Amir Reza, Founder of Dubai based Harmony Connections – a boutique recruitment consultancy service specializing in talent sourcing and acquisition – shares helpful advice for those on the hunt for jobs in the UAE, simple dos and don’ts, tips on how to get your resumé noticed, and most importantly, what those who have lost their jobs must remember during the process of starting over.
Remember when there was a whole lot of noise about booming employment opportunities and the introduction of new job roles in the UAE with the onset of Expo 2020?
While multiple news states that salaries are expected to increase in 2019, recent developments in various sectors, including F&B and our very own, media and publishing, showcase a different side – redundancies, closing down of outlets, both F&B and print publications and consolidation of roles within agencies.
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In situations such as these, how do those who have lost their livelihood pick themselves back up and gear up to start from scratch in the job hunting process?
Here are the excerpts from our chat with Amir Reza, where he shares his helpful advice to job seekers in the UAE, providing helpful tips, do’s and don’ts, and how to start it all over again.
Helpful advice for candidates looking for a job in the UAE
Stay positive, the job market can be tough, but you will find something suitable if you follow the right steps. It can also be time-consuming, but it also depends on how proactive you are. You need to stay focused, do research and constantly apply for relevant positions. unfortunately, it is a “numbers game”, the more you apply the higher the chance you will find a suitable position. But I cannot stress this enough, make sure you apply only for positions which are suitable and relevant.
Networking is extremely important, whether on online platforms such as LinkedIn or in face to face networking events.
LinkedIn is a great tool, ensure connect with as many relevant people to expand your network. Add decision-makers and make a small introduction about yourself but be mindful to keep your approach professional at all times.
There are many networking events which almost happens on a daily basis, use these events to broaden your network. The more people in your network, the higher the prospect of finding a suitable position.
Do’s and don’ts of applying for jobs in Dubai, UAE
Make sure your CV is well drafted
One of the biggest errors job hunters make when looking for work is not paying attention to their CV. The CV is the first thing a prospective employer sees and unfortunately spelling mistakes, gaps in the CV and inconsistent employment dates seem to be far too common. Also, try and keep your CV simple, there’s no need to fancy borders and multi-coloured fonts, make it easy for the reader to concentrate on the content.
Your CV represents you and if there are errors it has a direct reflection on who you are as a person. If you can’t pay enough attention to detail on your own CV how much confidence will the employer have, that you will pay attention to your job?
Use your network and connections
Don’t be afraid to contact the people within your network for assistance and recommendations. Out of everyone you know, you should be able to use their connections to get hold of decision makers. And if you don’t know people or are new to the UAE, there are plenty of networking events which will broaden your network and contacts.
Research the company
Make sure you have read about the company, who they are and what they do. This will help you make the right choice and also allow you to tailor your CV accordingly. In some cases, your past experience may be very relevant to the company, but you haven’t fully highlighted this on your CV.
Read the job description thoroughly
When applying for a position, make sure you fully read and understand the job description and it’s a match to your background. Applying to any and every position has a negative effect which makes you look desperate. Pay attention to job requirements such as language, gender, years of experience, qualifications etc.
LinkedIn is also a great tool in finding decision makers and approaching them directly. Do some research and on an open position and find a decision maker in that company and introduce yourself, but don’t forget to make sure you are suitable for the role, you don’t want to seem desperate.
Make sure you have an updated profile on job boards and ensure you have a professional photo of your face. A lot of companies and recruitment agencies have access to job boards and will contact you if you have a suitable profile.
Top tips to get your Resumé noticed
Your CV needs to be easy to read with relevant information about you. This is the first thing a prospective employer will see, so it needs to be neat, clean and professional.
Avoid fancy borders and multicoloured fonts. Ensure you have a professional and clear photo, a selfie taken in a night club or in a mall is totally unacceptable. Don’t forget, this is the first thing they see from you and it needs to represent a professional image.
Avoid writing long essays and paragraphs, people simply do not have the time to read long stories about your duties. Stick to bullet points which are clear and constructive. It’s been said that an average of 6 seconds is spent by recruiters when reviewing a CV make that 6 seconds count. If in that 6 seconds they see what they like, they will spend more time further investigating, if they are not captivated during that period, your CV will be deleted.
I know this sounds harsh, but if you imagine a recruiters Inbox after advertising a position will contain over 500 CV’s, 6 seconds is all the time they will have.
If you’ve changed jobs frequently, this will have a negative impact. In a lot of cases, this was not in your control as the company may have folded, the position was made redundant etc. Make sure you let the reader know, simply write your reason for leaving at the end of the beginning section of each position. This will prevent you from being judged as a disloyal employee. The same rule applies if there is a gap in your CV, where the gap is, provide the dates and mentioned what you were doing during the period, for example, “travelled”, “had a child” or “was in ill”, whatever the reason, make sure you mention this.
Try to leave no questions unanswered, you will get the chance to provide further clarification should you be called in for an interview, but unless you represent yourself correctly on your CV, you won’t be given the opportunity to explain anything as your CV will probably be deleted.
How to best start it all over again
It’s never easy when you lose your job, so it’s important to stay positive. In a very saturated market, one has to work hard to beat the competition. The best way to do this is by being proactive and making yourself stand out from the rest. In order to achieve this, you need to think outside the box and sometimes get out of your comfort zone. In the age of technology, no longer is going door to door an option. Use the tools which have been provided to seek out opportunities.
As mentioned in this article, job boards and LinkedIn have an array of opportunities, instead of just clicking the apply button like everyone else, find a position which matches your background and experience. This will not work if you feel that you have the ability to do the job but have not actually done it before. You will not be given a chance to prove yourself, simply because there are people with years of experience who have done the job. So, in a market where talent is in an abundance, no employer will take a risk, they want people who can “hit the ground running”.
So, once you have ensured you are perfect for the role, try to find out the name of the person who has advertised the role. Once you find the name, try to add them on LinkedIn and make an introduction.
If that doesn’t work, find the name of the company and call the main line and ask for that person or get their direct email, you will then be able to introduce yourself.