It’s fair to say that the job market can slow down during the summer months and at other times of the year such as Ramadan or public holidays.
Does this make it more difficult to find a new role? Certainly, some industries are seasonal and from my experience in technology recruitment, I see the first and fourth quarters as traditionally being the most active months.
However, if you are thinking of looking for a new opportunity, the best time to look is straight away, regardless of the time of year or market conditions.
Many hiring managers, HR and other decision makers will spend as much time as they can either working remotely or taking holidays during the summer months when temperatures soar in the Middle East.
This may mean that hiring processes take slightly longer, but the most critical roles will still need to be filled – and as soon as possible.
Most hiring will fall under two categories: 1) a replacement hire (where an incumbent has left or may still be in the role) and 2) a new position.
In both cases, if the role is genuine, then there is ample opportunity to secure it when others may be more focused on their holiday or working remotely overseas.
Put simply, if there is less competition for the job, you will stand a better chance of getting it.
Many people will relocate to their home countries permanently at the end of the school year, which often leaves headcount gaps that might not be filled internally.
Those remaining in the UAE during the summer will have a better opportunity to have face-to-face interviews for these roles.
The other point to consider is that with Ramadan and Eid al-Adha over, there are fewer public holidays to distract the hiring process.
I have witnessed many occasions where recruitment processes have moved forward more quickly during the summer months because there have been fewer business distractions.
The reality now is that the hiring sector has seen its challenges over the past few months, particularly in technology – with many of the world’s leading employers announcing major staff hiring cutbacks and redundancies.
That said, a tough market does not mean a non-existent market. Now more than ever, jobseekers should be honing their skills.
Having witnessed Y2K, Sars, the 2008 global financial crisis and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic, I have noticed that there will always be downward trends, but things will turn for the better at some stage – and there will be a much higher demand for some roles that are scarce right now.
Nobody knows for sure when that will be, but if you are ready today, then you will be ready for tomorrow.
I feel there will be steady job growth in the coming months, particularly towards the end of the third quarter.
It’s also worth noting that some areas in information technology haven’t slowed at all and have seen a growth in demand.
An updated CV and LinkedIn profile will be a good starting point for anyone that is looking to further their career – and there are resources out there to help with both.
A reliable, specialised recruiter will be able to help with this and there are plenty of professional CV writers available.
My advice for a good CV is to try to keep it between one and three pages long, put all the vital points across and grab the reader’s attention without going into too much detail that can be discussed during an interview.
A LinkedIn profile should follow a similar path, a full description is not necessary for each role and should carry less information than the CV itself.
Being local and available at short notice for an interview will give you an advantage over those on holiday, particularly if there is a degree of urgency to fill the role.
Regardless of the normality of interviewing over a video call, many hiring managers would much rather shake hands with the candidate before formally offering the job.
Another piece of advice is to keep up with current market trends, which apply to any time of year or market conditions. Being aware of and understanding the needs of the market and would-be employers can be easily overlooked by many.
In summary, during any challenging situation, we must work harder and think smarter to achieve our objectives and finding a new job is no exception.
John Armstrong is the founder and managing director of JCA Associates