“If it is to be, it is up to me”- William H. Johnsen
I have written this blog through personal experiences, the experiences of fellow colleagues at Cooper Fitch and through the experiences of candidates I encounter every day.
I talk to frustrated job seekers on a daily basis and I know there are thousands of you out there ready to give up. I have been there and done that. I know it can be very frustrating and disappointing when you continuously apply and register on every Jobsite with little or no return.
Below are a few of my own pointers along with some tips from Industry experts at Cooper Fitch.
1. Have Your Information Ready
An updated CV, UAE attested certificates, references, experience certificates and any other relevant documents need to be on hand and ready to send out when requested. This preparation, while obvious, will reduce stress and make each application and follow up much smoother. I have seen people waiting until the last minute to go through their CVs, chopping and changing only to end up with rushed resumes, riddled with mistakes.
Get your CV read over by a recruitment consultant, or use online sites that give tips and show examples of high standard resumes. Nowadays, a recruiter’s primary candidate source is Linkedin so have your professional LinkedIn account on your resume. This can help the recruiter get more information about you, for example, the companies you've worked for or universities you've attended.
2. Register On Job Sites
While it may seem obvious, registering on job sites is a brilliant way to get your job hunt started. It is also beneficial to understand the requirements that companies desire and if there is a requirement for your particular set of skills.
Some of my recommendations in terms of response, application tracking and information sites would be LinkedIn, Bayt, Gulf Talent and Naukri Gulf among others. There are also excellent listings on classified sections of national newspapers in the country and occasionally on Dubizzle. Look for positions that have company names and salaries listed which will prove useful for my fifth tip.
Have you tried applying on our website?
3. Increase Your Linkedin Activity
LinkedIn is an effective forum to look for vacant positions and also network with people that are in your Industry. If you aren’t active on there, you could easily miss out on a recruiter’s email or fall out of the radar for recruiters looking for your particular profile. Look at successful profiles and fill in your own segments to the same standard. Do not stop upgrading until you reach the Linkedin ‘all-star’ rating given to a complete profile.
For example, you can attach your resume in the summary section which makes it easy for a head hunter on LinkedIn to download directly and see your resume in one go. Refer to the PULSE blog forum to narrate blogs about things that interest you and relate to your career ambitions– this will show up on your profile and impress potential employers. Your profile photo need not be so serious and sombre – smile and look friendly and approachable. It goes without mentioning, it’s best not using the picture from Barasti on the weekend or coming down the waterslide in Atlantis... keep it professional.
4. Use Company/Agency Websites
Both major international and local companies including the likes of aviation firms such as Emirates, Etihad and Fly Dubai or hospitality companies such as Marriot or media and advisory companies such as Reuters or firms such as Emirates NBD, KPMG, and PWC have a large fully functional career portals on their websites.
Most of these portals can be time-consuming to fill in, but the best part here is that you can directly track your application. This is much more direct than going through a third-party website. You can also email HR with the job ID to inquire about any progress. They normally conduct initial tests on the website itself making it easier for you to get to the next stage if shortlisted.
5. Create A Contact List
So you’ve seen thousands of job postings, yes thousands, and you need to do something more than just applying and waiting. Always try and find out the companies name of each job you apply for. While you will always come across the confidential roles, you still have a contact with the agency who is working with that company so take note of that too. Create an Excel sheet with all of these positions and what company/agency these are related with and add such information as the date you applied, phone number/email address and a summary of how the application went.
This database will serve as a great guide to go back on. It reminds you of what went positive, how long ago it was since you last spoke and if it is worth pursuing again. You will benefit from also having the contact details to act on this straight away. This constant communication will prevent you missing out on a role and will definitely help with you being top of a recruiter's mind when a new suitable position lands on their desk, which leads to my next point.
6. Start Making The Tough Calls
A couple of days after you apply, make a series of cold calls to your favourites on your excel list. Be prepared...this will be a time where you need to have a ‘thick skin’. Not all receptionists or recruiters are going to be very warm on the phone and you will receive blunt answers with little or no help. However, I believe in power in numbers. If you contact three people you’ll probably get no return, if you contact 10, most likely you’ll get at least one productive outcome. And so on…
The logic here is, as I stated earlier when they do come across your profile or do have a new position they’ll be more likely to recognise your resume and consider you. This could be the difference in looking over your CV or printing it out to call you. And from the point 1 of this blog, if you did it right, they know you are fitted for the job in seconds. Set yourself targets. Do ten a day, no more and no less. One call is enough to land you your ideal job, so keep persisting.
7. Stop Wasting Time
I have witnessed some friends endure up to nine months unemployment in Dubai – a hugely expensive and stressful time for anyone. Maximise that time to learn things that could possibly help you in your career or do something that you always wanted to do but never had the time. For me personally, I began to set fitness goals. It really worked for me as it gave me drive, routine and kept me positive during my hunt.
Need inspiration? Read my colleague's motivational article.
8. NEVER GIVE UP
This is my last and most important point. Living in the UAE without a job is very hard to manage financially and mentally and getting a job is even harder – but that is not down to your lack of ability and skills. When stepping back and looking at the larger picture of life, there is always something good waiting around the corner. Think outside the box, surprise people, cold call people cheerfully and shrug your shoulders to any negativity. Think of how happy you are to have dodged working with that person and move on to the next task with a smile. Use your time to do things you love; for free or for less money. Read that book, reach that fitness goal, get that tan all while hitting those targets you’ve set yourself.
Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.
Best of luck!
Please let me know in the comments section below or on our social media pages which other tricks or hacks you have tried to win a recruiter’s attention.
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