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Memo to the Jobseeker – Why you have not landed that Job

Jobs in Nigeria, Nigeria Jobs
The Pain of Job Hunting

In less than 100 days, we will flip over to 2011. You are getting more troubled by the day and asking yourself: “Why  have I not landed that Job?” Your dream job.

Your inbox is home to “Thank you for your interest in XY company,and for taking the time in applying for the position. We have reviewed your application, but are sorry to advise that you are not among those candidates selected for further consideration.” The SORRY word sucks.You are lucky to receive some of these feedbacks because this is a rare practice and companies usually don’t have the time or patience to do this. Few companies does. Companies have so much work in sifting through and deciding on hundreds or thousands of applications. Our very own rockstar writer, Chimamanda Adichie mentioned in her TED Talk ‘Danger of a Single Story’ that some 5,000 people apply for a single job in Nigeria, See here That’s the situation – there is a big imbalance between the supply and demand sides of Labour. The sad truth is there are not enough jobs.

Jobseekers, active ones, can be categorized into two: those that don’t secure interview(s) and those that secure interviews but fail to be convincing.

For category one, the problem is usually with the Applications (Covering Letter and CV) not written clearly or they contained insufficient information with which to evaluate the merit of the applicant. The next question is what are employers or recruiters looking for? Robo Otobo, HR Consultant – Institutionalization, Advisory Services at Nextzon said “So mostly there’s no attention paid to details of application. Also its beginning to be a norm where 80% of CVs received are ‘Unattractive’ then a case of multiple applications to single source (I have received several applications where candidates are not sure what to apply for, so they send their CV and indicate position a or b.” Another leading Recruiter, Tobi Odunowo, HR Design Officer, ECOWAS has this to say “First is how Job seekers present their “offer” through their resume. Too many Job seekers fail to present their skills and experiences to recruiters in a manner that obviously portrays them as people with relevant “offers” that can meet the recruiter’s “needs”. Jane Patrick-Onuh of Total HR department said: “Job seekers do not present their skills and experiences properly in their resumes. Resumes properly written will ensure the Recruiters interest and give a Job seeker the chance to be invited for an interview.”

Here is the bottomline from Tobi Odunowo: “Some Job seekers apply for “every and any” job opening most of which they have no relevant “offer” to present and as such do not get short-listed.”

For category two, it could be a number of reasons:

1. Poor performance during the interview.  Applicant could not successfully defend their application during the oral interview. It could be a problem of poor communication skills. Only communicating when you should be convincing your interviewer. When asked what will make a Candidate irresistable, Jane Patrick-Onuh shares this: “The right resume, ability to communicate clearly and accurately, having required training and skills for the role and honesty.”

2. Failure to demonstrate adequate knowledge about the company; history, culture, business and markets. Research is key. Fraternizing with current employees or Alumni of a company is a key and important step in understanding what it takes to survive and succeed in the company.  If you can’t fraternize, just ask them questions. Some bits might be a saving grace during interview. Anita Athena Ibru of Minerva Recruitment has this to say on importance of market knowledge: When I first went into business, five years ago now, yes there was a trend to recruit ‘candidates from the diaspora’ but right now my client are in fact saying overseas exposure/education is a plus but what they are really looking for is not only skills, but experience in Nigeria.

3. The last reason is Referees or References. Inability to get enough support for your application. Make sure your Referees are well-known and can write strong recommendation on your behalf. Separately,companies are now taking the pain to verify certificates and qualifications and any discrepancy might get your application disqualified.

Please understand that your situation may be in no way a reflection of your own accomplishments to date. It may only be a wake-up call to doing the right things.

I wish you good fortunes and be kind enough to drop a line below to share your experience(s).

Photo Credit: CV Broadcaster

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell