Getting your first job may not always be as easy as you want. Some people have it easy, they send out their application, go through the process and get the job. A different category of people find it tougher. Unfortunately, a good number of those in this category just might be getting in their own way. Sometimes careless, or not having the required skills for whatever industry you are applying in.
Narrow down your search
Don’t be that person who applies to any and every ad for a job opportunity they find. Yes, you need a job, maybe even urgently, but that does not stop you from having a focus. You have to be ready to do the work. Jobs require a different level of preparations. For example, preparation for teaching position is different from preparation for banking job.
Before you send in any application, make sure you understand what exactly the company requires and desires. Understand the role they are advertising for and package yourself to fit that role. By no means should you tell lies, this will always come back to haunt you. However, the skills you highlight for the teaching position are quite different from what you show for graduate trainee position. Pick out the skills you have that make you a best fit for that position, and then format your CV/resume to best reflect that. Your CV/resume is the first contact any recruiter has with you, make sure it tells a good, convincing story about you and your abilities.
Submitting your application
This is a good place to tell you this, please do not be that person that has a generic CV/resume that they send out for any job application regardless of the requirements. For every job you intend to apply for, ensure you thoroughly go through your CV/resume, and edit it to make you a best fit for the role in question. If the skillset or work experience does not match the role, please leave it out. The ability to handle unruly children/students has almost no place (if any) in an application for a graduate trainee position.
Besides, different industries have different buzzwords that resonate and make sense. Always ensure that your resume shows appropriate knowledge where necessary.
Now, a lot of people do not know what to do with themselves while they are job hunting. Please, this period is not one to be wasted or spent without careful thought. Don’t spend your days simply waiting on an interview invite without doing anything to better yourself. Attend seminars, conferences or trainings in your industry of choice, if you can, Maybe learn a new skill, or volunteer your services somewhere. Don’t leave that time fallow. And take it from someone who has spent time volunteering, companies love to know that you are not a time waster. Plus you will learn soft skills that will always be transferable regardless of your industry. A win-win if you ask me.
Preparing For Your Interview
Before attending an interview, make sure you have researched extensively about the company you are interviewing with (start from here). Nothing spoils your chances faster than showing complete ignorance of a company you hope to work with.
Research and prepare for possible interview questions, if possible, get someone to act out the interview with. Doing this would boost your confidence, and you would have ready answers for some of the possible questions you would be asked.
Go over the job ad and any correspondence you might have had with the recruiter again. You might find some tips that would help you understand how best to fit into the role, and how to prepare yourself for the interview.
Negotiating Your Pay
Once you do land the job, do not shortchange yourself. Being your first job (possibly), you probably just want to start and build your experience and increase the value you command, which is fine, but is not enough reason to settle for peanuts.
Ensure that whatever is offered will at least cover your transportation and feeding costs, and then some. Spending forty thousand naira on transportation when the job is offering thirty thousand is not advised. Ensure that you negotiate for an amount that can cover your monthly expenses and leaves you with some leftover for emergencies.
All the best with your job search, and I look forward to hearing how this might have helped in your job search.
By: Abigail Adeboga