Job Hunting Tips: Stop Applying to Random Companies

The job search period can be a really painful experience. First, you spend so many years in school (to whom it may concern), followed by NYSC (again, to whom it may concern), then, you begin job search (again: to whom it may concern, some don’t search :D). Sometimes, the hardest part is locating a company that requires your particular skill set. There are jobs out there, but, there are only a few that fits your certificate or skill set.

One of the results of the frustration of a job search is the syndrome of “I will do anything”. This eventually leads to applying to just any job opening. Some do not even bother to read the details of the vacancy.

In this post, I’ll be showing you how bad it can be if you don’t stop applying to random companies.

What do you mean random companies?

I am using the term ‘random companies’ to mean companies you don’t know and vacancies you don’t understand. 

An Example:

Kunle (not real name) graduated 7 years ago, finished NYSC 6 years ago. He graduated with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) from Computer Science. He has had to do a lot of things, from learning a trade to actual trading, but he has not been able to land a proper paying job since graduation.

With the assumption that He graduated at 23 years old, He is now 30 years and still ‘managing’ a room with his friends. Hs is still applying for jobs, but now, he has lost faith. His CV is still the same as what he had 8 years ago. He does not bother to read vacancy posts anymore, in fact, all he does is forward the same email, attach the exact same CV and cover letter.

Are you ready?

I know a lot of people are in Kunle’s shoes, and I sympathize with you. However, my post is not going to scratch your itchy ears, my post might get you offended, in the end, know that i have good intentions.

I would not be joining you (or others) to blame the Nigerian Government (yes, we have bad governance, but move on! Nigerians are still doing great things out there). You can be one of them!

First things first

Ask yourself this question: Am I ready?

The experience of most recruiters has been identical: “Most Nigerian graduates are not employable”. Hence, the first question I have for you is: Would you employ yourself?. If you have put your blood and sweat into building a company, would you open yourself up to someone like you? (To understand what makes you employable, read this post)

Is your portfolio / CV saying the right thing?

If you are applying for a job that requires mental work and some level of creativity, your CV should also show your capability. Read more about proper CV packaging here.

What it all means:

I stated the two things above to help prepare you for what I am about to say, if you have been able to answer the question of am I employable (and your response is Yes) and you have also prepared your CV it means you are now ready for proper job hunting

Research

Find out the rate of demand of people with your certificate or skill set. You can do your research on job post platforms. You can check linkedIn. If your present skill set/certificate is not in high demand, it means the chances of getting a job is slim. Otherwise, you are good to go!

Another form of research is the type of company you want to work with. Are you looking for remote (read about disadvantages of working remotely) or onsite job, part-time or full time? Are you able to relocate, or looking for something close to your house?

Write down a list

Here are the things you should outline:

  1. Skills / certificates that will increase my chances of getting a job
  2. Companies i want to work with

Example of such skill / certifications: 

  1. Public Speaking
  2. Writing
  3. New Programming languages
  4. HSE / PMP
  5. CCNA

After listing these items, set targets for yourself and make conscious efforts towards it. Register to training / course / Watch tutorials / volunteer.

Go full force

Once you have a list of companies, and you have acquired skills / certificates that can help you get in, go after what you want!

Don’t just look for their email on their websites, most company emails are managed by people who don’t care much (true story, I use to forward emails to HR, but not many people do that). Look for people already employed in the company,  check LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and reach out to them. 

Use the power of social media (which means you should follow the right set of people):

Examples:

Hi there EUROPE National Leagues! I am an ex-coach and shoutcaster, looking for aremote LoL analyst work! If you know any team that is inneedof one, please let me know! I can send you my CV with a single MD request! RT appreciated.


https://twitter.com/oxaciano/status/1072136696496619520

Twitter people, I’m begging for your retweets. I need ajob.- Bsc in Geo/Environmental Mgt.- Done with NYSC- A Google Certified Digital Marketer.


https://twitter.com/erefitei/status/1071468361719144448

Note the number of retweets on these posts.

Nigeria and Nigerians are sympathetic to job seekers, especially if they see that you truly know your stuff. 

This might not work

The points I have stated above have worked for me, and for a lot of people. But it might not work for everyone. However, I can boldly say, the probability of landing a job (the type that you want) is higher if you do the things i listed above.

If all else fails

Start something on your own! You can get some ideas here. Don’t allow any gap in your CV, at a job interview the interviewer asked me:

“What have you been doing since July?”

Fortunately, I enrolled in an internship. 

If you have up to 3 months gap in your CV, let it be because you were unable to do anything during that period (maybe health issues).

When you find that job, here are a few things on how to prepare for the interview.

Series NavigationHow to write a proper CV >>

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