2 Ways to Sniff Out Scarce Job Opportunities Ahead of Others

The situation of the job market in Nigeria means that jobseekers are in a mini-war; it’s a survival of the most connected, smartest and fastest scenario. Thousands of people out there are looking for the same jobs you are also on the lookout for. So the question is how do you outsmart others and get information on jobs that ordinarily will not be openly advertised.

A very good percentage of available jobs in Nigeria do not get advertised openly. Only the ones with insider access to information stand a chance of being hired. A good number of graduates I know working today got hired on jobs that weren’t openly advertised. So as you apply for jobs on job sites in Nigeria you also need to have a plan B as a way of getting hold of unadvertised or scarce job opportunities.

1. Become visible where employers usually search for candidates

A very high number of jobs don’t get advertised so how do you ensure you get a chance of being considered for these kind of good jobs?

Simple. Put yourself where you can be found.

If you are a serious career person your career profile should be on Ngcareers, your professional profile should be on LinkedIn. And to a lesser extent you should be on Twitter.

For the first two they are places hundreds of recruiters and employers go to search for and appraoch candidates whose profile show suitable skills and experience for the job opening they want to fill. You can join Ngcareers here and create your career profile in less than 2 minutes.

2. Engage in the Right Conversations

Right now Twitter seems to be the best place online to engage with other players in an industry of your interest. It’s easier there to connect with decision makers, managers and other C-level players.

Your approach should be to show value and never ask anyone upfront for a job. Use the 160 character limit to present a concise decription of yourself. Follow the right people, find relevant bits of information in your preferred career area and improve as much as you can while joining in conversations that will boost your chances of getting to know about openings.

Serious professionals are joining Ngcareers to enhance their visibility to companies and recruiters who may be looking for experienced candidates to fill job openings. Join now and create your career profile in a minute

Letter to a Fresh Graduate: How to Start and Build a Successful Career

Dear Graduate,

Now you are out of school and probably through with serving your fatherland I want to talk to you about how you can embark on a successful career for yourself. You probably didn’t know or care much about the future when you were in school. The parties, football games, flirting and maybe the night jacking were all that occupied your time.

I don’t know if you prepared for your intended career or if you even have an idea of what you want to do with your life right now. This letter is not to dwell on that but to point out what you can do to start an illustrious career for yourself.

What Do You Want to Do?

All achievers in life must take a couple of minutes each day to remind themselves of what exactly it is they want to achieve or do with their life. If you want to join the elite you must sit down and reflect and articulate your plans. You are no more a kid, hope you know. From now on you think for yourself!
Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Do you just want to have an illustrious engineering career? Find out what exactly it is then.

How Do You Intend to Start?

Your career goal determines how you develop a plan. If you want to run your own business, start an internet or offline company, be a self employed professional you will have to decide on issues like fundraising and getting the skills you require. If you have relatives, friends and parents who can give you the seed fund you need good for you but remember you will need a simple straightforward plan on how you intend to grow your idea to good levels of profitability.

If you have no one to rely on for funds you may look at the option of getting a job, working several years and saving towards your ultimate goal.

If you instead wish to get a job in a field of your choice and build a long, illustrious career therein you will need to identify the job options you want to pursue. What skills and attributes will you need to pursue a successful career in those fields? Start a rigorous self improvement regime and use all the smart job search ideas we have been talking about here.

Some Things You Should Know About the Labour Market and Business Generally in Nigeria

– People who have the skills and knowledge may go far but they go even farther if they have the right relationships with other players in the industry

– Proactive people almost always get the best jobs and best deals in their industry

– Sometimes Who You Know Matter in Business and the Labour Market (ask Bill Gates whose mum knew the top brass at IBM and helped him secure the deal with IBM that gave Microsoft the foundation for what it is today)

– Your personal networking and connections may get you jobs and deals but it is your expertise and delivery that will sustain you and get you even better offers and deals

Now Go Ahead and Start

One major attribute of successful career individuals and business people is that they act. Yes, they may plan but more importantly they act and execute on their plan even when things are not so sure and rosy for them. They don’t wait for the perfect time to build their professional relationships or get started on taking that professional course to improve themselves.

There is no complex way to get ahead in your career if you are clear on your goals, focused on them and working hard and smart towards them.

Take control of your job search today on Ngcareers, Nigeria’s top job and career site. Join free now.

6 Tips to Cope With Losing Your Job

Editor’s note: A version of this article was previously published by Ngcareers on Bellanaija.

Everyday people get sacked, retrenched or whatever name is used to show when someone no longer has a job. Many can relate to how irritating and depressing it feels to suddenly wake up and find oneself out of a job.

Losing your job (for any reason) isn’t always the best of experiences. While getting relieved of your job is a big issue the single most important factor to your growth in this case is how you react to getting the pink slip.

Here we explore 6 things you should do when you find yourself out of a job. These are tips to get you prepared for the next phase of your life and ensure that the setback of losing your job doesn’t derail your career growth and personal success.

Don’t Panic: It’s Not the End of the World

Yes, losing your job is stressful and puts paid to an immediate source of income but one thing you shouldn’t do is let anxiety overcome you. There are always options available when this happens. You just have to keep a cool head and plan your way out of the situation.

You will not be able to make headway if you don’t have a clear head and an open mind.

A calm head can even help you gain some positives from the negative process of losing your job as this brief story shows; A woman who just lost her job instead of letting anger take hold of her sat down instead in her office and used her last hour to type a very persuasive letter to the HR Head showing why she deserved 3 months instead of 2 weeks severance pay. She got paid 3 months severance! That was extra funds for her to go with while hunting for a new job.

Take Stock

That time when you lose your job is the time to pause and take a critical look at the state of your affairs.

What is your financial situation like?
Do you have enough savings to last you a few months while you get your acts together?

This is probably the time when you bad saving habits catch up with you if you have very little to survive on.

Taking stock of your financial and career situation will help you determine which options are open for you to pursue.

Explore Your Options

When you lose your job in your 20’s it is a very different ball game to when you find yourself out of a job in your 50’s. Factors like age, financial status, personal ambition (maybe you’ve been nursing the dream to set up your own business venture) etc can all play a part in deciding the options you may follow.

Age may not be on your side and as a result more viable options open to you may be self employment or starting a business.

You need to sit and look at possible options open to you to pick up your life and get on with it.

Dust Up Your CV

If you feel you still got a chance to try your hand at another job then it’s time to take a look at that CV. If you are like most people who were relatively comfortable in their last job your CV is probably in a neglected state; no updates on achievements and educational qualifications etc.

Take a look at that CV once again and give it a good polishing. You can try some expert help with re-writing your CV.

Hone Your Skills and Identify other Possible Organisations to Work For

Depending on your career path you will need to identify current and useful skills you will need to acquire, or improve on to brighten your chances at the job search market.

Also depending on your level of career progression your job search should now be a bit more targeted. This means you have some idea of the possible organisations you will be aiming to work for. This of course is based on relevance to your specialisation. Getting the specifics will help you do the next thing you need to do to get a job offer (aside from searching online)

Network Strategically (offline and online)

Your network most times indicate how quickly your career path rises. Networking doesn’t mean harassing anybody you meet asking them to give you a job. It is rather a smart engaging of relevant people towards availing yourself of every opportunity for career advancement. Below are a few tips on networking you can use;

– Reach out to new contacts to introduce yourself and ask them if they have time to talk with you about their career path
– Always ask new contacts interesting questions about their career path; Don’t let the focus be on you at first
– Ask for advice, don’t ask for a job. They will know you are looking and if they can and want to help in this way they will
– Ask if they know anyone else you can contact
– Networking is about engaging your existing contacts as well as cultivating new relationships
– Follow up. Follow their advice. Send Thank you notes.

Take your Career to a New Level; Join over 300,000 career individuals who use Ngcareers to discover the latest relevant jobs and inside information on companies. Click Here to Join and Use Ngcareers FREE

One Question You Need To Ask Yourself To Help You Land A Job Fast And Easily

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Hi And Welcome back to another episode of Your Career And You Show.

My name once again is Mayowa, your regular host of Your Career And You Show and to remind you, this show is brought to you in association with NgCareers.com

What if you can ask yourself one question and answer that one question and see yourself with a job in the next few weeks?

How will that be and how much joy will fill your heart?

In this episode of Your Career And you Show, I reveal that one question you can ask yourself that will help you land a job fast and easily.

Wonder what the question is?

Ok, don’t worry, I have the answer to that in today’s episode and also I read some questions sent in by listeners of the show and my answers to these questions.

You won’t want to miss a free copy of an inspiring and job winning book – 7 Days To The Job You Want. This book reveals how you can land the job you want as soon as possible. Download your own copy today, it’s free!

Also, I will like to show you How I Got My Dream Job In Just Two Weeks!

Don’t forget to leave your comment and reviews here at the comment box below.

These comment and reviews are really welcomed and appreciated as well as your kudos or knocks if we deserve one. And if you’ll like to ask me any question or just to say “HI”, you can shoot me a mail at Mayowa@YourCareerAndYou.com

Play Today’s Episode HereYou Can Download Today’s Episode Of Your Career And You Show Here

(Right Click On The Link And Click On “Save Links As” To Download The Audio File)Join Me here again next week for another episode of Your Career And You Show

This Could be Why You Haven’t Got That Job

You having been searching for jobs for quite a time. You apply for jobs you are well qualified for. Your CV/ Resume is superb, despite all these, you haven’t been called for any interview. If you fall under this category of job seekers, this information is for you.

What is actually hindering your job search? Many things apart from the aforementioned could be the problem. Do you apply with a cover letter? Do you follow stipulated instructions for each job application? The later is most likely the dearth of your many job applications. There is a very bad trend we noticed in various job applications we handled on Ngcareers, most job seekers hardly read instructions on how to apply for jobs, even when they do they hardly follow it.
Most recently, we managed candidates short-listing for a particular company and over 70% didn’t follow the instructions specified in the job advert.
Instructions in job adverts comes in various ways: A job advert for business development officer could instruct you include a short essay on how you can increase brand awareness of a particular product. A job advert for a graphics designer might stipulate inclusion of your previous works. A job listing for General manager might stipulate you apply using a format (maybe an excel template). A job listing may stipulate only a particular gender should apply. The list could go on and on. Do you follow these instructions when applying? While we were short-listing some candidates for the company we decided to go through the over 70% that didn’t follow the instructions. Just as we expected a good number of them had the required qualifications.

One thing you should be aware of is that every job listing especially entry-level and intermediate level positions attracts 50+ applications usually for one position and most times one HR person goes through the applications to shortlist qualified candidates. The HR person will normally shortlist people who followed the instructions specified and met the requirements specified . He/ she will only go through the other applications when those that followed the instructions didn’t meet up to expectations, that’s simple because we naturally will tend to do easier things first before going for the harder ones. Not following instructions makes it harder for the HR person to shortlist you if you are qualified.

You could be throwing away your chances by not following instructions given for job applications. Searching and applying for jobs shouldn’t be done anyhow, most people would simple grab the email address specified for application and forward their CV without taking time to write a good convincing cover letter or cross-checking their CV.
Every company wants to recruit people who will add valuable to them, no company will pay you for nothing! The first chance you have at showing the company who you are and value you can add to them is the way you go about applying for their job. When you don’t follow simple instructions you are indirectly telling the company that you are incompetent for the position or that you are a carefree person.

Take your time to apply for jobs you are qualified for, each job you apply for could be the one you will get.

Find jobs you like; get insights on your industry of interest on Nigeria’s fastest growing jobs and career platform. Click Here to Join Ngcareers FREE

3 Smart Tips To Help You Get The Job Of Your Dream

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Hi and Welcome to the first episode of Your Career And You Show where we bring you tips,trick and strategy to help you get the job of your dream and also help take your career to the next level.

My name is Mayowa and i will be your regular anchor on Your Career And You Show.

This Podcast is brought to you by You Career And You and NgCareers.

In this episode, i introduce myself and i started a 3 part series episode to tell you the 3 smart tips that will help you get the job of your dream in today’s episode,you will learn: –

– Why you need to do thing differently when you are applying for a job

– Why submitting a job application for all jobs you can get around is not helping you and won’t help you to get a job.

– How to avoid the trap and feelings of doing more when in essence you are doing less when it comes to your job search effort.

– Why you nail down your job search effort to the job that suits you.

– Why you need to know what you can do and why it will help you get the right job easily and fast.

– How to know what you can do.

– Actionable tips to help you nail down what exactly you can do

– And many more…

You won’t want to miss a free copy of an inspiring and job winning book – 7 Days To The Job You Want. This book reveals how you can land the job you want as soon as possible. Download your own copy today, it’s free!

Also, I will like to show you How I Got My Dream Job In Just Two Weeks!

Enjoy today’s Episode of You Career And You Show!

Play Today’s Episode Here

You Can Download Today’s Episode Of Your Career And You Show Here

(Right Click On The Link And Click On “Save Links As” To Download The Audio File)

Don’t forget to leave your comment and reviews here at the comment box below.

We will love to hear from you about what you think of the show.

Join us here again for another episode of Your Career And You Show

Why Social Media Can Kill Your Job Search Chances

Are you a social media junky? Do you religiously post messages on your Facebook wall? Are you planning on beginning a job search in the near future? If you answered yes to all of those questions, you should be aware that you may have social media problem.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are free services that you can use to communicate with friends and family despite the physical distance that may be between you. What you may not be aware of is that some employers use your social media sites to decide whether or not to hire you.

Employers Screen Potential Employees Social Media

According to a survey conducted by Career Builder 37% of employees vet potential employees using social media sites. That is a 2 out of 5 chance that your chosen employers will cyber stalk you. Pretty good odds, you say? Another 11% of the employers said that while they didn’t use social media to research potential employees, they planned to start. It is particularly important for individuals with an information technology degree to clean up their social media sites because 52% of employers check out social media sites before hiring. It is less important for individuals in the medical profession hand because only 28% of employers will screen their future employees using social media.

Do I Have a Social Media Problem?

Now that you know that employers might be cyber stalking you, you need to look over your social media profiles and decide if anything on the sites could harm your chances of landing that job.

• 49% of employers rejected candidates because they posted or were tagged in provocative photos and information.
• 45% of employers looked for evidence of drinking or drug use. Even If you have pictures that depict the occasional beer, I would remove any reference.
• 35% of employers rejected candidates who proved to have poor communication skills on their social media accounts. The rest of humanity realizes that you don’t need to use highbrow writing on social media sites, but you need to cater to the sticklers while attempting to get a job. Remove any posts that are grammatically incorrect or using text talk.
• 33% of employers rejected candidates who posted angry posts about their former employer. Bad mouthing an employer illustrates unprofessional behavior and can ruin their company’s image.
• 28% of employers rejected candidates who pasted discriminatory comments or posts.
• 22% of employers rejected candidates because their social media sites revealed that they lied about their qualifications.

Cleaning Up Your Social Media

If you have discovered that you do have posts or pictures attached to your account that will harm your chances of landing a job, you need to begin cleaning your social media sites. The clean-up process should begin before you send out jobs.

Follow these steps to clean up your social media:

• Ask your friends and family to refrain from posting anything inappropriate or tagging you in any pictures before until you can look them over.
• Delete any inappropriate comments or posts.
• Change your settings on Facebook to private.
• Set your friends to close friends. This will allow you an added level of privacy.

It is hard enough to land a job in the current job market without your social media profiles betraying you. While cleaning up your social media profiles can be hard work, you won’t regret it.

Katherine Gredley freelances about the teaching industry. She truly believes that pursuing higher education and earning certifications such as information technology degrees can have a profound impact on the job search.

Start Discovering the Best Opportunities in your Field of Interest, Join Ngcareers today

Are you Always Available? Job Search Story of One Tunde

The feeling of frustration has finally engulfed him after months and years of searching for job. One fateful morning something nudged him to check his email box, he reluctantly dragged himself up and picked up his shirt. Fumbling his breast pocket, he touched the ticket, he has done it, using 1 hour ticket he bought for four days is no mean feat. He smiled and silently praised himself for being a good manager.

He walked slowly towards the cyber cafe at the end of his street, just as he feared, the place was filled up when he got there. Tunde hissed under his breath cursing the cyber owner for not providing more computers. “Despite all the money he makes, he don’t want to provide better service” he muttered to himself.
After waiting for what seemed like ages, he finally got a space, he carefully unfolded the ticket and logged in. 10 Minutes left!! The computer popped up, he cursed again and proceeded to open his email.

Years of searching for job has taught Tunde how to use the internet fairly fast. When he first graduated over 5 years ago, he would spend hours to just apply for one job, he would get caught up in the worldwide web browsing through various websites aimlessly and end up achieving so little. Sometimes he would forget about his aim of visiting the cyber and start doing other things. Experience is the best teacher, Tunde has really learnt from experience. As He keyed in the site address in the address bar, he heard someone asking for help in opening an email account, he smiled silently again remembering he had done exactly the same years back. He confidently punched the enter key after entering the URL and sat back; he has committed most of the sites he visits regularly to his memory.

As his mailbox slowly loaded into view, he quickly scanned through the unread emails, filled with job vacancy alerts from various job sites he subscribed to. Over the years Tunde has subscribed to various sites but he had come to trust job alerts from one particular site, having been called for interview on several occasions after applying through it. As he was scanning through the unread emails one got his attention. The title was RE: Application for… his mind raced as he nervously clicked on the title.
“Yes!!” He exclaimed
Tunde has been offered and appointment in an ICT Firm; he scratched his head as he read the letter. He had attended the interview two weeks ago, he had seen the job through Twitter handle of his trusted job site. At first he was very reluctant to go, considering the distance. “Thank God I checked my email” he said.
Tunde had previously lost one appointment because he didn’t check his email on time, by the time he saw it and called the company, they told him they have taken someone else. As he recalled the experience, he thanked God again and muttered a silent prayer.

Tunde has learnt not to joke with his emails, he check it regularly even now he is employed and searching for better opportunities. When you apply for any job, its very important you keep all your contact channels up, check your emails regularly and keep your phones available.

Share your experience with us, Submit your success stories on Ngcareers CLICK HERE

Writer’s note: The above story is a fiction narrating a real live experience. The name/picture used is fictional.
Photo credit: feldt.com

8 Tips on How to Get Hired

It’s not an easy world for the job seeker. The purpose of this article is to highlight some key points to please any recruiter and maximize your chances of getting hired. A “Recruiter” refers to an individual who works to fill job openings in businesses or organizations or anyone with the power to accept or reject your application for a job; it can be the person in the organization who is receiving your application, or the recruitment professional working for a search firm or an agency. So from an employer’s point of view, here’s some solid advice on how to get hired.

Write a Dedicated Resume

Write a precise and dedicated resume according to the job description. Customize your resume in a way that your objectives meet the goals of the company, identify the qualifications you have that the company would like to see, and highlight skills that you think the company would like to know about. File your resume with a meaningful title such as “Your Name Resume.doc”

Always Apply to Relevant Jobs

Many job seekers seem to adopt an attitude with job hunting that pushes them to apply for every open position they lay their eyes on, whether it’s relevant to their field or not. This action is not a good move, as recruiters will know if you are qualified for the job or not; so, it would be better for you to focus your efforts only on positions that compliment your expertise, your experience level and your personality type.

Focus On the Company

Do some research on a company which you are going to apply and prepare for the interview. What do you know about this company and its goals? Try to understand the business and read every page of the website. If you already know someone who works at the company you have applied to, ask them questions about the company culture. Try to relate what you know about the organization when answering questions and incorporate your experience, knowledge or skills during your interview visit.

Be On Time

Be on time for the interview. On time means 10 to 15 minutes early. Recruiters are always concerned about employee productivity; therefore do not give them a reason to doubt you on your first impression. When they interview applicants they want to know how productive they can anticipate the applicant to be and how well the candidate manages their time.

Focus on What Interests the Recruiter

Explain why you are fit for the position. Match the persona of the interviewer. Do not dwell on your personal history, unless it is relevant to the interview. The key to all successful interviewing is to match your capabilities to what the recruiter is looking for. You need to be selling yourself during the interview using all of your marketable skills.

Be Professional

Be professional. No matter how friendly the environment and tone is, remember the conversation is highly professional. If the interviewer is formal in the way they sit, you should be capable of matching it, as well as the tone of their voice. Recruiters want to see if you are fit for their company culture and your first impression speaks volumes about your personality and characteristic traits.

Maintain Eye Contact

Try to relax, stay calm and maintain eye contact with the recruiter. Listen to the entire question before you answer and pay attention. Answer questions as directly as possible with confidence.

Follow Up

Following up is one of the most essential steps in a job search. A thank you e-mail is appropriate and polite to show your courteousness.

Muhammad Ali Gilani is a Career Counsellor and writes on career advice and tips at the Career Dots blog

Supercharge Your Career, Get Insights on Industry Opportunities by Creating a Free Profile on Ngcareers. Click Here to Start

Four Radical Ideas on Innovative Job Search That You Can Use to Advance Your Career in 2013

You probably are thinking right now that something better has to happen for your career in the New Year. If you are going to get the job that will match your ambitions then you must be ready to take the road less travelled. Getting the challenging and equally well rewarding job positions demand that you step out of the usual way of doing things and embrace several innovative job search methods.

In 2013 more than ever the competition for available positions will be fiercer as more people pursue the needed qualification for specific job positions. Your goal will be to always somehow distinguish yourself and get in front of recruiters and employers as much as possible.

The Usual Job Search Tools and Methods You Know May Not Be Enough

Majority of career individuals and job seekers certainly concentrate their job search around the newspapers and popular job boards. 2013 is the time to rethink how you go about your job search. A good number of good jobs do not make it to the advertising platforms and are quickly filled by referrals, employer strategic search and informal leaks. What this signifies is that networking has become more important in today’s job search especially if you are seeking higher level experience jobs and not graduate or low level jobs.

If You Don’t Ask You Don’t Get

When you build your network to a very good level you get the added benefit of being able to politely ask several of your connections for specific help that will mean a lot to your push for career advancement. However making requests and asking for help should be something you use sparingly as it doesn’t pay to be seen as a pest by the people you know professionally. Also when you have to ask for help try and make definite requests and not something like ‘Can you please keep your ears open for me in case something comes up?’

A better way to ask for help will be something more definite for example; ‘Do you know someone I can speak to at XYZ Company for information on available opportunities for a logistics officer?’

A definite request makes it easier for your connection to help you out with the exact issue you want to be helped with.

Get Yourself a Card, Give them Away

Whether you are currently engaged or not you need to create a business card for yourself and give away as many as possible to the people you meet at industry events and people you meet who, by your discussions, you believe are in the position to contribute to your job or career aspirations.

Otherwise called a networking card having a career business card means you see yourself more than just another jobseeker with some years of experience. It means personal branding and image. When you meet people in your target industry and impress them one way or the other giving them your card will make it easier to get in touch with you if something comes up where they think you may be a good fit. As you hand out your card always be sure to make a simple request.

“Here’s my card. Will you be kind enough to let me know if any opportunity comes up in HR where my skills and experience will be useful?’

The above simple request or any variation will do. Thank the person when they accept the card. When you sow your seeds across many quarters you will be sure to expand the possibilities of getting the career boost you seek.

Write a Blog in Your Field and Promote the Hell Out of It

For people seeking executive or mid management level career opportunities starting a blog may be one of the most effective ways to grow your personal brand, become a recognizable voice in the industry and get the best possible job and consulting offers come your way.

Starting a blog has never been easier if you are good at writing. The process of research, study and writing to update the blog will invariably help you gain more knowledge on innovations and ideas in your industry.

While starting your blog it should be a good point to start with minimum two posts per week. You will also need to get traffic to your blog from the target community you are writing for. While writing a blog may not be too easy there are quite some other things to take care of such as optimizing your content for Search engines, promoting your blog through a variety of means to ensure you quickly build up a following.
The future is for those who have the courage and intelligence to do less of the things that everyone does with little results and instead follow more unique ways to get the attention of the society and the decision makers in their industry.

Paul Eze is the Co-founder and Vice President at Ngcareers.com one of Nigeria’s largest job search and recruitment website listing thousands of jobs for over 1000 companies and recruiters monthly. He tweets via @paulemekaeze

Do You Make This Simple Mistake in Your Job Search?

Having you been applying for jobs for sometime now with no response or feedback from employers? Have you always wondered what could be wrong? Qualification? Yes you have the complete qualification, you met the requirements, why then have you not been called, even for an interview?

You might be making mistake of not reading instructions before applying.

Most times in your bid to apply for job quickly, you forget simple instruction on how to apply. From experience we noticed that many jobseekers fail to follow simple instructions on steps to apply for job. For example, a position might require you apply using job reference number as subject line of application, or attach you CV in Microsoft Word format only. Failing simple instructions like this could be costing a lot.

In exam setting, you are always asked to cross your I(s) and dot you T(s). The same applys to your job search. Make sure you crosscheck everything before submitting your application.

Drop you comments below


Stop Looking For Job! Take Control of Your Job Search

Do you know it is possible to take charge of your job search? To be in control of how you search for job. Sometimes it can be frustrating applying over and over again for jobs and never hearing back.

When you apply online, the probability of you getting that job is very slim unless your qualifications exactly match what the employer wants. It’s not impossible to land an opportunity via an online application; many people do find jobs that way, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not likely to get hired from a resume submission.

So what is the solution?
Stop looking for a job. Start looking for a company.

This may seem weird, but it may be the best career move you never considered. Instead of spending all of your time searching for appropriate job descriptions and targeting your resume to apply for them, you should consider shifting some of your efforts to identifying organizations whose goals are in line with your interests and whose problems you know you can solve.

How do you go about this?

  • Create a list of potential employers who need your kind of problem-solving abilities.
  • Be armed with research on these potential employers to understand their issues and how you can make a difference.
  • Prepare examples of your work in both story and written form.
  • Be able to present yourself as a solution. Know what makes you special and stick to it. Don’t waiver.

How should you make lists of employers?
Start with companies you know about and where you might want to work. Don’t worry if they don’t have openings, this research focuses on places you’d like to work-not companies advertising for jobs.

It’s a good idea to steer your research to include companies where you already have networking connections. Where your friends work.

Once you identify organizations of interest, start learning all you can about them. Luckily, this is much easier today than it ever was in the past. Examine the company’s complete digital footprint. Many firms post videos, and manage Facebook pages and Twitter feeds touting their organizations and why you might want to work there.

Study each company’s website and blog if they have one, and search for their employees on Twitter and Facebook. (A lot of people list where they work in their Twitter and facebook profiles.)
Look in LinkedIn for groups related to any company that interests you to identify people who work there and for industry specific groups where you’ll meet people who work in organizations of interest.

Learn what you can about the organizations and their issues by keeping up-to-date with their online materials and by connecting with their employees. Move online relationships to in-person or telephone conversations to learn all you can. Share information about you with people who work in the organizations you’re targeting. Informational meetings are key for career success.

Target your materials and prepare samples of your work to address those needs. First, be sure your resume focuses on the organization’s needs. It shouldn’t be a rehashing of “stuff” you’ve done in the past; make it about your future. Your Linked In profile should be completely filled out to indicate your expertise, especially the summary and specialties sections.

Create a social resume, or personal website to showcase your expertise and to tell your career story. You can use different pages on the site to highlight your experience in various areas and to focus the reader on the reasons you are well suited for the organization. When people you meet online Google you to learn more, or click through your profiles to find out about you, a well-written, in-depth social resume helps ensure they see exactly what you want them to learn about you.

Presenting yourself as the solution is easier once all the other pieces are in place. Try these approaches for a few weeks as part of your job hunt to see if it makes a difference for you!

Grab this book – Take Charge of Your Job Search: A Handbook to Empower Unemployed People to Find Their Own Jobs

Fresh Graduate? 4 Things You Should do to Get a Job Fast

You are fresh graduate, who just graduated, whats the next thing? JOB!!. You are brimming with all confidence of landing a great job in just few months. You quickly prepare a CV and start throwing applications here and there hoping that one will stick. Alas, months, years later you are still in the same process of applying without success. Then you feel like giving up – ”I have been searching related job sites, networking with people in the same field and I am not sure I will get a job I am passionate about or I can learn from“.

Do you even realize that you are better than many others? At least you are reading this, they are not! As a fresh graduate you are faced with many challenges in landing a good job; prominent among them is lack of experience, but there are many things you neglect that is denying you the opportunity to land a good job.

If you are a new graduate trying to a land job, the key to your successful job search is your ability to stand out and differentiate yourself from the pack.

  • You should identify what sets you apart from other candidates; specifically, you should be able to speak about your successes and unique experiences.
  • You should keep yourself open but not desperate.
  • You should open yourself to different fields that are of interest to you. Not narrowing yourself down to just a field. This does not mean desperation.
  • You need to be able to sieve what you want from the lot.

Below are few important tips:

Employers are looking for more than grades now. They want to see outside activities where you showed leadership and management skills.
Employers are looking for people that are flexible and get the ground running not people that need time to adapt to an office setting from the academic environment.

Go get some experience
There are lots of volunteer work you can do while searching for job. This adds to your experience. Check out NGOs and community service organizations in your locality, offer to do some volunteer work with them.

Making constructive contact
Connections are very important especially when the competition is very keen. New graduates should network with family and alumni who work in their desired professions or who have high ranking positions in companies. Think broadly about expanding relationships and networks. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to network.

Online Network
Online networking can be an effective tool in job search. By using facebook and Twitter efficiently and professionally, you can exponentially expand your list of contacts, communicate effectively and maintain relationships. Read discussions and post your own helpful, insightful comments. This will enhance your relationship with others. You can also use forums to your advantage. Post a status update that you are interested in a particular firm and ask if anyone can share any insight or knows someone there. Leverage any and all connections you to help put your resume to the top of the pile and gather information on the firm.

What Employers Check in Your Resume

You may never know why you didn’t get that job interview. You could wonder ” But I met all the requirements”. A new study has shown how recruiters/employers take decision on who to invite for interview.

According to TheLadders research, recruiters/employers spend an average of “six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or no fit’ decision” on candidates.

The study used a scientific technique called “eye tracking” on 30 professional recruiters and examined their eye movements during a 10-week period to “record and analyze where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task.”

In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.

What does this indicate to job seekers?
Since recruiters spend very little time to go through your resume, you should make it very ease for them to see important details about you in that very short period.

How can you achieve that?
You should create a resume with a clear visual hierarchy and don’t include distracting visuals since “such visual elements reduced recruiters’ analytical capability and hampered decision-making” and kept them from “locating the most relevant information, like skills and experience.”
Your resume should be well structured with sections and clear hierachy. You should show details on your work experience, academic qualifications, skills etc in clear, distinct and well structured format.


5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

With the unemployment rate still very high in the Nigeria, you may find yourself in the position of applying, interviewing, and still remaining jobless. You may have thought it was a sure thing; you may have left the office laughing and joking with the interviewer. So why was someone else hired and you weren’t? These five reasons may shed some light on the situation.

1. You’re overqualified
It’s not just a cliche–you really can be overqualified for a position. It’s especially true in a tight economy. A candidate that is more qualified would require a higher salary and benefits package for a competitive offer and for long-term retention. If someone else interviewed who fit the qualifications but didn’t overly exceed them, it might be in the company’s best interest to hire him and save the cash.

2. You don’t know the right people
You may be great on paper, and you may interview really well–but if another candidate is the employer’s pastor’s daughter, you might be out of luck. This isn’t a reason you can’t really avoid. Your best bet is to make sure you follow up with a genuinely appreciative phone call or note. Leaving a positive impression will keep you in that employer’s mind if other opportunities arise.

3. You hit it off, just not professionally
Having a good rapport with your interviewer is great–however, if you bonded over your love of tequila shooters, you may have made a friend and not an employer. In a less extreme example, you may be very easy to interview but still not right for the position. While being friendly and personable are two very important traits, they won’t guarantee you the job.

4. You came with conditions
You may be a good fit for the job, but if you come with strings attached, you may not get hired. If you can’t see yourself sticking to the position long-term, or if prior commitments mean you’ll have to work odd hours, it could take you out of the running. If possible, come in condition-free or at least willing to compromise. However, if you have a restriction that is non-negotiable, it’s only fair to both of you to bring it up in the interview–there’s no sense in wasting time if the situation won’t work out.

5. An unpredictable reason
Often, the reason is one you may never know. You may get an unrelated job simply for having a shared interest with the interviewer, or perhaps because you have a skill the employer hopes to learn from you. It may be as simple as two or more candidates being equally qualified, and you lost the coin toss.

It may also be a simple reason like an off-the-cuff comment you probably shouldn’t have made, or a more blatant reason like answering your cell phone during an interview (never a good move, no matter how friendly you are with the interviewer!). Be honest with yourself about the interview process–if you can think of a slip up, learn from your mistake and keep it in mind for your next interview.

The bottom line:
Whatever the reason, do your best to learn from it and apply it to your next interview. Don’t be afraid to politely follow up and inquire about why you weren’t right for the position–just make sure you don’t come off as sulking. Be professional, and thank them for helping you to understand what you did wrong, or where you can improve. After all, if you made it to the interview stage once, you’re likely to do it again.

What to do if you are Over Qualified for a Job

You lost your job due to economic recession. Afterwards you have sent out 500 resumes, done 1 interview and received zero offers. You are now eyeing an opening below your previous position, but you are obviously overqualified for the job. What do you do to actually get the job?

Try withholding your resume.
As much as possible, do not forward your resume.HR departments will quickly eliminate nearly all of the hundreds of resume submitted for a single opening and it is likely that yours will be dumped because you are over qualified.
In this scenario, go directly to the hiring manager and state your ability to excel in the position. You can call or write, but hold back your resume as much as possible in the first round of communication with the employer.

Sell to the employer’s needs
Once you have found out much as you can about the company and the position, you have got to imagine how your qualifications fit perfectly with the job requirements. At first, say nothing about higher-level skills that do not pertain to the position at hand. Ensure that you remain relevant to the job in question.

Sharpen the employer’s perception
In a scenario where you have to send your resume, de-emphasize those over –the-bar elements of your professional background. You can make some information sparse, but you have to be careful about misrepresenting yourself.
Note that omitting recent important jobs in your career ladder is unethical. Instead list them last and maybe use faint ink for them.

Turn your qualification to a virtue
Reassure the employer that your qualification and experience will be an asset to the firm.

Be careful about the question you ask
Employers have the following objections about over qualified candidates: you will get bored easily, you will not be satisfied with salary, and you will jump to another company as economy picks up or you get a better offer. If you raise any issue that has to do with pay or job satisfaction, you may be jeopardizing your chance of getting the job.

Be ready to answer the main question
Be ready to answer the question that employers may ask: Won’t it be humiliating for you to take a job that may be considered beneath you? You can answer this issue indirectly through the positive attitude you convey in everything you say about the position and your fitness for it. You have to be perceived as someone who believes in dignity in every job.

Job Search Mistakes Of Young Graduates

How quickly the a graduate edges out the rest to land his or her dream job depends on various factors, but it is important to realize that beyond college grades, a graduate can influence how quickly he or she is employed. We’ve compiled nine errors graduates make when trying to land that first job so that you can skip the recruitment “teething” phase and get a good bite on your first real job.
1. Being Uncertain About Job-Search Goals: Avoid communicating career doubts to potential employers. Keep in mind that an employer is recruiting for the ideal candidate, so confessing your preference for another position could immediately end the interview. This behavior suggests a lack of commitment or dedication, so avoid sabotaging your chances. If your potential employer is prepared to invest in your career development, the company will need some assurance that you are passionate about the position and will be committed to the company.

2. Missing Opportunities to Gain Experience: Not surprisingly, the labor market is becoming increasingly competitive as interest in every field of study continues to grow. With this in mind, you can offset some of the competition by searching for work experience from an early stage. Your degree is a basic credential for an entry-level position, but employers usually demand more.

Be proactive and start your job search before the start of final exams, but refrain from limiting your choices to only large companies. Search also for medium and small companies, where you may be entrusted with more job responsibilities.

Aside from job placements and internships, consider doing volunteer work to develop basic job skills like teamwork and leadership qualities. Become a member of at least two clubs and partake in activities throughout your university life. In this way you meet new people, network, learn new things and have fun. What’s more, you can draw on these experiences in interviews

3. Failing to Update Your Resume and Customize Your Cover Letter: On average, recruiters pore over hundreds of resumes a day searching for the most appropriate fit for vacancies. Generic resumes and cover letters usually fail to attract the attention of recruiters. Your cover letter and resume are your first sales pitch and an example of your work quality, so tailor them to the specific job or employer you’re contacting.

* Establish the top needs of the employer by examining the duties and job requirements in the job listing.

* Demonstrate how your experiences, strengths and achievements are applicable. It may help to write a brief summary as your resume introduction.

* Restructure your resume to convey key information in a concise manner that can be digested in a quick 30-second scan.

* Always have at least one other person proofread your revised resume before submitting it.

* Always address the cover letter to the right person. If no contact is provided, feel free to call the company for the name, address and correct salutation.

4. Don’t believe your job search is completely dependent on your resume and cover letter: Wrong. In a perfect world, your resume is more of a formality than a necessity. If someone already knows you or has received an excellent recommendation of you, they are more focused on getting to know you in the interview rather than picking through the details of your resume.

A bad resume is definitely getting cut, but a great resume does not guarantee you the job.

Let’s be honest, I don’t care how many cool internships you’ve had or what your GPA is: many employers feel that an entry-level candidate is an entry-level candidate. In large companies you may have to meet a certain GPA or major requirement, but much past that, it’s all about you.

Your personal brand is what lands you a job. Not your resume. Your personal brand should match online, offline, in your personality and in your appearance. The way you write your LinkedIn profile, what you say online, and who you meet in person are a few important aspects of a job seekers personal brand.

5. Neglecting to Prepare for an Interview: Employers are least impressed by unprepared candidates who come off more like tourists than job seekers. This behavior demonstrates a lack of initiative. Why cheat yourself out of the opportunity to have an optimal interview experience or the possibility of being referred for another company or department vacancy?

A strong candidate will have insight about the company, the industry, its competitors and current affairs. Do the research and practice; it’s all about your preparation. Identify what employers are looking for and consider how your skills and experiences apply. Prepare to answer typical questions like, “What do you know about our company?” and “What can you do for us?”

Show your passion for the industry and your interest in the company by getting your hands on the company’s annual report and speaking to people in the industry. Employers are always impressed if you use appropriate jargon and can comfortably discuss current issues related to the company.

6. Passing Up the Opportunity to Ask Questions: At the close of an interview, most candidates pass up the opportunity to ask questions. This is a grand opportunity – use it! This is your chance to pose intelligent questions about the corporate culture, corporate goals, challenges and career-development opportunities (but refrain from asking about salary at this stage). Asking questions like these will also help you determine whether the company is a good fit for you. An interviewee who is ready with smart questions demonstrates sophistication, confidence, leadership qualities and initiative.

Think about several questions beforehand related to the responsibilities and challenges of the job. The more senior the role, the more complicated the questions should be. Take advantage of this opportunity and you could outshine other prospects.

7. Not Pursuing the Job Until You Receive an Offer: So you’ve completed the grueling interview process and made it through a day at an assessment center. If you’ve come this far, why drop the ball now? Most graduates tend to assume that the decision at this stage is out of their hands, but you should aim to keep the ball in the air until an offer is proposed.

After the interview, it is polite to send a thank-you letter to each interviewer, with reference to one or more things that were discussed. Follow up regularly with the company to indicate your continued interest and keep windows of opportunity open. Don’t be a nuisance, but consider that if you fail to show enthusiasm, the more polite and persistent candidate could land your job.

8. The Internet is the only tool you have used to aid your job search: Career expert claim that 80% of open positions are not posted online. They also claim that the vast majority of job seekers rely solely on the Internet to find a new job. To turn this idea into simple math, this means that roughly 80% of the people are going for 20% of the jobs. Not only are those online jobs way more competitive, they are most likely more generic than those you’d find offline. So what does this mean for you? It means that if you’re smart, you’d be playing in the offline field where you’d be one of the 20% looking at 80% of the jobs.

If you’re willing to go against the crowd, get a little uncomfortable and stop hiding behind your computer screen, I think you’ll have a much shorter job search than most. Getting offline means:

• Pick up the phone.

• Pick it up again after no one calls you back.

• Deal with people who may not want to talk to you.

• Ask for recommendations and introductions.

• Go to a lot of coffee meetings and informational interviews.

• Make a list of companies you’d like to work for then use online tools to see who is connected to those companies. Once you connect with them, take the relationship offline.

• Stop judging your progress by the number of online job applications you sent into a random company where you know no one. Instead, monitor your progress based on how many meetings you set up.

• Set up meetings with all of your favorite professors. Chat, listen and get career advice. Maybe they will introduce you to some great people too.

• Go to a lot of events whether they are networking events, Greek life events, campus speakers, or parties

• Ask everyone you meet a lot of questions about themselves and what they do. People love talking about themselves. The more you talk about them, the more they like you and want to help you.

• You’ll also learn a lot of things about a lot of industries by talking to people. Regardless of if their industries are similar to yours, having these discussions will broaden your perspective and conversations when you start interviewing.

• Don’t say “I need a job” when you are engaging in these offline activities. Rather, ask them about their job.

• Talk to people at the bar, at Cubs games, and on the treadmill

• Tap into your Greek system or alumni network

• Disarm people you meet by asking, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

Job searching is like dating. If you’re looking to date with the intention of finding a partner, you can use online tools to meet people, but after that it has to be taken offline to lead to something more. If you’re in the dating game, you don’t just sit in your apartment hoping someone will magically ring the doorbell and appear (or at least I hope not). Dating is a process of meeting people, getting to know people, getting rejected, finding out what you want and don’t want, and getting yourself out there. Apply the same strategies here.

9. You believe networking yields instant results: Successful networking doesn’t start 2 months before graduation. If you’ve missed the boat on this one, be prepared to spend some time building relationships.

This is going to be a process. It’s going to take time. Be patient. I know it sucks that you can’t tell all of your annoying relatives and “Type A” friends that you aren’t sure what you’re doing after graduation, but you need to ride the wave.

The recruitment process may seem fairly intimidating and complex for the average graduate, but as with taking an exam in school, the recipe for success is to practice and prepare. Each application and interview is an opportunity to improve your game. Knowing these job-search errors and solutions could help you eliminate some of the competition and land your dream job faster.

Top 10 Job Search Strategies

Today we bring to you top 10 strategies that will improve your job search:

  1. Network, network, network.
  2. Strong résumé.
  3. Have a clear idea why you are looking and what your short-term goals are.
  4. Clearly understand your long-term goals. Do they make sense with your short-term goals?
  5. Don’t be negative. The interview process is slow and frustrating. Don’t let this shake you up.
  6. Don’t be a name dropper.
  7. Listen and engage: Don’t just talk in the interview.
  8. Smile—be yourself.
  9. Be honest. Don’t try to answer interview question with the answers you think the interviewer wants to hear. Be yourself and be honest. Don’t exaggerate.
  10. Close the interview: Are there objections that need to be overcome?

How You Can Find a Job Through Your Church

Job searching has gone beyond just applying to vacancies displayed on newspapers, online job boards or local recruitment agencies. These days with increasing competition for very few available jobs, you need to apply out-of-the-box strategies to quickly land a good job without hassle. Today am exposing a very common but often overlooked recruitment ground that has helped many get very juicy jobs; Church.

Most people just go to church to worship. They come quietly and go quietly without taking time to socialize with their fellow worshippers.

One of my friends who just graduated early last year got his first job in a top bank through a friend at the church who works in the bank. Immediately he graduated, he told the members of the youth forum of his church. Being a very active member of the forum, within weeks he was alerted of various internal vacancies in various companies and he finally chose the bank job.

People are more comfortable recommending people they know and people of the same belief with them to positions. Because they, already know their capabilities and most importantly they can always vouch for them.

One of the first steps you should take today is telling your fellow worshippers that you are looking for particular kind of jobs. Take time to mingle with them, make them close friends. Take is from there, then it will be left for you to prove yourself when you are invited for interview.

Have you got a job through your church? What was your experience? Lets hear from you, post your comment below.

This post was written by Andy at NairaBrains.com