The golden Rrules of Job applications in the Middle East

Applying for a job in this highly competitive market can be very taxing, especially when you’re neither finding a job nor getting invited to interview. Jobseekers all have different personalities, perceptions and backgrounds. In other words, the job search advice and tips available are not always understood in the same way by everyone.

If you find yourself applying for numerous jobs to no avail, then you must consider some changes. Before you apply for your next job, here are the three pillars of a successful application.

1. Check the company’s website

Before applying check the company’s website, social media pages, and any news clippings they have. Make sure it is the kind of company you want to work at, and ensure you optimise your CV and cover letter to suit the company’s mission and vision values.

2. Tailor keywords

Keywords are really important in your CV because most employers use search engines to find CVs by keywords, as opposed to browsing. Make sure your CV is full of keywords relevant to what you do. Bayt recently took a look at the top keywords employers are using when looking for candidates on Bayt.com, and these were: "Sales" (searched for over 170,000 times in 2016 alone), followed by "Manager", "Engineer", "Accountant", and "HR". Edit your CV to include these keywords and help employers find you.

3. Cover letter

This is a vital part of any job application process. Do not just summarise your CV in a few paragraphs, rather highlight your most notable achievements, key skills and eagerness to work. After completing the job application process, following up is equally important. It shows potential employers that you have great follow-up skills and that you’re always interested in what is going on.

But, many candidates fall short in that department. Some mistakes that job seekers make could present them as annoying, unprofessional, or clingy. There is a thin line between following up and nagging. These tips should help you navigate that thin line:

a. Be considerate: When calling or sending an email, do so outside peak hours. In addition, avoid holidays, weekends and late nights. This will show the manager that you respect their valuable time.

b. Be prepared: When following up, be prepared to answer any questions about your career or the work you could be doing if hired. A safe approach would be to be prepared for an interview at any time.

c. Be selective: When calling the company, ask for the hiring manager or the head of the department you applied to work in. You want to make sure you are talking to a decision maker. But, be aware that some companies will state that you shouldn’t follow up. If that’s the case, don’t follow up.

Finally, work out what type of a job seeker you are, and then consider changing if this approach hasn’t worked for you.

Bayt in-house experts recently narrowed down the types of seekers that they’ve come across over the years. The three categories are not a standard but rather a guide to gaining insights about the perspective employees’ personality and approach to situations.

If your approach falls under any of the following categories, make sure you know how some employers might interpret it.

 The persistent job seeker

The job seeker who does not simply submit their CV and wait for the employer to get back to them. This type of job seeker makes sure to follow-up on their application status. Although this is a tricky category to fall under, this could potentially show future employers you are eager. Which, in the business world, translates to someone who gets things done.

The ghost jobseeker

This job seeker likes to regularly check vacancies posted online but never actually applies to any. This type of job seeker is hard to identify and therefore not actively looking for jobs. "Ghosts" intent on finding a new job should take their search more seriously and start applying. A ghost could come off as uninterested in work or a company, as well as having an inability to perform.

The late to the party jobseeker

This one spends time looking for a job online but doesn’t actually apply until just before the deadline. Create job alerts so you can apply to relevant jobs as soon as they are published.

Suhail Masri is the vice president of employer solutions at the Middle East jobs site Bayt.com

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