Ten tips for an effective job search in Israel:
- Learn Hebrew
- Decide on the job you are looking for – don’t say “I’ll do anything”, that is probably not entirely true and doesn’t help you focus on your goal. Set your goal, create a strategy
- Not sure / thinking of making a change? Make a list of your skills and look at job ads, where would you be a good fit? Still not sure – talk to us
- Create a CV (ask us for the Israeli template) that is focused on the position(s) you are looking for. Tweak it each time to fit to the specific position
- Looking for a job in Engineering / high tech / biotech / finance / marketing? LinkedIn is your tool – a good profile will make recruiters notice you, join groups in your field of expertise and blog / share articles / react to others.
- Use Glassdoor for jobs and info on companies (salaries, organizational culture etc.)
- Be sure to use industry related words as recruiters use those to source for candidates on LinkedIn and to identify potential candidates from among the CVs sent
- Find networking events and go introduce yourself
- Prepare your “elevator pitch” 5 sentences that say it all – your name, your skills and expertise and the job you are looking for. The more specific you are when you tell people you are looking for a job (and do let everyone know) the better your chances.
- Learn Hebrew
Q & A
What is an effective way to make your way into a management role in Hi-Tech, where the path is very specific in the job market here, if you’re coming from South Africa with a more general, broad and diverse management experience – making you far more valuable in terms of discretion and experience, but less so in terms of the precise skill sets required in the respective domains.
The Israeli employer looks to hire an individual who can walk in and start running. Unfortunately, much as this seems shortsighted, the high-tech industry and the Israeli job market in general are very fast paced and they often cannot afford the time, money or effort to train you.
If you have decided on the type of positions you are looking for, I would suggest you take 10 job ads and identify which skills are a must and which ones are an advantage. Ideally, you have them all, but if you can take a course or find a mentor from that industry who will sit with you once a week and train you, you will be in a much better position to convince the next recruiter that you have at least the basic knowledge and they should give you a chance.
Another option is to take a step down on your career ladder, for 2-3 years so you can gather the knowledge and experience needed for you to step back up.
Last but not least – learn Hebrew, so your lack of it not held against you, be proactive, talk to people, go to industry meetings and lectures, network. People are much more likely to give you a chance if they know you.
How difficult is it to get a job in the IT industry in Israel for a 45-year-old and new to the IT industry?
Extremely difficult. Unfortunately, ageism makes it difficult for people 45 and older to find positions in high tech and if you have no experience, you’ll be competing with 25-year-olds who have experience from the army. What you might find is a job in tech support but mostly you’ll need good Hebrew for that, unless you are willing to work US hours for companies who provide services to US customers.
Is it possible to find part time jobs? While studying?
Yes, Facebook is full of student / part time jobs. Again, Hebrew is often a basic requirement, unless you are willing to work in tele-sales.
Can you help me find private students that can come to me in Netanya?
Keeping in mind that Telfed is a small non-profit organization, we simply do not have the resources to do that. We do however, believe in helping people find a job by giving them the tools to do so.
If you want to teach English or are a small business owner of any kind, start by identifying your customers. Then think where you could meet them or how you could get to them and advertise there. For instance, if you are looking for private students in Netanya perhaps print some ads and hang them around schools in your vicinity. Perhaps go into the school and ask to speak to the English teachers, introduce yourself and ask them if they would be willing to send students your way.
As so often – at least basic, conversational Hebrew is important and being proactive.
What is the best way to prepare for the ‘Salary expectations’ questions if you don’t always know the market related salary for that role?
This is a tough one even for those of us born in Israel. For one, we are here to help with that, for another – the internet is full with salary tables that can give you an indication of what you can expect and should ask for. Glassdoor.com is an excellent website where you can find a lot of information about the company and salaries.
While it is important to come prepared and have a figure in your head that you will not go below of, it is quiet alright to say – you know, I have recently made aliya so I am not all that familiar with salaries in Israel, but I did do my homework and I understand that, for this position salaries range between x and y.
The number you give should reflect your experience; your financial needs take into consideration any skills you lack. You could say – I know salaries range between 10 and 12 thousand, I have the skills but I know my Hebrew is not what you expected, so perhaps we could start at 10 and at the end of the year we would go up to 11.
Don’t hesitate to negotiate salary, number of vacation days. And we are, as I said, always here to help.
How to find the best jobs, where to find them ?
we can send you a list of links to job boards. However, in many cases being active on professional social media such as LinkedIn, is the best way to not only look for a job but be noticed by recruiters. Make a list of the 10 companies you’d like to work for and follow them on LinkedIn, create google alerts, go often into their career pages. And networking – meetups and other professional networking events are an excellent way to meet people who might introduce you to the right person.
Are there positions available for English speaking migrants with no Hebrew to begin with?
yes, there are. Most of them are telemarketing / sales positions, many with US hours. There is the possibility of tutoring / teaching English.
We strongly recommend learning Hebrew to a level that will not limit your career options – conversational / basic to begin with and improving in time.’
How do you target companies that are in need of native English speakers that do not speak Hebrew?
There are job boards and recruiting agencies specializing in English speakers. However, even if you find a position in international sales that does not require Hebrew, if you wish you be part of the organization then you will need enough Hebrew to participate in team meetings and have a conversation with your team mates over lunch.
It is important to remember that while many companies, especially in high-tech, keep correspondence in English, the staff is local and conversations at lunch will be in Hebrew, so you might be left out.