THINGS EVERY JOB APPLICANT IN NIGERIA SHOULD KNOW
Why is it that some persons in Nigeria get hired and others don’t? This is indeed a question most job applicants may never be able to satisfactorily answer. And so it’s common to find many job applicants who fail to secure jobs, even after seemingly putting in their ‘very best’. Now, it’s important to know that your knowledge level as a job applicant in Nigeria determines the kind of outcome you get from your job search. The kind of information you get will help drive your success, adequate information on how to go about the entire job application process will save you a whole lot of time, and it can be the difference between securing your dream job or not. While there are clearly not enough jobs in the country, some people are still getting hired on a daily basis. So, what must a job applicant do to increase the odds of securing good employment in Nigeria?
Here’s my top 8 list of things every job applicant in Nigeria must know to increase their chances of getting themselves through the door, and how they can make the best possible showing in the interview.
You can add yours!
1. Take internships seriously. Internship programs are a perfect way to land job applicants their dream jobs. The question every graduate always ask themselves is ‘how do I land my dream job?’ There are quite a number of paths you could take to securing that job you’ve always dreamed of, and a sure way to achieve that is by getting enrolled in graduate internships programs. Gaining an internship nowadays is not purely about populating your CV. One of the most recurring themes in any entry level job search is the lack of experience factor “where do I get experience if no one is willing to hire me?” The answer is simple: get an internship! An internship offers you the opportunity to learn on-the-job skills, an internship also offers you the opportunity to work with someone who can become a mentor for you, during the internship period and throughout your career. Job applicants also get to learn new skills and add to their knowledge base while gaining confidence in their abilities. During your internship period, you need to be focused on developing skills and also practicing communication and teamwork skills. Graduate internship programs are a blessing for job applicants, as it will open up doors to advice for the next steps to take in their career path. With meaningful and valuable internship programs, your chances of getting selected as a potential employee during a job interview is higher. And in most cases, if you meet certain requirements you may be retained at the place of your internship program.
2. Create and review your resume. Every job applicant in Nigeria need to invest time and money into creating a killer resume. Remember, research shows that it takes only about 6 secs for recruiters to make their initial judgement on a resume. With this fact in mind, you need to make sure that your resume strikes a good enough impression to keep recruiters in its content. Ensure your resume is not too lengthy and should not be more than 2 pages long. The quality of your resume is key to landing you the job of your dreams, so pay serious attention to every detail on your CV. Ensure your resume is up-to-date and also make sure that your resume career objective is relevant to each particular job you are applying for. Look out for spelling and typo errors. Again, make sure your resume is up-to-date, spell-checked and concise, written in a clear and simple language. Make sure that you can answer any question from the recruiter as it pertains to the information provided on the resume. It’s a bad sign when a question is asked about a detail on the resume and the candidate cannot provide the answer to the question; this tells the recruiter that the candidate has placed information on the resume that may not be accurate. After preparing your resume, ensure you pass it to experts to be reviewed. And remember, a good resume will increase your odds at getting hired for your dream job.
3. Your cover letter. Put in a lot of time and effort into writing a good cover letter. Your cover letter should show that you know all there is to know about the company and the position you are filling in for. It should be written in a clear and concise format, clearly anticipating why you think your experience and personality are a perfect fit for the position you’re applying for. Be honest. Remember, the cover letter is more like an overview of the resume which shouldn’t be about you, but should show what you can be for the company. Make sure you write a different cover letter for each different job you are applying for. A well-written cover letter will give your application a great boost and will increase your chances of getting hired even with a weak resume. This is the first document the recruiter sees, so you want to make it count. Put in all you’ve got. A well- prepared cover letter has huge potentials, because even with a ‘not-so-good’ resume,the cover letter can get you through the door
4. Ask questions. Job applicants should know that asking questions during an interview is important and shows quality engagement. Learn to ask questions, especially when interviewers ask if you have any questions. If you don’t ask questions, you will come across recruiters as unengaged, uninterested or afraid. Before going for the interview, prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewers. Ask intelligent questions, ask them questions about what you’ll be doing on the job. Note, the primary goal of your questions is to help you land the job and not decide whether or not you want the job. Remember to think well before you speak. This is a skill that many job applicants in Nigeria should work on. So, the next time you get invited for an interview, show up with some smart, high-level questions to ask the interviewer, this is a sure way to increase your chances of getting noticed _ for the right reasons. Remember, your number one aim is to get hired, so, you want to play your part, to speed up the process and increase your chances of landing the job.
5. Dress appropriately. The last thing you want to do is ruin your chances of getting your dream job, by showing up sloppily dressed, or dressed like you’re going for a beach party! According to this Oct 27, 2016 post by Kevin Brown, “I’m often asked about proper dress attire, my initial response is always “Business professional”. However, applicants may be told in advance to dress “Business casual”. At that point, it is up to the job applicant whether or not they should go “Business casual”. But to really make an impression, I would highly recommend dressing “Business professional”, you can never go wrong”. Your dressing will invariably go a long way to justifying your personality and lifestyle, so, you need to be conscious of the kind of appearance you project, and also pay attention to colours too, watch out for non-corporate colours such as yellow, avoid it completely.
6. Be your most likable self. There’s nothing worse than a job applicant answering questions that sound “canned” “rehearsed” or “prepared”. The best interviews are supposed to be conversations which come as a natural floe of ideas. As a job applicant, you need to project your most likable disposition. Understand that when companies hire employees, they are also hiring people they’ll have to spend half of each day with, and as should be expected in any good company; culture is a top priority. You will need to improve on your people’s skills, if you’re stiff, insensitive and over a professional, you’re not acting like someone people want to spend half of each day with. So, it’s important to be yourself and project a positive self-image, this is going to be a huge plus for you and will make you easily land the job.
7. Be mindful of nonverbal communication. Next, you need to be on the lookout for nonverbal signals, such as your posture, and your gestures, ensure it saying what you want it to. Let your body posture and countenance elude confidence and boldness. What is your attitude saying about you? Often you will find that most job applicants neglect the impression they make on the interviewer through their general disposition. You need to be mindful of this too, so, whenever you smile, do so from the inside outward.
8. Research the company. Before an interview, review the company’s website, and ensure you learn all you can about the company. Job applicants are required to know a lot about the company. Many companies will expect you to be familiar with what it is they do. It’s sheer foolishness to go in for an interview without adequately researching the company and the job applied for, without having firsthand knowledge about the company you’re seeking employment from you can’t strike a good impression on your recruiters which is altogether a total disaster.
Over to you…
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