Jobs in UAE: Get social network advantage

Recent survey says 31 per cent of HR directors in the UAE consider recommendations when reviewing LinkedIn profiles

It’s a tried and true piece of advice from career counselors and headhunters everywhere: Network, network, network…if you are missing this in today’s digital world, you may lose out on opportunities and may lag behind those who are smart in the virtual world…looking for jobs, networking with peers in the industry and being recommended for their work to make them stand out before potential employers.

Headhunters and those in the HR industry believe a big percentage of jobs are found through networking and a part of networking is asking for recommendations and getting endorsed for your work, thereby adding value to your professional portfolio/CV.

“Using social media is a great way to complement a successful job-search process. [Our] poll revealed that not only is the Internet the medium of choice for 50 per cent of employers seeking potential hires, but 84 per cent will take the time to research candidates online before making a final decision,” Suhail Masri, VP Sales at Bayt.com told Emirates 24|7.

“We believe social media will continue to make the process of connecting with others easier, both socially and professionally. Many of today’s HR executives look for every bit of information they can have on a potential candidate, social media channels being one of the resources. Thus, it is very important to all job seekers and professionals to keep in mind that their profiles are to remain private, clean and exempt of negative content that will definitely not work in their favour,” said Masri.

Many social media sites, such as LinkedIn or BranchOut, offer the ability for people to post recommendations or endorsements. These features, if used wisely, can be used to separate you and your talents from the crowd and more users of such sites in the UAE are seeking recommendations.

“Online recommendations are gaining momentum and hiring managers are checking these while reviewing candidates for employment. According to a recent survey of UAE HR directors, more than three in 10 (31 per cent) say they consider recommendations important when reviewing LinkedIn profiles,” James Sayer, Director at Robert Half UAE told Emirates 24|7.

“Online recommendations definitely allow a job seeker to stand out from the crowd and make their CV or public profile much more attractive to top employers in the region,” added Masri of Bayt.com.

Some experts believe that online recommendations are gaining significance but the traditional ways are still more important.

“Online recommendations can be useful but does not carry the same weight as official recommendations in paper format on company letterheads,” said Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates.

“Recommendations do carry a weight but, for senior position, reference checking is also crucial and is more important,” added Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director, Stanton Chase International.

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