Over the past couple of weeks, we have received a record number of calls and emails from people who have lost their jobs, particularly from people in the UK, who are keen to move to Dubai

With the COVID pandemic having a devasting effect on the job market this blog provides some tips on how you can find a new role in such a tough and competitive market

Let’s start with the LinkedIn new feature “open to work”, which allows you to add a green circle to your profile image, with the words “open to work” which of course depending on your personal thoughts or age, begs the question whether this is actually a good thing or not? Initially we weren’t too convinced as recruitment companies and search businesses are operating on mandates and/ or using algorithms to select candidates, therefore have no way of linking the active job seeker status to open roles.

This of course means that the feature is only of benefit to your specific sector and to your immediate and relevant network. Finding a job is of course a serious endeavour and often requires immense focus and discipline and a perseverance equal to any cold calling experience our Founding Partner Nick Savastano had during his sales career. Often it is time that drives the outcome, where we can end up taking a role because we need money, rather than wanting to do the actual role itself.

It’s time for the acronym JOBS to provide some insights about finding that next job


How did you get to where you are today? The choices you have made in your career need some level of structure, a coherent narrative rather than just think your CV will do the job.

Are CVs important? yes; Yet dependent on the role you are looking for and the sector you are in, nowadays an understanding of the key phrases and terms that the algorithms look for will differentiate you from the masses. Ultimately CV’s are just a snapshot often illusionary documents that highlight the best element of the roles you have held. They never capture whether you were any good at the role, or whether you are able to make decisions and be a real contributor to a new business. Everyone says they are brilliant and maybe they are, yet seldom have they really thought about how they will demonstrate they are brilliant. Often the choices that have been made don’t match the narrative — this of course is not about judgement rather highlighting the importance of creating a meaningful narrative that supports your CV; whilst creating an authentic pitch document for the role you want.

The start of this journey is Selling you will need to find qualified prospects that you can pitch to, that will buy you and your unique skills. Each application means you are tailoring your approach to the client need. Remember it is ultimately a numbers game, that is it might be a 1:1 or 2000:1 ratio but focus on short circuiting the ratio to getting the job.

‘O’ for Opportunities

As the “open to work” feature really identifies, most roles will be found from within your immediate network and or within the sector you have the most experience in. This will of course allow you to focus your search and operate in a tighter niche. Just taking a scatter gun approach and applying for any job is not going to help and weakens the narrative you are creating. Creating a sales funnel as in any sales environment, you need to create a list of friends and people you know really well.

Before asking for their help, take direct and honest feedback from them, to what they believe you are really good at, what your skills and talents are? Once you have their input this might help tighten your role search or create roles you had never considered. Often we have our own blind spot and can become stuck in our thinking. Often what we think we are good at, what we should do, often no one else does. The other purpose for doing this is people that you know well, your friends and old colleagues want you to find a role, however they have a mental version of you they hold. So if they take the time to give you feedback and say you are good at certain things, then they will refer you to anyone that has a role that fits with that version of you. People will not refer you to anyone if it will reflect badly on them by putting you in a role you will fail at!

‘B’ for Build New Skills

We are in a very competitive marketplace and therefore building and upgrading your skills, qualifications, aligning you’re thinking with the trends in the sector will help keep you relevant. Start following the companies you have short listed, start following key talent within those organisations, as well as, any forums that help align you with the sector and then become creative about how you will get in front of people to pitch to.

With the new virtual world your ability to create a narrative/pitch document that you can succinctly deliver over a communication platform is important. Also, nowadays the chances of having an online panel interview are likely, so as part of your skill development presenting and communicating with clarity is a must.

‘S’ for Social Media

Embracing social media and specifically LinkedIn in your job search is a must, but why? Because recruiters use it all the time. In fact, it is really a recruiter’s CRM system and make sure you sort out your photo. Most recruiters make decisions just based on your photo which doesn’t say much for the quality of the sector however they are part of your short-term prospect list, so they must be embraced. Write meaningful posts and contribute in any relevant forums so that people recognise your real interests whilst expanding your network. Remember that part of your overall narrative is your total social media footprint. We believe in freedom of expression and operating in a nonjudgmental environment. Does your future employer believe so?

This is one additional and important tip! Our other Founding Partner Nigel Sillitoe secured roles when he was much younger by approaching friends and business contacts and asking for their help through an introduction. A great way of securing an interview is by approaching someone you know who is respected in the sector you wish to work in and asking them if they could make an introduction on your behalf along the lines of ‘I have known XYZ for five years, it would be greatly appreciated if you reviewed his CV and passed it on to your Head of HR as I believe he/she would be an excellent fit for your business”

If you know anyone who is looking for a new job feel free to share this post.


About FS Executive– we are an Executive Search business which focuses exclusively on the financial services sector. As we are mandate driven we don’t unfortunately accept CVs, instead, when we win a project we will map out the market and approach candidates who meet the criteria for the role