Find a Job in Cairo

How to look for work in Cairo

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Cairo dominates the Egyptian economy and there are few jobs for foreigners outside of the capital. Jobs fall into two categories:
Jobs paid in local currency (the Egyptian pound or guinay)
Jobs paid in foreign currency
The most lucrative jobs pay in foreign currency and are unlikely to be attained after entering the country. Once arriving in Cairo, you will be limited to searching for jobs that pay in guinay.

Expats in the Job Market

The Egyptian job market operates entirely on word of mouth. Very rarely is a job listing posted in Cairo's English-language publications. It's a good idea to print business cards with English on one side and Arabic on the other and hand them out at every opportunity. Knowledge of Arabic allows for greater access to jobs and networking.

Resume / CV

Resume versus CV

  • Resume- brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
  • CV (curriculum vitae)- more in depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe and the Middle East. Typically two or more pages.


Egypt usually uses a CV.. International companies stationed in Egypt may prefer a resume, but this should be specified in the ad. Prepare both a German and English versions of your resume only if you are fluent in both languages.

    The Resume should contain:
  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, fax number, address, email address, date and place of birth, gender, marital status and number of children. Resumes may be kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give should remain accurate long-term. It is common for a professional photo to be included.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with: your title, the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that position. Any gaps in work history should be explained.
  • Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career. Big name universities can catch a recruiters attention.
  • Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant. Note if you received any special honors.
  • Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. The major language in Cairo is German, but the business language for multinational employers tends to be English. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in a language other than your native tongue, be sure to have a native speaker read it first.
  • Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.


  • CVs should be straightforward and serious. Flashy style is not respected.
  • Use standard paper and a simple font, such as Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10) font
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important. Don't use abbreviations.
  • Make sure your CV is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.

Cover Letter

A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent. Also known as a cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation.

  • Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
  • Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
  • Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer, although many favor the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation "ENCL" may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.


For some basic templates for CVs and cover letters, try Career Lab, Great CV's, or the Career Resource Center.

Job Search

    A checklist of what you need to start your career:
  • Write a curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Research potential employers
  • Find job opportunities
  • Write cover letters
  • Complete job applications
  • Interview
  • Follow-Up
  • Get hired!

After you have completed your CV, it is time to search for jobs.

Search Engines

Online recruitment websites allow for customized job-searches and alerts of new positions. You can also submit a CV for hiring managers.


Writers may find work freelancing for English-language magazines in Egypt. The most prominent are Egypt Today and Business Today. Writers may also try the Business Monthly and the Al-Ahram Weekly. These jobs usually require some credentials or experience. Freelance writing is usually not very well paid in Egypt, typically around 8 cents. Writers may also be eligible for jobs as copyeditors.

Teaching English

Unlike many locations in the developing world, Egypt has many locals who are qualified to teach English. Native English speakers that specialize in one of these two fields rather than in general language skills have an easier time finding a position. Your best chance of finding a position is to arrive in Cairo with an adequate education, savings, and interview at possible schools.

You will need experience or certification d out from the crowd of capable English teachers. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. There are opportunities to volunteer teaching English to Sudanese refugees which offers valuable experience. Nursery schools are also a good option for native speakers as a love of children is more important than certification. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.


Private Classes

It is also an option to work for yourself by giving private lessons. With the high amount of competition in Cairo, this is not as profitable an option as working for a school. The best way to get private students is to post advertisements in business newspapers, on bulletin boards, or offer your resume on expat site's like Easy Expat's job listings. Having basic native language skills will help expand your clientele as you can then work with beginners.

Teaching English Certificates

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.


Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. Practice a basic "speech" about who you are and what you do. Try to use the same keywords you used in your CV. The initial job interview usually lasts an hour.

  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive early. The concept of promptness is largely absent in Egypt, but at the interview you should aim to be early.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates.
  • There is great respect for age and professional titles, so address all present by title and surname.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time. You can also send a follow-up thank you card.

Temporary Agencies

If you are in need of short term work of any kind, there are agencies that will find you employment with another company. As an added bonus, sometimes short term work can lead to longer contract.

Work Visas & Permits

A Work Visa is for people intending to work in Egypt. All foreigners wishing to work in Egypt need a special residence permit, regardless whether an employment contract has been concluded by an Egyptian or foreign company or whether the work is paid or unpaid. Activities of temporary and interim employment agencies also require a work permit. A work visa must be obtained before entering Egypt.

For complete info, consult the "Passport, Visa & Permits" section.

Update 4/12/2011


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