How to Get A Job and Keep It!

Getting your dream job is easy if you know how to go about it. Sadly, many job seekers do not know how to get the kinds of jobs they desire and many others settle for the usual “there are no jobs nowadays” byline that we hear every-day and everywhere! Truth is, there are thousands of jobs out there, the problem is how to locate and actually get those jobs!

As consultants involved in recruiting, training and developing manpower for big and small organizations, we know that there are very many jobs available out there but the connection between the available jobs and their accessibility is the challenge! Everywhere you go, employers complain that there are no competent persons to do the jobs while the job seekers complain that there are no jobs to do. The search game continues endlessly.

This is why we decided to publish this short post to help applicants connect with the ever increasing job opportunities especially in the SME sector. This article aims to expose job seekers to the strategies they should adopt to easily get the job they desire regardless of where they are on the job search curve.

Getting a job is all about your ability to influence your would-be employer to see the utmost need to have you on his/her team on the basis of the value you can/will add to their organization.

The steps to take to ensure you get your desired job include:

  1. Search for the Job you Need!

There are plenty of jobs available to those who search diligently for them; thanks to myriads of Small and Medium Scale businesses available today who have created several jobs. Surprisingly, many job seekers do not know how and where to search and find these available jobs. Many job seekers do not commit enough time and effort to their job search adventure. Many short-circuit and  underrate themselves while some others feel they have no “connections” and so, cannot get the jobs! This is a fallacy!!

It may be true that there are many jobs that many applicants get through so-called “connections or who they may know”, yet there are many more jobs that are available to those who can demonstrate capacity to handle the demands of available jobs. The real truth is that everybody has a “connection or a network” and being able to look inwards and leverage your networks is what matters. Your “connection or network” may be your friends, former school mates or classmates, church members, acquaintances, formers colleagues, professional colleagues or your social group members. You just have to sit down and list the people you know and where they are; you need to perform what I call “network mining” to draw insight from the strength and relevance of your “connections” and apply that insight to your job search efforts .

To get a job, you have to search for the job and in the right places too. Note that success is intentional, so you must be deliberate and focused if you really need to that job!

The right places to search for jobs include:

  • Jobs advertised in the public media e.g. newspapers, internet, company intranet(s) (for available vacancies that are meant for both internal and external candidates) and job boards
  • Jobs that are available in organizations but are not advertized. These jobs exist in the hidden job market within organizations and may surface or never surface at all in the public media. This hidden market is large and vibrant. You can connect to this hidden job market through cold calls to HR heads in organizations, sending unsolicited emails, submitting unsolicited CVs or making calls/visits to companies of your interest/choice. I have seen this bold effort work to the advantage of many job seekers!
  • Using professional colleagues, former colleagues, friends, former course mates, classmates, acquaintances and friends in your social circles. This job market is huge and very vibrant as well.

Never ever tell yourself you know no one; sit down and draw up a list of people you know and you will be amazed at how many important and relevant people you know. Great jobs and money are in your networks! Carry out network mining!

  1. Craft(Develop) Your CV to reflect the Job(s) You Desire

Your CV is your marketing and advertisement document. It summarily tells a prospective employer who you are, what you have done and what you can do. It is the document that communicates your value and worth to a would-be employer; so it must be clear, concise and straight to the point. Your CV must communicate your abilities and achievements in such a way that it attracts and sustains an employer’s attention and his/her desire to have you on his team.

What organizations look for are people who can create value and/or add value to their top-lines (Sales) and bottom-lines (Profits), so the days of “one CV fits all jobs are over”! Today’s employers and organizations seek people who know how to meet expectations and those who know how to meet expectations develop competency-based CVs.

Competency-based CVs are CVs that are developed with your desired job in mind. This type of CV projects your skills and innate abilities and your natural and professional worth. That is why it is important to make learning and continuous improvement a daily, lifelong venture to help you develop relevant skills in many areas.

 This does not mean you should lie about who you are; it rather means you must put in time and effort to both develop your skills and competencies in such a way that you will be differentiated from the pack!  A well developed and designed CV will sure get you through the interview selection door into the interview phase. Every effort here is worth its salt!

Please note: When submitting your CV always attach a passport size photograph to it, it will help recruiters put a face to your documents.

  1. Apply for the Job

For advertised jobs, most recruiters and employers today will require that you submit your CV and Cover Letter/Application Letter Online or through any other prescribed medium. This is because technology has changed processes in many industries. Many organizations now use HR Management Solutions or Systems to manage application and other recruitment processes. For all advertised jobs, please adhere to the Application Submission process and instructions.

For non-advertised jobs, try and hand over your CV to the appropriate person and ensure you do follow-ups to ensure you are not forgotten.

  1. Prepare for the Interview

How you prepare for interview affects your outcome in most cases. How much you prepare determines how confident and successful you will be in the interview. From our experience as consultants, confidence, boldness, knowledge and attitude determine the success or failure of interviewees during interview sessions. People with confidence and positive disposition almost always win the day! Highly knowledgeable but less confident candidates end up as probabilities most times. Employers generally seek people who can easily socialize, display broad and firm knowledge of different aspects of life and can win businesses for the organization.

You must prepare for an interview both:

  1. When you have not been invited for an interview and
  2. When you are invited for an interview.

Preparing for an interview before you are invited for one will give you ample time to plan, study and develop your skills in many areas, at your own pace. This implies that you must read and research daily about currents thoughts, facts and figures affecting, changing or reshaping your field or industry of interest. You may need to set up mock interviews for yourself to help you gain confidence.

When preparing for an interview when you have been invited, you need to do the following:

  • Go through every material or document you submitted to the employer or recruiter during the job search process. Ensure there is consistency between what you submitted and what is available or prepare answers for your inconsistency.
  • Read and reread information about the vacancy, job description, person requirements and other requirements. Make sure you ask yourself questions based on your scrutiny of the jobs requirements and answer them. This will help you build confidence and not get caught unawares by any unexpected question during the interview.
  • Research the company and its industry more thoroughly. This will surely give you great advantage and may possibly stand you out among other interviewees.
  • Re-check your CV and other credentials; print them out or photocopy them and put them in the file that you will take to the interview.
  • To help you, ensure that a soft copy of your CV is always stored in your phone, email address or Flash Drive.

  1. Attend the Interview

The only way to get the job you so desire is to attend the interview if and when invited. Recruiters usually look out for certain qualities and traits in applicants from the moment they arrive the interview venue. Ensure you dress smart for the interview; someone once said “you do not have a second chance to make a good first impression”. To make a good first impression therefore, you must do the following:

  • Dress smart(you do not need to dress expensively even if you can afford it)
  • Arrive early at the venue
  • Go through the vacancy checklist and job requirements again to make sure you have covered all possible grounds
  • Take more than a cursory or careless look at the company e.g. Mission and Vision Statements, the Company’s Values etc. Take your time to look through and note important facts about the company; be observant and pay attention to details around the company (if the interview venue is where your would-be employer is). This may help you.
  • Note the names of the panel members immediately you are ushered into the hall
  • Relax, take a deep breath and relax; remember this is just going to be a discussion, so make up your mind to enjoy it!