Graduating from the higher institution and undergoing the National Youth Service Scheme most often does not equip young Nigerian graduates with the tools and information to survive in the competitive job market in Africa’s largest populated country.
Job search now begins why you are still an undergraduate so as to place you in a better position to get the good jobs immediately you graduate.
Gone are the days when students do not plan their career and only start to look at the possibilities of getting a job after they might have graduated. This article will be more useful to students in various higher institutions and those still undergoing the youth service program.
8 Straight forward tips to prepare yourself and ensure you get your first good job as quickly as possible after graduation;
1. Build Your Network Before Graduating: It is said that one day our network will become our networth. Even a local saying in Nigeria implies that he who has people (ie connections) is greater than he that has just money alone.
Being in a university or polytechnic is a perfect time for you to decide the career choice you wish to pursue and then set about networking with people who will be more likely to help you climb the ladder later when you graduate.
A young graduate once had a breakthrough in getting his first job simply because while in school he had been close friends with the son of the then House of Assembly speaker in his state who was also an accomplished businessman. He also got to know the man personally and handled certain tasks and errands for him. After several unsuccessful attempts to get a job on graduation even with a Master degree he was advised to approach the former Speaker.
Afraid but with little other choice he one day politely asked the man to help him as a referee for a job he was about to apply for. Note that he did not even ask the man to get him a job. He asked simply for endorsement and it was something easy for the Speaker to do after having known him for a few years as a dependable young man.
The Speaker endorsed him and even sent in a recommendation letter for him and he landed the job.
Once you realise that many times the Labour Market works on endorsements and referrals then it will be easier for you to connect, interact and build up reasonable rapport with influential and accomplished persons in your field. Asking most of these successful people to get you a job outright is not always the right way to go. If they already know how good and capable you are you can easily get an endorsement and recommendation from them and that will help you on your way to your first job.
2. Create a Top Quality and Attractive CV: Your CV is your spokesperson in your absence. It is shocking how many graduates don’t even search around on How to Get Their CV well Packaged and instead use obsolete and insufficient CVs to apply for all the job vacancies they hear or read about.
If you are serious about getting a job quickly enough after your graduation your CV is one of the first things you should be looking at getting right.
3. Offer to Work for Free or For Little Pay: To many students or even graduates it sounds very difficult but offering to work for free means you gain in two ways;
i) You garner the required experience that you can use when applying for jobs
ii) You most times (if you are a graduate) end up being offered a job by the company when a vacancy comes up if you have proved to be capable and a good worker. Sometimes even if the company cannot help you with a job some of the staff who are happy with your work will go out of their way to inform you about opportunities elsewhere.
The thing with working for free for any accomplished company or organisation is that you never know the doors it can open for you.
4. Get on the Mail List of Reputable Job Sites: Even before you graduate try and get on the mailing list or register with reputable job sites like Ngcareers that regularly publish job vacancies from various companies and recruiting organisations. Study the jobs that fall within your career aspirations to know the kind of requirements and qualifications plus skills they require. This will help you quickly start to upgrade your skills so that on graduation you will be very qualified for the kind of jobs you are targeting to get. This will greatly increase your chances of getting selected for interviews when you submit your CV.
5. Follow Companies in Your Target Job Category: It pays also to follow news and information on several companies in your target job category so you can be informed on new areas of job opportunity wthin those companies.
6. Learn How to Use the 10 Step Job Strategy Effectively: The ten step Job Strategy is a unique strategy that helps job seekers take their job search in their own hands and land their first job in less than two months after using the simple ten step job hunting strategy. The Ten Step Strategy is contained in the bestselling Instant Job Guide written to help job seekers who wish to fast track their job search and get the desired job as quickly as possible.
7. Use LinkedIn to Advance Your Career Chances: We have always advocated here that LinkedIn is a growing useful tool that levels the playing ground for fresh and young graduates and helps them present a very professional profile (a bit like a resume) and connect with professionals and prospective business managers and owners. If you have not joined LinkedIn you can do so immediately and start exploring the opportunities for your career enhancement
8. Learn to Make Smart Unsolicited Applications: Many jobs do not appear on the papers or on the job sites. They are filled immediately the vacancies occur. There is a story of a young man who wrote over 100 letters to a big chain of stores asking to be made a manager with them and stating convincingly that he would be of great benefit to the company. After several months of sending letters he decided to visit one of the major outlets and was surprised to learn that they have been expecting him and that they had received all his letters. He was interviewed and offered a job. That was a lesson in going for what you want and not waiting till you see a job a vacancy in a company before applying.
If you research a company well enough to know the decision makers and all about how you can be of help to them if hired you can write a convincing application letter to all the decision makers explaining why they should give you a job in the organisation. Note that this will most likely work with small and medium sized companies where you can easily reach or send secure letters to the decision makers. Using courier to deliver your letters will always make the secretaries handle it with respect and most times you may just make an impression on them and get a call.