Job search basics: eight steps to success

By Robert Half on 11th December 2023

To find a new job, you need to do more than look through local job ads. In fact, knowing how to look for a position can be just as important as having the right experience and expertise. We have put together the basics everyone should know when searching for a new role in the UAE.

1. Think of your career search as a job itself

It takes time to find your perfect role, so it's a good idea to make a daily effort to put time aside to dedicate to it. If you are unemployed, make this task your full-time job; if you're employed, set aside time every day after work to devote to the search.

Related: How you can restart your career

2. Narrow your focus

Spend time thinking about what you want from your next position. Make a list of the five most important attributes for you, whether it's non-profit based work, extra time with family or a management role.

Consider your skills - as you look at job opportunities, try to find those that match your priorities, talents and experience. This will help you focus on a position that is ideal for you and what you want to achieve.

3. Explore every option

Internet job boards, professional networking sites like LinkedIn, company websites, recruitment agencies like Robert Half and classified adverts are all great places to conduct your search.

Universities are also usually well-prepared to provide assistance to alumni seeking employment. Take full advantage of these services.

Related: Job searching in the UAE

4. Know the marketplace

It's a good idea to get to know the marketplace a bit better, see what's out there and what your industry can offer you right now. Try to talk to recruiters, past colleagues or other experts in your field who may be able to provide insight into the field you want to work in.

Attend job fairs, and keep an eye out for lectures, courses and seminars; you may meet someone who works in the field you're pursuing.

5. Create a winning CV and cover letter

Tailor your CV and covering letter to fit the most important criteria in the job description.

Your CV should be clear and easy to read with a clean, professional appearance. Proof-read it carefully, and choose a legible font like Arial and point size. Also, be sure to create a print-friendly version when sending your CV by e-mail.

Related: How to write a good cover letter

6. Network

You can tap the "hidden" job market by developing a list of contacts through friends, family, former co-workers or alumni.

Make it your goal to speak with five or six people each week for advice, helpful information and job leads. Always be polite and courteous, and be prepared to return the favour.

7. Create a pitch

When you are reaching out to contacts for advice, have a brief description prepared. All you need is four or five sentences that describe who you are, your background and what you are specifically looking for from the person you are calling.

8. Develop strong interviewing skills

Make a good impression at an interview by showing that you've done your research on the company. Before the interview, read articles found on the comapany's website, as well as industry-related content.

Ask yourself questions such as "what are the company's strengths and weaknesses?". Make a list of what you could contribute if hired for the position.

Related: Preparing for an interview in the UAE


When searching for a job, it's always a good idea to go the extra mile by conducting research, creating a great CV and preparing carefully for each interview. It takes perseverance and dedication, but with the right tools, and a bit of luck, you'll land your ideal position. Why not start your job search now.


For more career development tips please visit our careers advice page, or alternatively you can contact one of our recruitment experts today.

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