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8 Things That UAE Recruiters Look for in a CV


It’s fair to say that being a recruiter in the UAE is a little different than being a recruiter anywhere else in the world. Boasting one of the most diverse populations in the world with only 13% of UAE nationals actually residing in the country, the job market is primarily made up of expats. This makes a recruiter’s job interesting, to say the least. Things that don’t really make any difference on a CV in other parts of the world make a BIG difference when you’re recruiting in the UAE. You’ll see from our previous post on considerations for hiring  that recruiters already have their work cut out for them. So today we’re outlining the 8 things that UAE recruiters look for in a CV to help make their day-to-day jobs a little bit easier!

contact detailsContact details

Including your contact details on your CV is basically ‘CV-Writing 101’. However, when it comes to CV writing for the UAE, we can’t stress enough just how important it is for candidates to include international codes in their phone numbers. Day in and day out, UAE recruiters are filing through CVs from candidates from around the world who are interested in relocating to the country. Having to search for international telephone codes on Google isn’t a time-consuming exercise, but it’s certainly one that recruiters could do without.


locationsLocations of all previous positions

When locations for previous companies aren’t included in CVs, UAE recruiters have to then go hunting online to find information about where that company is based. Again, this is time that they just don’t have to waste. Recruiters need to know what countries you have worked in previously, specifically a candidate’s most recent company, so listing the city and country in which you have worked is crucial.

visa status

Visa status

We’ve already established that 77% of the UAE is made up of expats. What does this mean for recruiters? Visas, that’s what. When a candidate lists their visa status on their CV it makes the job of a recruiter so much easier. In Dubai, for instance, getting a work permit is usually dependent on an offer of employment for up to three years. Maybe the candidate is already working in Dubai and is interested in other opportunities, or maybe the candidate is living abroad and doesn’t have a work permit or residency visa. Either way, a recruiter needs to know this information in order to do his or her job.

calendar-152139_640Exact employment dates 

When it comes to previous employment, it’s absolutely vital that a recruiter knows the exact amount of experience that a candidate has. It’s not good enough to simply list that you have worked in a position from 2011 to 2013 – you need to also include the months that you started and finished that position on your CV. Most positions will require that you have a minimum amount of experience, so exact dates are so important. Similarly, if there are any gaps in a candidate’s professional history, it’s very helpful if these are explained on their CV.


Specifying qualifications

qualificationsRight now, some of the most in-demand jobs in the UAE are in Healthcare, Education, and IT/Telecoms. These aren’t the types of industries where qualifications aren’t considered to be a big deal. It’s important to know whether or not a candidate has the educational requirements to meet the job spec, and how those qualifications are internationally recognised (if the candidate has studied outside of the UAE). Candidates should list their qualifications as well as the college names and countries at which those qualifications were obtained and if/how they’re recognised on their CVs.


Part/Full-Time experiencework experience

Similar to having specific work dates listed on a CV, it’s just as important for candidates to specify whether or not their previous work experience was achieved on a full-time or a part-time basis. Again, this just makes the recruiter’s job easier in terms of  knowing straight away if the candidate fulfils the criteria for the job. A candidate might have 3 years experience in a previous position, but if it was a part-time role is that the equivalent of having 1.5 years of full-time experience? Will they still meet the criteria if the position requires two years of experience? The recruiter will know the answer to this because they understand the requirements for the role, but if they can’t decifer whether or not a candidate qualifies by the information on their CV, it could mean wasting a lot of time trying to figure it out.


Even though so many people relocate to the UAE for work, it doesn’t mean that recruiters can read a candidate’s mind in terms of their moving plans. What’s to say that a UAE recruiter who receives a CV from someone in Ireland won’t think that the candidate misunderstood the job ad and thought that the position was based in Ireland? Unless it’s clearly stated in the objective of the CV that the person is willing to relocate, the recruiter will have to play guessing games (either that or the CV will end up in the rubbish without a second thought!) The objective is the absolute core of any CV, particularly when you’re a UAE recruiter.

ruler-151053_640CV Length

Finally, it wouldn’t be a blog post about all of the things that you should include on your CV without talking about length, now would it?! Even though we’ve advised that candidates make sure that visa status, exact employment dates, and an objective are all listed on their CVs, it doesn’t mean that a UAE recruiter wants to see seven-page documents coming their way! It’s still important to try to keep the length of a CV to 2-3 pages maximum if possible.

If you’re a recruiter in the UAE, be sure to check out more UAE-specific content on our blog, including ‘Top 4 Considerations for Hiring in the UAE‘ and ‘The Most In-Demand UAE Jobs in 2016‘. You can also keep up to date with the latest recruitment news from around the World on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

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