These tips will help you find a job in Saudi Arabia without a hassle!
7 August 2018| Last updated on 22 December 2019
So you dream about working in Saudi Arabia and exploring the treasures that the country has to offer but just can’t seem to get your big break?
Finding a job in Saudi Arabia isn’t always easy and can be very stressful. Especially if you are not living in the country or any of the other GCC countries. Saudi Arabian firms prefer taking the easiest route available to them, and this more often than not means preferring to employ Saudi nationals and foreigners who are already in the country.
Not understanding the culture and how things work in Saudi Arabia can also be a challenge. Luckily we’ve compiled these 5 tips for you to help you find your dream job in Saudi Arabia!
Use your local connections
Remember that old saying: “It’s not what you know, but who you know?” Saudi Arabia is no exception to this rule. Knowing someone in Saudi Arabia who can send job leads to you or put in a good word at the firm (or if you’re lucky, a friend of a friend) can help open the right door for you.
Reach out to your existing network and see who you know that already lives in the country, else start building your Saudi network. You never know what opportunities might come from this.
HR managers in Saudi Arabia also prefer the word of mouth method as it is less work for them and because you already have someone vouching for you and your work ethic. Never underestimate the impact of a good recommendation!
Update your CV
As important as a good recommendation is, is your CV just as important. Be sure to update your CV before you start searching for a job in Saudi Arabia. You don’t want to keep potential employers waiting while you first update your CV, and you also don’t want to send an outdated one either.
Your CV is frequently the first impression that a company gets of you, and first impressions stick. Even though you might be the perfect candidate for the job, you might lose it if you submit a sloppy CV with mistakes on it.
Some tips to keep in mind while updating your CV are:
- Look for CV templates that are trending in Saudi. We have noticed that different countries prefer different types or formats of CV’s. Search online or reach out to a recruitment agency for a format that is popular in Saudi Arabia.
- Ensure you use relevant keywords for the position. Most firms have software nowadays that scan the CV's ’ before the HR manager even looks at them. If you don’t have the right keywords in your CV, it might get thrown out.
- Proofread your CV, at least three times, after you’ve asked someone else to do it! You don’t want any mistakes that could easily be avoided.
- Keep it as short as possible. No one has time to read a five page CV anymore. Keep your CV as short as possible to ensure that it doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Keep it relevant. Even though some things are good to mention, they aren’t necessarily relevant to the position that you are applying for. This will also help with keeping your CV shorter. If you feel that it is really important, you can always bring it up in the interview.
- Write a captivating cover letter. Your cover letter is a brief introduction to who you as a person are. It is important to keep this short as well – about half a page should do the job. Talk about who you are as a person and some of your experience but whatever you do, do not lie!
Reach out to recruitment agencies
There are a lot of recruitment agents who are constantly scouring the internet in search of strong candidates. Register at recruitment companies in Saudi Arabia and find out what positions they have available.
This already gives you that foot in the door opportunity of someone who can help you get an interview at a good company in Saudi Arabia.
Update your LinkedIn profile
Following the point of reaching out to recruitment agents, ensure that your LinkedIn profile is updated. Recruitment agents in Saudi Arabia often use LinkedIn to search for potential candidates.
You can follow the same guidelines as updating your CV for your profile.
With the new jobs function on LinkedIn, you can also customise your job search for positions in Saudi Arabia.
Don’t rush the interview
Human connections are important to Saudi nationals. They will often sit and make small talk and get to know you before getting down to business. Engage in the small-talk and don’t rush the interview.
It is also important to sit face to face with the interviewer and make eye contact. If you are a female being interviewed by a male, and vice versa, do not reach out to shake his hand as many locals are still very traditional and do not condone this behaviour.