If you have ever visited the UAE, or even spoken to someone who has, it is very easy to understand why anyone would want to work and live here.

The most secure country in the region, exponential growth, huge mix of successful people from many nationalities and backgrounds, plus… the food!

But the streets are not paved with gold, nor are jobs falling out of the air and hitting people on the head with incredible salaries and huge perks. No, landing a job here is tough.

However, there are many ways to put your application on the top of the pile, and even ways to squeeze into a highly sought-after organization… but we aren’t going to talk about those.

I, my eager beavers, am going to tell you what NOT to do. All too often we in the HR scene of the UAE see these, every day, hundreds of times. They always make us laugh, scratch our heads, and then add them to the “round-file” (the small trash can under our desks).

1 – Applying for positions where they clearly asked for a different candidate, physically. Here in the UAE, some positions require specific nationalities or genders. Either for language, security, or just to fit in with the current dynamics of the company. For everyone’s sake, please do not apply or throw your efforts at a position that specifically asks for a candidate of “Western/European” nationality if you hail from anywhere other than those areas. The impression you give is that you either can’t read, don’t understand geography, or are so enamored with yourself that you think you know better what the hiring manager needs. You do not know how many posts for “Filipina female receptionist” get hundreds of Indian males with sales experience leaving multiple CVs asking for any None have ever received an offer that way, I guarantee it.

2 – Inappropriate pictures on your CV. I get it; you want the hiring manager to know what they are getting into when they hire you. Not just an MBA, an experienced regional manager, but also a stunning example of human kind who must be recognized as beautiful. However, your spaghetti straps, or summer beach vacation, or even expensive glamour-shot style photographs all say the same thing, NOT PROFESSIONAL. Honestly, personally speaking, I would like to see the region move away from pictures on the CV all together. It adds nothing to your experience and should be only applicable if asked for, usually in promo or fashion type positions.

3 – Spamming any and all Linked In posts with the insanely popular “interested” or “check my profile please”. I will tell you about Linked In, it is great! It is also a place where you will find many false opportunities by people/companies that only want your details to grow their network for… I don’t know, some nefarious reason. Take the time to actually read the post. If it is a real opportunity, they will tell you what they are looking for and include an email for you to send your CV across. If the email is not in the post, or a link to the website where you can apply, that is either a horrible recruiter or a false opportunity. If it is a valid opportunity, spamming the post with your quick comment won’t add any value to your application and will even create more competition for you as more and more 2nd connections can see it. Just stop, please.

4 – Walking out of a building and asking a man in Kandoora for a job. I have seen it, had it happen to me, and have heard people outside of the elevators talking about it. No body, I mean absolutely no body, has jobs just falling out of their pockets. Not even locals leaving a business building where they may or may not work. I understand you need a job, I know you are willing to work, but that is not a good first impression and no one will just take your hand, lead you upstairs, throw an offer letter on the table and say Mabrook. Search the newspaper, online job boards, use references and word of mouth, but do not just ask random people to please give you a job.

5 – Lying, plain and simple. In the UAE we are very lucky to have some of the best talent from all over the world. Along with this talent comes experience. You cannot get away with a fake CV and fake documents. Someone in HR will recognize, or even know personally the previous organization you worked at, even in your home country. You have an MBA? You have excellent English skills? And you are ready to work for 3,000 AED??? No, I don’t believe you, the company doesn’t believe you, and the fact that you can’t tell me what street your university is located on (that you spent 6 years at for a Master’s) tells me you are lying. Be true about your skills, experiences, and education, if you have a pleasant persona and I feel you can do the job, I will make an offer. But not to a Liar.

Trust me, finding your first job in UAE is tough. When you do land your first role, the hard part isn’t over, you then have to prove yourself and work hard. All of the hard work you put in will get noticed, and it will make your next move a whole lot easier.

Remember, DON’T do any of these and you will have an easier time landing a position in the UAE.

Good Luck!

Sharom Al Ansari