by Olateju Oladapo HR Officer at RS Hunter Limited , November 16, 2015
We’ve all heard it said time and again that there are no jobs in Nigeria but what does this really mean? Are there really no jobs or could it be the that we don’t have adequately qualified people to fill the vacant positions that exist? Could it be that job seekers lack the necessary information and strategy required to effectively job hunt or perhaps some have allowed this popular saying to negatively affect their desire to go out and actively search.
Young graduates these days envision big things and have lofty ideas. Few desire to start small and most are looking for big paying job right at the start of their career despite lacking work experience. It’s okay to aim high but it is also important to be realistic with yourself. During periods of high unemployment, seek voluntary positions and internship opportunities to build your workplace experience. Remember, at the beginning of your career while you have potential, you offer very little to your employer who is investing in you by giving you exposure to the working environment which enables you meet and rub minds with fellow professionals – in some cases employers may also invest in formal training courses. It is only after a few years of ‘cutting your teeth’ at your chosen career that you can aim for higher paying positions, at which time your competency will do the talking.
What are employers looking for?
- Drive: Do you have the impulse to achieve excellence?
- Culture fit: Will you fit into the way things are done in the organisation?
- Communication skills: Are you able to communicate effectively using oral,
written and presentation methods?
- A strong and positive online presence: What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?
- A good resume: Have you been able to summarise and present who you are in a way that captures their attention?
- Workplace skills: Does your experience and description of who you are highlight key skills (time management, problem solving etc) that will make you excel in the workplace?
- Reliable and hardworking: Can your employer count on you?
Some tips for job seekers
You may be right that there are fewer jobs than people who require them, but the fact that the vacancies exist means you must position yourself as much as you can to successfully land your chosen job.
Here are some tips:
- You need to ask yourself what you want, how you intend to get what you want and what you need to do to get there.
- Have a list of companies you would like to work with.
- Know the position or field you would like to specialize in e.g. Administration, Finance, Marketing, IT, Human Resources etc. Do your research on the skills and competencies required to be effective in your chosen field.
- Participate in training courses (online, classroom etc) to acquire the skills you are deficient in.
- Review your CV, make sure it’s short, precise and free of grammatical errors.
- Prepare yourself for interviews, read up on how to prepare for an interview, likely interview questions and how to answer them.
- Pick up opportunities to volunteer in your chosen field.
- Contact prospective employers directly if you can ( LinkedIn would be a good tool). Do not harass them!
- Stay focused, don’t relent in your search – job hunting is a job itself!
You must believe there is a job out there waiting for you but while you are still looking for it, make yourself employable by acquiring basic soft skills employers desire to see in employees. All things said, success starts in the mind. Change your mantra. Wake up every morning believing there are jobs in Nigeria and say to yourself “I am going out there today and I will be getting mine!”