Find a Job in Kuwait City


How to look for work in Kuwait City


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Kuwait Job Market

Expatriates workers are very common in Kuwait's economy. Around 60 % of the labor force is foreign nationals, most coming from Asia, India, Sri Lanka and other Far East countries. An overwhelming majority of these are manual workers in low-income jobs. The numbers of expats in the upper managerial section of the labor market are high, too. Over 90% of Kuwaitis work in the public sector - government jobs, with very few in the private sector.

In spite of everything, landing a job in Kuwait isn't easy. In fact, it's downright difficult, even for well qualified applicants. While most expats have filled many upper-level positions, the up and coming generation of Kuwaitis just now entering the workforce is increasingly well-educated and the government is keenly aware of the need to provide these individuals with decent employment opportunities at home.

Many companies in Kuwait are strongly encouraged to hire Kuwaiti nationals whenever possible, to help ease the pressure on those in search of a job locally. The Government of Kuwait can, and often does, limit the number of work visas issued to a company to ensure local quotas are met.

Although the Kuwaiti government is putting its best foot forward in terms of one day becoming self-sufficient in the labor market, the high demand for expatriate specialists probably not end any time soon. Moreover, those foreign workers with highly sought after skills in crucial areas for the development of the local economy still stand a better than 50/50 chance of securing a job in Kuwait.

Expats holding a university degree, with professional experience in the financial sector, or in the fields of sales and business development, continue to be the most successful. Engineers, particularly those with knowledgeable backgrounds in the oil industry, stand the best chances to fulfill their dream of working in Kuwait.

Resume / CV

  • Resume - brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
  • CV (curriculum vitae) - more in depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Typically two or more pages.

For more information on differences and standards, refer to the article CV versus Résumé

Layout

When applying for a job in the Middle East, most companies prefer a detailed CV, but it depends on the company. Inquire which format is preferred if not stated in the ad. A CV or resume should include:

  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, fax number, address, and email address.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with: your title
  • the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that job
  • Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career.
  • Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Note if you received any special honors.
  • Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English and it is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.
  • Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.

Tips

  • Style should be straightforward. Use standard paper and a simple font, such as Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10) font
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Don't use abbreviations. Emphasize sections and things that are important with underlines or bold type.
  • Make sure your CV is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.

Cover Letter

Cover letters are always a good idea, especially when dealing with major companies, business and governments. A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent.

Format

  • Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., 'Dear Hiring Managers').
  • Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
  • Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer, although many favor the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ('Sincerely'), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation 'ENCL' may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.

Job Search

Search Engines

Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.

  • Career Hunters - a search engine based in Kuwait specializing in the placement of executives.
  • Bayt - Middle East's #1 search engine for employment
  • Monster Gulf - Middle East version of the US website Monster.com
  • SOS Recruitment - Simple to use job search engine for the Middle East
  • Gulf Job Sites - first ever independent directory and search engine of job and employment related websites from the Arabian Gulf / Persian Gulf region covering Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq and Iran.
  • Alghanim Industries - Major retail franchise company in Kuwait with many job opportunities throughout the region.
  • Al-Shaya - Major retail franchise throughout the region.
  • Gulf Jobs Market – Extensive listings for positions in the gulf region.

Forums

Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Easy Expat's Kuwait forum are a great resource. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.

Newspaper

Several papers have a helpful classified's section. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media.

Several papers have a helpful classified's section.

EEK! (Expats Express Kuwait) is a subscription only weekly newsletter which also advertises employment announcements.

Recruitment Agencies

Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also 'Head hunting' agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals. To find an appropriate agency, look for 'employment agencies' in the yellow pages or go to a directory of agencies.

  • Gulf Talent - Founded in 2005, it is a major recruitment portal in the Middle East and used by 3 million people, covering six countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC. These countries are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
  • Man Power -  Middle East recruitment job portal
  • KEB - Recruitment bureau based in Kuwait

Career Fairs

Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are usually a large variety of employers you can visit in one day and apply. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot.

You can also try going to career fairs in your home country that specialize in jobs abroad.

Networking

Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work. Expat events can also be a great way to find out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn or expat forums.

Teaching English

Anyone desiring to teach English in Kuwait should first contact a school. You may be required to possess a teaching certificate and other documentation, which must be approved by the government. There may be severe penalties (heavy fines, deportation or even prison) for anyone suspected of or caught teaching without first obtaining government approval. The Ministry of Education is a great place to start (in Arabic).

English-speaking expats are in high demand for teaching English. Language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.

Schools

The easiest way to get started teaching English is to find a school. The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the best.

Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test.

Teaching Certificates

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

Interview

Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Research the company before the interview to discover their missions and direction. Study the job advert in detail and think of every potential question you might be asked. Study your application and prepare yourself to answer every sort of question about it.

It is not uncommon for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 min, and further meetings possibly taking an entire day.

  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

Work Visas & Permits

Refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.


Update 26/05/2013



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