GNcareers, from Gulf News

How to get noticed in a competitive job market with your CV

Resume Writing GuidesImage Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As word spreads far and wide about the thousands of jobs to be created in the UAE, it is only natural to expect more people wanting to pursue a career in the country. A rise in jobseeker interest from abroad may result in tougher competition.

Finding a new employer in the UAE is already challenging as it is; not because there are no openings, but because organisations are getting picky. According to Marjola Rintjema, senior communications and change management consultant at Towers Watson Middle East, there are still many vacancies in Dubai and the larger Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area, but they are not being filled because companies are having difficulty finding qualified candidates.

In today’s increasingly competitive market, careerists must dust off their portfolios well and find effective ways to get the employer’s attention.

Some experts have provided some techniques on how to bag a new job:

As recruiters receive loads of applications every day, there’s a great chance that your CV will get tossed in the bin. Annalinde Nickisch, who works as an HR consultant at The Thought Factory in Dubai, receives about 100 “blind” applications a day, even if there is no advertised opening.

The key is to fine-tune your CV so that your employer will actually read it. “The stack of CVs can be so high that the recruiters will only scan them. Make sure you have a strong summary at the top of your CV [that is also relevant for the job and the company]. Divide it in clear sections, list experience and education starting from most recent,” advised Rintjema.

She said no recruiter will read through pages or lengthy descriptions, so be brief. Avoid too many adjectives and be modest when conveying strengths and achievements. Watch out for spelling , style and grammar mistakes, too.

To ensure the CV is clutter-free and convincing enough, David Robert, CEO of Great Place to Work Institute, suggested that you have someone who is proficient in grammar review it, and provide constructive feedback.

Before you hit send, don’t forget the cover letter. “The candidate needs to ensure that their passion, interest and enthusiasm for the job are reflected within their cover letter. The content written within their cover letter and CV experience section [should also] closely match with the job specification criteria,” added Geetu Ahuja, head of GCC, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (Cima).

Join networking events

Candidates who are fairly new to the job scene or hardly know the “right people” need to brush up on their networking skills and attend relevant industry events. Dubai has vibrant networking communities that provide candidates a platform to establish contacts and expand their knowledge.

Cima, for example, regularly holds seminars and panel discussions in the UAE that are free and open to finance and management accounting students and professionals. “[For someone fairly new], make sure you go along with a colleague or mentor who is known on the networking scene. Dress for the given occasion and have a friendly and approachable demeanour, so that people feel inclined and encouraged to come and speak with you,” said Ahuja.

Before going to an event, Robert suggested doing some homework to see who you might be bumping into. “Find out which companies might be at the event. Research on them so that if you have an opportunity, you can engage in a thoughtful conversation about current events impacting those companies,” he added.

Once you’ve approached someone, be eager to listen to what they have to say. “Instead of focusing on what others can do for you, try to keep an open mind to what they are actually saying. You would be surprised at how much smoother the conversations can be, and you would actually enjoy yourself while increasing your chances of getting good job referrals,” said Rintjema.

Bear in mind, though, that you’re not there to submit your CV. “Most professionals attend these events to get new business opportunities and not to recruit, so pushing an application may also have a negative impact,” warned Nickisch.

Create a profile on social media

As companies are increasingly using the internet to find potential employees, candidates need to take the time to build their profile on sites like LinkedIn. And when you do so, make sure to put in a strong summary about yourself and post a professional photograph, along with the relevant experience and achievements, skills, endorsements from previous employers, clients and current colleagues.

“Candidates can also get noticed on LinkedIn by following companies and connecting with individuals that are in their chosen industry. A candidate should really take the time to build their profile, and consider it like an online version of their CV,” said Ahuja.

Ensure that the details on your CV match those on your online profile. “Recruiters usually check the candidates they’re interested in on LinkedIn,” noted Rintjema. “Think about the key words that will lead to your profile to ensure they are relevant to your experience descriptions,” Rintjema added.

Another great idea is to use social media platforms to start professional discussions, publish articles or start blogs, in order to build industry contacts. “It is time consuming, but the effort put behind it will get you noticed,” said Nickisch.

If you happen to be connected with hiring managers on social media, however, avoid sending mass applications. “The candidate should put in the extra effort by addressing the hiring manager by name and including the company’s name [being sought after],” said Nickisch. “Candidates should keep applications to the point, not copy paste a three-page introductory email,” she added.



Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Reporter,