Five Tips to Land Your Dream Job in 2014
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It’s a new year and a brand new opportunity to achieve your goals. But in order to make your goals a reality and land the job of your dreams, it’s time to gain a renewed momentum and motivation in your job search.
The good news is, the job market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will become even more competitive in 2014 with 68% of employers being positive of hiring in the next 12 months, according to the Bayt.com Job Index Survey – August 2013. Therefore, it has never been more important to revamp your job search strategy.
So, how can you set yourself apart from the competition and position yourself for finding the best next step in your career?
Here are five tips to help you find the job of your dreams in 2014:
1. Step outside your comfort zone
The days of playing it safe are over. If you want to be truly successful in 2014, you are going to have to define new limits for yourself. Comfort is the direct enemy of learning and growth.
Take that extra professional development class, complete that certification, agree to that strict deadline, become a peer mentor. Whatever poses a challenge and pushes you to step outside your usual work boundaries, do it. Challenging yourself on the job not only helps strengthen your skills, but helps to release your full potential. According to the Bayt.com ‘Hiring Practices in the MENA’ poll, February 2012, 28.8% of MENA employers look for ‘hunger, drive and ambition’ as the most important factors when making a hiring decision.
2. Harness your skills
If you want to upgrade your job this year, one key success factor is increasing your competence levels in areas that are of importance to employers in the region. According to the Bayt.com job Index Survey – August 2013, the most desirable skills for regional jobseekers are the ability to communicate well in both English and Arabic (50%), the ability to be a team player (48%), and good leadership skills (47%). Candidates with experience in managing a team (42%), computer skills (31%), and sales and marketing (27%) are also sought after.
If you’re missing a key skill or certification that could significantly improve your marketability during your job search, now is the time to go back to school for a class or course to rectify the situation. This way, you’ll have all the right boxes checked when you begin looking for a job.
Increasing competence also starts with self-confidence. A positive mood promotes more effective thinking and problem solving, i.e. to become more competent, believe you are competent.
3. Be specific
Don’t leave anything to chance. Think about the types of employers, industries and jobs you are targeting, and tailor your CV and cover letter accordingly. Results from the Bayt.com ‘Modern Job Search in the MENA’ poll, November 2013, show that in terms of length, a short and concise CV that is no longer than one page is the preferred format for the majority of employers in the region (42.5%). Cover letters are also considered an essential part of the job hunt, with the majority (44%) stating that a cover letter is very important, and can make a huge difference in a hiring decision.
4. Manage your online personal brand
According to the Bayt.com ‘Personal Branding in the MENA’ poll, September 2013, 92% of MENA professionals agree that good online personal branding can help them get more interviews and grow in their careers. Additionally, 61% of professionals in the same poll agree that their company check the profiles of new recruits online before hiring them. The content of your social profile forms an employer’s first impression before you even sit down with for an interview. With that said, we cannot overemphasize the importance of having a well-managed online public profile.
You should take special consideration to job-proof your social media profiles. For example, use a picture that represents you as a professional. Don’t rely on privacy settings to keep your personal information safe. Your best bet is to assume everything will be seen by a potential employer, so clean up your content and edit your pictures accordingly.
5. Grow your network
Continually grow your network and keep expanding your contact list. Reach out to re-establish and nourish business and personal relationships. There is no substitute for connecting with people, so stay connected and don’t isolate yourself. According to the Bayt.com ‘Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace’ poll, February 2013, 34.5% of MENA professionals have found their last jobs through friends and family. Supplement your physical networking with online networking. Use web sites and online professional platforms, like Bayt.com Specialties, to connect with like-minded professionals and to build greater visibility. Your peers can also offer off-the-cuff, honest appraisals about your performance and work reputation when referring you for a job.
In the end
Looking for a job can often be challenging and frustrating. Taking into account these five tips can best position you for success in a competitive job market. Good luck, and here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2014!