Becoming a great Executive Assistant is all about detail.
While the role of the EA has evolved and expanded over the past few decades, being highly detail-orientated is crucial to success in this job, and one that candidates applying for Executive Assistant jobs in the UAE will need to demonstrate at all aspects of the job application process.
Typically, the duties of an Executive Assistant include managing calendars, making travel arrangements, coordinating meetings and events, preparing reports, and maintaining good client relations.
Keep in mind this is a job with executive in the job title, so if you are thinking of making the leap from Administrative/Personal Assistant to Executive Assistant for example, your resume should show you have provided high-level support to senior executives.
As an Executive Assistant, you will be expected to go above and beyond. You will be a trusted member of the management team and this means you will find yourself with a heavy and complex workload. It is essential that you be able to demonstrate how you juggle competing priorities while ensuring the highest quality of work.
If you are starting your search for Executive Assistant jobs in the UAE, here are three tips to help you secure that job opportunity.
1. Carefully evaluate the Executive Assistant job description
Whether you are working for a UAE founded company or an international corporation, taking the time to properly review the job description will help you identify what specific duties your role will demand.
Typically, the duties of an Executive Assistant involve:
- Full inbox management
- Managing complex calendars
- Making international travel arrangements
- Coordinating board meetings and large events
- Preparing reports and presentations for external use
- Client relationship building
- Supervising support staff
- Using discretion when dealing with confidential information
Take the time to evaluate your current resume and the Executive Assistant job description from your most recent position. Where does your work history overlap with the job description? This exercise will help you create a foundation for including the most important information on your resume.
2. Identify any skills or experience gaps
Once you have identified the overlaps, you need to address any career gaps you may have in your resume and be confident to speak through these during interview.
Have you included some of these skills that companies in the UAE typically seek in executive assistants?
- Exposure to UAE laws and regulations – specifically across different freezones
- Experience dealing with the most senior stakeholders both internally and externally
- Ability to work within a multicultural team
- Multi-lingual – of course Arabic is always a plus
- Excellence in verbal and written communication
- Project coordination experience
- Any relevant educational achievements
Do you also have any hobbies or side projects that demonstrate proficiency in a key area for the new role? Jot down any skills and experience you can add to round out your resume and make a stronger match.
Robert Half Recruiter Tips:
Job titles in the UAE can be very different from the rest of the world. An Executive Assistant role may be presented as a Personal Assistant, Office Manager or Operations Coordinator. The best way to identify the ideal role for you is to review the responsibilities outlined on the job description rather than focus on the title.
Flexibility is key in the UAE. Most businesses work beyond standard hours to be in line with the wider markets. Also, many organisations will expect you to travel to other offices, whether it be another emirate or across the GCC. You should take this into consideration when applying to roles.
Many people in the UAE are open to relocation. Saudi Arabia is a huge market at the moment with Executive Assistants, especially those with multinational experience, being in high demand.
3. Present your experience
Once you have identified what are some of the key aspects that organisations in the UAE are looking for in executive assistants, preparing for the job interview is about headlining some of your notable skills or accomplishments against the top requirements of the Executive Assistant role.
For an Executive Assistant, communication is the most important skill to demonstrate in the job interview. A large part of the job involves interacting with people at all levels within the company, as well as clients and external stakeholders. Thus, how your articulate yourself during the job interview will be imperative. Ensure you answer questions succinctly and do not be afraid to ask if you have answered the interviewer’s question to their satisfaction - this will give you an opportunity to fill in any gaps.
An Executive Assistant in the UAE not only manages the diaries and schedules of their premier, they also act as a buffer and go-to in the absence of the management. You must be able to not only interact professionally at all levels but also be aware of the wider business strategies in order to act on your premier’s behalf.
Applying for Executive Assistant jobs in the UAE
Whether you are a local or an expat searching for Executive Assistant jobs, remember that this role depends highly on both your communication skills and your ability to manage high level executives.
No matter what stage you are at in your career, following the proper steps of preparing for a job application from reviewing your resume to rehearsing your job interview responses will help you find the right role suitable for you. Apply now or upload your cv.
Need help applying for Executive Assistant jobs in the UAE? Contact Robert Half UAE today to help your job search.