It is almost a universal knowledge that nothing just happens. Every success has a story behind it; and you will agree also that there is no short cut to success- it is a result of hard work, commitment, steadfastness and consistency which most times come with a lot of failures. Every second, it becomes more and more difficult to secure a decent job due to a number of reasons:
- A lot of business organizations are closing down due to economic downturn and infrastructural deficits.
- Population surge and a huge number of graduates turned out by universities and other higher institutions each year
- Technological advancement which now allows machines and robots to take over human jobs all over the world.
- The disparity between the quality of graduates and the skills required to man the few available jobs.
In the face of these difficulties and challenges, I make bold to say that individuals who know how to fix the right screw in the right hole still find their way to securing their dream job. Robert Half (Fortune Magazine’s named Highest-Ranked Staffing Firm 2016) once said, “Professionals who adopt an organized, structured approach to the application/ interview process stand a greater chance of being the chosen candidate”
While it is true that job search is becoming an arduous task, it is important to understand that certain steps need to be taken to achieve the desired result.
- Decide a Career Path:
Each time you ask an applicant, “What type of job are you searching for?” You’ll get answers like “anything”. There’s no job called anything. I am not saying you should put all your eggs in one basket, but you should tailor your search to a certain career path. This will help you get organized and concentrate in what you are doing. You need to decide if you want to build a career in Education and Training, Finance, Construction, ICT etc. Education, for instance does not only imply being a teacher; writing this blog is path of education. There are so many school support firms organizing trainings and seminars, school organize school tours and excursions, they are all in education. Every industry is that vast too; decide the nature of career you want to build and stick to it. Start early; be seriously committed, consistent and steadfast in your search not giving up in the face of challenges and failures. It might take a while, but it’ll come.
- Be Professionally Equipped:
Having decided on a career path to tow, ensure you are professionally equipped. It’s good to obtain a degree or a higher diploma in any discipline; but, it’s not enough sometimes. It’s advisable to obtain a professional certificate from relevant institutions. An Accounting graduate for instance, can get ICAN certificates or ACCA etc. This ultimately places you above those who don’t have. A Mass Communication graduate can obtain a certificate from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and get closer to obtaining broadcasting/media job out there. This singular step puts you in the light of being a specialist. Most times, jobs are secured through the managers of these institutes.
- Dedicate Time to Job Search:
You need to see job search as a full time role. Once you are sure of what you’ve got, put it out there. Create time to go out and fill out online applications. Submit your CV to relevant organizations whether they advertised or not. Do not wait for the job to be dropped in your lap. It doesn’t happen. Ensure you are able to put out one hundred applications or more.
- Get the Trending Skills:
A lot of skills are becoming obsolete while a whole lot are trending. I do not know how an applicant who does not have basic computer skills can get an administrative job. Ability to use the social media as a tool is fast becoming a relevant skill these days. Other relevant skills are communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills and critical thinking skills including sense of initiative.
- Speak Out:
It is not out of place to put a call through to all your contacts that you think might have an opportunity of getting you a placement or information that could be of help. You can approach those around you; talk to relevant groups and probably placement organizations. You can also get in touch with your contacts in the organizations where you have applied for placements. What this means is that you need to get as many contacts as you can from the organizations you’ve reached out to.
- Get a Professional CV
You need to understand that CV is not just a profile but a proposal to sell yourself. You need to understand that the level of the job you target must reflect on the quality of your CV. What it means is that the job, the industry, the targeted organizations determine how you present your CV. We shall soon look at Professional CV Writing as a concept.
- Get Your Interview Skills Right:
Efforts to secure a dream job might be marred at the interview point. Remember that being invited for an interview means you have met some criteria required; it means your CV and cover letter must have said something interesting. You are, therefore, invited for an interview to reaffirm what those documents said. You cannot afford to disproof your CV or your cover letter. If for instance you said excellent communication and analytical skills in your CV, you’re expected to put them into practice during the oral interview. Visit ‘Standard Interview Tips’ on this page for more information.
Having been part of numerous recruitment process and candidate referrals, I have come to understand that many applicants are not really serious about job search. There are sometimes, vacancies to be filled, but no qualified individuals to fill them. Applicants are advised to development their thinking skills and get more and more aware of the world around them. The answers you saw/heard during the MBG in Nnewi which led to the cancellation of the contest by the Chairman of Capital Oil, sound like the things we hear during interview. And guess what? These are university graduates. Get yourself right and you’ll get the right job!