Press Dossier    By Date   03/05/2017 Head online to find your first job

khaleejtimes, Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | Shaaban 6, 1438

Head online to find your first job

Dropping your CV at a company's reception in person might not have as much of an impact today as it did a few years ago, especially since the majority of job seekers in the region all land their first jobs through online job sites.

Young job seekers, competing in the region for entry-level positions, said that online job sites were their favoured method of finding jobs, followed by social media, and company websites.'s recent poll titled 'Finding Your First Job in the Middle East and North Africa', found that 78.5 per cent of job seekers in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region use online job sites along with other channels to look for jobs, while 23.8 per cent use online job sites exclusively.

"In today's economic climate, it is important for both prospective employees and employers to be aware of the available solutions when it comes to obtaining and creating jobs," said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions at "Competition for jobs has never ceased to exist, which is why job seekers are continuously encouraged to enhance their CVs and online profiles."

For fresh graduates, the greatest challenge for getting their career started is the high competition, with 68 per cent of polled job seekers agreeing that competition is higher for entry level jobs. The second challenge is the lack of career support from universities and schools. Over 74.6 per cent claimed that they did not receive career support from their university. Job seekers in the UAE may have had a tough time last year due to a slowdown in hiring brought about by challenging economic conditions, however the outlook for 2017 looks fairly positive, Masri said, adding that nearly two thirds of employers in the Middle East were planning to hire in a year's time. "In the UAE in particular, there are many initiatives and events that are taking place, which aim to boost career opportunities in the UAE job market, such as Careers UAE as well as the upcoming Expo 2020," he said.

When it comes to the availability of jobs by sector, 49.4 per cent of respondents claimed that it is easier to obtain an entry level job in the private sector, followed by 18.2 per cent in the public sector, and 9.5 per cent in non-governmental agencies (NGOs).

When speaking about job seekers that are considered to be attractive candidates, Chris Greaves, MD of global recruiting group, Hays, for the Gulf region, said that bi-lingual candidates who speak both Arabic and English, as well as those with both local and international experience in their respective industries are always the highest in demand. However, he noted that it is critical that candidates are able to demonstrate the value that they can bring to an organisation in order to be considered for a role.

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