Attend the Emirates CV Drop off Open Day or Apply online?

We often receive three key questions from Emirates cabin crew applicants. One of the most common questions we get from our clients for the Emirates cabin crew recruitment process is whether they should apply online or to attend the Open Day CV drop off. They are also keen to know if one option works better than the other in terms of their chances.  Finally, if they are allowed to attend an Open Day if they have already applied online.

Online application or Open Day?

You have to do both but we always suggest to candidates to first attend the Open Day and if successful at the Assessment Day to start completing the online application too! The recruitment process is a subjective process and there are a lot of variables to contend with such as your presentation on the day, how you answer the questions during the CV drop off day, whether you made an impression in that first few seconds with the recruiter, the quality of your CV, body language, your age, nationality, gender, your fluency in spoken English and the way you speak.  Recruiters will already know before attending the Open Day in that city on the profile of candidates that they expect to shortlist – nationality, language skills, age, gender, etc. Yes, they do have a quota on this for each area as they have to keep the proportions according to the Emirates Group Policy for cabin crew in terms of the global and cosmopolitan mix in their international cabin crew.

If you submit your application online, you are putting your CV into an automated computer system which uses artificial intelligence software to screen your application.  If you pass this process, your application will then be put on “application received” status until a human recruiter is able to review your application.

An online application may not be reviewed for quite some time, in some cases 6 months or more.  This will depend again on a list of variables as detailed above.  If you are fortunate enough to be shortlisted, you will have to wait to be invited to an Assessment Day at a city near you. In some countries like Egypt or the UAE, assessment days by invitation following online application are more common recruitment events.

Remember that Emirates do operate quotas for nationalities so you would stand the best chance if you applied in the country where you hold the passport. One good example is when the rostering department at Emirates HQ rosters their flights for the cabin crew. Each A380 or B777 leaving Dubai International Airport has to have a good crew mix from all nationalities that Emirates represents. So why this is relevant at recruitment events? Well, it is, this diversity mix brings its own limitations. The downside is you may have a very good CV, good presentation, and still may not get shortlisted as they have reached the optimum numbers for your nationality. It is hard to accept this is the case but it does happen because they need to have that multi-cultural crew diversity on board each aircraft.

Sometimes they will place candidates “on hold” if they already have sufficient numbers from those countries. From what we know, there is a shortfall for British and Brazilian nationals.

Can I apply online and attend an Open Day?

In most circumstances, you can submit an online application and still attend an Open Day if you haven’t heard back from the Emirates recruitment team.

However, if you have received a ‘regret’ email after submitting an online application, you should wait 6-months before attending an Open Day.  The same rule applies if your submission status reads “Not shortlisted”. Why? At the CV drop off open day, your recruiter checks your online application to see if you made one.

If your application status reads “completed” and the withdraw button is not present, then you have not been shortlisted but you can still attend an Open Day.  Please be mindful that you may still not match the needs of Emirates at that instance because of other variables mentioned above, and could still be rejected. The process is not like a lottery draw as some candidates believe it actually is. Aside from having the best CV and presentation, there are other key quotas too as mentioned above, and you really need to tick all the boxes!

When do I need to apply online?

In most circumstances, you can attend an Open Day in whatever country you see one advertised.  However, Emirates has been pre-screening some nationalities and only inviting applicants who have applied online to an invitation-only Assessment Day.

Do I need to apply through an agent?

In a few countries, Emirates uses an agent to conduct the initial shortlisting for them, and holds Assessment Days in conjunction with these third-party recruiters.  If you live in one of the following countries, you will need to apply for the position through the agent. Countries include Russia, Morocco, Ukraine, Brazil, Japan, Philippines and China.

Do I have to wait 6 months between Open Days?

The official rule is that you have to wait at least 6-months between unsuccessful application when:

  • You attended an Assessment Day

  • Or, you reached Final Interview

  • Or, you received an official ‘Regret’ email

  • Or, your online application status is “Not shortlisted”

So, if you’ve attended an Open Day and weren’t shortlisted at the initial stage then technically you can attend another Open Day whenever you wish.  However, recruiters do stress that you should build your experience and skills – and that only comes with time.

Of course, there is an element of luck involved in getting shortlisted so there is still a chance you could attend an Open Day the very next week and get shortlisted by a different recruiter.  It’s certainly a risk but it sometimes pays off.

If you need help with a strong professional CV and excellent edited photos to increase your chances, click-on the button below to find out more.


Jess, an Emirates cabin crew and social influencer recommends our services.