I have often been asked to speak to fresh graduates or those job searching on this topic. Today, I decided to pen down my reflections for a broader reach.
Job searching is strenuous, time consuming and uncertain. It demands that the seeker is online in job boards, LinkedIn, connected by networking and strong enough to bear one, two, or a hundred regrets.
I am constantly asked to share life-hacking tips to evade this. While there is no definite starter pack to get a job, I believe that these few thoughts will go a long way in helping someone get a dream job.
First, keep upskilling, more so on soft skills. The internet especially in pandemic times provided opportunity for access to millions of online hard and soft skill courses. Enhance your knowledge; within and without your area of training. In addition, soft skills are revered by employers than accomplishments. For instance, in an understaffed department, it is easier to work with understanding persons and get more results, than work in an optimally staffed department with people who always fight and compete. Think communication. Think Team work. Negotiation. Stress Management. EQ. etc.
Second, Make a good resume, fit for the job you’re applying for without lies or exaggerations. Remember background checks are done by serious companies. Any misrepresentation leads to automatic withdrawal of engagement, even if a contract had been drawn (as it is done in good faith). So match your CV with the job requirements but stick to your accomplishments and abilities.
While on the CV, make it polished. Remember that your CV is your marketing tool. It’s the first view a potential employer has of you. As such make your CV more of an “achiever” than a “doer”. Avoid too many task based phrases and use results-based. Also, many Hiring Managers use a CV scanning software called applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter candidates from the application pool. You need to ensure that when you CV is filtered the main words picked will be what fits the job more.
Third, network. While I strongly believe it is the Lord who makes a way for all of us, He also uses people to connect us, refer us, mention us and train us to be better. Make every effort to reach out, grow your LinkedIn network among others. We at times get tired/frustrated when people we are reaching to be our mentors appear too busy. While this is quite discouraging, the responsibility to reach out falls on us; we are the ones in need of growth.
Fourth, Do not be in a hurry to make the application, unless the deadline is in an hours’ time. Read. Research. Ask around. Check the company on LinkedIn and other places. How does success look like there. What is their culture like? How best should the application look like?
Finally (for today…we may continue this) make a small writeup in the email as you send the CV. Let it be interesting for the Hiring Team to open it. The same is the case with cover letters. A cover letter is meant to show why you fit the job in summary, it is not another CV.
For you’ll making applications and going for interviews this week, I wish you success. May God open your eyes and grant you direction, for Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isa. 30:21