Because jobs are very important (it’s how a lot of us make money), there is no shortage of advice on how to get one. It’s everywhere: online and offline; from your friends, your family, your pastor and maybe even your landlord.
All these people may give valuable advice — give or take an unnecessary insult or two — but how about you get your tips from actual professionals, people who have devoted the entirety (or a large percentage) of their working lives to the recruiting process? Not a bad idea, eh?
Well, we have done that for you. We asked Nigerians in HR to share tips on landing that job.
1. Create an excellent resume
Expectedly, one of the best things any job seeker can do is to prepare a winning resume. For many opportunities, it is the first thing a prospective employer sees, so it is always important to craft one that truly sells you as the candidate for the job. “Ensure your resumé speaks and seals the deal,” says Joyce, a HR professional with an asset management company. “Engage professionals [to help you with it] if you have to.”
2. Be confident
It’s just as important to speak without fear during the interview process, Joyce adds. “Apply with confidence.” It’s unlikely that a company would employ a person who comes into the interview room already withering. It is important to consider that, for many companies, every staff member is a representative of the business. And no employer wants a representative who is unable to present a level of confidence.
3. Do some research
One way of acquiring confidence during the job interview is to have some knowledge of the company you are applying to. In practice, this would mean doing some research, which, fortunately, the internet has made so much easier.
“Research the company before submitting your application, even before being shortlisted,” says Joyce. “This will inform the necessary update required on your CV to make you the right candidate.” Peter*, a HR executive at a tech firm, suggests not only looking into the company but its representative as well . “Do some research on the interviewer/interviewers,” he says.
4. Acquire transferable skills and be able to effectively highlight them
Transferable skills are skills that are valuable to every employer, regardless of industry or department. They include computer skills, communication skills, leadership, decision making and critical thinking.
It is valuable for workers to acquire these skills and be able to communicate the same in writing or during an interview. The only exception is for technical roles. But even so, a candidate with any of such transferable skills may have an edge.
“It means this person is teachable,” says Dami, a HR executive with a major financial institution. “I would pick someone who has a technical skill of 6/10 but a transferable skill of 10/10 because I’d know that not only could they work in this department, but they could work in another as well.”
5. Use LinkedIn to understand and prepare for specific requirements
For individuals targeting a specific company or career, LinkedIn may prove valuable. By looking at the profiles of the people already employed by your dream establishment, you gain an understanding of what you perhaps need to be to stand a chance of getting employed.
If you look at the profile of a person who has the kind of job you seek, you will find the skills and certifications needed. You will then be able to design a plan that involves acquiring those skills. “This will help you prepare better ahead of an interview,” says Dami.
6. Know what you want
Before sending out applications, it is important to figure out your priorities. Those may change, but it helps to have an idea of what you want out of the job. “You need to know if you just want a job or if you want to build a career,” says Tolu, a HR professional with a finance company.
“A job will pay the bills but will not help you in developing your long-term goals; a career, on the other hand, can start very small but will ultimately lead up to something meaningful,” he continued. “Sometimes, you are stuck between a high-paying job and a low-paying career move, especially when starting out. It’s important to spell this out so you can make decisions that align with what you want.”