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How to Adapt Your Resume for Jobs in the Middle East

Some guidance if you want to apply for positions a bit further afield from more traditional spots than the UK or Hong Kong.

How Long?

Never more than two pages. Be ruthless and only include absolutely relevant information, even if your experience is vast. Include a deal list as an appendix as well as any additional information if necessary.

Layout?

As a general rule, start with a personal statement, followed by personal information, education, then experience with most recent position first.

Should You Include Your Photo?

We don't do it here, but doing so is increasingly common in the Middle East. It adds a human element to your application and can also help you get a foot in the door. One headhunter describes how a candidate once wooed HR with a photo that "made them look like a young Michael Douglas, when the reality was a short Andy Serkis".

Should You Include Your Age?

A definite yes in the Middle East.

"In western markets, people are concerned about age discrimination, particularly if you're over 40," says Peter Greaves, director, head of financial markets at headhunters McArthur Murray in Dubai. "In the Gulf, a lot of experience is generally viewed as a plus point, so most people include their age. It only becomes an issue if you're over 60."

Does the Resume Need to be in Arabic?

No, in English. While it's an advantage to speak Arabic, investment banks generally do business in English and employers want to see a good grasp of the language on a resume.

Other Weird Anomalies

Weirdly, perhaps, local banks are interested in gaining a little information about your family situation. Putting in your marital status, and even a little about your children could act to your advantage.

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