Saudi Arabia: What do Saudi Employers Look for on a CV?


With economic downslides taking place in other parts of the world, employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia continue to rise.  Therefore a common question received today is what does a Saudi employer look for on a CV?  First and foremost the applicant should meet or exceed the requirements and responsibilities of the position.  The CV should be tailored for the specific position applied.


The CV’s which circulate in the Arab world are generally more formal than one would necessarily see in the West.  The CV may contain the photo of a particular male applicant.  A woman applying for a position in Saudi should not volunteer a photo as that would go against cultural norms.  The CV generally states if an applicant is married and what religion is practiced.  Marital status is a factor in Saudi employment agreements as many expatriates are hired either on a single or a married contract.  Religion applies too since it will impact on the visa.  If a muslim accepts employment in Saudi Arabia, faith is cited on the visa so there is no prohibition for travel to the cities of Makkah or Medinah.


My advice is to keep your CV clean, clear, crisp and concise.  Add any attributes which can enhance one’s ability to fulfill a position but don’t clutter it up with experiences or data that is outdated.


Perhaps more importantly than the CV is the cover letter of introduction which should accompany any CV where one is applying for a specific job.  The cover letter should indicate knowledge and familiarity with the position and company as well as the understanding of the position with the ability to fulfill requirements.  The cover letter should be like an appetizer which grabs the reader’s attention and make them want to know more.


An employment opportunity in Saudi Arabia can be a rewarding experience.  Working in Saudi Arabia provides opportunities of growth and exposure to one of the most closed Arab societies.


In closing this post, I encourage expatriates who have or are working in Saudi Arabia to share their experiences.  How did they find their job?  How long did the employment process take?  What was the most beneficial experience encountered working in Saudi Arabia?


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