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Hi Anna: I'm an expat, from Singapore, working as a Civil Engineer in Dubai for the past two years with my current employer (a Korean Company). Recently, my employer wants to send me offshore for a period of seven months.

What benefits should I request from my employer (e.g. insurance, allowance etc.) and how much increase should I be entitled to from my current salary? It would also be helpful if you can provide me the typical salary range for offshore engineers in UAE. Thank you. Mark.

Hi Mark: If the offshore job you are being relocated to is as a Civil Engineer then you can expect anywhere from Dhs.28,000 to Dhs.45,000 a month; from my own research I have found that apart from monthly salary, Civil Engineers get lucrative benefit packages which come with free housing, company car, laptop and phone coverage. You can expect a heavy work load since the employer will be paying you for the various responsibilities you carry out from day to day.

However, I don’t know what your current salary is or what type of benefits you are already receiving and how your current relationship is with your employer. As with any other company, you have to keep these things in mind before requesting from your employer. Thank you and good luck!

Hi Anna! I’m a licensed electronics engineer and thinking about pursuing my first job in Dubai. What advice can you give me to use my license as my only strength on my resume? I’m looking for advice to make a good resume even without work experience. Is that possible? Hope you can help. Thank you very much. Kerwin (Philippines)

Hi Kerwin: Thanks for your question. First, employers in Dubai look for past work experience. Since you have no work experience, whatsoever, I would assume you are targeting recent graduate posts.

It’s a good idea to list your license on your resume. Apart from your license, you can use the tips provided in my reply to formulate your very first resume! If you have any volunteer experience, or if you’ve participated in community activities, make sure you list that on your resume as well. A word of caution here: when you are formulating your resume, keep reminding yourself that you need to construct your resume with information relevant to the position you are applying for. If you have volunteered as a coach for your community soccer team, it may be useful to leave such information out.

Most schools offer internship programs or placement programs. If your university had offered any such programs through which you received hands on experience, and you feel that it relates to the position you are applying for or targeting, be sure to list it on your resume. 

If you had any part-time jobs, feel free to list them as well. Even if you did any odd jobs, for which people are willing to give a reference about you, list that on your resume as well. These people can work as great references for your future employer!

You can also list your school coursework, which you feel is relevant to the position you are applying for. List academic achievements and/or awards you obtained while in university; presentations you made at seminars, any workshops you attended or participated in also help. You may want to get a letter of reference from a professor or request his/her permission to be listed as a reference. When you’re thin on experience, references can make all the difference. In fact, you can create a reference list with not just the contact’s name and information but also their relationship to you and what you did for them.

Once you have put together all relevant information, describe how you think your performance would benefit the employer or enhance your ability to do the job. You should focus on identifying skills you acquired and label them according to the skills outlined in the position you are applying for. Most importantly don’t lie on your resume; your employer will always find out!

Initially you may feel that your resume is plain but don’t get discouraged. Think about it in a positive way: with the valuable experience you gain from your future employer, you’ll be tweaking up your resume in no time!

Hi Anna, I am a college undergraduate but was able to get a managerial position in an international contact center herein the Philippines. I am planning to visit Dubai in April to look for a job. My question is that can I just have my high school diploma since I do not have a college degree? Are there companies that accept undergraduates and do not require a college diploma and transcript of records? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, Charles

Hi Charles: It’s key to complete your graduate degree first before you think about moving to Dubai. Your chances of securing a placement are much greater if you have your college diploma. However, most employers prefer job seekers with degrees. If you have a degree in the field of work you are applying for, you’ll definitely catch the employer’s attention. If you have an advanced degree, your chances are even better!

You have to be completely prepared when you get in touch with employers physically in Dubai. Carry copies of your resume, copies of your educational transcript and a cover letter indicating clearly the position you are targeting. A word of advice: before you walk to your desired company, make sure you find out the name of the hiring manager or office manager who is in charge of the hiring. This way you will secure a good chance of meeting with the right person to express your interest.

My advice: definitely complete your college diploma first! If possible, you may want to get all your documents attested or notarized from the Philippines just in case you land a job when you are in Dubai. The process gets rather lengthy if you have to mail relevant information back and forth from Dubai to the Philippines. Thank you and Good Luck!

Hi Anna, I am doing RHCE 5 in HCL CDC. Can you provide me some technical questions that employers can ask during interviews specifically related to my area of expertise, i.e. LINUX. Regards, Jerome.

Hi Jerome: listed below are some interview questions for Linux. Hope they help you prepare!

1. Advantages/disadvantages of script vs compiled program.
2. Name a replacement for PHP/Perl/MySQL/Linux/Apache and show main differences.
3. Why have you chosen such a combination of products?
4. Differences between two last MySQL versions. Which one would you choose and when/why?
5. Main differences between Apache 1.x and 2.x. Why is 2.x not so popular? Which one would you choose and when/why?
6. Which Linux distros do you have experience with?
7. Which distro you prefer? Why?
8. Which tool would you use to update Debian / Slackware / RedHat / Mandrake / SuSE?
9. You’re asked to write an Apache module. What would you do?
10. Which tool do you prefer for Apache log reports?
11. Your portfolio. (even a PHP guest book may work well)
12. What does ‘route’ command do?
13. Differences between ipchains and iptables.
14. What’s eth0, ppp0, wlan0, ttyS0, etc.
15. What are different directories in / for?
16. Partitioning scheme for new webserver. Why? How do you list files in a directory?
17. How do you list all files in a directory, including the hidden files?  
18. How do you find out all processes that are currently running?
19. How do you find out the processes that are currently running or a particular user?  
20. How do you kill a process?
21. What would you use to view contents of the file?
22. What would you use to edit contents of the file? 
23. What would you use to view contents of a large error log file?
24. How do you log in to a remote Unix box?
25. How do you get help on a UNIX terminal?
26. How do you list contents of a directory including all of its subdirectories, providing full details and sorted by modification time?
27. How do you create a symbolic link to a file (give some reasons of doing so)?
28. What is a filesystem?
29. How do you get its usage (a filesystem)?
30. How do you check the sizes of all users� home directories (one command)?
31. How do you check for processes started by user 'pat'?
32. How do you start a job on background?
33. What utility would you use to replace a string '2001' for '2002' in a text file?
34. What utility would you use to cut off the first column in a text file?
35. How to copy file into directory?
36. How to remove directory with files?
37. What is the difference between internal and external commands?
38. List the three main parts of an operating system command:
39. What is the difference between an argument and an option (or switch)?
40. What is the purpose of online help?
41. What is the difference between home directory and working directory?
42. Which directory is closer to the top of the file system tree, parent directory or current directory?
43. Given the following pathname: $ /business/acctg/payable/supplier/april answer the following questions:
a) If you were in the directory called acctg, what would be the relative
44. pathname name for the file called april?
45. b) What would be the absolute pathname for april?

46. Suppose your directory had the following files: help. 1 help.2 help.3 help.4 help.O1 help.O2
47. aid.O1 aid.O2 aid.O3 back. 1 back.2 back.3
a)What is the command to list all files ending in 2?
b)What is the command to list all files starting in aid?
c)What is the command to list all "help" files with one character extension?

48. What are two subtle differences in using the more and the pg commands?
49. When is it better to use the more command rather than cat command?
50. What are two functions the move mv command can carry out?
51. Name two methods you could use to rename a file.
52. The soccer league consists of boy and girl teams. The boy file names begin
53. with B, the girl teams begin with G. All of these files are in one directory
54. called "soccer", which is your current directory:
55. Bteam.OOl Bteam.OO2 Bteam.OO4
56. Gteam.OOl Gteam.OO2 Gteam.OO3
57. Write the commands to do the following:
a)rename the file to Bteam.OO3.
b)erase the file Gteam. win after you have viewed the conten

Hey Anna, my name is Shine Prakash. I am an enterprise software engineer graduate from University of Greenwich. I was born and brought up in Dubai and I have a driver’s license. I am currently employed in London as a software developer since January 2008.

I am very much interested in relocating myself back to Dubai. I wanted to know if your clients are interested in Fresh Graduates. What is the turn around time for fresh graduates to get hired and perhaps the success rates of Java graduates finding work in Dubai? Shine Prakash.

Hi Shine: Being employed does give you an added advantage as a fresh graduate. You may feel that companies turn you down because of your lack of experience. The key is to be persistent and keep reminding yourself why you want to work in Dubai. As you may already know Dubai is becoming an employment hotspot. International companies are relocating or establishing local operations in Dubai on a weekly basis. I am sure that as a graduate, you stand a far better chance of securing any job you apply for in Dubai.

If there are specific companies you are interested in, you may want to find out if the offer training programs and then target their HR department directly with a graduate position application. Employers are hiring fresh graduates rapidly from our site as well. You can also do research on the World Wide Web and I’m sure you will find several other useful job sites. If you have friends or family living in Dubai, you should take a trip out there and apply directly to employers. I’m sure you will be lucky taking this avenue as well.

When you approach the company directly, make sure you have your resume, copies of your qualifications, a reference and a winning cover letter explaining your willingness to begin and develop your career with the company in question.

The time period for you to get hired depends on your persistency! Remember that although the economy in Dubai is rapidly growing but that doesn’t mean that you will find work right away. It’s different for each and every job seeker. Don’t give up and keep applying and following up on your application. Dubai is a wonderful place to work and a sociable place as well. You will make friends here and establish a good network. Most of all, keep reminding yourself of the tax free salary, which will give you a great financial start in life!!!