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Monday, September 25, 2017

What Nigerian Graduates Should know about JOB HUNTING



Nigerian Graduates today, err in several ways due to lack of information. Perhaps, if they were well enlightened about life after school, they would adopt proactive measures and take every slightest opportunity very serious. Getting a good Job in Nigeria today appears to be a herculean task, as only the formidable gets in while others keep watching.

Below are tips that can help most Nigerian graduates conquer the obstacles in Job Hunting.

FACT 1
1. Waiting to be done with NYSC before you begin to seriously apply for a job is one of the greatest mistakes you ever want to make.
This is one mistake many of us make or are about to make. You may nearly slap yourself if you wait till then. In fact, before you finish NYSC you should have applied for at least 20 jobs and attended at least 2 interviews, that’s the mindset of a serious job seeker. Except you have a job waiting for you somewhere.

FACT 2

2. If you made a 2:2 or third class, you are in a more competitive market and so you may need a super strategy to standout. This is because the job market is saturated and so one way many employers try to streamline the number of applicants is by stating that they need 2:1 or first class only.

This should not be a source of worry but should be a reason why you have to up your game. You need to go for additional training that is relevant (mark the word relevant), add some more skill, make your CV on point and all your applications superb! You can’t have a 2:2 and you are applying with different first class and 2:1 and you won’t do something different. You just have to stand out to improve your chances. Also, you should apply in more places to increase your chances.


I will tell us two real-life stories. Are we following?

Have you heard of this man called Tony Elumelu? I heard a story about him. Tony Elumelu graduated with a 2:2. His first banking job. The requirement was a first class or 2:1. But he still applied. Tony Elumelu applied but added a cover note, explaining why he felt he was still qualified despite graduating with a 2:2. Guess what? He was hired!


I tell you the story of a friend of mine. The person is a top multinational company right now. She made a 2:2 but contacted me before applying for the job. I gave her some advice, helped her with a "wow" CV and prepared her for the interview. The day she went for the interview, all the interviewers kept commending her CV that they forgot to look at her grade. She was moved to the next stage of the interview.


By this time, they had dropped some candidates. She was called again for a second interview, this time around with the top managers. She was scared. Again, they started praising her CV. Asking her questions and commending her. At the tail end, that was when one of them saw the grade. They were like, you mean you finished with a 2:2? She said yes. Then she explained why. Because she was honest and had already won their hearts, guess what! Weeks later, she was called to resume work!

This again is a fact many graduates and job seekers don't know!

FACT 3
3. You don’t always need to know anyone to enter a company
I don't know where most young people got this mindset from. They just conclude that all jobs can only be gotten by connection. I want to ask you a question. If you owned a company and you want that company to really grow. 

As in, you really want it to move forward. Say the truth would you like to hire all your employee based on connection? Wouldn't you want to use common sense to ensure that you have 1..2..3..4 who are really really qualified? Because if all workers were by connection it means the company will crumble. It means they are not looking for skill. And you know what that means... the company will fall!!!

So because they know this, they can't keep giving all the jobs by connection. There is a place for skill, for those who are truly qualified. So the big question is... Are you among the few qualified?

FACT 4
4. Getting into a company or organization is one thing, how you get in is another thing.
This point is very crucial, please follow carefully!
The route via which you enter a company goes a long way to determine your salary, your future prospects in that company, your promotion or even the benefits you will be entitled to.
It’s one thing to be working in shell or Mobil or Total, but the big question is how did you enter? You entered as what?

Have you heard of any of the following terms: Graduate Management Trainee, Technical Trainee, Contract Staff, Intern, Outsourcing?
Let me explain further taking the routes I mentioned above one after the other.
Do you know that the best way to enter a multinational company (MNC) as a young graduate is either as an intern or a graduate trainee?

Let me explain. An Intern is not yet employed. He/she will be paid, but is being trained to work. If they find you competent they can now fully recruit you to become a trainee.
Now if you must enter a company and you want to enjoy the highest benefits, try your best to enter the Management Trainee programme.

Those who eventually become MDs and Head of Departments are those who enter as Graduate Trainees
They are the ones the company likes to send abroad to do one course or the other. They are the ones with the fatter salary. They are the big boys and girls. This is why they are usually few!

The truth is not everyone can enter as a graduate trainee, but aspire to do so, there is no harm in aiming big!
A technical trainee is usually for all the technical work. They usually like to take HND and OND for these roles. They believe they have the technical knowledge.

The only thing is that they are not paid as much as the Graduate Management Trainee
Then for contract staff, that one your salary is smaller. You are on contract and so your contract can end anytime, and you end up jobless again 

Outsourcing - The company hires another company to do something for them. so you are working with company A, Shell hired company A on contract. so shell will pay your Company, then your company will pay you. 

So you see, I am in shell, I am in shell...The right question is how did you enter shell? And what’s your role in shell?


FACT 5

5. When applying for a job in which you were given an email address to forward your CV, there are seven points you need to note.

I. Your CV should be in pdf format- it should not be in MS-word because it can scatter when opened on the other end. Except you were specifically told to send it that way.

II. You should ALWAYS attach a cover letter. Listen to me they may not say it but it’s a secret why they screen candidates out (it should be in pdf too)


III. You must have a subject and the subject should state the position you are applying for.


IV. Your email must not be empty! It’s a sin, many make that mistake. Your email should have a catchy and stimulating body which is similar but more straightforward and direct like the cover letter.


V. Your application must have a complimentary close (and optionally a picture which you insert through your email complementary close setting)


VI. You must do a proper search of that company and the role you are applying for.


VII. Try to use a computer not a phone. The greatest error you want to make is having the employer see things like “sent from my blackberry Z10” or “sent from my tecnoc8”. That shows how lazy you are and how you can’t make the extra effort of applying with professionalism

I have seen a lot of graduates err in this regard. They keep saying they have applied everywhere but they never get called. It is because your application was shabby and not pleasant to your employer.

Fact 6
Cc vs Bcc

-How many of us have seen this stuff in our emails?
-who knows what they are used for?

Okay, let me explain.


Cc stands for "carbon copy." Anyone you add to the cc: field of a message receives a copy of that message when you send it. All other recipients of that message can see that person you designated as a cc: recipient.

Bcc stands for "blind carbon copy." Anyone you add to the bcc: field of a message receives a copy of that message when you send it. But, bcc: recipients are invisible to all the other recipients of the message including other bcc: recipients.

Now, what is the importance of this knowledge of Cc and Bcc?
Sometimes if you are being referred by someone to apply for a job, you may sometimes need to put the person that referred you in copy to further strengthen your chances. It’s more like a referral.
If you want the person you send the application, to know who referred you, you use Cc, if you want to code it you use Bcc.

FACT 7

7. Most of the available jobs are not usually advertised

No matter how thoroughly you search for job openings on online job portals,  job agencies,  newspapers ads or even on the company's website -  whatever jobs you find that way is only 15 percent of what's available. only 15 percent!!!


That's because 85 percent of jobs are never publicized. This is absolutely true, and done for good reasons. The employers try to avoid the painful and costly process of sorting through the thousands of mostly crappy applications that follow any publicized job opening, so they would rather use other means of hiring the right people that don't require public advertisement.

The fact that you don't see any job openings doesn't mean a company is not hiring. So you can connect directly and can convince the company that you are the right person. You will be hired whether or not any job was advertised.

Again I must say... This doesn't mean jobs are not advertised at all.
Now there are three key people whom, if your CV can just get to them, they have the power to get you employed.

1. Heads of the department, unit or team in which you wish to work
2. The HR Manager

3. The CEO, MD or founder of the company

How then can your CV get to them? There is what they can targeted emailing.

FACT 8

8. Doing a Masters immediately after NYSC is very dangerous for some categories of people!
I know some people want to add something to their 2:2 or to their courses because they may not have studied some kind of courses that are very well appreciated in Nigeria. But Masters immediately after NYSC is not for everybody.

i. If your family is broke and waiting for you to come and help them out. You would rather take that job, start looking for certifications, then you can sponsor yourself for masters.

ii. If you are like 24 and above, doing masters immediately may not be advisable. By the time you are done they tell you not more than 26 years old (so you have no job experience, and you have lost on the age side)

-If you must do masters, do your calculations and consultations well. Don’t be a copy-copy! 

Don’t follow the crowd. Understand why you want to do it.


FACT 9

9. Some of your CVs never get read by the employers

Some companies use what is called an optimization software to scan through thousands of CVs looking for keywords. Any CV that doesn't have some keywords they are looking for get trashed. 

Only after they finish optimization does a human being now start looking at the CVs remaining one by one.

Finally, ... FACT 10

10. Getting a job is a full time job!

Allow this point to sink into your head! If you are unemployed right now, you need to employ yourself into a new job called - GETTING A JOB
When something very important to you gets missing in your house, how do you search for it, please? You check under the table, inside your room, the toilet, you call your uncle, you turn everywhere upside down! Is that correct?

So why is it that when it’s time to look for a job we do it with some lackadaisical attitude?

My dear, Nigeria is hard! To get a job, you have to be violent about it. You have to attend seminars, ask questions, apply here and there... as in let it be serious!

You don't get a job by watching Africa Magic
You don't get a job by going to cinema house every weekend
You don't get a job by knowing all the Telemundo series.
No way! Getting a job is a serious business.


Sentiments apart,

Every recent graduate in the business of getting a job in this era needs:

1. A Good smartphone (no matter how cheap) 

2. A good monthly data plan (not all these 100naira per month subscription) plus a good Internet connection. 


3. Access to the power supply for minimum 2 hours daily. 


4. Network with "correct" groups.


5. A laptop once in a while (could be your own, your neighbors own or you go to cyber Cafe).


Shell or NestlĂ© or whoever, won't hear you were broke and so you couldn't come online to see their post for a vacancy that suited you.



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