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Securing a Job in the Middle East
Our team at Michael Page is regularly approached by candidates for advice on securing a job in the Middle East. Advice we give is to be proactive in your job search, this will better your chances of securing your dream job faster. This may sound like very basic advice, but from our experience, applying to jobs via adverts and expecting your phone to ring is no longer enough to get your foot in the door.
Perfecting your CV
Ensure that when you apply for roles your CV has been properly checked for grammatical errors, because there is nothing worse than a CV with spelling mistakes and missing punctuation! When you are applying at entry level you need to make yourself stand-out. Your experience may be limited so use a brief summary on your CV to showcase your personality and generate interest in your profile. For more tips, read our article on How to Write a Great CV.
How to make a positive first impression
If you have shared connections at the company you are trying to secure a job at, do not be afraid to ask for a referral. If you can find out who the hiring manager is, send them a friendly introductory email – summarise why you are a fit for the role and how you can add value to their team. Alternatively, if the role is being filled by an agency, speak with the recruiter directly and talk them through why you should be put forward for the role.
The Middle East is driven by in-person meetings and offering to meet someone who works in your desired field for a coffee is a great way to show off your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting – the worst that can happen is they say no. Remember, it is relationship building and networking that boosts your candidature and elevates your profile to the key decision-makers in a business.
The interview stage
When you have secured an interview, remember that you will be up-against other candidates who are interested in your field and potentially have a similar skill-set to you. Make sure you prepare yourself properly to give yourself the best chance to impress the key stakeholders involved. Whether it is the receptionist or the CEO, they will all form an opinion on you and you want as much positive input as possible.
First impressions are incredibly important, so ensure you are on time to the interview, well-dressed and have researched the interviewer, LinkedIn is a great tool to learn about a person’s experience and job history. Also, research the organisation in terms of performance, new initiatives and products they are launching and general company knowledge. Showing you have taken an interest in the interviewer and their organisation is a fantastic way to stand out against your competition.
Consider planning out answers to common interview questions and make sure that your answers are memorable and personal, as it will be a contributing factor as to whether or not you are offered the position. When answering questions we recommend the STAR methodology to concisely showcase your achievements.
In the last couple of decades, the Middle East has grown into a hub of opportunity for professionals from across the globe. Locations across the region have developed into real recruitment hotspots that now attract a wealth of top international talent. For insight into what it’s like making the move and working in the Middle East read our interviews with some of our Michael Page team who made the move themselves.