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A step-by-step guide to landing your dream job in MENA

Posted by Reem Boudraa November 19, 2012 6 Comments

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Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. They are often more attainable than you think. The first step to take in following your dreams involves deciding what it is that you really want to do with your life. Are you looking for your dream job in MENA? Then we might just have what it needs to help you.

So, how do you find that dream job or analyze if your current job is in fact the right job for you? Below is a general framework to help you land the job of your dreams in the MENA region:

Identify your skills and strengths

According to’s Job Index Survey for August 2012, employers in MENA are looking beyond the set of job-related skills that are necessary to perform a particular job. In fact, 50% of employers across the Middle East are looking for candidates who are cooperative, helpful and flexible. If you’re not sure whether you’ve got the skills employers are looking for, then you may be surprised. Many of the skills employers look for in a candidate are transferable skills; skills that can be used in a variety of jobs. So, keep in mind that it’s not just those hard-earned technical skills you acquired in college that will serve you well, but also soft skills and your ability to lead, inspire and motivate people.

Research. Research. Research.

Simply put: Do your homework. Research companies thoroughly and make sure you understand the industry, competition and challenges companies in MENA are facing, and where they are likely to expand or change direction in the near future. Refer to industry journals and newspaper archives, but also ask for company annual reports and marketing materials (you can look them up on the Internet). Talk to people and find out what they like most and least about their jobs and companies they work for (chat rooms and forums of online job boards are a great way to get the inside scoop). But most importantly, make sure that the job sits well with your life goals and interests and does not disagree with any of your core values.

Be active online

A recent study by revealed that more than 50% of MENA professionals indicate that online is the preferred method of recruitment. Employers use the Internet to hire senior executives, but also research candidates online before hiring. Online job sites have revolutionized the recruitment landscape for both employers and job seekers and largely increased the efficiency with which hiring decisions can take place. The best way to make use of this new trend is to build a public profile.  A public profile is your online business card and allows you to brand yourself professionally and gain visibility with potential employers.

Optimize your CV allows you to create multiple CVs and cover letters. Your CV and cover letter are usually the first interaction you will have with a potential employer, so use them to leave a good first impression. Make sure the format, content and flow is professional and appropriate for the role. Regularly updating your online CV on will ensure that employers searching for your skills will always find you. Think of your CV and cover letter as your marketing and introduction kit. They will either open doors to the next stage of the process or eliminate you from the search. Use them to reflect all you have learnt about the industry and position through your research and networking activities. Fine-tune them for the relevant target and make sure they portray you in the best possible light. Also, make sure they are interesting and well-presented. Click here for more tips to optimize your CV on

Make career fairs work for you

Career fairs are one of many great resources when exploring career options and looking for employment or internship opportunities. Be active when it comes to career fairs: keep abreast of all career fairs happening in your country and participate in the ones that interest you. If your time does not allow you to visit physical fairs you can always attend from the comfort of your home or office virtual job fairs that go live online and bring together job seekers and employers in an online recruitment environment to explore potential fits ( was the first to introduce the Virtual Job Fair concept in the MENA region, and they continue to be a great success!) So, in addition to the same benefits traditional career fairs offer,’s virtual job fairs are accessible 24/7 and provide a confidential environment for you to chat with employers and apply directly to jobs.

Here are more tips from our career expert Deena to help you in your job search:

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About Reem Boudraa

Reem Boudraa

Reem oversees the content creation and strategy at She loves research and reading, and enjoys writing about business and innovation.

View all post by Reem Boudraa

  • Atif Tanveer

    Hi Reem,

    Thank you for sharing this useful information.


  • Reem

    Hi Atif. I’m happy to hear that! You can always subscribe to our newsletter and get all our posts as soon as they’re published. Stay tuned for more! Reem

  • This is a good post! 
    Thank you!

  • This is a good post! 
    Thank you very much!

  • Great post Reem! Keep them coming!

  • I was able to find good information from your blog articles. Great article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our website.

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