If your goal is to find a job in the UAE in 2021, you are going to need focused strategic planning combined with hard work.

Last year might have forced jobseekers to relook at their career plans, make possible adjustments and maybe even put their ambitions on hold for some time. Just like other things such as working and shopping, job hunting too will need a different approach during the pandemic. People who carried on their quest under the new circumstances will tell you that their best efforts felt inadequate. Even after spending days on their CVs and applying to every job that came their way they fell short. The rules of the game have changed.

A job search app in the UAE, i12WRK spoke to people in its network to find out how they succeeded in landing a new position during the pandemic.

How to ensure success

A strategic effort to stand out from the crowd and a willingness to disrupt your pre-Covid-19 job-searching model are necessary.

Getting ahead in the current job market isn’t easy. Trisha Chapman, an expert on CV writing and interview coaching, gives her winning formula for active jobseekers:

• Surround yourself with people who will build you up

• Become comfortable promoting yourself

• Take a gap assessment – work on weaknesses and present a business case as to why they should hire you

The mindset plays a huge part in a jobseeker’s ability to secure a new job. There are candidates who have low to zero expectations of actually landing the jobs they apply to. Frankly, they just need to pitch with the right strategy.

If you look at a job description these days, you cannot miss how the scope of each role has expanded and how employers are preferring candidates who can bring more skills to the job and multi-task. A job is posted online and within hours there are thousands of applicants applying for a single position. Shortlisting profiles from such a large pool is a big task for the employers.

Sohaib Hasan, Dubai-based youth influencer and career advisor, breaks down the employers’ expectations from the candidates:

• People with multi-skills and those who can bring more to the job are more likely to get hired

• Be more optimistic. Employers are keen to meet and hire candidates who have a more positive persona despite the Covid-19 aftereffects.

• Employers prefer someone who has reasonable salary expectations and is eager to grow with the organisation

• Employers would like to meet people who have great communications skills and are tech-savvy

Understanding employer expectations and market trends are crucial for everyone, be it young students who will start looking for their first jobs or professionals who lost their jobs during the pandemic and have to start from square one.

Jobseekers in the latter group have a lingering question.

How to present redundancy to a prospective employer?

Be honest, be real, say people who have been in the same position. The one thing any employer is looking for is integrity, says Mohit Jham, Category Manager for a Supply Chain Distributor.

Salama Maloul, HR Manager at a healthcare company, explains, “Opportunities will always be available and when making a move to a new job, candidates should be honest and transparent about the reasons for leaving. They should focus on the positive experience, learning and enrichment they gained during their service. This approach will enhance their position during the interview and they can demonstrate their ability to adapt to change and add value.”

Can the candidate negotiate hard on the salary?

“We are in a new normal but the norms for negotiation still depends on balancing the scale between demand and supply,” says Ruben Antony, Business Development Manager. “If you are good and have knocked the right door as the right candidate for the job, then the job is yours and the salary should not be a concern.”

Workforce of tomorrow is prepared

It is interesting to see the youngsters entering the UAE job market realise the role they will play in shaping the workforce in the new post-pandemic world. Nimi Mariam Sam, a fourth-year BBA, LLB (Hons) student from Amity University, says she is “moving forward putting behind my insecurities, polishing my social media presence and building strong networks”. She believes in the leadership of the country and is positive that new international relations will open up new opportunities.

Salama advises students to focus on internships with specialised firms where they can learn, adapt and be noticed.

Persistence is an important trait that comes handy during job hunting. “The chase to find an employer should not end when you find out your application was unsuccessful,” says Rahul Lal, CEO of i12WRK. Calling or emailing the hiring manager, asking for feedback and staying in touch is important, he adds. Don’t let the conversation die out. Follow the employer or hiring manager to keep abreast of new positions. i12WRK is a platform that maintains transparency between the job provider and the seeker to follow through the process.

Be brave to look in the right sector

If you haven't been successful in your job hunt so far, it could be that you're looking in an industry where there are too many people competing for one position. Instead look at industries where there are more vacancies, even if you haven’t previously worked in those sectors.

If you have transferable skills, this would work out great.

And don’t forget to search for available jobs on i12WRK app and browse through the career advice on i12LEARN for more practical tips.

Top newly listed jobs on i12WRK

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This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.