The most frequently asked question that we are requested to answer is ‘can you find me a job?’ We would love to be able to assist everyone that contacts us. Unfortunately we can only work with executive candidates who match our current client requirements, as there will always be more candidates than available openings. This means that we only retain profiles of candidates whom are likely to fit the requirements of our clients.
For more information on this question and others that we receive, please read the FAQs page. You may want to continue reading this page for further details on how we may be able to help, tips and general advice on topics such as building your online presence.
Quickly navigate to tips and advice on the corresponding subjects
In most cases, your CV will be the first impression you make on a potential employer. As such, it is worth spending the time to ensure that your CV properly and clearly highlights your skills and experience, as well as avoiding common errors which can adversely impact your chances of securing an interview. Here are some CV tips:
The first and most important step is to consider the perspective of the potential employer who will be reading your CV. Your aim is not to create a work of art or a literary opus, but to ensure that the CV is clear, concise and effective. You have a limited amount of time to capture a decision maker’s attention and should therefore endeavour to keep your CV as short and focused as possible. We would suggest one or two pages; three as a maximum. It is advisable to include a brief summary section early in your CV that clearly presents your key skills and achievements to an employer.
There are certain categories of information that are essential to include on your CV: education, qualifications, training and employment history are the obvious categories. However, it is surprising how many people fail to provide detailed contact information on their CVs. Make sure that you provide a permanent email address.
In this region it is common for CVs to include a photo and this is largely a matter of personal preference. If you do decide to include a photo, it should be highly professional in appearance. Again, always consider the reaction of a potential employer.
It can be very tempting with Microsoft Word to indulge in extravagant experimentation with your font and formatting. We would strongly advise against such innovations as Word Art and Sparkle Text on your CV. Try to avoid using tables and use bold, italic and underlined type sparingly and for key emphasis only. Brightly coloured text is not recommended on a CV, nor is utilising too many different fonts. This is an important aspect, and one of the recommended CV tips in the UAE.
Key words are important for two reasons: firstly, an employer will often look for certain terms on a CV; secondly, CVs are increasingly found using key word searches on databases. What constitutes a key word will vary according to your industry specialisation and job role. For example, if you are a finance professional with knowledge and experience of GAAP and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), these are key words that should be included in your CV. Try to consider how your CV might be found using key words.
Spelling and grammatical errors in your CV can have a very negative impact on potential employers. As well as running a spell check, have a friend or relative proof read your CV for you. A fresh pair of eyes will often identify mistakes that you have missed. Finally, print your CV and go back to step 1: review your CV as if you were a potential employer to ensure that it is an effective marketing tool.
It has become standard practice for job advertisements and CV databases to be hosted online. Executive job postings are less commonly found in printed media. This is due to ease of use and ease of access, with increasingly more people having access to the internet.
It is a good idea for you to be present in as many legitimate recruitment platforms and databases on the internet as possible. Considering that so many internet based tools are available to recruiters, head hunters and HR departments, it makes sense for you to not rely on just one service or database. This also includes the websites of independent recruitment consultancies, recruitment agencies and head hunters such as BAC Middle East.
If you are looking for opportunities in a specific geography, then you should look to upload your information onto websites that focus on, or service those areas. A google search should yield the answers you are looking for in most instances. Most of these services are free for candidates to join and will allow you to regularly update your information – generally speaking, paying for ‘premium’ services will not put you ahead of other candidates, rather, the quality of how your profile is written, presented and how in demand your experience and background are. Remember to keep your online presence relevant by updating your profiles on an annual basis. Many platforms highlight user inactivity and sometimes put your name and profile lower down on search results.
What information should you include on your online profiles? How do researchers and recruiters find you? The most important thing to remember are your key words and key terms. When consultants are using digital search facilities, online and in-house, they will always be looking for the key terms that relate to the role they are trying to fill. This may be a mixture of skills, functions, software knowledge, qualifications, procedures, standards, location etc. It is important to include these on your CV and on your profiles. Do not forget to include the things that you may take for granted, or you may think are obvious. Remember to only include these if they are true and relevant to you.
If you are currently unemployed or have been made redundant, please ensure you update your CV and online profiles to state when you finished working with your last employer and reason for your leaving – honesty is key. Keeping your status as ‘employed’ will likely not benefit you as it will distort the perception of your profile, especially if a recruitment consultant is looking for someone who is immediately available.
Additionally, there are social networks such as Facebook. We recommend that you keep these profiles private. As we are all individuals, it is often best to keep your personal opinions to yourself as you never know when in the future, these may contradict a potential employers company policy or the personal beliefs of the hiring manager.
When you are looking to apply for a job position either on a publicly listed posting or directly to a company, remember that consultants and companies often receive hundreds if not thousands of applications for the same postings, leading to an average review time of 20 seconds prior to deciding whether to pursue or decline the applicant. This means it is a good idea for you to review the job description in detail to ensure you are suitable for the role and that your efforts are not wasted when applying for a position. If you do not match the requirements, do not apply for a job posting, rather, submit your profile to the database if possible.
One way you can help companies and their HR teams, as well as consultants or headhunters in Dubai such as ourselves in identifying you as suitable for a position is to ensure that you format your email and/or application correctly.
If you are intending to email your application, please ensure that the subject title includes the following information:
i.e. Senior Accounts Position – Jon Doe – Current Role: AP/AR Accountant – 10 years of experience in Dubai
A title such as this quickly highlights how fitting you are for a particular position so when someone is reviewing all applicants, it is easy to see if you may be suitable or not. Simply putting your name and ‘looking for a job’ will not help the teams responsible for filling the role, and may realistically result in your correspondence being ignored entirely.
Please do not write a generic covering letter as these are indistinguishable between one another and will not make you stand out from potentially thousands of other candidates. It is best to focus the first sentence and paragraph on your current role and your experience. i.e. ‘I would like to apply for the position of Accountant. I have 10 years of experience as an AR/AP Accountant in Dubai (this is usually the key component – local experience). I have a total working experience of 14 years. I hold a degree in Finance from India, graduating in 2015.’ This will encapsulate your profile quickly. After this key information has been highlighted, please continue with other information that you would like to highlight.
Proper preparation can have a major impact on interview performance. Here are some of the main steps you can take to improve your chances of success. As with preparing a CV, the key is to try and adopt the employers’ perspective in order to avoid potential pitfalls. Here are our interview tips in the UAE:
Being late for an interview can seriously undermine your chances of getting the job as it sends a very negative signal to the employer. Make sure you are clear about the location of your interview and how you are going to get there. Plan your journey so that you arrive in good time without any panic. You should also have the name and contact details of the person you are meeting so that if there are any unavoidable problems or delays you can call ahead rather than just arriving late.
First impressions count. Ensure that you are professionally presented and formally dressed. If you are certain that your potential employer operates a business casual dress code, then dress accordingly. Remember, it is often better to appear over-dressed than under.
Do some research about the company before the interview: an employer will appreciate it if you have taken the time to better understand their organisation. Think about possible questions that may be asked of you and consider any tangible evidence and career achievements that you can put forward to demonstrate your potential value to the company. You should also prepare some questions that you would like to ask of the employer at the end of the interview. These should be questions that demonstrate that you have really thought seriously about the opportunity.
Note taking can also be a tool to inform a potential employer during an interview that you’re listening. A simple note every so-often can create and form a strong belief that you’re absorbing what employer has to say.
Listen carefully to the questions and answer in a clear and concise manner. Avoid the temptation to waffle. If an interviewer wants more detail they will ask you to elaborate further.
Employers like enthusiasm. Do not denigrate your current or previous employers. Try to convey a positive attitude and communicate in terms of what you can bring to the company; this is one of the most important interview tips in the UAE.