How to job search during the slow recruiting month of Ramadan
How can you get hiring-fit this Ramadan and maximize your job search efforts?
Ramadan can be a slow time for recruitment in the Middle East. While it is a time for personal reflection and introspection, it’s also a time when hiring managers and key decision-makers go on vacation. This can slow down the recruitment process, or even bring it to a grinding halt in some companies.
For active job seekers, the delay can be frustrating. And for those who want to start looking for a job it can be confusing. Leading to questions such as: “Should I wait until after Ramadan before I start?”
While some job seekers see it as an obstacle, I see Ramadan as a great opportunity for job seekers to get what I call “hiring-fit”. Being hiring-fit means you have maximized your chances of getting the job you want in every possible way. So how can you get hiring-fit this Ramadan and maximize your job search efforts?
1) Build your reputation
Most companies want to keep their costs down – meaning they are relying on finding the right candidates through word of mouth or online presence. This means – they are looking for you by reputation and how you position yourself online.
Take time during Ramadan to build your reputation: online and offline. Define your personal brand (what you want to be known for) and think of how to get your brand (i.e. your reputation) out there. Your CV, LinkedIn profile, social media, blogs, personal websites, networking events, interviews, social engagements or recruitment agencies are all ways you can do this.
Read my article on self-promotion for further tips.
2) Identify your USP
The most successful job-seekers have one thing in common: they know their USP (Unique Selling Proposition). They know exactly who they are, what their strengths are and the value they can add to any business. They have identified their top skills, unique experience, talents and achievements. They know their behavioral competencies and unique personality traits.
They recognize the combination of all these things is completely unique to them and is what will separate them from their competitors.
3) Learn how to sell yourself
Whether it’s on your CV, Linkedin Profile, in an interview or a networking opportunity - you must be expert in selling yourself. You need to know how to match your USP to the needs of the company/job/person, and how to effectively communicate that match.
Being able to sell yourself comes from:
i) Knowing what you have to offer (your USP)
ii) Knowing your audience
iii) Excellent communication skills
iv) Self-confidence / self-belief
If you’re slightly weak in any of these areas, a career coach or life coach can help you perform at your best.
4) Design a targeted job search strategy
The more targeted you are in your job search the more efficient it will be. Creating a list of companies you want to work for, the reasons why, the role(s), who to contact etc. is great for two reasons. First it will help you focus your mind, time and energy - meaning less room for stress and worry. Second, it will impress employers by showing them you have given your career development serious thought. For more help on building a job search strategy, read my article here: job-search strategy
5) Update your CV, LinkedIn profile and interview skills to an exceptional level
1st impressions count. If your CV or LinkedIn profile are not exceptional, you will not be perceived an exceptional. This also applies to your networking, online presence building, interview and social media skills. With the shorter working hours during Ramadan, now is a great time for you to update all of these. If you’re not sure if your CV, LinkedIn profile or interview skills are up to a great standard, or you want help with your personal branding or networking skills, a career coach will help you.
6) Build a strong network
Only 30% of jobs are advertised. Meaning companies are using other avenues such as referrals to fill vacancies. The only way you’re going to get referred is by having a strong network. In my opinion, this is the key for any job seeker looking to maximise their chances of job search success.
7) Always perform at your best
This is a no-brainer. Companies want to hire top performers who will be a return on their investment. If you haven’t performed well – either in your most recent role or throughout your career – you have to stop and ask yourself why. Poor performance is generally a red flag you are in the wrong job. To find out if this is true for you, read my previous article here.
If you’re fasting, here are some tips to help you stay productive during Ramadan to ensure peak performance at all times.
8) Ask for a morning interview
Dehydration can lower brain performance by as much as 40% - making interviews a challenge. If you’re fasting, ask for an interview time as close to suhoor as possible. You will be less dehydrated and will perform better than later in the day. (Tip: taking a pure sodium supplement with water at suhoor may help you maintain the water – keeping you hydrated for longer.)