In a market where competition for top talent is fierce, it is important that businesses are committed to attracting the next generation of talent, by showcasing what the industry has to offer in the Middle East. First impressions are key therefore, it is important to make sure you are highlighting all the potential opportunities and career paths that your business can offer in your marketing and hiring material to ensure you are attracting the right talent into your organization. 

Like the engineering and manufacturing sectors, there is some confusion about what roles within the sector entail and demand from professionals. Here are some of the key misconceptions that people believe about recruitment in the property and construction industry:

  1. Male dominated: Some professionals have the view that the property and construction sector is very male dominated. Even though this may have been true in the past, it is changing. We have seen an increase in targets from clients to hire more females in development, project management and technical based roles. Businesses are keen for skilled female professionals to join and develop their teams as they strive to create a more diverse workforce, therefore it is important to highlight your organization’s key targets when it comes to diversity and women in leadership.  

  2. Shorter stints: People may think that candidates who have moved companies frequently whether it be in the contractor, consultancy or developer environments are disloyal and considered a ‘risky’ hire. However, the reality is property and construction roles can be project based and hence the duration of someone’s employment is subject to the activation, timeline, and longevity of projects in the region at that time. The Michael Page Property & Construction team has seen an increase of interest from clients in hiring temporary roles and contract-based hires, to appoint the skillset they need for the duration of their projects. Therefore, shorter stints could become more frequent amongst construction professionals. We suggest that candidates highlight in their CV if each employment was temporary or a fixed term contract to avoid the risk of being rejected due to short stints or labelled ‘disloyal’ to potential employers. To clients, we recommend they remain open minded to candidates’ experiences and their reasons for moving jobs. 

  3. Detailed project information on CV: A common misconception amongst candidates that hiring managers tend to decide whether they are going to hire you within 7 seconds of reviewing a CV. This may be the case but only sometimes. Candidates are also usually given advice that they should keep their CV as short as possible and up to 2 pages maximum. However, there is no rule when it comes to the length of a CV so long as you are sticking to quality information and relativeness to the role you’re applying for. We always suggest that candidates include information that we as recruiters look for in a CV. 

Basic information to highlight in your CV: 

  • Contact information – Name, nationality, date of birth, address, contact number, email, language competencies (written and spoken)
  • Professional Summary – Briefly mention highlight of your previous experiences and goal for next opportunity (4-5 lines maximum)
  • Education – College degrees, diplomas, relative certificates, and training courses 
  • Employment history – List of each employer, job title, duration, location, roles and responsibilities and key achievements (minimum 5 dot points for both responsibilities and key achievements for employment within 15 years of your most recent experience)
  • Project summary – Projects can be listed under each employment or as a separate project register. Remember to include project title, location, client (if relative), project cost(if this is available), project description (2-3 sentences on asset class, functionality, information on size, can be m2 or number of levels, number keys whichever is most relative to your project) and the scope of your involvement on the project (detailed information on which phases of the project you were involved in or delivered directly by you and your team, highlighting involvement from cradle to grave if relative)
  • References – You can list 1 or 2 references but also choose to say ‘available on request’

CV formatting tips: 

  • Use a clear font and stick to a size of 11-12 with clear headings and breaks between each section 
  • Avoid jazzy templates, this will not sway an employer to hire you, it is all about your skillset and experience. 
  • Photos – For some client facing and customer service roles, clients suggest including a photo but it is not mandatory for a property & construction role and completely personal as to whether you want to include a photo on your profile. If you do include one, make sure it is a recent corporate and professional photograph.
  • Align your responsibilities and tailor your CV to the job description as much as possible so potential hiring managers can immediately highlight how you could add value to their organization based on your previous roles and experience. 
  • Network and have as many people as possible proofread through your Cover Letter and CV. A fresh set of eyes can often spot errors and suggest enhancements that you may not have noticed yourself. 

The misconceptions that surround the property and construction industry are damaging to hiring processes. These misconceptions will exclude groups of people that could potentially thrive whilst working in a property and construction organisation. Challenging and changing these beliefs will open the floor for more women, students, older professionals, and minority groups that may be considering a career in this field.

If you are interested in hiring top talent to your property and construction business, please get in touch with our specialist recruitment consultants today. 

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