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What to keep in mind when applying for a job in the Middle East

Applying for a job is never easy, you have to very carefully advertise yourself. Just as your CV should be tailored to each specific job, so too should it be tailored to fit different regions and cultures around the world as you consider employment across international boundaries. If you are applying for a job in Dubai, Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the Middle East, there are some specific nuances that you should be aware of.

Detailed information

It is absolutely normal in the Middle East to ask the potential employee about your personal life. The recruiter can ask you questions that might not be customary to ask in the Western world e.g. your age, ethnicity, nationality etc. They can be very specific about what they are looking for but that does not mean they would turn down an excellent candidate for not meeting a certain little detail. Like every other employer in the world they just want to find the perfect person and are not afraid to ask for it.

Nationality and residency

Always include your nationality in your CV. This information is important because nationality and residency can have an impact on your payroll taxes. In case you hold dual citizenship or have a mixed background, include them all in your CV.

Include a photo when applying

It is always nice to see who the employer is dealing with. Again, companies can be looking for very specific factors and naturally the best way to conform to those factors is including a photo in your CV. Smiling and looking presentable in your photo is always a good first impression irrespective the recruiter.

Your age and gender

As said before, employers in the Middle East can be very specific about what they are looking for including certain gender and age. If you meet the criteria for the job you should definitely accent your age to clarify that you are indeed what they are looking for. Date of birth is also important for the company for issuing your visa and other legal documents.

Information about your visa and passport

Mention your passport expiry date in your CV. In order to process your visa the employer needs your passport to be valid at least for the next 6 months. Including the expiry date in your CV will give them confirmation that there is a one less obstacle in the way of getting you a visa. If you are already holding a visa, include the type of your visa and the expiry date.

Experience from the Gulf countries

The most important part of your CV is your former work experience. If you have worked in the Gulf countries before, definitely highlight it. Gulf employers tend to look for previous experience from the same region.

Education history

Many employers require you to get your diploma attested by the Embassy. It is a big plus if you have already attested your certificates before applying for a job. Definitely mention this in your CV as well.

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