Dubai: You have applied for 10 different job openings, but haven’t gotten a call back from a single one of the companies. While job hunts can be frustrating and laden with anxiety, there might be some mistakes that you are making that can easily be fixed and bolster your chances of securing a follow-up interview.
Gulf News spoke with recruitment experts in the UAE to find out more about the common mistakes they find in job applications and what their top tips are for jobseekers in the UAE.
According to Abdul-Rahman Risilia, founder of ARC Talent, an outsourced talent agency, it is firstly important to not be too hard on yourself if you do not get a call back, even if you thought you were the perfect candidate for a job. There are times when a job role may not have been advertised for correctly by a recruiter or organisation.
“There is a responsibility to be shared, it is not just on the candidates but also the companies that are advertising for these positions,” Risilia told Gulf News.
Having said that, there are certain mistakes that can hinder your chances of getting picked up from a sea of other job applications. Here are the top five mistakes that you might be making in your bio-data or CV (Curriculum Vitae) or your approach to job hunt, in general, that are reducing your chances of getting a call back.
1. Your CV does not match your LinkedIn profile
Many recruiters are squarely shifting their focus to professional networking websites like LinkedIn, according to Risilia. This is why it is critically important to ensure that your CV and LinkedIn profile are up-to-date and free of errors. Having mismatched details in your CV and your online profile might raise questions on your meticulousness.
“When you have some discrepancies with the dates or your role, it has the recruiter second guessing your profile,” Risilia said.
In fact, Risilia advised job seekers to pay extra attention to their profiles on social networking websites, as they can be used for reference a lot more than your CV or cover letter.
“Everything is digital and online, if your social profiles are not up to date, your cover letter is not going to get you in the door,” he said.
Everything is digital and online, if your social profiles are not up to date, your cover letter is not going to get you in the door.
2. You are applying for multiple jobs without reading the job description
While it is important to get out of your comfort zone and be ready to adapt to a dynamic job market, it is also important to apply for jobs that are relevant to your skill set and experience, according to Risilia. Having a ‘scattergun approach’, where you apply for any job opening you come across, can do you more harm than good.
“If I am a marketing manager, why should I apply for a finance, creative or sales role? It doesn’t bode well if you apply for multiple positions, especially if it is in the same recruitment company or same agency. Future employers don’t really like to see someone bulk applying for positions,” he said.
“Have a targeted and specific approach and make sure that you read the job description. I know people do it purely out of desperation or the desire to get a job, but it hinders your chances. There are better ways to do things,” he added.
3. Your cover letter and introductions are lengthy
There are times when you may not even need to add a cover letter to your application, according to Risilia. He advised applicants to only provide a cover letter if it is stated as a requirement. Even when you provide a cover letter, or reach out to a recruiter online, keep your introduction short.
“Be strategic and targeted in your approach. In fact, identify the companies that you would like to work for and see if there are any live positions, reach out to someone at a senior position and keep your message short and specific,” Risilia said.
4. You are not highlighting the right elements in your application
Many applicants tend to focus more on the companies that they worked for, instead of how they may have contributed to the projects or campaigns that they were assigned.
“A perfect example of this is software engineers who may have worked for a big company in the past, and talk more about what the company does rather than what programming languages they can work with,” Risilia said.
5. You are not following up
It is important to practise the art of following up in moderation, as incessant follow-ups can force the recruiter to stop providing you with any helpful updates. Following up on an application may also not be very important if you are applying for a senior level position, according to Risilia. However, if you are applying for an entry-level position, a short email or message following up on your application may show a recruiter that you are interested in the job and are good at following through.
Best practices to follow
Now that you have a better idea of the things you should not do when applying for a job, here are some best practices that you should incorporate in your job hunt to get better results from your job applications.
1. Stick to a two-page CV
Aisha Amarsi, Senior Business Manager at HAYS, a global recruitment experts, spoke about how applicants should pay the most attention to the CV, ensuring that it is grammatically correct and has no spelling mistakes.
“It is important for your CV to be concise. Stick to two pages, where possible,” she said.
“List key achievements in each role, rather than just your job duties and responsibilities. Structure your CV well, include the month and year of your previous positions and check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Remember, your CV is the first impression of you as a potential employee,” she added.
2. Tailor-make your CV, whenever possible
Because you need to keep the CV concise, it can be extremely helpful to highlight aspects of your experience and skills that are most suited for the job that you are applying for, leaving the other details for a later interview. A generic CV will automatically be more lengthy.
“Having a thorough read of the job description and understanding the job requirement is very important, as sometimes it can be tempting to apply based on just the job title. Look at the job description and highlight your experience accordingly,” Amarsi said.
“When an employer is looking at the CV, they are looking for key words,” she added.
Having a thorough read of the job description and understanding the job requirement is very important, as sometimes it can be tempting to apply based on just the job title. Look at the job description and highlight your experience accordingly. When an employer is looking at the CV, they are looking for key words.
3. Research the company before applying for a direct posting
Understanding a company’s culture and value can help a lot in having a focused approach. By doing your research, you can better understand whether the organisation is the right fit for you.
“If a company allows you to apply directly, research the company. Look at the culture, vision and values, and whether they align with your culture, vision and value,” Amarsi said.
This research can also help you build a better connection when you go in for a follow-up interview.
4. Post your CV on credible job platforms
If you are posting your profile on online portals, do a quick online search and look for reviews, in case you do not know if a job portal is credible. This can also help you reach out to the right recruiters, to help you get more out of your job hunt.
By following these dos and don’ts, you can hopefully get better results and find a job that is the right fit for you.