Ask yourself what it is that you would like to have in the new role
The UAE is a country rich with opportunity and career potential for upwardly mobile professionals and it is consistently ranked one of the top places in the region to live and work. Here are some essential job search tips for 2016.
1. Identify what you would like to do
The UAE job market is sophisticated and extremely competitive, so you will not sound too convincing to a prospective employer if you yourself are not convinced of your objectives, strengths and weaknesses. Assess your career aspirations and motivations. Come to terms with what it is that you specifically didn’t like about your past or present job. Ask yourself what exactly you would like to have in the new job. Are you looking for a higher salary? A better work-life balance? More flexibility on the job? Better career growth opportunities? Different companies offer different options, so make sure you know what it is you truly want when looking for a job in the UAE.
2. Research the market
When you’re starting a new job search, it’s important to understand the job market. Online career maps can help you compare your skills with those most in demand in your industry, country or target job role. There are other ways to research the market, including reading company and industry literature, as well as regional HR surveys that are specific to the recruitment needs of local employers. Research will help you identify what companies, departments and positions to target, and will uncover who is hiring in your industry of choice. The February 2016 Middle East Job Index Survey by Bayt.com, for example, shows that the skill most desired by UAE companies is the ability to work well in a team, with almost half of respondents (49 per cent) claiming that their company values candidates who are team players. The survey reveals that good communication skills in Arabic and English (46 per cent), efficiency (41 per cent) and leadership (40 per cent) are also highly valued skills for employers in the UAE.
3. Customize your CV
Your CV and cover letter are usually the first interaction you will have with a potential employer, so use them to leave a lasting first impression. Make sure the format, content and flow are professional and appropriate for the role and ensure that you keep them updated at all times. Regularly updating your online CV will ensure that employers searching for your skills will find you, even if they don’t have vacancies posted. Make sure you include plenty of keywords and details, such as the industries you are targeting, targeted job roles, career highlights, key skills, etc., as all this will make your CV more searchable and competitive.
4. Create an online profile
The content of your electronic profile forms an employer’s first impression before you even sit down with them for an interview. With that said, we cannot overemphasize the importance of having a detailed and customized online profile. The benefit of an online profile is that it enables employers to find you through search engines when searching for your name or candidates with your skills and professional background.
5. Grow your network
Many jobs these days are found through networking. If you’re applying through job boards, searching the Internet, counting on recruiters or responding to job ads, you’re not doing enough. In fact, there is no substitute for connecting with people. So, stay connected and don’t isolate yourself. Use websites and online professional platforms to connect with like-minded professionals and build greater visibility. Your peers can also offer off-the-cuff, honest appraisals about your performance and work reputation when referring you for a job.
6. Understand your earning potential
Before you start accepting job offers, it’s helpful to know what the local salary structures and trends are and what your peers with similar skills at a similar career level are earning. This is easily done using leading salary comparison tools.
7. Be patient and persistent
Remember, a good start is a job half done. Perfect your toolkit, research the market thoroughly, network actively, apply rigorously to jobs that interest you and which you are qualified for, and be persistent in your pursuit of that ideal opportunity. Surveys show that the process of hiring can take up to three months.