you as a person. Be careful what you post about and make sure what you post doesn’t contain anything offensive. Social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to tailor your own privacy settings. Make sure to review your settings so that only friends can view your photos.

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