After graduation comes the search for establishment and settlement in a well grounded firm. Job search is the second most dreaded phase for every graduate, following unemployment, and it is a great challenge for many fresh graduates in Nigeria. Due to the economic status of the country, there is an unproportional distribution of job vacancies in comparison to the large number of graduates produced every year.
However, graduates who know the best steps to take will find it easier getting a good job sooner than those who are still unsure of how and where to look for a job. This article is specifically tailored to guide fresh graduates with strategic winning tips that will increase the chances of getting a job and more importantly, a preferred one. These tips have been used, tested and confirmed over the years, as an antidote to graduate unemployment.
1. Change Your Attitude
Due to the statistics of unemployment in Nigeria, graduates have been made to believe that there are no jobs in the country. If this is 100 % true, how come people get employment letter everyday, and people from other developing African countries prefer Nigeria to their countries? There are a lot of job opportunities fresh graduates are yet to unravel. Your attitude to this regard influences the outcome of your pursuit. If you assume there are no job, you will be sluggish about looking for one, but when you are assured that someone somewhere needs you skills, it will get you on your toes to go out there and grab it.
2. Start Job Hunting Early
It is a wrong approach to wait until after your convocation before you start looking for a job. The search starts the moment you enter your final year; that way you will be equipped on how the system works before time. While rounding up school, you should be able to figure out the kind of job you want and the industry you are qualified for. Make a list of companies you will like to work with and start gathering facts about them and their recruiting requirements. Success in job search is ultimately based on the level of information you have, the more informed you are, the higher your chances of being hired.
3. Upgrade Your Resume/CV and Cover Letter
There is no perfect resume, but your written qualifications and experience should be impressive. Your CV is the key to an interview, which is in turn the key to an employment letter. No matter how qualified or experienced you are, a poorly written CV will not be considered for an interview by any reasonable organization. Your CV should be Job specific and edited each time to suit a particular opening. It should be clear, brief and captivating. Endeavor to include all vital information like personal details (name, address, phone number, and email address). Highlight your skills/strengths, achievements and relevant experiences and ask a second party to go through it for errors before submitting.
4. Be Unbias
Every Nigerian graduate wants to work with Shell, Mobile, Chevron and other big oil companies. In as much as they are reputable and pay well, their recruiting process is demanding and requires years of experience which most fresh graduates lack. As a newbie to the job search union, it is important to also consider options in government and nonprofit establishments, real estate, housing, transportation etc, and not put all eggs in one basket. Study shows that there are a good number of graduate vacancies in small and medium companies more than in big companies. After gathering experience you can confidently climb up the ladder of labour market.
5. Explore The Internet
Gone are the days when you have to go from one company to another asking if they need your services. The Internet is particularly been useful when it comes to job search. There are several job websites scattered everywhere on the internet that offer information on job listings and networking opportunities and job-search tips. Also, most reputable companies have websites that you can visit from time to time to know when they are recruiting. Social network is also a good place to get information on the latest job opening, do well to take advantage of all these platforms.
6. Build Networks and Leverage Your Connections
Looking for a job is not something to be shy about as long as you’ve got the right skills to keep the job. Ask people; friends, families and neighbors to help you look out for jobs. You might even distribute you CV to some trusted friends so they can apply/submit on your behalf whenever they come across your job spec. It’s not all about what you can do, but who you know that can link you to what you can do. Join Professional social networks like LinkedIn, with a profile as good as a good CV, you might just be lucky to land that dream job.
7. Be professional
Sending an application email to a reputable company though an email address like [email protected] does not look professional. Learn to build an impressive personal brand, and exhibit attributes of professionalism in all job related matters. Using your name as your email address is your best bet. It is advisable to create a new email address using your full name before applying for a job. Also, many companies check your social media activities to get an idea of the real you, so be careful what you post on Facebook and Twitter.
8. Practice & Prepare for Interviews
This is where most fresh graduates loss out of the big game. An interview is as important as a CV and should be prepared for in same cautious manner. You don’t have to wait before you get an interview appointment to start preparing. It could come when you least expect it and you may have little or no time to prepare. Get materials on the internet on common interview questions and acquaint yourself with them. Get valuable information about your companies of interest and also prepare intelligent questions to ask the interviewer about any concerns or uncleared doubt.
9. Be Busy While Searching
You do not have to be a couch potato because you are jobless. While searching for a job, get a skill, start a trade, obtain professional certificates and avoid idleness. Get involved with community development services, volunteer etc These things will expose you to certain experiences and equip you with some valuable skills that when included in your CV will give you an edge. Also, some employers ask during interviews what you have been doing with your time, it will be embarrassing to say “NOTHING.”
10. Be Open To Rejections
After you have done all you can and have been invited for an interview, keep an open mind that you will either be selected or rejected. Depending on how good you handle your interviews, you are likely going to get a few rejections but don’t take them personal. The problem may not be you but them, so letting “NO” get to your esteem will only keep you down longer than you should.
See every rejection as an opportunity to apply for and get a better job. However, if the rejections persist, you may need to go back to the drawing board; check if your qualifications, skills and experience are in line with the position applied for. Also find out what you have been during wrong during interviews. Research more, fix that and go grab your dream job.