Tough as it is to painstakingly go through school – especially adding that university degree to your CV, it doesn't get any easier afterwards. Though arguably, many would agree that getting a job in the labour market is more difficult than acquiring a degree. Those on the receiving end would say the employers have made the recruiting processes scary, while those on the flip side would allude that potential employees are not just up to scratch. Of course there are grey areas to both views as none is totally true or false.
Truth be told, in the face of so much doubt surrounding the credibility and strength of a degree acquired from a Nigerian university, employers cannot be totally blamed for making a horror out of their recruitment process and by the way, they are not actually obliged to make it any easier. Having gotten that out the way, you do not need to wait till employers tone down the difficulty of recruitment processes, rather, you need to adjust accordingly and apply smartly.
So you need a job now! Here are some steps you can take to circumvent the broken recruitment processes you are likely to go through as you plan getting that job.
First off, you should stop dumping your information into automated systems in the name of applications. Many a time, those systems are just there to prove to the world that they do not hire based on favouritism, rather that there is a certain level of transparency in the process. These automated recruiting systems are usually found on the websites of top organisations and they very often possess search algorithms which they use to select candidates.
These algorithms are used in searching out applicants who have words like 'first class', 'U.S.A', 'U.K' in the data they left behind. So, good luck with that if you studied in a Nigerian institution and did not attain such a grade.
There are other means of getting across to potential employers or those who recruit on their behalf. Search and research, for addresses and contacts of companies [preferably the headquarters] you wish to apply to. You can also get personal by contacting the recruiter via phone or even one-on-one.
You should also attempt to re-write your CV and/or cover letter if you have one of the very popular ones, written with guidance from some templates containing many cliché phrases like; 'passionate hard worker', 'self motivated', 'result driven', 'dedicated professional', etc.
You would do well to do away with all the 'zombie language'. They are boring to read and it is best believed they will be found in the documents provided by the other 999 of 1000 applicants.
You should make your CV/ cover letter sound like 'you' and not another anonymous robot. Write it so it can be read in your voice. Make use of the word "I."
Quick example: "I started out as a sales intern at XYZ Company before switching to ABC company as a fulltime sales representative. I have also functioned as a product manager."
As shown in the case in point stated above, try to be as explicit as possible – show relevant job experiences, but do it in the most succinct manner.
Social media is also now a very strong tool which aids job search. Not all companies/recruiters are ready or willing to deal with the multitude of applications that come in as a result of posting vacancies on job search sites or setting up automated systems on their websites. Hence, many who are saddled with the task of filling positions take to their Facebook or Twitter accounts to announce. Believe it or not, people have gotten good jobs by scrolling through social media. It is not just a waste of time after all.
You should also try out other social media networks - LinkedIn to be precise. This one is expressly made for this purpose; employing and getting employed. It affords you the chance of advertising yourself - putting up a somewhat detailed CV which can be constantly updated. There are also premium packages which would cost some money but come with special privileges; like a narrowed down advanced search which helps you get to your targets even faster, knowing and viewing accounts of those who have previously viewed your page. If they are in your industry, it might be because they were considering hiring your services. You might as well contact and convince them you are their man.
It is largely unknown but true that many job-seekers especially at entry level, are not ready for prime time just yet. Some are just unprepared while some others are somewhat unwilling to go through the rigours of today’s recruitment processes – which usually starts out with an application. Good luck as you commence or continue your job hunt!
By Paterson Mgbeoji.