32 C
Doha
Thursday, October 28, 2021

Women share tips on successful job hunting in Qatar

-

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Unresponsive recruiters and CVs that “disappear into a black hole” are among the main challenges female job seekers say they face when attempting to enter Qatar’s workforce.

Venting their frustrations during a How Women Find Work conference today, many women said they are uncertain about how to proceed when potential employers do not respond to their inquiries.

According to recruiters who attended the conference, landing a job in Qatar is often about who you know, not how many CVs you send out.

They shared several tips for female job seekers here, whose numbers have been increasing despite Qatar’s skewed male to female ratio.

According to figures from the Ministry of Development, Urban Planning and Statistics’ latest Labor Force Survey, nearly 54 percent of women over the age of 15 in Qatar are employed and nearly 60 percent of non-Qatari women here work.

That’s up from the 56 percent of expat women who worked during the second quarter of 2013.

However, the percentage of Qatari women “economically active” is somewhat lower, with 33 percent of all Qatari women over 15 in employment, the survey said.

Job hunters

Qatar’s labor force has been expanding rapidly to meet the needs of its many infrastructure projects.

Oftentimes, many women move to Qatar after their husbands find work here. But when they themselves begin looking for a job, they come up against several challenges.

 Sheni Ogun
Sheni Ogun

Sheni Ogun, for example, is a lawyer who has been looking for full-time legal work in Qatar for several months, without success.

She told Doha News that she feels let down by recruitment agencies who ask her to submit online applications, but have not given her any meaningful feedback on her queries.

“I am finding the work search has been slow. The agents all ask you to send your CV online, but you never hear anything back from them – it just gets sent into a black hole.

“Some agencies give you a ranking – I heard yesterday i am ranked 90 out of 494 for one job, but I have no idea what that means,” she added.

Another delegate, Amyrose Morris Barretto, is trying to break back into the workplace after taking eight years off to look after her home.

Formerly a customer services executive with Jet Airways, she is trying to change career directions by looking for a job in admin. She said:

“There are so many people applying for jobs now, I haven’t had any responses to my applications, and I have had no response at all from the recruitment companies. It has been frustrating.”

Qatar market

Carolin Zeitler
Carolin Zeitler

According to Carolin Zeitler, founder of How Women Work, the above experiences are very common, and are one of the reasons she established a conference series for women.

“I would go to networking events and there were lots of job seekers there, but many of them had been looking for work for more than six months without success,”  she said.

“They had been applying for jobs, sending off their CVs, but rarely received any replies or been asked for interview. It is depressing for them and it affects their self confidence.”

In comparison, Zeitler observed that some women, especially those who have lived in Qatar for a number of years and had a wider network of people, would get two or three interviews a week.

Their key to success was that they would actively pursue their applications, phoning to check on its status, and going in person to speak to recruiters or organizations to get themselves known.

“You might get told to apply online, but if you leave it at that, with a lot of companies here, you will not have much chance of success,” Zeitler said.

Tips

Speaking to Doha News, Zeitler gave her top tips for successful job hunting in Qatar, which include:

  • Be active in your job search. Follow up applications on the phone or in person.
  • Know that face-to-face contact is essential in Qatar and much more effective than online or email contact. It wouldn’t be done in Europe, but in many companies here, it’s fine to just go in to the organization and try to talk to the recruiter.
  • Make sure all the relevant information on your CV is on the first page, and is really easy to see. Don’t hide it on page 5 or 6. Not many people will have the patience to read that far. The person reading it needs to find everything they are looking for within the first 30 seconds to two minutes.
  • Give a little of your personality in your CV. Include a short profile of who you are at the top of the CV. Don’t rely on the cover letter for this, as they often get lost in the system.
  • Send in as many accompanying documents as you can – including references and qualifications. Again, you might not do this back in your home country, but many recruiters here like to have lots of official paperwork.

Also during the conference, Melissa Mitchell, founder and CEO of International Business Enterprises, which specializes in human resources and global mobility, stressed the importance of networking.

Mitchell, who has lived in Qatar for 14 years, said:

“View every event as a potential networking event – school fairs, dinner with your husband’s colleagues. It’s all about getting yourself out there and people knowing how you are. Almost everyone applying for jobs here is well qualified. It can be difficult to stand out in this region just in paper. People need to know who you are.”

Finally, Zeitler emphasized that being a woman is not a disadvantage when it comes to looking for jobs in the Gulf. She said:

“There is an attitude among some women that they won’t have as good a chance as a man in getting a job, but this is not true.

“I have never, in seven years here, felt it was a disadvantage to be a women in Qatar. Often here people will be more willing to talk to a woman than a man, and as long as you dress professionally and are culturally sensitive, you will be fine.”

Thoughts?

30 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago

I can say that firstly; many companies will not let people past security at the door and secondly; many agencies just say sit an wait.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Should have been “and wait”.

Restie
Restie
7 years ago

“Make sure all the relevant information on your CV is on the first page, and is really easy to see. Don’t hide it on page 5 or 6. ”

Your issues may reside in the fact that you think people accept 5 page CVs, rather than send them straight to the shredder.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Agree. If you can’t say it in 2 pages I don’t want to know and please don’t attach 134 certificates from Mumbai Technical Chai College it is of no relevance.

PSN
PSN
7 years ago

In entire GCCs there is no value for TALENT, KNOWLEDGE or ABILITY. If you have a friend or relative in a top position of a company, a job is assured for you. Its so frustrating that even top companies are also giving priority to recommendations rather than finding the suitable candidate via proper recruitment system.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

My expereince of expat women in the Middle East has been very dissapointing. Those that are the main earners or who are single are very professional generally, those that are expat wives who want a job have extremley unrealistic demands especially the western ones. They expect a high salary, be able to come to work late and leave early and then take 2 months off in the summer. This is usually matched with little relative experience despite having a very high opinion of themselves, thinking that being able to speak English as a native language is all you need to stand out in the market. Of course this is not all, but I have come across it too many times to count.

For those that have exceptional skills my company is flexible around the kids needs and other things that come with being a mom, but those who want to be a PA on 30,000 a month, well…….

AMM
AMM
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

This is very true, I work in recruitment for 7 years now in Qatar and very often non working woman under husband sponsorship have very high demands with regards to the salary and working hours especially. Also many of them had few years break in employment which is a negative factor for the employer.
In general recruitment process in Qatar is very long it can take 3-8 months and that applies to both private and government companies however in government sector it’s even longer.
The reason recruiters are not responding is that we have hundreds of applications every day and its physically not possible to reply. I myself try to respond to relevant candidates but sometime I have no feedback from teh client for a long period of time so there is nothing to reply…
There is many jobs in Qatar but recruitment processes are very weak, I suggest to approach line managers instead of HR departments. Also LinkedIn works great here.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

‘They expect a high salary, be able to come to work late and leave early and then take 2 months off in the summer. ‘ Are really talking about expats here? It sounds eerily familiar….
Why assume that all expat women want this kind of treatment/ Or have children? or are under their husbands sponsorship?
Why not just look at their CV

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

In my second sentence I covered those that are here on their own merit and for the expat wives I used the following statement. (Of course this is not all, but I have come across it too many times to count.)
I do not assume anything, but I continue to get dissapointed by the attitude of some.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Are you suggesting that because someone has come to Qatar because their spouse has taken a job here, that they should expect lower salaries or different conditions? As for having a ‘career break’ well hello, women have the children in most families, having a ‘career break isn’t a holiday. Most then go back to work and would expect to be paid the rate for the job. Their level experience would surely dictate the salary.If someone is looking for part time then its a part time rate.
If someone has’ little relative experience’, then of course that would dictate the salary and I think most are realists. It is sad though that unequal pay and conditions seems the norm in Qatar

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

No that is not what I said at all. This is what I said

“They expect a high salary, be able to come to work late and leave early and then take 2 months off in the summer. This is usually matched with LITTLE RELATIVE experience despite having a very high opinion of themselves, thinking that being able to speak English as a native language is all you need to stand out in the market.”

If they are qualifed, then of course they should get paid the going rate, but being American, French or British doesn’t automatically mean you should be paid a high salary.

Maybe you are referring to housing allowances if the other partner receives so they don’t get that. That is a different matter. It is not salary it is allowances.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

It is strange that employers offer trailing spouses contracts at lower rates than ‘normal’ employees at the same position? If we’re offering them rubbish local contracts with no benefits, surely we can afford to add something to the salary?

I’m firmly of the mind that it should be one position one salary band regardless of race, gender, or religion but sadly that doesn’t seem to be widely practised.

AMM
AMM
7 years ago

The relevant information that needs to be on the 1st page is: Age, Nationality, Visa status, notice period and current/expected salary. That is the first filter recruiters use here and I know as I work here in this sector for 7 years now. Another thing that they are looking at is if you’ve been “jumping jobs” if yes your application will be rejected, to avoid it give an explanation why you left each position. CV should be clear and 1 page is not enough but 10 is too much, make it simple job title, company, dates and most important project experience, especially if you work in construction.
In general recruitment process is very long, especially in government companies, it takes weeks to get the feedback, weeks to arrange an interview and make the final decision. I always suggest to approach line managers rather than HR department is the first contact as they have power to push HR to work faster, use LinkedIn for that.
And as a information for all ex-pats, even for Qatari nationals it’s not so easy to change/find jobs and it can also take a lot of time, and for example if a Qatari wants to leave QP to another oil/gas company he also needs NOC…

Osama Alassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  AMM

A NOC is required for Qataris everywhere… I got one from my old government job before moving to an IOC.

Osama Alassiry
7 years ago

It’s not about gender, men and women suffer exactly the same way.

1. We never give feedback after receiving CVs. If we’re interested we would call you for an interview.
2. We don’t immediately give feedback after an interview, there are usually many candidates for the job.
3. It’s useless to ask about the interview, if you were to be hired, you would be called.
4. The perfect CV is 1-2 pages, 12+ sized font, good margins, stating name, dob, education and experience. Don’t attach certificates, ID copy.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Osama Alassiry

Spot on. Wasta counts for male or female or having exceptional relevant experience in your field. Many people apply for jobs here they are not qualified for.
‘Oh so you are a car salesman, why did you apply for this position as Financial Regulatory Specialist in the telecoms field?’ Then watch them get indignant when they don’t get an interview.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago
Reply to  Osama Alassiry

1-2 pages???? Are you serious? What on earth could you put on one page apart from name, contact details, Education and qualifications and a list of previous jobs as long as you aren’t very old or experienced or have only worked for a couple of companies your whole life. Looking at my current CV I barely fit my qualifications and experience overview- without details or substantiation, on 2 pages, and that is without headers and footers. I was clearly taught the wrong way of writing a CV, although it worked fine before Qatar.
1. How do you know if the candidate fulfills the job criteria from a mere list?
2. What indicates that someone should be called for interview?
3. Who actually opens applications, and do you know if you actually see them all?
Why don’t you acknowledge applications? Its good manners at least, especially for senior positions.

Osama Alassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Yes, I am serious. Some CVs are too detailed. It should be a summary.

During my 16 years of managing people, I have hires more than 15 people. The CV is only the introduction.

My first CV has 4 levels of headings, under IT>Technical>Operating Systems I used to have something like: Microsoft: DOS 3.3,3.33,4.2,5.0,5.5,6.0,6.22; Windows 3.1,3.1 with multimedia extensions, 3.11, 4.0, 2000, XP… It was useless. If it was useful to state, I would summarize that to a bullet point “25+ years of using Microsoft, Mac OS, and Linux/Unix operating systems.”. This will instigate an interviewer to ask about it, I would state the details in an interview.

A CV should comply to whatever target position you aspire to get, my recent CVs have “programming” as a hobby and don’t give details of my experience in it. No product names are in my current CV. “25+ years of using multiple operating systems, databases, and technologies.”.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago

Reading all of the comments here leaves me puzzled. CV’s really do disappear into a Black hole, I know from bitter experience. I am a well qualified, very experienced professional. I applied for a position with my current company TWICE and didn’t get a response. By chance I was introduced to a senior someone a few months later who was apparently desperate to recruit someone with my skills. He couldn’t believe I had applied as my CV had not been passed up to him. After an interview I was appointed immediately- I have very particular experience required for the post. So where did my applications go?
This is not a one off. I know of a very large company in Qatar who seemed to have great difficulty in appointing Westerners. An application was submitted by a senior manager, made by a supposed British female with all the relevant experience , qualities and qualifications etc. No response at all. It went into the HR Black hole, weeded out.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago

I would also point out that it is not that easy for a very well qualified and very experienced professional to put everything in 2 pages unless it is all unsubstantiated

Osama Alassiry
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

You don’t need to substantiate it all…

Ayesha
Ayesha
6 years ago
Reply to  Osama Alassiry

Sir,if i want a job for experience what should i do for that purpose?

Ms. Hala
7 years ago

I used to give career development trainings back in California for high school and college students, you’d be surprised how many of that information is still relevant in Qatar today.

And yes, CV/Resume can be done in 2 pages. Leave something for the interview! #JustSaying

http://mshala.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/put-this-in-your-resume/

Sheba
Sheba
7 years ago

To give you some background my husband and I came to Qatar with a view of living here for several years even
considering staying until retirement. We thought we would come to the country and contribute our skills and experience. We both had very good jobs and had a good lifestyle before we came to Qatar.

We came here to expand our horizons. I am very well qualified (postgrad level) and have excellent experience (management level,, 15 years + working), which I know Qatar is in need of. When I came to Qatar I started looking for a job for a similar or even lower level position, sending out CVs in person, on the internet, contacting agencies and networking. I met many women in a similar position who were keen to work. (and also as Guest mentions above some who want inflated salaries despite having no qualifications/experience …) but I want to address the issue where well qualified and experienced women are not getting jobs.

Most of the time there is no response. The conferences are a waste of time all they tell you is you need to network and you only meet women in the same position as you at those conferences. My view is that it is only a money spinner for the organisers. I have been told very honestly on several occasions that I will find it very difficult to get a job here merely because I am a woman and have been advised to go to Dubai. I am certainly not an isolated case, several of my friends are leaving after having spent only 2 years here and others are getting ready to go. Lawyers, bankers, HR specialists, accountants…. The list goes on. To avoid any confusion these include both muslim and non-muslim women all expats.(Arabs, Indian, Westerners etc….).

This causes a problem for Qatar. By not giving opportunities to women who are capable you get the following
results:

1. In a lot of cases the family’s income drops or is similar to being back home where two people are working and are staying current with their experience and qualifications. Staying in Qatar becomes disadvantageous (either financially or professionally or both) resulting in the family starting to consider moving to other countries as expats or go back home.

Result: Qatar losses experienced staff and has to start from scratch to bring new people in. This puts pressure on all the government ministries. You get into a cycle of new people who do not know the country and culture moving in every 2-3 years.

2. The same vacancies appear on the websites time and time again for months on end. It would be easier to employ a woman who is already here and get the job done. Even in the worse case scenario if she is not the perfect fit she would have learnt the job by the time a suitable applicant is given the job from overseas only to turn the job down at a later stage.

On the other hand employing women (again qualified and experienced and there are lots of them out there) has the
following advantages:

1. Filling two vacancies from one family instead of bringing two men who then will bring their families will put less pressure on the government ministries, health system, roads and schools.

2. Qatar has the 2030 vision. Qatar has a small population and by 2030 if it is to rely on its population both Qatari men and women need to work. There are lots of very intelligent and capable young Qatari women who are going into the workforce. By employing expat women (experienced and qualified) Qatari families will find it easier to send their girls to work in the private sector since it is no longer male dominated. You get closer to achieving the 2030 vision and Qatarisation.

3. By employing both the man and the woman in the family they will be more inclined to spend their income in Qatar whereas if only one person is working there is more pressure on one person to save for a rainy day. The family will stay longer. (Not to worry no one wants to stay here forever we have our parents and extended family overseas and we want to go back at some point.) Qatar can as a result get a strong base of people who understand the culture, know the rules and more importantly for companies know the history, have the contacts and the background.

Qatar is missing out on a great opportunity of using a readily available workforce. Change can only happen if Qataris at the top of companies decide that employing women is advantageous to them and to their country and the directive filters down. Lower management will then no longer be only employing men of the same or similar nationality as
themselves. People are very open about employing other men of the same nationality as themselves; Indians employing Indians, the Lebanese and as MMIH refers to the Keralite mafia etc, etc…A job should be filled by the person most competent and only then will the country benefit otherwise weaknesses are being introduced in the system.

We are disappointed with our general experience in Qatar and are already planning on leaving as have at least 20 families I know who have done so in the last year the top reason being women not being able to find work. I am not going spend my time at home doing nothing! I have a child and he goes to school. It is just a question of how soon. Next stop: Dubai, Oman, Malaysia or Europe. God only knows but the world is a big place. Insh’Allah there will be something better.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Sheba

Interesting post. I would guess that you are not alone. As I mentioned in another post I have seen similar problems for my wife.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

Ladies if you are not in full Head dress and traditional wear make sure you have your full body shots available. My wife applied for a position at Hamad Hospital and They requested that. My wife was like “WTF” What kind of “S%*t” is this? In the US you can sue the heck out of someone for asking for a body shot for a job that should be hiring you based on your intellectual skills not your body. LOL! Sux because now she is at home board. I wanted here to work. A happy and fulfilled wife makes my life easy. Qatari hiring practices for females took that away from me. Darn it!

Biba ops
Biba ops
6 years ago

Hello everyone ..I was reading the post and thinking about how good people you are to speak about this subject which l am interested in ..by the way am from Algeria .l have masters degree in English and for my hole life I was dreaming to travel to Qatar and work there ..am a woman who don’t have a job but still have hope to get it someday ..am 27 years and I hope if someone of you help me to get a visa to Qatar and it will be very generous of you so please contact me on my phone number +213657315036

Tina
Tina
6 years ago

Hello there, just trying to get the job opportunity in Doha, with high qualification I feel having great chance, but I see I need to be assisted by,,, please somebody,,, contact me -tinikodeka@gmail.com if a reason to help,,, 18years of teaching English in all levels and at the same time have excellent experience in management, especially recruitment, partly HR administration, hope to here from smb soon, thank you

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.