Get a better job in Dubai

Hate your job? Find yourself a new one this recruiting season

Bestof, The Knowledge
Bestof, The Knowledge

Spring is a key period when it comes to job hunting: smack bang in the middle of the holiday seasons between summer and winter, people often re-evaluate their lives and goals. To capitalise on this trend, Dubai hosted the UAE’s leading recruitment, training and education exhibition on March 21-23, with stands from dozens of recruitment companies and businesses, including telecoms company Du, the government department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing and banking giant HSBC Middle East.

As we all know, the UAE, and Dubai in particular, suffered during the economic crisis. Industries such as banking and construction suffered thousands of redundancies and recruitment has declined in these sectors by 40 per cent, according to Jennifer Campori, managing director of recruitment firm Charterhouse Partnership. However, with the recent roster of financial companies exhibiting at the job fair, and an increase in workers being brought back to finish construction and architectural projects, things are looking up. If you’re unhappy at work, stuck in a rut or simply want a career change but have been hanging onto your secure job during turbulent times, now could finally be the time to take that leap.

‘The signs have been positive – companies are keen to hire, but they are slower with their decisions,’ says Campori. ‘Jobs in human resources, sales and legal sectors are more transient and have a consistent turnover.’ Her main advice when job hunting is to tailor your CV to the role for which you’re applying. ‘Don’t just firebomb hundreds of companies or put your CV on a job site. Dubai is a small place and your current employer will find out. One of the best methods is to approach a recruitment agency that will keep your details confidential, or approach companies directly.’

Mike Hynes, managing partner at recruitment agent Kershaw Leonard, believes that the ability to speak Arabic will put you ahead of the pack, as will a valid passport. ‘This is a growing requirement. As the business environment starts to show signs of recovery, companies are looking for people with passports that allow them to travel freely without an excessive need for advance visas.’

Hynes believes sales and accountancy are two of the most desired professions in the UAE. ‘It’s a competitive market and the competition is very tough, but things are on the up,’ he explains, adding that the first step is to take another look at your CV. ‘Ask yourself if it’s fresh or interesting and whether it’s short enough. Six pages just won’t get read. And make it exciting. I once read a CV that said, “Sales Manager: Managed a team of sales people.” What a waste of a line.’

Hynes also reveals that extra training can help you achieve your goals. ‘Identify what will really stimulate and motivate you: if you’re not yet qualified, educate and train yourself.’ Feeling inspired? Turn the page for more tips to get you revved up.

Useful job sites in the UAE

All UAE Jobs
Free for both applicants and employers, the best thing about this site is that it narrows down your selection to the exact geographical area of Dubai in which you want to work, rather than listing everything in the city.

Careers UAE
The website of the recent Dubai convention features a local job search function.

Gulf Talent
One of the larger sites covering all areas of the Middle East, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Jobs in Dubai
This portal charges a small fee if you want its experts to rejig your CV, offer tips and give advice about how to secure the job.

UAE Dubai Jobs
It’s not particularly user-friendly, but it’s current and occasionally features some dream jobs, and the selection is growing daily.

Ways to clinch the deal

Don’t stay in your comfort zone
You’ll enjoy your job much more if you push yourself to do things you wouldn’t normally try – you’ll discover skills you never knew you had. Apply for roles that scare you and see what happens.

Land the perfect job
In order to find the ideal job, first think about your personality and values. Then, rather than solely focusing on the subjects you learned at school, think about skills you have voluntarily learned off your own back since. These may include cooking, something sporty, or a new language: they are all valuable assets and, most importantly, are things you enjoy. Try combining them with your job, and who knows? You may
even start to look forward to Sunday mornings.

People are more likely to employ those they know. Fact. Go out more, attend events and mingle with people in your industry. Take business cards, and keep up correspondence with your new contacts.

Put it down on paper
If you’re trying to move into a different industry, or you’re applying for a niche job, tailor your CV and cover letter to that exact position. Employers can tell if you’ve copied and pasted text from another application, and creating a new application each time leaves fewer margins for error (such as putting the wrong company’s name in your cover letter).

Be the first to apply
If you get wind of a job before it goes live on a job board, apply quickly. This way your CV is certain to be read, rather than languishing at the bottom of a giant pile of applications.

Be an opportunist
If you like a company but it doesn’t have any vacancies, send your CV anyway and ask the HR department to keep you in mind for upcoming positions. There’s a chance they won’t even post a job if they already have a suitable candidate, meaning all competition is eliminated.

The most satisfying jobs…

1 Working as a member of clergy
2 Firefighting
3 Physical therapy
4 Writing novels
5 Teaching special education
6 Teaching in general
7 Working in administration for an educational facility
8 Painting or sculpting
9 Practising psychology
10 Working in security and the financial industry

…and the least satisfying

1 Manual labour
2 Clothing sales
3 Packaging
4 Preparing food
5 Roofing
6 Working as a cashier
7 Furniture sales
8 Working behind a bar
9 Handling freight
10 Waiting tables
Results based on a US survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Centre at the University of Chicago, 2007. Results took into account stress, pay and happiness.

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