Wednesday, 4 July 2018

By: Claudia Nwankwo

With above 21% youth unemployment rate in Nigeria, the labour market is highly competitive. Therefore, do not expect to get a job if you have not gone the extra mile to develop yourself beyond your degree.

It is no longer a question of where you schooled or what you studied but what can you do? Your skill set will sell you faster and better than your qualification.

Jobsites such as share job listings on a daily basis. So the rate of unemployment is not totally a function of unavailability of jobs but also poor quality of workers/seekers. 

Perhaps you have been applying for jobs and are yet to secure one, this is for you.

As a job seeker,  you should continously add value to your curriculum vitae by enhancing your skill sets to match the jobs that are available. at the least you should have basic computer skills and working understanding of Microsoft packages as well as soft skills.

Here are some soft skills employers expect you to come with.
  • Communication skill (writing, reading and speaking)
  • Team spirit
  • Critical reasoning
  • Creative thinking/mindset
  • Self-motivation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability 
  • Integrity
  • Problem Solving

Again, many job seekers need to learn how to network properly and how to apply for the right jobs in the right manner. The first rule, is to read and follow the recruiters instruction strictly as errors/omission will lead to express disqualification.

Here are some unbelievable mistakes applicants make:

  • Attaching Curriculum Vitae (CV) unaccompanied - The first thing a recruiter read a is your application/cover letter before downloading the CV. It is in your best interest as a job seeker to wow your prospective employer at first glance. Even when you email your CV ensure to add a covering note.

Do not send blank emails or a one-liner message. It is simply rude.

  • No subject (title) - Every mail must have a heading or title. Blank subject emails appear like spam messages. It portrays the job seeker as "unserious".

  • Address - Addressing your potential employer with Hi , Hello, Hey etc is very unprofessional. You must understand that social media abbreviations and language are not official/professional and should not be used in send messages as important as job application.

  • The CV- Most CVs I have come across are poorly written. If you cannot afford to employ the service of a professional, you can learn alot online for free on how to write a good CV.
  • Forward Message - Do not send your CV to a recruiter as forwarded message. Start a fresh email and attach your CV. It is so wrong to forward unconnected past exchanges to another. I.e. from your sent folder to another employer. It shows unseriousness of the applicant.
  • Stale or Vague - Ensure to update your CV to include your recently acquired skills/position. Your CV and cover letter must show how you fit into the new role your are applying for. Most organisations are looking for specialists and no one person can do it all.
Recruiter receive countless CVs for every role advertised. So what are you bringing differently to the table? Your skill sets and the way you present them will set you apart from others applying for the same position. Recruiters can tell from your CV when you are lying or being cocky. Sell yourself in a clear, concise and professional manner. Do not over do it, moderationis key! 

There are several free tools and resources online that job seekers can use to develop themselves and engage their skill sets. 

  1. Google is your friend!


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