As employer expectations rise, young graduates seeking jobs in this region need to get more competitive and on the cutting edge of technology to make themselves desirable in the job market. The competition just got tougher for both expatriate and Emirati jobseekers.
Reports suggest that youth unemployment in the Arab region is the highest in the world. With thousands of students graduating each year, opportunities for fresh grads are getting to be as scarce as the tiger population in India. Now, if you don’t have celebrity parents, haven’t won the lottery or aren’t heir apparent to the family fortune, you will probably need to find a job for a living.
And if you don’t have an uncle, cousin, friend or neighbour willing to offer you a job once you graduate, you become one of the thousands of graduates fighting over the few jobs around.
You may also find yourself stuck in a classic Catch-22 situation: You can’t find a job without work experience, and you can’t gain experience without a job.
How to grab a potential employer’s attention
So how do you compete against all the other fresh graduatess, the experienced workforce and the hundreds of workers coming to the UAE every day in search for a job? You may be special, but how do you get an employer’s attention?
To understand the situation better, let’s look at this problem from another angle. Imagine you’re an employer that’s receiving hundreds of paper CVs every week? All the applications look the same and the candidates have pretty much the same educational qualifications. What would make you choose one candidate over another?
Interestingly enough, a recent survey conducted by us with 200 employers, suggested that over 95 per cent of employers look at one important aspect while selecting candidates – personality.
Employers are keen to know if the candidate would fit their corporate culture. They look for candidates with excellent communication skills, attitude, confidence, command over English/ Arabic and the X factor.
The trouble is that traditional paper CVs don’t show any of these attributes. That is one of the main reasons why video CVs have gained so much popularity amongst employers in the region. Recruiters realise that they can save so much time and are able to screen and identify potential candidates instantly.
Get a ‘visume’
What is a video resume? It’s merely a one-minute video recording where you introduce yourself to an employer. You can tell an employer why you stand out and why they should hire you. You can highlight what you would bring to the table if you were given an opportunity. You can also let employers know that even though you may not have the experience, you have a fantastic personality to compensate.
One common misconception is that a video resume is a replacement for a paper CV when it is, in fact, a complementary tool allowing you to highlight the areas your paper CV cannot, like your soft skills.
Today, more and more students are learning to prepare video resumes. In doing so, these candidates also reveal certain traits that are possibly more valuable than their GPA and degree such as confidence, early-adopter attitude, willingness to do whatever it takes to come out at the top. There’s a saying: ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it’. The ones who are hungry and passionate enough to secure their place at the top will eventually stand out.
So, rather than complaining about the tough employment market, it’s time to step up and do whatever is required to get noticed.
Your ‘visume’ will help you get the attention you need from employers in order to kick-start your career. When you get your first interview call, it will all start to make sense.
The writer is the founder-partner of InternsME.comThe writer is the founder-partner of InternsME.com