I often read as well as receive direct queries from individuals on how can they obtain a job in Saudi Arabia. These are individuals who are presently not in Saudi Arabia and in many cases have never been to Saudi Arabia. However for various reasons, feel strongly that they would like an opportunity to go and work in the Kingdom. The following are practical tips and guidelines to help facilitate ones search for that ideal Saudi position and what to expect once an offer is received!
First and foremost have a professional resume. Ensure that key accomplishments are clearly stated. Have a strong objective statement such as why you want to work in Saudi Arabia, what position you seek and why you are the most qualified individual for such a position.
Circulate your resume. Put it on the usual web sites and/or message boards. Some useful places to submit a resume for employment in Saudi Arabia include:
Career Builder – this web site is utilized by many Saudi companies and institutions seeking candidates.
Bayt.com – this web site specializes in advertising positions and opportunities in the Middle East region and always has a variety of differing types of positions available in Saudi Arabia.
Monster.com – this well known web site also has search engines and links for jobs in Saudi Arabia.
Executive Jobs in Saudi – as the name states, this web site specializes in positions in Saudi Arabia.
Clarendon Parker – an international recruiting firm with a local office in Riyadh.
Helen Ziegler – the best web site for those who are seeking a position in Saudi Arabia’s medical industry.
Aramco – with US Headquarters in Houston and locations throughout Saudi Arabia, this is one of the largest of expat employers in Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.
It is further suggested that instead of waiting for an employer to find your resume, bring your resume to the attention of a target employer instead! There are directories which identify American companies which have a presence in Saudi Arabia. And if one works in a specific industry, again there are global directories organized by industries too. Use these directories to identify potential employers. And of course as with any perspective opportunity – DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the company, know its mission, vision and values. Is it a public or private company?
This segues to the next step which is for any interaction with a prospective employer, do not simply send your resume and hope for a response. In many cases a good cover letter will give a lesser qualified candidate an edge over a more qualified candidate who only submits the resume. Let the employer know why you are interested and why the employer should hire you. This is the time to not be shy and advertise your strength and skills. If you do not consider yourself number one for an opportunity then why should a Saudi employer? (or any employer)
The initial contacts with a prospective Saudi employer may likely be through email which should lead to scheduling of a telephone interview. In all dialogues (email and voice) be professional. Do not try to be cute or gushing or showing off ability of Arabic. Answer questions candidly which illustrate your experience, understanding of the position and sensitivity to the Saudi culture.
Once selected for a position in Saudi Arabia, it is absolutely essential all the “ducks are in row” and by that I mean have your paperwork in order. Requisite documents include passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), shot record, degree, certificates, letters of reference, employment verification for starters. It is not unusual to be asked to present letters of reference and employment verification from all past employers. And Saudi Arabia is more formal than the States in the sense that reference and verification documents should be on the company letterhead and ideally with a raised stamp/seal and an actual rather than stamped signature. Educational documents, employment documents will need to be certified by the issuing state, authenticated by Department of State and then authenticated/attested by the nearest Saudi embassy/consulate.
Once accepted for a position in Saudi Arabia it can take from one month to up to 9 months for all the processing to be completed. Be patient, it will happen!
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