If you’re looking for a job you are in good company – along with a few billion other people. All the more reason to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. Yet so many job hunters dig their way into complete obscurity – or worse, mediocrity. My own primary experience is from the Arabian Gulf market, although I’m sure the points below can be applied universally:

Don’t look desperate

Posting that you’re looking for a job in the LinkedIn comments section is the kiss of death. Don’t do it. Neither should you flaunt yourself on Facebook, Twitter or even hound strangers on email. Looking at the Middle East and emerging markets region alone, there are at least 30 million LinkedIn members, all poised to see the impression you make, good or bad – all in transparent public view.

As with anything in life, it pays to take some time thinking about strategy. Think carfully about the job you’re looking for and which industries you are most suited for? Now what is the most effective way to communicate with them and get their attention?

In order to arrive at the answers for the above questions do you research.See what are the skills these companies are looking for by spending time understanding their business.

Don’t use the shotgun approach

Replace your shotgun for a sniper riffle. Once you’ve honed things down and you know who and what you’re aiming towards, put yourself in the shoes of a prospective recruiter. What is your background experience and where do your obvious competencies lie?

Pinpoint who you’re going to send your CV to, which websites you will use and which recruiters you will target. Many recruiters specialise in specific areas – oil and gas, construction, or sales and marketing for example.

Don’t be let down by your CV

Your CV is very often your first point of contact and will either open doors or hit brick walls. First, recruiters have no time to plough through pages and pages, so be brief and concise. You should be able to fit everything you need onto one or two pages maximum. Make it stand out by being the most presentable in the pile.

Don’t cram either. There should be more white than black on the page. And make sure there are no mistakes or typos – another kiss of death. Don’t just fire out your CV, but follow up with a personal contact such as a phone call wherever possible.

Don’t forget your existing resources

Remember, you have a network of friends or business associates that you can call upon to look over your CV and provide objective guidance in a myriad of ways. These are the people that know you. They are your greatest allies and could also be a valuable source of referrals.

As with some other markets, the Middle East in particular is very much a relationship market and you would do well to keep building your wider network, whether you’re looking for a job outside or within your existing position.

In the UAE where I live and work, there are a million and one different networking events, daytime or evening, to choose from. Don’t attempt to attend them all. Do your homework, select the ones that you think will benefit you the most, then present yourself in the best possible light. Don’t directly proposition people you meet for jobs but build it into your conversations with people and see how you can help them also.This is a long process , you will not succeed over night. Focus on building a brand for yourself. Make sure you get to be known as a true professional.

Don’t burn your bridges

We all have altercations from time-to-time. We’re human. Some can be rectified. Other times we burn bridges that can never be repaired – that down the road could have been gateways to a brilliant job. As I say, we’ve all done it. The point is to learn from it and don’t burn any more.

If you follow those simple tips that should give you a better chance. But one final point to make; Getting a full time job is a full time job, so work hard at it and don’t stop till you have got the perfect job for you. Life is too short to spend it working in an unhappy job.