Many Africans want to work for a startup or established company, both at home and abroad. But, often, the pain to this promising move is that they are not getting hired.
With the thousands of firms already in existence and more organizations launching, one can unarguably say that there is a significant amount of job openings in Africa. There is no day we do not see one vacancy or the other here and there. Granted, all African youths cannot be employed at once, because ideally, the most qualified candidates are the ones who are on-boarded.
But at the end of the day, getting a job quickly, one that will give you a handsome paycheck at the end of each month, is all dependent on the candidate itself. Startups mostly are not just looking for someone with a related degree to occupy a particular office.
They want people with “talent,” except you really think you have potential no firm can pay you for. After applying for multiple jobs and attending countless interviews, you are yet to be in the workforce. Perhaps these are the reasons you are not getting hired.
What Does Your Resume/CV Look Like?
It is shocking, but 50 percent of people do not meet the basic criteria for jobs they apply for. Another hard truth is that the majority of job seekers spend less time perusing the contents of a job description that they think.
In fact, about 44 percent of them believe they spend up to five minutes digesting the details, when they actually spend less than a minute. Why are we hammering on job descriptions like Thor? We are because you need to understand what the company is looking for in order to best tailor your resume.
As simple as it may be to send the same resume to different employers looking for different human capacities, do not. You need to research the company and tweak your resume to match the position offered at a firm.
This is not about saying you can do something you are not, but about indicating the abilities you might have missed out and the possibilities that match with the current job offer. In the long run, employers want to see the skills they need to scale their company be truly embodied by a person. Even if it’s a CV, it needs to showcase your value to the company.
Now, What Did You Do During That Interview?
Contrary to some wrong practices and conceptions, an interview is not a death sentence. It is simply a discussion session in which the company gets to know more about you and vice versa. It is not an avenue for anyone to make your heart pound like the bass drum of a brigade.
In as much as you will feel nervous that you are facing potential employers, you need to be confident about yourself and your intentions. You can go to an amazing school and have all the required skills, yet your lack of confidence will get the better of you. Do not sound like you are desperate because employers do not like that much.
Aside from giving the right responses, you must not neglect the relevance of your body language. Many hiring managers have been in the game long enough to know when a candidate is saying something that does not match his or her current behavior.
If you say you are open to new ideas and sit with your legs crossed, it may cause some eyebrows to raise. Avid readers always listen and process before they speak, so responding to a question hot on the heels could make you look hyperactive and quick to conclusions. If you are an employer, you would want to hire someone you like, so make yourself likable and straightforward.
A Follow-Up Isn’t Doing Too Much
Your application for the job was successful – the employer sends you a mail scheduling an interview. After selling yourself and telling the panel why you are the best fit for the job, you get the “We will get back to you” cliche. You go home, sit, and wait for a miracle to happen. No. Rather, yes, you have done everything you can, but you missed out one thing – sending a follow-up email.
Contrary to popular beliefs and related controversies, a follow-up email does not land you in trouble. When done correctly, it increases your chances of getting that six-figure paying job. Not providing a good follow-up email is the silent killer.
When you send an email of such, it will be an indication of how you will perform if you are onboarded. It speaks of responsibility and responsiveness. Anyone who really wants to get hired needs to get back with the company after the interview – it is a show of seriousness, even if you think you are by far better than the other interviewees.
You need to be prolific and sincere in your thank-you message to the company. Let them know how grateful you are for considering to interview you and how eager you are to join the team. Not this: even when you hear they have hired another person, send thanks to them for giving you the slight opportunity – because it is the right thing to do.
Don’t Play The Victim. Don’t.
It is not a cat and mouse squabble. An employer asks you of your work history, and why you left your previous jobs, please do not start a sob story. Many HR firms have decried that some job candidates intentionally want to emotionally blackmail the companies into hiring them. No one is asking you to tell a lie, but do not just play the victim.
If you tell them you had to leave one job because your friend was sick and that the next company laid you off because you spent too much time with him rather than the company, you would be gradually building one tragic narrative that will come back to haunt you. Do not talk about your life as if it is a series of events – this is not Telemundo.
No employer wants to spend the next few years feeling sorry for you. They definitely do not want to hire you out of sympathy. You can narrate those stories objectively, or better still not narrate them at all. Bad things do happen, but airing your dirty laundry and threatening to bring bad voodoo into the company is a total no-no.
A firm wants to hire you to make their job easier – they do not have the time or personal energy to deal with the implications of your personal life. You need to put your best face forward in a job search and be intentional about how you will make things work despite a checkered past.
You Probably Look Like You’re Confused About Where To Work
How many months did you spend at your last office? If “around a year” is your answer, then you are definitely not alone. Well, in the United States, most young adults hold an average of 7.2 jobs by the time they turn 28, and maths says it is about a year with each job if you entered the workforce at 18.
The taste for job-hunting is a rather expensive one – you may not be able to afford it. Look at this from the perspective of an employer. It could cost you six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and show a new employee the ropes of a position that was just vacated. It is almost a culture for job recruiters to avoid job-hopper, except there’s information that could downplay the risk involved.
By all means, you need to show the CEO or the HR manager of that startup that you are worth the hire. If your resume says you junketed three companies in one year, you need to go the extra mile to convince them that you are not confused about your career goals.
Convince the hiring manager that value you will bring to the company will outweigh the cost you will generate. Again, go back to your resume or CV and add quantifiable accomplishments that will sell you as a go-getter, rather than money or chic office chaser. Also do the same during the interview, using even the briefest window available to you.
Featured Image: Fortune.com