6 Steps To Get A Banking Job in The UAE

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A panoramic foggy skyline of Dubai in the UAE. Plenty of skyscrapers rise out of the fog, many of them bank buildings. The Burj Khalifa can also be seen rising up from the carpet of fog.

In niche sectors in the UAE, like banking, there are more candidates looking for work than there are job openings. This means that doing your homework is the key to get a banking job in the UAE. Those ill-prepared, or those simply blasting CVs out, will soon find getting a banking job in the Emirates becomes as elusive as its culture.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most popular destinations for those looking to work abroad, and has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. In fact, the key contributor to the country’s demographic change is the foreign labor migration, which constitutes over 85 percent of the workforce. UAE’s high quality of life and tax-free income is the main constituent of its global appeal. Since English is the main language used in businesses, expats will find they can easily fit in their new jobs.

Tourists relaxing on the beautiful beach of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Tall, very modern skyscrapers rise up in background of the beach.

There is a lot you can do to search for a right banking job before finally relocating to the UAE.

Here are 6 steps that will help you get a banking job in the UAE:

1. Identify The Job Role

Most applicant mismatch their skills to the job description. It’s like trying fit puzzle pieces together that just aren’t meant to fit. Before starting your job search, it is vital you take some time to understand your strengths, interests, and banking career plans. Analyze what banking position appeal to you the most. Don’t just scatter-bomb the landscape with your CV in hopes of landing something. When you’re looking to get a banking job in the UAE, or any professional field, stick to your forte and the relevant opportunities.

2. Update Or Acquire Required Skills

The demands of the UAE labor market are dynamic and ever-changing. Be sure to update your CV based on the requirements you see on job postings. Don’t forget to include specific numbers and percentage improvements. There’s nothing like specifics to catch a recruiter’s attention. Amidst the ton of job-seekers looking to get a banking job in the UAE, those who can lay down statistics and specifics are the ones that will catch the most attention.

Picture of a banker reading and checking his resume CV to make sure he can get a banking job in the UAE.

In the UAE, the employment scenario is rapidly changing as its economy shifts its focus and dependency from the oil sector to diversified industries. Thankfully, this results in more career opportunities that creates more demand for higher-level skills.

3. Prepare A Strong CV

Whatever the position you wish to apply for, you need an relevant resume. Sending a set format of generic skills to 20-odd jobs is the biggest blunder that any job-seeker could commit. If you’re especially looking to get a banking job in the UAE, take the time to tailor each and every CV to the job.

Competition is fierce, but you can easily get ahead of the pack, because most CVs are irrelevant. Put in some extra effort to update your online CV for each job application, and focus on clearly conveying how your resume meets the job requirements. A generic application will immediately put your CV at a competitive disadvantage. Don’t forget to back your CV up with a cover letter, which focuses on your successes, and a letter of recommendation, if possible.

4. Tap Into Your Network

Networking is not only an option when looking for a job, but a mandatory practice. Poor networking can drag down your chances of getting a job in the UAE. Most of the international banks prefer to hire staff based on referrals from current employees and other references.

Closeup of two businessmen shaking hands in the UAE. One of them looks defocused and wears a traditional head-dress known as the shmagh.

Broaden your network; connect with more people, friends, schoolmates, alumni, and online networking groups. You never know…some of your friends in the network might be working in your preferred industry abroad, and could refer you to his/her company! Remember, it doesn’t hurt to ask your network about any job openings.

5. Start Applying For Jobs

Once you’ve fished out a couple of opportunities, it’s time to start applying. Before you rush to get a banking job in the UAE, however, it is imperative you research the job market and analyze the best employers in the field. Check out their salary ranges, history, and employee satisfaction (by using your network, or an online network like Linkedin, for example). Some research about the company is also critical to prepare yourself for the interview. Never go into an interview without knowing your employer’s full background. The more you know about them, the more you’ll impress them.

6. Strong Follow-Up

An interview without some follow up is no interview at all! Plan to follow-up with the employers, whether before or after the interview. In the meantime, you shouldn’t stop updating your CV and reaching out to your network and other potential employers. If you want to successfully get a banking job in the UAE, your follow-up is key.

A Western banker making a followup call on his cell phone. He is wearing office attire, a shirt and tie, and has a jacket slung over one shoulder. He is outdoors.

Create an excel spreadsheet and send follow-up emails to all the employers, even if they have initially rejected you. It never hurts to follow up a month or so later. The better you are at follow-up, the better the likelihood you’ll get a banking job in the UAE. From Dubai to Abu Dhabi, the Emirates is a place which thrives on duality: culture and modernism. You’ll definitely appreciate the vast network of connections you’ll make, many of which will help you get banking jobs worldwide.

And always remember: rejections are a natural part of the process, so don’t let these ever drag you down.

Good luck!

Have you considered getting a banking job in the UAE? What do you feel would be the pros and cons of working there as a banker?

About the Author: Swati Srivastava is an avid writer with a keen interest in the extensive domain of job search and career counselling. Her articles are published on several reputed job search portals and online career magazines.

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2 comments on “6 Steps To Get A Banking Job in The UAE

  1. Hi I am a 35 father of 4 I was until recently self employed due to unforeseen circumstances I am unemployed hard worker and willing to learn if the necessary skills is required so if there is anything available you wont regret it thnks

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