There are a number of misconceptions about job hunting in the UAE that get repeated over and over again. While some used to be true and are now outdated, others were simply wrong to begin with. Unfortunately, believing in these myths keeps many professionals from connecting with the opportunities that come their way. To prevent job seekers from making the same mistakes in the future, here is a guide to the myths and realities of job hunting:
Myth 1: I don’t need a public profile on the internet; everyone knows me
Reality: Your friends may know you, but other people, who would like to know you better, probably rely on Google and other search engines for more information about you. A Bayt.com poll on personal branding has shown that 90 per cent of professionals run an online search for people they have met, or are about to meet. Further data from the same poll also indicates that 61 per cent of professionals say that their company checks the profiles of new recruits online before hiring them. Take the time to invest in a top-quality public profile to show what you do best and control how others see you.
Myth 2: Applying for all jobs advertised out there is the surest way to get a job
Reality: Relying on a splatter-gun effect when applying for jobs is the surest way to bring down your job application relevancy score, which is ultimately not great for your job search (or your confidence). Employers want relevance above all else. Tools that are available online for search, sorting and filtering ensure that only the relevant CVs are viewed and contacted. You can set up a weekly job alert to get notified when a job relevant to your skills and experience is published online.
Myth 3: A good night’s rest is the best way to prepare for an interview
Reality: Employers are interested in candidates who have researched their company and industry, and are familiar with the latest news, trends and market insights. Take the time to do your homework and to understand what the company and job and industry are all about. You can visit the company’s website or corporate page online, or even interrogate people who already work there to ensure you know what to expect at the interview stage and have some good questions prepared. Often, one of the biggest turn-offs for employers in the region is a candidate’s poor preparation before the job interview.
Myth 4: Job sites are too competitive; I don’t stand a chance
Reality: According to our poll on modern job searches in the Middle East, 80 per cent of professionals think the internet is a very important mode of sourcing candidates. Employers are armed with extremely powerful tools to sift and search through thousands of CVs and to identify key strategic fit candidates in no time. However, there is a whole suite of new tools and data interfaces today that give job seekers an unprecedented advantage by highlighting key information related to their individual CV and desired career, and giving them the right insights to help navigate their individual job search. CVs that are rich in relevant keywords and professionally put together are always at an advantage.
Myth 5: After the interview, the ball is in the employer’s court
Reality: Employers are busy people. You may have truly impressed in the interview but you still need to follow up with a thank-you letter and a confirmation of your interest in the company if you wish to remain top of mind. Many great interviewees fail to sell their interest in the company enough and employers usually lean towards enthusiastic professionals who are passionate about the company and their potential role in it. By all means, follow up politely and professionally after the interview and keep an open dialogue with companies that interest you so your application remains warm.
Suhail Masri is the vice president of sales for Bayt.com, the region’s leading job site