The Nigerian job market is fiercely competitive, for any job posted, many candidates will apply. Some of these candidates will be less qualified than you are, but many others might just be as qualified, or even more so. Job search is no longer just about applying for jobs and hoping you get a call back; the successful job seekers are those that utilize a variety of strategies to help them stand out from the crowd.
We had an interesting chat with our Marketing specialist at Jobberman Nigeria, Oge Agu. She’s the marketing lead for the Mastercard Foundation x Jobberman Nigeria partnership. She gave us some insights into her career, our project and shared effective strategies job seekers can use to market themselves effectively during a job search –
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Jobberman Nigeria
My name is Oge Agu, Marketing Specialist (Young Nigeria Works) at Jobberman Nigeria. I currently lead and oversee the marketing activities for the Young Africa Works Initiative done in partnership with Mastercard Foundation.
In January 2020, Jobberman Nigeria partnered with the Mastercard Foundation with the goal to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria. The partnership tagged “Young Africa Works”, aims to train 5 million young people in Nigeria (with 70% focus on women) and place 3 million of them in dignified and fulfilling work by 2025. As a subset of the broader ‘Young Africa Works’ strategy of the Mastercard Foundation, Young Nigeria Works will be implemented in Lagos, Kano, and Kaduna which represents the states with the youngest people between the ages of 15 -35. What that simply means is that I lead and drive all marketing activities associated with the successful fulfilment of this mandate!
How did you transform yourself from being a marketing expert in the world of beauty and fashion to the world of recruitment?
Honestly, I’m still evolving and learning on the job.
I’m an extremely ambitious and self-motivated individual. I have constantly taught myself and developed every skill I have today, and I’m still developing.
I went from being a medical student to a popular fashion and beauty content editor and in the process, I fell in love with marketing.🥰
Marketing for me is about understanding the product or service in the market that you’re working with. Who are you looking to sell to? (Target Audience Demographics) What are you selling? (Product/Service value proposition) Where do you want to play? (Watering holes for Target Audience, region for scaling up, market share extent) Why do you want to do this? What solution is your product/service aimed at solving? What’s the objective?
These rules apply across every and all industry so you can literally go from selling air to real estate.
How would you say you “positioned yourself for success” considering you were basically changing fields. What did you do right?
I always say this – if you sit with something for long enough, you’ll get a hang of it.
The path to career success is paved with a collection of knowledge and skills required for growth. I have been intentional about ensuring that the skills I have acquired are in line with providing me with the knowledge and flexibility to flourish across various industries. When you have the basic soft skills such as emotional intelligence and personal effectiveness, coupled with the willingness to learn, you can thrive in any industry.
In addition to possessing the right soft skills, I also pursue the technical skills needed like being enrolled in the UK’s prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing, level 6 diploma. So to answer your question specifically, I am very intentional about developing and polishing my skills with my career projection and growth in view. Be Intentional!
Can you give us some insights into Jobberman’s ongoing partnership with Young Africa Works?
The Young Africa Works initiative is about training and placing in dignified employment, its focus is on IMPACT. How do we change the lives of young people who are in need of better opportunities for growth and development? With this in mind, Jobberman has sought out to gather insights, information and feedback from key stakeholders across the public, private and educational sectors.
We have also worked to ensure a robust implementation to help guide the focus of the Young Africa Works project across the mandate states, and in the first year of the partnership, we have successfully trained over 70k young Nigerians and placed over 50% of them in dignified jobs.
How will this influence the job seekers’ search journey?
Very easy. We have conducted a skills gap analysis and following various employer engagement surveys and from that research, one thing stood out to us – the need for soft skills, something often overlooked yet critical to success in the workplace. We then created the Soft Skills Training curriculum and went public in May 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.
The aim of this free training is to ensure that we are creating ways that jobseekers and entrepreneurs alike can upskill themselves and make themselves more employable. I would say that now most job seekers understand that they need more than their technical skills when it comes to searching for the next job opportunity and that employers are on the lookout for people who have the necessary skills needed to not only get the job but be an asset to the company.
What are some key marketing strategies job seekers can utilize to stand out during their job search?
As a job seeker, you need to understand that a job search can be a full-time job, therefore you have to be intentional about where you want to work and the right position for you based on your skills and career trajectory. Think of your CV as your ‘packaging’, a well-structured CV and cover letter will speak for you in the rooms where you are not even invited to, so always make sure that your CV follows the required format, that is being ATS compliant – this is the first step in your job search journey.
“Boldness inspired by insight” – Ensuring that adequate research into the company, their values, mission, goals and role expectations, is properly conducted before an interview. Every recruiter wants to see a confident jobseeker that has done a proper background search and has a great understanding of the role, expectations and how you can be an asset to the company’s goals/vision.
What do you want to see more young women like yourself doing to get to leading positions? What’s your advice?
My advice in One word is MORE.
It is so easy to get to a point in your career where you get very comfortable because you have a steady job in an amazing organization, good pay, great colleagues, and all the works.
Without you realizing it, your career trajectory starts to plateau if you are not being intentional about wanting “more”.
And the only way to get more is to “become” more. How might you ask? Be intentional about your growth; Study, Take professional courses that are recognized across industry standards and by organizations as career-advancing, join leading organizations/communities that will help you flourish in your chosen career path, get a mentor that you aspire to be like and wants to see you grow to their level and beyond, understand the career progression needs of your company and be intentional about moving up! And if your organization doesn’t/cannot offer that, look beyond and start researching what needs, other companies offering career advancement are seeking to find in new hires and start seeking to become the same.
What can job seekers learn from your own job career field transition?
Don’t stop learning! It is important that in every role you find yourself in, you are developing your existing skills as you are learning new skills. A lot of individuals are able to successfully change careers because they have developed transferable skills that are useful in any workplace.
You can become intentional by acquiring new skills to get your name on the leaderboard. You can start right here for FREE with our Jobberman Soft Skills course. Simply click this link to enrol; you also stand a chance of winning amazing prizes!