I know one of the things we Nigerians talk about often is how unfavourable the job market is to young people these days. Yes, there are many hurdles to scale, but there are also many people getting their dream jobs daily (and without connection too!) so don’t give up on yours. We all have fantasies that we know are ‘only a dream’, but your dream job shouldn’t be just one of such. Sometimes, the main thing standing in the way of you getting your dream job, is yourself! To be fair, you might not even know that you’ve been in your own way.
These are tips that can help everyone—whether you’re just starting out or you’re ready to move to the next challenge.
– Be Specific
Anything is nothing. One of my least favourite things is hearing someone say they’re looking for a job and then when I ask about their interests, they say they want anything. It can be hard to find a job, and you may have to take a few you don’t like, but when asked about your goals and interests, be specific. That way, the person asking knows you have areas in which you want to add value, and you’re not just out for a pay-check at the end of the month.
Don’t think short term. If you need to learn new skills, get a degree or additional qualification, do it. As much as possible, take the opportunities that prepare you for where you’re going, not just the ones that pay most. For example, if you’d like to work in Advertising, a writing job that doesn’t pay you much at first may be much more valuable than a job as a bank teller.
– Your CV matters
Take time and effort to craft a CV that is informative, error-free, and uncluttered. As you do this, also write a cover letter that is specific to the organization to which you’re applying, not just a generic one. These two things are important because they provide the first impression the interviewers will have of you. And you know what they say about first impressions.
– Be proactive
Don’t wait for a friend or uncle or somebody who knows somebody. Update your LinkedIn. Send in your CV and cover letter. Check company websites. Follow news about the organisation(s) Send mails/make calls to their HR asking if they have openings. Tell everyone who knows anyone what you’re looking for. Make opportunities for yourself.
– Use Interviews well
Be on time! Be polite. Dress appropriately. Read about the company before you go in — yes, everything in the news about them recently, everything on their website, and everything you can about the sector. It’s not just so you can impress, it’s also so you can feel confident. It’ll show. Don’t try to impress with this knowledge; answer what you’re asked and ask intelligent questions.
We wish you all the best. If you already have your dream job, tell us how you got it.