Applying for a job in Dubai? You've clicked on the article: we're about to explain in detail how to format your CV for job applications in the city of Dubai, also applicable to the UAE.
The objective of correctly formatting and writing your CV is pretty straightforward: attracting recruiters' attention within the few seconds they will be allocating to reviewing your CV.
In order to attract the recruiter's attention and stimulate his or her curiosity, it is essential to put great care into each and every section of your CV, from your contact details to your personal summary, work experience, academic background, languages, and skill section.
Crafting a tailored CV will make your job search easier and your job application more impactful: it will lead you to land more interviews.
If you already know how to write a professional CV, head to our CV templates pages for inspiration (or purchase them if you don't have time to replicate them). If you have already landed interviews, check out our articles about the best ways to impress your interviewer or how to calm job interview nerves.
Is there a specific format to follow for job applications in Dubai?
The format of CVs used for job applications in Dubai is the same as formats used for job applications in other countries. Your CV for job applications can be one or two pages long depending on your level of experience and typically includes sections outlining your contact details, your personal summary, work experience, academic background, languages, and skills.
6 sections of a winning Dubai CV format
1. Personal details
For your personal details section, stick to the essentials:
Professional email address
Phone number with your country code
Location (based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
LinkedIn profile link
Eligible to work in the UAE/sponsorship mention
Many job seekers have the tendency to include details such as marital status, number of children, religion, exact address and other personal details. These do not constitute relevant information for your recruiter and may lead to discrimination and biases. We thus recommend not including these personal details.
Your CV summary will serve as both an introduction to your CV and a summary of your profile.
It should be 2 to 4 sentences and highlight:
Your current job title/area of expertise
The amount of experience you have in this area
Your key achievements
Your key relevant skills
How you can contribute to the company/department/team objectives
Make sure your tailor this section to every job application by including the name of the company you're applying to and paraphrasing the description of the vacant role.
"Bilingual marketing expert with 5+ years of experience in developing effective and revenue-generating marketing strategies. Solid experience in implementing online and offline advertisement activities aiming to increase brand awareness and company visibility. Drive, professional eager to contribute solid strategic marketing, creativity, and management skills to helping Marriott create and execute impactful marketing strategies."
We recommend you write your CV summary last
Since your CV summary is a condensed paragraph of your relevant professional experience, achievements, and skills, it will be easier for you to write it last, after you've taken care of the content for these other CV sections.
3. Professional experience
Start listing your professional experience in reverse chronological order: list your most recent experience on top.
For each professional experience you list on your CV, include the following information:
4-5 bullet points (or more, or less depending on how much you've achieved in this role
Dates of employment
Make each bullet point as achievement-oriented and impactful as possible. To do this, include numbers, percentages and names of renowned clients/partners you may have worked with.
Sealed 8+ sponsorship deals, resulting in a 35% increase in advertising revenue in 2015
Developed and nurtured relationships with corporate partners including Adidas, Nike, and Reebok
Important: only list relevant professional experience on your CV
Make sure to only include information that is relevant to the job you're applying for. The best way to make sure you'll do this right is by highlighting the key responsibilities listed in the job description and tailoring your CV to it.
4. Academic background
Always include your academic background, even if what you studied is not relevant to the job you're applying for.
Successfully completed higher education signals knowledge, dedication, and overall trust. This is especially important if you've attended renowned, prestigious establishments whose names can help you stand out among other candidates.
As for the professional experience section, include all relevant details about your academic background, including:
The name of your programme in full letters + acronym: e.g. Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The university/institution you attended in full letter + acronym if there is one: e.g. Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT)
Special recognitions (e.g. Magna cum laude, cum laude, high honours)
Dates of enrollment
Dubai is an international business location, and speaking 2 or more languages will thus be a considerable advantage for you.
If that is your case, make sure to include all languages you speak and the related levels in your CV. To give recruiters all the information they need and to prevent misinterpretations of your levels, make sure to describe your levels in words and add an institutional level in parenthesis.
English: Fluent (C1)
Spanish: Conversational (B1)
If you don't have a certificate or don't know your level, they are many free tests you can take online to get an idea of where you stand.
If the employer specifically asks for a specific language certificate and you hold it, make sure to include this in your CV.
English: Fluent (C1, Cambridge certification)
Similar to the work experience section, your skills section needs to be tailored to the job description.
Although companies often include the sought skills at the end of the job description, they also include some throughout the job description by merging them with responsibilities for example.
Concretely here's what you should do:
Include at least some keywords in your CV that you find in the job description (this is important to pass Applicant Tracking Systems)
Include original skills you possess that you consider important for the job and try to get a bit creative and find synonyms that no other candidate will use: this will make you stand out!
Don't copy and paste all the job description skills into your CV: this will not be credible and come across as if you were trying to cheat the ATS
Should I add a picture on a CV for jobs in Dubai?
To the best of our knowledge, there are no clear guidelines or recommendations as to whether you should include your picture on a CV when applying for jobs in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We thus recommend not including a picture to avoid discrimination or biases which could affect your job search and job applications in Dubai.
Should I put my academic background above the professional experience section?
When it comes to your CV, you should put your academic background above your work experience section if you have less than 1 year of relevant work experience or if you consider your academic background to be of greater added value for the job you're aiming for.
Our CV writing services
We would be thrilled to assist you in your Dubai job search! In addition to providing CV writing services, we have crafted a winning, ATS-optimised and easily scannable CV template, which you will find in our CV templates section.
We also offer free CV/free resume feedback to job seekers who have doubts about where they stand and how they can improve their application documents.
Please reach out if you need help attracting recruiters' attention and landing interviews!
In the meantime, best of luck with your applications in Dubai!