careers advice

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General tips for finding and applying for a
graduate job in the UAE


Cover Letter

When applying for a job, a cover letter is a vital part of making your application memorable to the employer. The job market in the UAE is a highly competitive one, and it is no unique occurrence for employees to receive from 300 to 500 applicants within the first week of posting a job vacancy, according to LinkedIn. 

Your cover letter is your only chance to make an excellent first impression. It should highlight the key aspects of your resume that should interest the employer to invest his or her precious time and read through your qualifications and experiences. The cover letter should act as the synopsis to your CV. 

Appearance: make sure the cover letter is neat, with no grammatical or spelling mistakes. Always use a common font like Times New Roman or Cambria.

Your letter should be addressed directly to the relevant contact, whose name is usually mentioned in the job advert.

Avoid lengthy repetition of information available in your CV. Use it as an introductory letter to your abilities.

Use the letter as an answer to the question: "why should you hire me?"

Mention that you are replying to a job advert, and mention the name of the website/paper through which you found it, as well as the job title.

Briefly outline your current situation: current or last job, qualifications and any professional or academic training you have taken. Make sure the information you are sharing is as relevant as possible to the position you are applying to.

Tell the employer why you are interested in working for them; use this as a way to portray your knowledge about the company/ organisation.

Avoid including any negative information in your cover letter.

Close your letter with a polite indication of your interest in the position, and in further discussion of your eligibility at an interview.
 

CV/Resume

Writing a resume for employers in the UAE requires the inclusion of the following information: 

Age

Current Location

Education

Nationality: As a whooping 80% of UAE residents are expats, it is important for employees to know your nationality. As you may notice soon after you start scouring job recruitment websites, many employers request specific nationalities (i.e. Philipino, European, Arab) for certain job positions.

Languages Spoken: This is especially important in the UAE, where Arabic, English, Hindi and Urdu are all widely spoken. Be sure to include any language skills you have, along with your level of proficiency.

References: Although references need not appear on the CV, make sure to state that you have professional references available upon request.


LinkedIn

Marketing yourself has become almost a requirement. Your online presence serves as a social and professional portfolio a click away from any employer. Having a neat, updated LinkedIn profile is therefore a vital way of portraying your professional side. Not only that, but it opens up the opportunity for you to network with future employees and past colleagues, friends and acquaintances in a professional manner.

Make sure to write an attractive summary, highlighting your education, skills and experiences.

Give recommendations to your colleagues and friends, this often prompts reciprocation on their part, which is highly beneficial for your profile.

Update your status 8 to 10 times per week, highlighting your current activities. This gives off the impression of constant interaction and activity on your part.

Connect and follow employers and organisations where you are interested in working. This will keep you updated on their daily and weekly postings, as well as portray your interest in the organisations themselves.

Make sure to also scour the LinkedIn UAE job listings, as employers often post their vacancies there before they move on to other job recruitment websites.


Useful Websites

The following are the most commonly used job recruitment websites in the UAE. Although it is important to research specific employees for relevant job openings, going through the listings on the following websites is useful, especially in finding graduate jobs.