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What are employers really looking for in a job seeker?

Posted by Reem Boudraa September 24, 2012 1 Comment

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When you apply for a job, you know exactly what you’re looking for: a company you love, friendly coworkers, a good salary, a culture where you can thrive, and most importantly, a job you love. But, have you ever considered what the employer is looking for in a job seeker? And more specifically, what an employer in the MENA region is looking for exactly?

Competition among job seekers in the MENA region is fierce (we don’t need a research to substantiate this). With more and more qualified, trained, and educated people entering the job market, it’s important to know what employers are looking for in an employee before submitting your resume and going into an interview. has just released its Job Index survey for August 2012 which revealed that more than half of employers in the MENA region are hiring in the next three months.

With Business, Engineering, Commerce, and Computer Science at the top of most desirable qualifications, the research shows that the most sought-after employees will be those at a junior executive level. Interestingly, respondents from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait appeared more likely to hire than employers in other countries.

Every employer is looking for a set of job-related skills that are necessary to perform a particular job. But beyond these job specific skills, our research shows that employers in the MENA region are often looking for skills that go beyond educational qualifications, degrees, and relevant experience. While your education may make you eligible to apply for a job, you will need to exhibit a mix of skills to be successful at the job.

In fact, 50% of employers across the Middle East are looking for candidates who are cooperative, helpful, and flexible. Regardless of the industry or company size, employers in the MENA region are looking for trustworthy team players with good communication skills in English and Arabic, and ones who can lead and manage teams.

So, not sure if you’ve got the skills employers are looking for? You may be surprised. Many of the skills employers look for in a candidate are transferable skills, or skills that can be used in a variety of jobs.

We hope this article can serve as an “answer key” for you as you prepare your resume or get ready for interviews.

Download the full report here. You can also stay up to date with the latest job market trends in the region by keeping an eye on our monthly industry reports.

Good luck in your job search!

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About Reem Boudraa

Reem Boudraa is the Senior Editor at

View all post by Reem Boudraa

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