Here are my 3 top reasons why many have not landed their dream jobs. I have provided possible solutions to help.
1. Your Competence
3. Your CV
3. Your Interview Skills
1. Your Competence: Your competence is your knowledge, skills and abilities. There is a saying that goes, ‘he that knows not, and knows that he knows not, is wise.’ It is easier to solve a problem when you know you have a problem. If you are a product of the Nigerian public school system especially in the last 15 years, what they taught you in school is not enough to compete in today’s work environment.
We now live in a global economy, a great way to validate your knowledge, skills and abilities are by assessing yourself by global standards. Research similar roles in other more vibrant economies. Study the JDs of jobs advertised both locally and internationally. Ask yourself, can I carry out these responsibilities competently? Do I have the qualifications required? If your answer is No, then you have your answer, go back to study and sharpen your skills. If you don’t, 1 year will become 2 years, 2 years will become 3 years of little or no progress. It breaks my heart when people ask for advise and they don’t take it, then 3 years later they are still in the same spot and are cursing.
Knowledge is power. People are paid for superior knowledge. Even as HR professionals, when we are developing pay structures to rank jobs for a job evaluation, knowledge and experience have the highest weighting. Set your self apart, by knowing what your peers don’t know. Average doesn’t stand out.
People sadly are always looking for free things. Yes, there is a lot of free knowledge but even searching for it takes so much time and effort and honestly, most free training just touch the surface. Pay for your education and re-education, it doesn’t end with academics. Enrol in shorter courses and events, read on specific subjects every year through out the year. It is called Continuous Professional Development.
Skill is the ability to something well. To be skillful, you must practice something over time. Every one has skills. One major problem is that peoe don’t understand the concept of transferable skills. How to identify them and how to use them to get jobs even when you have no experience. People also don’t know how to get work experience. Once you gain knowledge, experience is easy if you know how. With more knowledge, you will actually now become more attractive to employers and probably get a job, you can also volunteer and be taken seriously or you can actually hire yourself. You cannot do this and make a living till you have upgraded your knowledge. Money follows knowledge.
2. Your CV: We can say all we like about connections getting people jobs. Well, if you have no connections you need to have a good CV. Your CV is still your first impression to a recruiter.
First things first, if you don’t qualify, don’t apply. Save your time and save the recruiter’s time. Check for grammatical and spelling errors. If you are not certain about your writing abilities, get your CV professionally done.
In Nigeria, most recruiters still use email applications. Unless you are specifically asked, you need not send a cover letter. Most recruiters won’t read an attached cover letter, if they are like me, they will read the body of the email. So, always have the content of a well written cover letter written in the body of your email application.
Never send an email with no subject. Never send a blank e-mail or a bland email depicting no character. It is your opportunity to showcase yourself, use it and put your best foot forward. Tell the employer why you are applying, how you can add value and what you can do. Show value.
3. Your Interview Skills: The world is not kind. Interviews are obviously not enough to predict performance, sadly it is still the most widely used assessment method after initial testing.
Some things are noteworthy for a good interview. The more confident you appear the better your interview will be. What makes you confident? Knowledge makes you confident.
Be prepared; find out about the organisation, its mission, vision, products, people. Find out about the role, it’s job description and competencies required to be successful on the job. Find out about technical as well as behavioural competencies. Find out about the KPIs for the job and how you will achieve the objectives should you be given the opportunity to. Think it through and be prepared to answer questions on the job and how you can execute the role successfully.
Behave like you want the job, watch your body language, energy is key. Get to the venue in good time. Calm your nerves. All in all, Be Prepared.
Which category do you fall in and what will you do next?