Searching for a dream job can be so time consuming that it can become a job in itself. No wonder the challenge of any job seeker is to stand out from the crowd and show employers that you can lead projects, teams or new initiatives unlike anyone else. Landing that dream job can mean more task, greater independence, opportunities to learn new skills and grow, increased confidence and satisfaction, and much more.
But in Nigeria, there are countless of business opportunities that many Nigerians are not showing attention to, the few that pay attention to some of the opportunities are making cool cash. Though the risk is high, so also is the reward. Like I said; if you are an entrepreneur with guts to take on business challenges like Richard Branson; then this post is for u. In recent years most of the new millionaires have been young entrepreneurs and investors who have created promising businesses and invested in lucrative sectors of Nigeria’s fast-growing economies.
That is why you must make it your job to find your dream job, no matter how long it takes. Katharina, a career expert mentioned earlier, adopted this businesslike approach. She says: “I obtained the addresses and phone numbers of prospective employers from the employment office. I responded to newspaper ads. I studied the phonebook and made lists of companies that might have jobs that were not yet advertised, and then I contacted them. I also compiled a resume and sent it to these companies.” After such systematic searching, Katharina found a suitable job. I must confess that there are step by step guide that can make you get your dream job in Nigeria just like Katharina does. Let’s have a look;
ACCESS THE HIDDEN JOB MARKET
The fisherman with the largest net is the one most likely to catch fish. Knowing how to increase the size of your “net” will improve your chances of landing your dream job in Nigeria. If you are looking for work only by responding to newspaper or internet advertisements, the majority of available jobs may be slipping past your net. A good number of jobs are never advertised. The question to ask is how you can gain access to this hidden job market? In addition to responding to advertisements, like Katharina you must set aside time each week to call on businesses that you think may have jobs you can do. Do not wait for them to advertise positions. If a manager says that he has no work, ask him if he knows where else you might look and specifically to whom you should speak. If he offers a suggestion, make an appointment with that company, stating the name of the person who referred you.
GATHER ENOUGH INFORMATION ON THE EMPLOYER
Gathering information on prospective employers is a task every job seeker should carry-out. Finding the relevant information of a hiring company is like a game, and you need to use the right methods to come out on top. Some of the likely information you need to find out include; the company year of establishment, the mission and vision statement of the company, some of the key players in the company, the product and services of the company, recent events that happened in the company, to mention a few.
So what are some best-kept secrets to gaining this information so you can streamline the communication and application process? Check out these suggestions, stalk them, e.g. you can make some phone calls to company gatekeepers, administrative assistants, interns, or secretaries and others. You can also use email verification tools, check out public records, contact former employees, make calculated assumptions and search social networking platforms. By doing so, you’re gradually creating a good impression for the employer and the entire recruiting team.
CREATE AN EFFECTIVE CV
Having access the hidden job market, the next step is to produce your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume. This is often the first impression you’ll make on a prospective employer both in Nigeria and outside. It’s important to stand out amongst the crowd. I must confess that CV is more or less a job-seeker marketing documents that provide key information about your skills, experiences, education and personal qualities that show you as the ideal candidate. Often, selectors read CVs outside working hours. In order to arrive at a successful CV for your dream job in Nigeria, these tips provide a range of styles-classical, professional, academic, plain, and fancy-which can be adapted to fit your personal preference.
Keep the choice of words in the first person: This is the first tip every job seeker must adopted. If I start my CV in the first person, he should not suddenly start talking about himself in the third person. Job applications are all about selling yourself, so using I, me and my is standard practice. Do not refer to yourself as he, she or they (unless it’s a quote about you from someone else). If you do want to write the third person, keep it consistent. Don’t flip between the two.
Get your tenses right; Most likely, this will mean talking about old jobs in the past tense and your current job in the present tense. Of course, there may be exceptions to this general rule, such as talking about a past event that occurred in your current job. The key however is to ensure it makes sense and avoid switching between tenses in the middle of a phrase. Muddling up your tenses is not only grammatically incorrect; it also makes writing confusing and hard to follow.
Use the singular for individual organizations: It’s easy to write accidentally about a single company in the plural if you’re thinking about the people who work there. But if you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you are talking about one company, use the singular. If you work at the BBC, for instance, you are part of its team, not part of their team.
Tailor your CV for each role applies for: We’ve all done it. Whizzed the same CV out to lots of employers to save time…Stop! Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort.
Reveal the truth: Everyone lies on their CV, right? NO! Stop! Blatant lies on your CV can land you in a whole heap of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be very awkward.
BUILD AN ACTIVE AND ENGAGED NETWORK ON YOUR SIDE
Nigerian employers want to avoid adding any bad apples to their team. And, because of this fact, managers are far more likely to hire someone who comes with a recommendation. As an applicant with a referral supporting your qualifications and value as an employee, you have an immediate advantage. You are already blessed with the “halo effect” and all that comes with it-including the likelihood of overlooking a number of assumptions. A nod from a trusted employee, valued colleague or some other influential source will almost always land you at least a phone screen interview. The question that follows is how can you build a network of contacts that are in a position to provide you with that all-important nod of approval? In a world filled with Androids and iPhones, there is no excuse not to be in contact with someone you know regarding your search for a job. We now can Google a person and find their LinkedIn profile to get in contact with them and catch up on what they are doing. We hear it all the time, “it’s not what you know, it’s who do you know,” that’ secures you the job. Now, your work experience and your skills do matter, but knowing someone who “may” know someone helps as well.
In Nigeria, as a job seeker you also have something to sell: YOURSELF! Mind you, for years we have heard “You have to sell yourself to employers if you want a job.” We’ve heard that phrase over and over-but what does it mean? How do you sell yourself to employers?” You might think you have to throw yourself at the employer or get out of your chair and do a tap dance routine, if that’s what you think, you’re getting it wrong. The fact still remains the same in these difficult economic times, prudence prevails. Companies still want to hire and people still want to buy things but everyone wants to make sure they are getting value for money. In such circumstances the ability to sell yourself effectively has become more important than ever.
PROVE THAT YOU CAN SOLVE INHERENT PROBLEMS
Companies have job openings because they have a hole in their business. Your job (if you’re hired) is to fill that hole. For example, if the job opening is for a network administrator, tell why you are the perfect solution to their network woes. Or if during the interview they tell you they’ve been experiencing DDOS attacks on their servers, you can cite past experience working with hacked servers or even tell them you’ve been on the other end of DDOS attacks. Remember, sell benefits. Use specific examples from your past to illustrate how you will solve inherent problems in their database infrastructure and network insecurity. A job listing will usually indicate what the job responsibilities are and what you will be tasked with. Use this as an opportunity to brainstorm solutions to some of the problems they list on the job announcement.
TAKE UP VOLUNTEER AND INTERN ROLES
Having valuable work experience will greatly boost chances of landing your dream job in Nigeria. Seeing that you are a fresh graduate, taking up volunteer and intern roles will help you gain necessary experience and exposure to secure your dream job. Be realistic-most of these volunteer and intern roles are unpaid. But your goal is not the financial reward. Keep in mind-when permanent and better roles open up in any company, the interns or volunteers within that organization are often contracted first before other applicants are considered. Write to any company of your choice and request for an intern role.
ENHANCE YOUR SKILLS
Enhancement of skills should be a consistent and permanent activity on your side in order to get your dream job in Nigeria. There are several skills that make up an employee profile, and it goes without saying that each and every of this skills can be enhanced to their optimum all through life. One of the most important skills to enhance is your presentation skills. The presentation skills can be regarding anything. It can be related to your attire, or your actual presentation skills of an assignment.
SEE EVERYTHING AS AN OPPORTUNITY
It’s easy to become tired of writing cover letters, going to interviews and networking. However, try to think of each activity as an opportunity that will only make you a better job candidate in Nigeria. If you’re interviewing for a job you don’t think you really want (or don’t think you will get), try to think of the interview as a chance to network and work on your interview skills for your dream job. Think of each cover letter as the chance to hone your writing and editing abilities. Simply thinking of tasks as opportunities rather than chores will put you in a positive market.
EXERCISE ENOUGH PATIENCE AFTER APPLYING FOR YOUR DREAM JOB
Patience is one of hardest traits to maintain during a dream job search. Even if you are doing everything in your control to get a position, it might take longer than you had anticipated. This is where patience and persistence come in. when you don’t see progress as quickly as you had hoped, you may begin to feel frustrated and for some it might be enough to stop their each. This is where you need to push through if the end result is important to you.
TWO SITES YOU NEED TO START FOLLOWING IF YOU WANT TO GET YOUR DREAM JOB
In conclusion, whichever path you choose in your career and job search, it is my humble wish that you find the best job of your dream. If you decide to get involved in startups-that will be nice for you as well. By all means, make sure you do something for yourself.