5 Middle East Job Hunt Strategies You Must Follow

5 Middle East Job Hunt Strategies You Must Follow

A move to the Middle East is an exciting prospect. But to make this more than a pipe dream, everything you do in the job hunt must be methodical, well thought out and highly professional. Always remember that if you want to be employed to do a quality job, you have to prove to a prospective employer that you are capable and willing to do anything to achieve your goal. The following are five prerequisites that every job hunter needs to have in order to find the right job in the Middle East.

Here Are the 5 Middle East Job Hunt Strategies That You Must Follow!


1. Do Your Homework

Always keep up-to-date with the latest news and events in your chosen industry, and even in particular organizations. Never go to an interview or industry conferences without having done a comprehensive search of critical factors pertaining to the event. For instance, go into an interview with a sound understanding of the company’s history, current position and core markets.

Business man reading newspaper


2. Prepare an impressive CV

Strong self-promotion is key to job hunting success. Write an appealing career summary, which focuses on your skills, attitude, knowledge and experience. Write in short but impactful sentences, as long CVs put off many recruiters. Demonstrate your leadership and essential role in past experiences by emphasising positions with words such as “managed,” “arranged,” and “supervised.” Further, take the time to experiment with different formatting and font styles, so to give a more unique and appealing visual stimulus to its readers.

Resume, CV


When looking for a job your CV is the most important document to reflect your expertise towards the type of role that you’re looking for.

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3. Network

Networking is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate your job hunting success. Knowing who and where to turn to for assistance can be the difference between acquiring your dream job and not even knowing it has an opening at all.  Take advantage of social media tools such as LinkedIn and Xing to develop relationships and industry contacts. In the Middle East, however, person-to-person networking is still king. No matter what your area of expertise may be, you can very well bump into someone who moves in the same circles and that can offer you a career opportunity. This is especially true in the expatriate community.

It is important to know where to network within different segments of the Middle East. In the major cities of the United Arab Emirates, bars, pubs, and night clubs can be excellent points of reference to begin networking. In more conservative areas like Saudi Arabia however, such tools did not even exist. In these locales, look to industry events/conferences and references from current friends and colleagues as the most practical means to growing your personal network.

Business networking


4. Show cultural awareness

The Arab world does not value all the same principles the West does. Therefore, be sure to cater to these differences and reconstruct your pitches and dialogue with job-related discussions. Whereas directness is valued in Europe, it is not similarly cherished in the Middle East. When networking and interviewing in this region, take the time to get to know your contact. Learn what their overall ambitions are and the skills or services they are looking for. This may be time-consuming compared to efforts elsewhere in the world, but it is essential for success.

Similarly, no matter what, be sure to display your thanks and appreciation for the time and consideration provided to you. Such displays are essential to signify the respect you have for the person, and the dynamics of relationships. “When in Rome…”

Business men


5. Never Stop Trying

No matter how many refusals you receive or how few interviews you may be getting, it is important to try to keep your spirits high. Bear in mind that finding work in the Middle East is a long and complex process, just as it is in other regions of the globe. Be prepared for the long haul and remember that the end will justify the patience and hard work involved in the process.


Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to CEO level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management programme and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your journey to board level. Also don’t forget to keep a lookout for the top roles that become available in emerging markets.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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