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MENA – An online presence is key to recruitment

05 November 2013

The “Modern Job Search in the MENA” poll, recently conducted by jobsite Bayt.com, has revealed that experience is the most important detail of any CV for those who make hiring decisions in the region, and including a picture with your CV is considered a good move.

The poll goes into detail on what the ideal CV looks like for hiring decision-makers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In terms of length, a short and concise CV that is no longer than one page is the preferred format for the majority of respondents (43%). A medium-length CV is also a suitable option, with 38% of professionals who make hiring decisions finding it ideal. Only 19% prefer a detailed, lengthy CV.

As far as CV content goes, experience is considered to be the most important element (with 25% saying it is most important), followed by skills (19%). Less important are education at 10%, an objective statement at 7%, and lastly, any awards, badges and endorsements – all at 6%. However, a third of respondents (34%) claim that all of the above are equally important highlighting the significance of having a cohesive and comprehensive, professional, well-balanced CV.

The preference is also for CVs that include a picture of the candidate, as claimed by 54%, though 32% state that a photograph doesn’t matter. Video CVs are viewed as ’somewhat useful’ by 32% of respondents and ’not useful at all’ by 40%. Yet, a significant 28% claim that not only do they find video CVs very useful, but they also love it when a candidate includes one in his or her application.

Concerning traditional job-search practices, cover letters are considered an essential part of the job hunt, with only 18% of respondents claiming to ‘just brush over them’. According to the majority (44%), a cover letter is very important, and can make a huge difference in a hiring decision.

The poll also sheds important light on how the Internet is employed for hiring purposes by both job seekers and the professionals who make hiring decisions. For sourcing new candidates, the Internet remains a very important resource, according to 80% of the poll’s respondents, and online recommendations and endorsements are considered important to 62%.

It’s also very common for professionals to research candidates online before making a hiring decision, with 41% claiming they ’always’ do so, and 38% saying they ’sometimes’ conduct internet research. It is therefore more obvious than ever the need for job seekers to develop their online profiles in order to boost their career prospects in the MENA. Fortunately, most professionals appear to be aware of the importance of being found online, with 44% claiming that it’s essential to have an online profile in order to not miss out on any great career opportunities. 36% claim that a polished online profile is beneficial for all of the following: to optimise exposure to potential clients and suppliers; to build a professional reputation; to gain industry insights; to network with peers professionally, and to get referred, recommended and endorsed.

Despite the perceived importance though, 40% of respondents claim that ‘few’ of their working acquaintances have an online CV and professional public profile. However, 60% say that ‘most’ or ‘many’ of their working acquaintances do. Most respondents (73%) go online every day for professional networking purposes, and nearly all (95%) feel that a site focused on professionals that allows them to ask career-related questions is a valuable tool. This is compounded by the fact that 70% of respondents use the Internet every day to ask job-related questions; with 38% having asked questions about their work tasks through a website, forum, or social media platform.

“The results of our poll clearly demonstrate that in the modern job search, the Internet is a vital tool for both job seekers and employers,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “Now, more than ever, job seekers must use online resources to build a solid profile that will boost their job prospects, and brand them as experts in their fields. Happily-employed professionals will also benefit from a strong online presence. After all, the Internet is a great place to not only enhance job-related knowledge, but also to network and ask questions related to one’s job, as can be seen from 70% of the poll’s respondents who do that every day.”


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