Archive for the ‘Careers’ Category

Interview With Twffaha Co-Founder & CEO Ashraf Mansoor

| July 14, 2008 – 11:03 am | comment 4 Comments

Ashraf MansoorBefore anything, I’d really like to thank Ashraf Mansoor, the co-founder and CEO of Twffaha, the job portal for Arab women, which was previously reviewed here, for taking some of his time to answer our questions about Twffaha, and give us more insight into the startup, how things have been going so far, as well as sharing some tips and advice for other entrepreneurs.

How would you describe Twffaha in your own words?

Twffaha is an endeavor to endorse and promote recruiting women in the Middle East. It is an online job portal that strives to provide women job seekers with state-of-the art tools, and tips that will help them unearth jobs in accordance with their skills and qualifications. A platform for employers to land their next greatest prospect, and a belief that women are an underrated asset that if recruited properly will guide to economic growth and sustainability in the Middle East.

How did you get the idea for Twffaha? And what made you feel passionate about this specific idea?

The idea for Twffaha came in late 2007. We came across different studies that showed the rate of recruiting women in the region is far beyond the international rates. At the time we were designing a job portal for a different purpose, and then we thought we need to find a niche in order to compete with the numerous job portals in the market, that’s when we decided to launch an exclusive women job portal, and came up with the name Twffaha.

What difficulties or challenges did you face making Twffaha a reality?

As an Arabic startup you are destined to face challenges. The atmosphere is not conductive for startups. One of the problems was finding the right people who believed in the idea and who can be a driving force. We also encountered major outages during our public beta that forced us to reconsider our infrastructure, and find new reliable partners. We believe problems are an integral part of a startup structure, so we embrace them.


Syraty, Online Professional Resume Builder

| June 18, 2008 – 9:30 am | comment 4 Comments

SyratySyraty is a new Saudi-based Arabic online service that provides job seekers with the possibility to easily create and maintain a professional resume that is hosted online, available for download in Word or PDF format, or printing, and that can easily be sent to companies.

Users can build and customize their resumes online through an easy straight-forward interface, that allows them to add as many sections as they wish and input content for them through a rich text editor.
They can then either publish their CVs or keep them for their personal use; and even when published, they have the choice to either make them public and have them submitted to search engines or to password protect them so as to control access.

Instant email and SMS notifications can be enabled to allow the candidate to know exactly when and from where potential employers viewed their resume. A detailed statistics and graphs interface provides even more details about the resume’s distribution and where viewing visitors came from.

A list of Saudi and International employers is provided as well, enabling users to quickly send their hosted CV address to a number of these companies by simply selecting them and clicking send.
Of course job seekers can also send their CVs to other companies either by downloading one of the formats and sending it by email, printing the CV, or by sending the link to the online version of it.

Employers can use a contact form on the user’s resume page to get in touch with them, ask questions and eventually schedule an interview.

Syraty screenshot

The service is available through three paid plans, ranging from $5.33 to $39.7 per year, providing different options and possibilities, like the number of themes that can be used for the created resumes, whether it’s hosted on a subdomain of Syraty or on the user’s own personal domain, the number of SMS notifications they can receive, …etc.

Syraty is generously offering StartUpArabia readers, the first 1000 at least, a free account under the Silver plan; Register for your free account.

The service’s interface is in Arabic only, but it allows users to create their CVs in English, as most companies in the Middle East region require English-language resumes.

# Syraty

Travel Yolk, Travel Industry Online Recruitment Portal

| June 15, 2008 – 12:59 pm | comment 5 Comments

travelyolkDubai-based travel industry technology solution provider TechTuners recently launched a new online recruitment portal named Travel Yolk that aims to address the staffing requirements of the Middle East’s travel industry.

Travel Yolk is built much like you’d expect a career website to be, providing the possibility for job seekers from the travel industry to build their CVs online, look for new job opportunities in the industry throughout the Middle East, get email notifications of interesting job vacancies and apply directly through the website.

On the other hand, employers can post their job offers and search the database of travel professionals to find people who best suit their vacant job positions.

As with most job sites, the service is free for job seekers, while employers will have to pay for posting their career opportunities. Different plans are provided to suit employers’ needs and activity.

travelyolk screenshot

An online forum where employees can meet their potential employers and vice versa should be added to the portal soon; making it easier and more effective for both sides to connect.

The website is available in English only for the time being.

# Travel Yolk To Host First Virtual Job Fair In The Middle East

| May 13, 2008 – 6:14 pm | comment 2 Comments

Bayt Virtual Job the leading job site in the Middle East just announced that they’ll be holding the region’s first virtual job fair. The event will be hosted on a new section of Bayt’s website and will run for five days between 15th and 19th June 2008.

The aim of the event is to offer employers and job seekers alike a chance to conveniently and effectively connect and interact online; thereby providing qualified job seeking candidates with interesting career opportunities; and giving local, regional and international employers access to professionals from around the region; pushing the online recruitment concept even further.

Bayt Virtual Job Fair ScreenshotThe virtual job fair will feature 3D booths of exhibiting companies, where they will be able to display company information and job vacancies. Visitors to the online fair will be able to leave CVs at the stands and apply for specific jobs. Companies can then connect to candidates through either video or online chat.

This is the first event of it’s type in the region and it will be sponsored by the Emirates Group.

# Virtual Job Fair

TN-Emploi: A Resource For IT Jobs In Tunisia

| May 1, 2008 – 12:46 pm | comment 2 Comments

TN-Emploi, a.k.a La Tunisienne pour l’emploi, is a new project that was recently launched in Tunisia by Mahmoud Gourar, and that attempts to use a simple blog format to bring job offers and opportunities to Tunisian job seekers, with a focus on IT-related jobs.

Job opportunities are posted daily, organized by category, and tagged with keywords, to make it easier for job seekers to find the jobs that match their goals and skillsets better.

It being a blog, people can access these offers directly through the blog, through the RSS feed or by subscribing to the email feed.

Recruiters and companies can post their offers simply and for free by sending them to a provided email address.

The blog is in French only, and is quite an interesting resource for Tunisian programmers, web developers, database administrators and so forth who need a place where they can find focused job offers for their respective IT fields.

Even though most posted job offers are for opportunities in Tunisia, some others are posted for opportunities in France or the rest of Europe, for those who might be interested in working abroad.


Twffaha, Job Portal For Arab Women

| April 25, 2008 – 6:10 pm | comment 22 Comments

Twffaha, a new service based in Sudan, and founded by Sudanese entrepreneur Ashraf Mansoor, has recently launched in private beta, promoting itself as the first job site devoted to recruiting women in the Middle East.

The aim of the service is to empower Arab women, and address the problem of women unemployment in the region, by providing them with an online job service geared towards their needs, and that contributes to their career advancement.

Twffaha joins a number of already established players in the region’s online job and recruiting market, although they’re one of the first who focus only on a subset of the market.

Upon launch the service will be available in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman , Kuwait, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen.
They aim to add more countries as the service grows and they get to scale their underlying infrastructure.

The user interface is in English only for the time being.

The service should be launching into public beta in June. But if you’re interested in trying it out now, just send an email to with the following referral code: startuparabia included in the subject line. This offer is valid for the first 100 people who request invites.

# Twffaha

Akhtaboot, Online Career Network

| April 11, 2008 – 3:01 pm | comment 4 Comments

Many Arab startups have given online job search/recruiting a go over the past years, with different levels of success. The latest addition to these job sites is Akhtaboot, which sells itself as a career network, and not just another simple job site.

Launched in public beta last year, Akhtaboot (Arabic for Octopus) describe themselves as an “online career network that is committed to providing a user-friendly way of linking the right person to the right career opportunity.”
They were initially set up to serve the Jordanian market, but now plan to serve as a career network for the whole Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

So basically, Akhtaboot takes a more networked approach to career building, giving job seekers the possibility to build their online CVs and profiles, including even a video; look for and apply to available jobs on the website; take the Myers-Briggs� MBTI personality test; as well as build their professional network of business contacts. On the other hand, employers can post their job openings and target specific communities to get more relevant applicants.

Akhtaboot also offers a number of training courses, in Jordan only for the time being, through what it calls a ‘Career Center’; the training courses cover several topics, including HR, Project Management, Marketing and Internal Audit courses.

The design is pretty nice, and the interface is quite straight-forward, although the many different steps you have to go through to setup your account details leaves you feeling it could be a bit better organized to become even more usable.

Overall, a really good effort, with a number of interesting features, worth checking out.

# Akhtaboot

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