In Nigeria, nearly a quarter of the population is out of work and 20 percent is underemployed as stated by this report from Al Jazeera. This is not news to us, we live the horror everyday. Constantly being forced to work strenuous jobs while being grossly underpaid. But still the few jobs that are available, terrible as the work environment might be they are still coveted. A new batch of Corps members just passed out and many Universities have churned out eager graduates ready to be spat into the job market. Sad as it might be, it’s the life that chose us. I spent a better part of 2018 jobless and searching and these tips would have come in handy at the time. You being here and reading this makes you my guy and I’m here to share all the info I’ve learnt so far. So here are some hacks to help you on that job search.
Apply to everything
If your spirit has never been broken, try looking at the requirements for entry level job roles. 5 years experience, skills in a million things, masters preferable etc. The system is rigged against you already so you can as well just say ‘fuck it’. So I say why not apply for everything, whether you meet the requirements or not, whether you have all the listed skills, just apply. In the time you apply you can go build on those skills. I remember a tweet of someone on twitter who sent out 5 job applications everyday for a couple of months and finally something came through. Another thing to note is that, here in Nigeria, a lot of companies don’t pay attention to online applications or even read their emails. So if need be do the legwork, leave the house and go drop that CV, give the receptionist a smile and try to get as much inside info as you can.
While you’re recalling everything you were taught in Intro to English, embellishing your cover letter so on paper at least you sound perfect for the job. Speak up to those around you about looking for something and what you’re open to. It can be a bit embarrassing to be job hunting especially when you feel like you should be a lot further in your career. Don’t let that hold you back, speak up to friends, family, former colleagues, post on social media. Basically anybody you feel might have useful resource for you. You never know who could come through with the right opportunity.
Research and Educate yourself | Invest in yourself
The fact that you’re “job hunting”means you low-key have time on your hands so why not use the time to do some research about your field. Things are constantly evolving and though that’s a great thing it also means you need to constantly be in the know about your industry. So don’t be idle, do some research, take online refresher courses. Hit some old course works. Also research companies you’re applying to. Research their standing in your industry, top management etc. It goes a long way to give you an idea about possible employers. It also comes in handy during interviews.
Send Cold Emails
Did you think because you sent the one application email, that’s it. Nope, you have to follow up and follow through. You have absolutely nothing to lose so go ahead and get in touch with them. If a company says they will get in touch with you and you don’t hear back from them after a while (we all know what that means) but still send cold emails to them. Here is a post I wrote on mastering the art of cold emails, check it out. It’s a skill that will serve you for a lifetime.
Be Pitch Perfect
Sometimes opportunity comes around knocking, other times you have to look for its house address and go corner it. Either way you have to live prepared, especially when you’re searching for something. Always have your elevator pitch ready to go and well rehearsed, here’s a link to help you create the perfect elevator pitch. Don’t wait for the opportunity to come around and then find you unprepared. You need to have your CV constantly updated, prepare your portfolios, have a business card. Be ready to sell yourself and your market. Everybody dey pursue sometin so nobody go carry your matter for head pass you o.
Get Value In Your Network
This is so underrated, you ever hear the saying your network is your net worth. In this age of technology, we no longer necessarily have to trek from office to office under the hot sun submitting CV’s, thank God for small blessings. That doesn’t mean your butt has to be sat at home. Find out about events happening in your field and around you and attend. Basically events where you can meet professionals and network with them. Go prepared,meet people, connect, network, bring something to the table, share information. And I know you aren’t earning yet but often times you find out some of these events are free, or given at a small fee. The money you’re using for netflix and chill can be saved towards that. Priorities, people!
You can also start right from social media, stop being a ghost (I’m on this table too) and NETWORK!!!
Internships and Volunteering
And finally sometimes you have to go low to go high I guess. So you’ve been searching and nothing is coming through. Why not apply for internships or volunteer if need be (it might be unpaid and seemingly beneath you) but you get to learn on the job, meet professionals in your field and you can always work your way up into being given a full time position. You never know.
These are my 7 job hunting hacks. Talk to me, are you currently searching? Please share any other helpful tips you might have.