Don't stop the search! How to stay on course with your job hunt during Ramadan
Traditionally, the Holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, brings with it a slower hiring period at companies and organisations in the Middle East. Many recruiters and top brass take some time off, forcing companies to put off hiring activities.
The slowdown can be frustrating for job seekers, young or experienced. But why not use this period – known to be a time for spiritual improvement and reflection – to get your resume in shape and land the job of your dreams?
Here’s how you can maximise your job hunt efforts this Ramadan:
#1 Don’t slow down
A job won’t find you; you need to find it. Keep looking for new job postings on recruitment sites and company websites. You may feel unmotivated, but it’s important to keep going. Connecting with like-minded people in the same boat may help.
#2 Be a smart job-seeker
For a swift, successful job search, it’s important to work smart. Get organised so that you send more effective applications that cater to each employer and role. Keep information handy; it makes preparing for interviews a breeze.
#3 Update your CV
Time was when you could make a resume and forget all about it. No more. It's important to update your resume every six months, so get cracking. Make sure you structure your CV so it’s searchable in resume databases, has a target job title and keywords. If you need help crafting the perfect resume, consider using a professional service.
#4 Build your brand
With a majority of recruiters using social media to find the right candidate for their company, it’s imperative that you build an online presence. Think about how you want to position yourself online and work to define your personal brand – what you want to be known for. Your CV, social media networks, blogs and interviews are ways you can do this.
#5 Learn to hard sell
Job seekers who thrive are people who naturally market themselves to the right people in the right way. Selling yourself – be it on your CV, an interview or a networking opportunity – needs you to define your USP. Once you know that, be a unicorn - unique and original. Doing something nobody else is doing is sure to work wonders for your career.
#6 Design a targeted job search strategy
Focus your mind on the job at hand by designing a targeted job search plan. Making a list of specific industries, organisations or areas can help identify positions that you qualify for and are interested in. Doing your research helps you tailor your applications and shows recruiters that you have an eye for detail.
#7 Work on your network
The importance of career networking can’t be discounted. Most job seekers continue to send out hundreds of resumes, but keep in mind that several jobs are not advertised. This makes it essential to network aggressively, and hunt out connections in companies you want to work with. Make it a mission to make 50 new contacts a month. Take advantage of the Iftar parties held during this time of year to rub shoulders with senior staff members who you may not otherwise have access to.
#8 Focus on upskilling yourself
If things remain slow, work on self-improvement and adding to your skills. Sign up for a course or attend webinars – all this is sure to give your job search some extra momentum. Any prospective employer is sure to appreciate your efforts at skilling up.
#9 Suggest a morning interview
If your job search has brought you an interview call, it makes sense to seek an interview time as close to suhoor as possible. Medical experts say dehydration can lower brain performance by as much as 40%. Asking for an early interview time will ensure you – and the interviewer (if fasting) - perform better.
The going may seem slow for job-seekers during Ramadan, but you are sure to benefit from putting time and effort into your hunt for your dream job. Go get it!