Career Advice Job Hunting Tips

Are you an expert of the tools of YOUR trade?

My company was recently handling a large number of Construction related vacancies in Dubai. (View them on if you are interested!)

While handling these interviews one thing was evident and at times heart-breaking: Many people do not pay attention and learn the tools of their trade.

I am NOT talking about spanners and hammer and power drills. I am talking about software.
For construction workers?
Yes sir!
Software. Computers are becoming increasingly necessary in more and more professions everyday. Here’s a partial list of construction industry related software from one candidate’s CV:

  • Auto CAD,
  • ETABS,
  • STAAD Pro,
  • SAFE,
  • Primavera Project Planner,
  • RC WALL,
  • LOOP,

Sometime ago we were recruiting candidates for accountancy role and it was again very sad to note that many graduate candidates with good degrees did not know the most popular accountancy software like Sage, Peachtree, Tally,
Quickbooks, etc. When asked about their computer literacy, either they would answer “MS-Excel / MS-Office”, or they would mention some custom made software they had used at a previous employer.

There are software for doctors. For artists. For photographers. For fashion designers. For oil drilling.
The list goes on and on.

I can safely say that today there are software for all common professions. Not knowing them is not an option for you. You need to be fluent, and you should preferably be an EXPERT.

This single factor can be the Yes / No decision for YOUR selection.
Because more and more employers are now switching from manual to computerized systems and they would not want to spend time and money teaching you if they are using an off-the-shelf software. They would PREFER a candidate who is already proficient on related software.

As a recruiter, we have rejected many many candidates in different assignments because the candidate did not know the software… even if he was good otherwise.

The successful candidates are not always those with the brightest of the education track record, but rather those who are in touch with today’s software for their professions.

Here’s another tip: Most recruiters now have access to resume databases. When he is searching for candidates in a database he uses keywords, pretty much like you type keywords in Google. And in those keywords he would not type John Smith or Ahmad Mukhtar. He would probably type BE Civil AutoCAD Primavera. The resulting CVs will be those which have these skills. All the rest of the thousands and millions of CVs will be ignored.

I suggest you should also read this post “Inside the mind of a recruiter“.

Therefore, my most humble request and appeal to you:
Please don’t spoil your chances of being hired for a good job simply because you are not fluent in the most popular software of YOUR profession. The more software you learn, the better your chances of being hired, of growth, and of being retained in tough times.

After all, a person is hired and retained for his productivity. Isn’t it?

Let me know your comments, and share this blog post with your friends.

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