Starting out on a career is always a challenge. It’s always a bit of a conundrum: every job in the region seems to ask for experience, but how can one get that initial experience?
Fear not, though. There are many excellent employers who hire fresh graduates. In fact, they pride themselves on taking fresh talent and moulding them towards success. At Xpress Money , we believe there are a few things you can do to beef up your CV even before you start looking for that elusive first job.
Building up your CV
The competition is still stiff, but fortunately, there are ways that students can position themselves as strong candidates on the job market. The most accessible way is to find an internship, or a part-time job.
A part-time job does many things. It shows potential employers that you’re diligent. It also demonstrates the ability to take initiative and responsibility. It shows you have time management skills – because you’ve managed to juggle your job with your studies. And of course, it adds experience to your CV.
Internships are similarly beneficial to students. There’s considerable overlap between part-time jobs and internships, but there are a few distinguishing factors too. Internships can be paid or unpaid. And they are for a specific period of time, measured in weeks or months. Most importantly, internships are meant to have a learning objective attached to them. The purpose of an internship is not to earn money – though many internships include an allowance to cover food and transport. Good internships are designed to give students excellent hands-on experience, and might also lead to a full-time job with the company on graduation.
Scoring an internship
So how does a student score an internship in the UAE? Going online is a good step. InternsME.com, the region’s first video CV portal, offers a good selection of internships. Some government bodies and large companies advertise internships on their own website. Twofour54, for example, has a dedicated internships page1. Alternatively, you could head to Dubai Minds, a free online service set up by two students with the specific aim of helping others find internships in the city2. At last count, the enterprising duo had signed up 24 partners to their cause3 – all willing to provide internships to high school students.
Finding a part-time job
Historically, finding part-time jobs was somewhat complicated in the UAE, given the labour laws. Technically, legal employment required a work visa issued by a willing employer. Employers were hesitant to offer long-term visas for brief part-time work.
All this changed rapidly in October 2016, when a landmark regulation saw university students in Dubai given permission to hold paid part-time jobs in nine free zone clusters. The regulation was announced by the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA)4.
The part-time work permit applies to around 26,000 students in some 24 academic institutions within DCCA freezones – such as the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Park. And students can apply to around 4,500 businesses across Dubai’s nine creative clusters, which include Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Studio City.
The Bottom Line
It’s a competitive market out there, and there isan intense competition for entry-level jobs. But with internships and part-time work now an option for students in the UAE, there’s really no excuse. Bolster your CV and pack in some work experience before you enter the job market, and you’ll find it much easier to get that dream starter job.