When you’re ready for a new challenge and decide to look at jobs abroad, it can be difficult to know where to start. Trust me when I say we know how hard it is adjusting to the way job hunting works in Dubai.
In this blog I want to highlight some simple tips and bits of advice on how to apply for a job in Dubai and what to expect throughout the application process.
- Applying at the right time of year
To make sure your application or communication doesn’t get lost in a pile of unchecked applications/emails, it is important to send correspondence or apply for jobs during the right months. For example, as Dubai is an Islamic country you should pay attention to when Ramadan falls as employers are highly unlikely to be looking for employees or even advertise during this month. Summer months are quiet as many expats tend to go on leave so again I would avoid exerting yourself with job applications from July to the end of August.
You will notice a lot of jobs being advertised from October to June – these are the months I would suggest you are active in job hunting, or if finances permit, book yourself a two week break to Dubai and get networking – coincidentally these are also much cooler months so people will generally be in a more social mood lol!
- Adapt your CV
People spend a lot of time perfecting their CV, which is great, but the problem is they use that one CV to apply for all different kinds of jobs. One thing to remember is even jobs that are in the same field may have different a job specification, so it’s best to make sure you adapt your CV to match what the employer is asking for. This way if they are picking up on buzz words, your CV will come up as you’ve adapted it to fit their job specification. Don’t lie though – especially on things you will get caught out on while doing the job!
I can’t stress how beneficial it is to build a solid profile on LinkedIn and connect with people working in the field you want to work in. We know a lot of people who have landed their ideal job through networking on LinkedIn, and having an outstanding profile. There is a jobs section on LinkedIn where you can apply directly to jobs that have been advertised – this also means you are able to find out who is responsible for recruitment in companies that interest you.
Be sure to keep your profile updated during your job search – employers use LinkedIn as a way to see what kind of person you are, both professionally and personally. Networking makes a huge difference so be sure to take part in topics that are being discussed, whilst reminding yourself that prospective employers will be reading what you put up.
- Research employers
When applying for jobs or contacting companies, be sure to research the company fully beforehand and do your best to find out the name of the person who is responsible for recruitment. It always impresses people if you address them by name, showing you know exactly who you’re communicating with. This doesn’t mean you start repeating every fact you’ve read about the employers – showing an interest in what the company does can make all the difference.
It’s important remember some organisations will only advertise vacancies on their own website, so while you’re researching the company, make sure to check if they have a careers section where you can apply for jobs.
- Online CV
When signing up to recruitment websites, make sure your online CV is complete – no one likes to read an incomplete CV and no they won’t always contact you if they want to know more. Incomplete profiles are really off-putting for employers and it shows a lack of seriousness. Some profiles will also have a photo section so don’t be too shy to put up a polished photo – something which shows you at your professional best – your Facebook photo of you pouting, half naked at last weeks brunch just won’t make the cut!
An online CV is often enough for some employers to contact you and invite you in for an interview, so be sure to cover every aspect of your professional career – oh and don’t forget to keep contact information up to date at all times. One wrong number or old email add could stop you from landing your next job.
Job application processes in Dubai can be slow, so it’s really easy to give up hope, but our advice is – be patient. We have had situations where employers have responded to applications a few months later, so there is no real timeline of when you will be contacted for a job. If there are positions you are really serious about getting and you need to make decisions based on potential job offers, you can always call the company and speak to the person responsible for recruitment – most companies will be honest with you about your application or at least give you a rough timeline – everyone is aware that expats have relocation decisions to make.
Even if companies do not have any positions available, you might find it beneficial to email recruitment staff/ manager and ask them to meet with you to find out more about the field or just for a little question & answer session. Most will be more than happy to help – this will also in turn allow you to show your knowledge or potential as an employee for any upcoming vacancies.
Remember every person you meet in Dubai could potentially help you find a job so always behave your best in networking situations.
- Don’t be desperate
Persistence and hard work pays off, desperation doesn’t. You need to find the balance between working hard to get a job and being desperate. Hard work means doing research, finding out exactly what kind of employees a company would benefit from, and sending out the most appropriate form of communication or application – followed up by a phone call or email to get feedback. Desperation is constant calling and emailing, demanding responses for a job and continuing to sell yourself after you have done the above – yes we know people who have done this and believe me they got no where!
- Open your search
Often jobs in Dubai will ask for some kind of UAE experience – for this reason we always suggest that people broaden their job search to include jobs they may not necessarily want a career in, but will help to get their foot into working in Dubai. For example, Real Estate is a good starting point – some places will take you on with some form of customer service experience and will offer training. Once you figure out the working ways of Dubai, you can then start searching for a job closer to the one you really want. Not everyone in Dubai is fortunate enough to walk into their ideal job. More often than not people working in Dubai have had several jobs before landing a job in the field they want.
I know this has been a long read so if you’ve got this far you’re definitely serious about finding a job! I wish you all the best and I hope you find something that suits you or helps you get your foot into the world of working in Dubai.
If you have any questions feel free to send us an email using the contact us form!