Getting your dream job in Nigeria is about as easy as finding the missing girls (pun intended). The truth is that every year thousands of graduates are released into the Labour market while few jobs are created. The result? A mad scramble for these jobs resulting in loss of scarce resources (you have to spend money to get internet, to transport yourself to these job ventures) and in some cases, loss of life (as witnessed in the immigration recruitment process).
In the end, a few people will get the few good jobs (and by good jobs I mean your dream job), while the rest will have to settle for peanuts-paying jobs or have no job at all.
What is a Good Job?
You know you have a good job when you earn enough to take care of all your needs, send some money to your extended family without flinching, still have enough left to have a vacation every year and yet enjoy doing your job. For many Nigerians, a good job is a job that pays you N400,000 and above.
Where can you get a Good Job?
As a fresh graduate or a graduate with less than 3 years working experience, the only place to get paid really good would be in oil companies (like Exxon Mobil, Total). Next up will be working for multinationals like Unicef. After that would be telecommunication companies.
Very few, if any, local companies can afford to pay a graduate 200k monthly (as at the time of writing).
How do you get the good jobs:
A lot of people believe that jobs are given on a “Who-you-know” basis. While there is an element of truth there, “Who-you-know” won’t keep you in the job if you are incompetent and non-performing. And today, employers are very careful. After wasting resources hiring and then firing a lot of incompetent people, they don’t want to repeat those mistakes anymore.
Now its all about , “what do you know” and “what can you offer us”. If you don’t know anything and can’t offer anything, no matter who you know, you are not getting the job. So if you really want to get a job in a top-notch company where you will be paid well, you need to follow these tips:
- Sign-up for job-alert websites like Mylelo Jobs, jobberman, hotnigerianjobs, joblistnigeria, PushCv.
- Read the job specification very carefully and tailor your CV to the essential criteria making sure your relevant experience is clearly spelt out and near the top.
- Get creative with your CV to make it stand out, using keywords like hardworking, fast-learner, team-worker. To design a CV that will stand out, visit LiveResume. I have used them repeatedly and highly recommend them.
- Demonstrate your skills on your CV by adding all the working experience you have ever had. Even if at first it may seem unrelated, working as a volunteer, writing your own blog or even working in a bar can demonstrate a range of skills including team work, responsibility and communication.
- Research the place you are applying to. Find out what the department specialises in, who works there, what research they have conducted and have this info at hand to impress at the interview or in your supporting statement.
- Do you know someone that works in that organisation? Reach out to them. Ask them questions like “what is the recruitment process like?”, “What is expected of me?”. Be open to them about the level of your skills and experience so that they can guide you on what you need to brush up.
- If you don’t get shortlisted for interview or don’t get through the interview stage then always ask for feedback. It is the best way to learn where you are going right and where you need to improve.
- Do not even consider giving up. Getting a job in an oil company is tough and only the persistent get it. Even if you applied once and failed, apply again. Each time you failed, find out why and improve yourself. You have to be determined to get a job and you have to put the effort in when it comes to applying for and preparing for a job.
- Finally, turn up to the interview on time, be smart, polite and friendly and let your personality shine through. Bring examples of your work and think about using a tablet to illustrate your work if it is something more visual or online based.
These tips, though not exhaustive will get you set you apart from thousands of applicants. Remember, he who fails to prepare, is preparing for failure. So prepare for the test, prepare for the interview. Put in the work and be persistent. You will surely succeed. In my next posts I will reveal skills you need to get a job. Want to stay informed? Sign up for my newsletter so that you will be the first to know and can beat everybody else to get the job you deserve.
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