How do you stand out in a tough job market?
The Middle East employment market has been sluggish over the past year, as companies downsized to cope with the impact of low oil prices. But according to the Monster Employment Index, the New Year brings new opportunities, and signs indicate that 2017 will be a better year for job seekers.
According to research recently conducted by recruiting experts Hays, over half the GCC workers surveyed are considering leaving their current employer in 2017. The same study revealed 14% UAE employers believe they do not have the talent needed to achieve next year’s objectives. Given the talent gap, coupled with the number of employees looking to change companies, the job market looks set for an uptick.
Along with creating opportunities, however, this could also mean more competition. Which is why it's all the more essential for job seekers to find ways to stand out. Wondering how? These tips can help set you apart from the rest and boost your chances of getting your dream job:
Play up your achievements on your CV
Employers don't want to see a laundry list of jobs and responsibilities on your CV, they want specific information on how you've helped the company achieve its business objectives. Focussing on your accomplishments will send the message that you understand and appreciate a company's business objectives and have a proven track record of contributing to its success. Quantify your achievements wherever you can by using numbers indicating, say, how much money you made or saved your previous organisation. If you're not sure about how to seamlessly insert numbers into your resumes, consider taking help from a professional resume writing service.
Build a strong social media presence
The increasing popularity of social media has impacted the recruitment landscape in a significant manner. While it's important to scrub your social media profile to delete any controversial material that may prevent employers from hiring you, it's equally vital to building a suitable profile calculated to impress recruiters. Start with updating your professional social media profile and consider activating a second social media platform like Twitter or Facebook that's popular within your industry to share relevant views, reports and insights related to your profession which will help you build a strong online presence.
Create a personal website
Creating a personal website may be an expensive and time-consuming activity but it has the potential of a high ROI. After all, there are few things that are as effective in helping you stand out as your very own website. Taking the initiative to create a personal website not only differentiates you from other candidates by a very wide margin, it also tells the recruiter that you are enthusiastic, serious about your application and enjoy thinking out of the box.
Put added emphasis on networking
Networking is vital for a jobseeker and its importance rises manifold in the midst of a tough job market. After all, it is here that you get to learn of the many unadvertised vacancies that exist in your industry. However, don't expect networking to pay off immediately since it rarely yields results in the short term. But as you get to know the people in your network closely and build lasting bonds, you will begin to benefit from the relationships you've made. Keep in mind the thumb rule of networking, however, which says there's no receiving without first giving. And don't limit your networking activities to working the telephone or meeting fellow professionals at the local coffee shop; a tough job market calls for upping the ante by joining professional organisations and attending industry workshops and seminars to meet new people as well as further your knowledge base.
It's easy to get discouraged when you're working at a job search with no apparent success. But staying upbeat and positive will help you spot hidden opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, improve your knowledge base by reading up on your industry or attending online courses, seminars and webinars—this will enable you to shine both during the screening stage.
Getting a job may be tough in the current economic environment but it's still possible with the right job search strategy.