Job hunting in the UAE

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Job hunting in the UAE
Jobseekers find the UAE a lucrative place for work

Despite the challenges of job hunting in the UAE, a survey reveals that 86 percent of professionals have a positive career outlook this 2023.

This highlights abundant opportunities in diverse industries and showcases the enduring spirit of optimism among working individuals. Therefore, it is important to have effective job hunting strategies in order to stand out and increase your chances of securing a job.

With determination and some tips, doors to a bright professional future can open for jobseekers in the UAE.

Understand the UAE job market

Before job hunting in the UAE, it is necessary to research industries and job sectors. This helps identify areas with the most growth and employment opportunities. Additionally, it provides an understanding of wage distribution and job prospects in different sectors.

Notably, the UAE job market has shown remarkable growth in the first quarter of 2023, particularly in the technology and HR sectors. With a labor force of 6.6 mn, the job market is expected to continue expanding as both local and international companies establish a presence in the UAE.

Employers in the UAE job market highly value problem-solving and self-management skills in potential candidates. To attract and retain talent, these employers plan to increase salaries by an average of 4.4 percent and give retention bonuses this 2023.

Read: Most in demand jobs in the UAE

Learn about hiring practices in UAE

When it comes to job hunting in the UAE, it is important to understand the hiring practices in the region. Employers in the UAE place a strong emphasis on qualifications and experience. They often seek candidates with relevant degrees, certifications, and a proven track record in their field.

Additionally, networking plays a significant role in the hiring process in the UAE. Building professional connections and maintaining a strong network can open doors to job opportunities.

Furthermore, many employers in the region conduct multiple rounds of interviews to assess a candidate’s skills, cultural fit, and potential for growth. It is also common for employers to request references and conduct background checks before making a final hiring decision.

Job hunting for pros

After doing your research and familiarizing yourself with the UAE’s hiring practices, you will now be able to prepare your resume and cover letter.

However, aside from preparing your resume and cover letter for job hunting in the UAE, having a portfolio can also help showcase your best work.

A portfolio provides employers with a comprehensive view of your skills, demonstrating how well-rounded you are. Likewise, it allows them to assess your communication skills, both written and verbal.

To build a portfolio, consider the following steps:

  • Choose a format. Decide whether you want a physical portfolio or an online version.
  • Select your best work. Identify the projects, assignments, or achievements that best represent your skills and expertise in relation to the UAE job market.
  • Create a cohesive narrative. Arrange your work in a logical and organized manner that tells a story and highlights your capabilities.
  • Provide context. Include descriptions, explanations, or case studies for each piece of work to give employers insight into the project and your contributions.
  • Update regularly. Continuously add new work and remove outdated pieces to keep your portfolio fresh and relevant for your job hunt in the UAE.

Network effectively

Networking plays a vital role in job hunting in the UAE. Not only does it help you expand your professional connections, but it also allows you to tap into hidden job opportunities.

To expand your network and potentially discover job opportunities, consider the following:

  • Attend networking events. Industry-specific events and professional gatherings are great opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and potential employers.
  • Utilize online platforms. LinkedIn and other professional networking platforms can connect you with professionals in your field and relevant industry groups.
  • Engage in informational interviews. Request informational interviews with professionals in your desired field to gain insights and expand your network.
  • Join professional organizations. Becoming a member of industry associations and organizations related to your field can help establish connections with fellow professionals.
  • Stay connected and follow up. After networking events or meetings, maintain connections by following up with personalized messages or emails.

Use online job portals and recruitment agencies

If you find networking challenging, a great way to get your foot in the door is to look online. Certainly, the UAE job market is highly competitive, but there are numerous online platforms available to help you navigate your job hunt.

Online job portals are a convenient and efficient way to explore job opportunities. In no specific order, here are the top 10 UAE job portals commonly used by employers to post vacancies:

These job portals allow you to create a profile, upload your resume, and browse through a wide range of job listings. Moreover, these platforms often provide filters and alerts to help you narrow down your search and stay updated on new job postings.

In addition to job portals, recruitment agencies can provide valuable assistance in job hunting in the UAE. These agencies have extensive connections with employers and industries and specialize in matching candidates with suitable job opportunities.

Prepare for interviews

For instance, you were able to land an interview for a role that you are particularly interested in. This is exciting! It means you have made it past the first hurdle of applying for a job.

But now you have another challenge: preparing for your interview.

Proper interview preparation allows you to showcase your skills, experience, and suitability for the job. It helps you demonstrate your knowledge about the company and the role and highlights your enthusiasm and interest in the position.

On top of that, you can increase your chances of standing out from other candidates during your job hunting in the UAE.

Ways to effectively prepare for job interviews

  1. Research the company. Gather information about the company. Use this knowledge to align your answers with the company’s goals and demonstrate your interest in their work.
  2. Understand the job requirements. Study the job description thoroughly and identify the key skills and qualifications required.
  3. Practice common interview questions. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers and provide specific examples.
  4. Showcase cultural adaptability. Highlight instances where you successfully showcased adaptability when working in cross-cultural teams.
  5. Dress professionally. Choose professional and appropriate attire for your interview. The dress code in the UAE generally leans towards more formal and conservative attire.
  6. Prepare questions for the interviewer: Show interest in the company and the role by preparing thoughtful questions for the interviewer.
  7. Mock interviews. Mock interviews allow you to simulate a real interview scenario and receive feedback on your overall performance.

Be open to internships

If you are new to the UAE and have yet to gain local experience, it is likely that you will start with an entry-level job, even if you have work experience from your home country.

However, this can be a stepping stone to working your way up in your desired field. In some fortunate cases, individuals may be able to secure mid-level or managerial positions based on their skills and expertise.

Engaging in an internship can be a valuable opportunity, especially if you are waiting for a job. It allows you to fill your time by learning and gaining experience in the industry you wish to work in, all while being compensated.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that finding the right job in the UAE may take time. But with determination, persistence, and a positive attitude, you will increase your chances of success.

Stay encouraged, stay motivated, and keep striving towards your career goals!

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