The recruitment and job search process varies from one country to another, as the cultures and customs of different peoples have a significant and direct impact on this activity.

Here are some tips based on my experience in job searching in Saudi Arabia, which may be of benefit to you, my job-seeking friend, even if it’s just a little, especially if you have spent a long time outside the kingdom for studying or working.

To save time, I will provide the information in bullet points and briefly:

  1. There are no professional and distinctive recruitment companies in the kingdom. You have to rely entirely on yourself in the search process. Regularly visit the websites of companies and institutions to check if there are any new job openings. There are some websites that provide job advertisement services, which can save you time. I will mention the most important ones at the end of the article.
  2. You may apply for many advertised jobs and not receive a response from some companies or institutions for various reasons. This could be due to the large number of applicants or the companies not being serious about hiring employees but rather collecting information for future use.
  3. Communication between the candidate and the recruitment officers will not be through email but through direct phone calls. Therefore, you should respond to all incoming calls. It is also acceptable to send the required documents through social media platforms such as WhatsApp.

(Do not be surprised if you are called for an interview on the same day or the next day, so be prepared.)

  1. Punctuality and adherence to appointments are not always as expected. It may happen that a recruitment officer contacts you and sets a specific time for a phone interview but does not adhere to it. You may also receive calls after official working hours. Be prepared and flexible in all circumstances, and try not to complain or show your anger.
  2. Some personal interviews are not conducted professionally by recruitment officers, which reduces your chances of presenting yourself and your experiences in the desired manner. Sometimes you need to take the initiative and express yourself during the interview (this is not considered impolite, but rather assertiveness).
  3. Do not try to be the respectful and humble person who waits for fairness from others. Present yourself confidently at all times whenever you have the opportunity. Also, follow up with the recruitment officers if they haven’t contacted you.
  • It may take weeks or months of searching for a job without seeing any results. Some people may go for months or even years without getting a job. This is considered normal, so don’t expect to get a job early on and try to find part-time work to occupy your free time.
  1. Work experience plays a somewhat significant role. If you don’t have it, your chances may be lower, but not non-existent.
  2. Liberal arts disciplines such as management, sales, and finance seem to have better chances of getting a job compared to engineering and industrial disciplines. The reason may be that we are a consumer country relying on a purely revenue-based economy that is constantly rotating.

Now, onto the mistakes to avoid:

  1. Avoid relying solely on online applications and submissions! This is one of the biggest mistakes I made. While it may be the right way, social customs and practices play an important role. So, don’t do what is right; do what is appropriate!

What is appropriate here is to have your applications submitted through acquaintances or social circles that can help deliver your resume directly to the hiring manager. This is the shortest and most effective way to get a chance for a personal interview.

Submitting your resume electronically does not guarantee that it will reach the hiring manager, and it may not even be reviewed in the first place due to the large number of applicants that are difficult to sort through.

You might say, “But I don’t have connections or acquaintances!” The answer is to build relationships and connections. It is considered a skill and part of your job search activity, and it is not overly difficult. Saudi Arabia and its people, including residents, are a kind-hearted nation, and building relationships with them does not take much time, as in other cultures.

All you need to do is engage in communities of professionals in your field, and you will be amazed by their willingness to help you (the culture of helping those in need).

  1. Avoid relying solely on digital data. Bring printed copies of your resume and the required documents for the personal interview (paper documents still hold value).
  2. Avoid sharing your personal information with everyone. Many people lack awareness of the importance of personal information confidentiality.

Now, what you should be cautious about:

  1. Beware of scams. Recruitment is one of the easiest ways for scammers to obtain information about victims. Do not send any information about yourself beyond your resume, such as your national ID card or passport.
  2. Some recruiters collect information in unprofessional and unethical ways, so be alert to questions that require you to provide solutions or opinions that require effort and time or questions that go beyond your previous work.
  3. Some hiring managers may ask you to complete a task or assignment under the pretense of evaluating your work, but the goal is to get the work done for free. Don’t do any work based on promises alone. There is usually a probationary period during which the hiring manager can evaluate your work, but if necessary, make sure to receive your compensation first.

Lastly, here is a list of the most commonly used recruitment websites in Saudi Arabia:

  1. LinkedIn (expected to be one of the best recruitment platforms in Saudi Arabia in the future)
  2. Gulf Talent (offers many jobs in the Gulf region, and recruitment companies visit it to search for candidates in various fields, who in turn market you)
  3. Go to Gulf (offers many jobs in the Gulf for experienced professionals)

I hope these tips and the list of websites are helpful to you in your job search. Good luck!

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