Lots of chat of on Linkedin and my local radio station here in Dubai about tips for job seekers. For what it’s worth, here are mine.
Photos: Photos on LinkedIn specifically. Personally, I don't like having my photo taken and I particularly loathe the fact that I have to put it on the internet but I do understand that LinkedIn is a business networking tool and people like to see with whom they’re dealing. And to be clear, what people, employers, potential business partners or whatever want to see is just a picture of your face, which is different to a selfie, they certainly don’t need to see cleavage, or a picture of an individual sitting in a convertible smirking behind sunglasses.
CVs: Please do not pay for someone to draft your CV for you. It’s your document, you should do it. By all means ask for advice. Here’s some from me, go conservative. Aerial or Times New Roman, no need for a photo (unless you’ve been asked for one), most recent experience first, months AND years of employment and if there are any gaps (career break, maternity leave) explain them on the document. Don’t leave it to the hiring manager to guess what you’ve been up to or your CV will be put to the bottom of the pile. My caveat here is that I am a legal recruiter and we keep things low key in the law, I totally understand that if you’re in marketing or communications you’re allowed to be a bit more ‘out there’ when it comes to your CV presentation.
Covering letter: Short, sharp and to the point. Less is more. Spellcheck is your friend and avoid using abbreviated words.
Network: It’s a challenging hiring market it out there, in particular in the UAE. Don’t be afraid to leverage off your old contacts, there is no shame in it and sitting at home waiting for someone to acknowledge your CV through an anonymous online portal can be soul destroying. Where you can, get out there you never know where it might lead and it can be energizing to be proactive. And whilst you’re looking, ask yourself if this may be a golden opportunity to do something you really want to do...