Most Nigerian graduates are faced with the challenge of finding the right job and being the right candidate for the job when they eventually get one. So, it’s a mixed feeling kind of situation. First, you have to go through the process of job search (we all know how challenging that can be) and then you have to deal with the fact that you may or may not be the right applicant. This post highlights 6 job search tips for Nigerian graduates.
Here’s the thing; yes, you are a new graduate and are new in the job search game. However, getting the right job and being the right person for the job even though you have very little experience in the field isn’t impossible.
Below are 6 job search tips for Nigerian graduates:
1. Know what you want
The thing to consider before you begin your job search process is to ask yourself what kind of job you want.
You see, most new graduates think all that matters is to get just any job as long as they get paid well enough to pay their bills. Well, we understand that but that’s not all that matters. If you are concerned only about the pay, there’s a high chance you’ll end up messing things up. However, if you are interested in the job not just because of what you stand to gain (financially) but what you stand to learn and impact the business or company as well, then it’d only a matter of time before you start earning big.
So, start by defining the career path that you want before you commence your job search.
Note that money shouldn’t be your motivation in choosing a career path.
2. Start networking before and after graduation
According to Diana Brush, an Associate Director of The Center for Career and Professional Development at Clarion University, you have to “tap the hidden job market and make connections through social networking. It has been reported that 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised. Your challenge is to find out where those jobs exist.”
To find where jobs exist, you need to learn how to network and make connections with people. Attend seminars and conferences to meet and network with professionals in your field. That way, you easily find out about opportunities from time to time in the industry.
You can also make effort to network with some of your school alumni, professors, classmates, etc. Career fairs are also good places and opportunities to hear about job leads.
3. Do some market research
Getting the perfect job and being the perfect applicant for the job are two different things. So, to improve your chances of getting a job, you need to do some market research.
Since you have a job goal, it’s your job to find out what the hiring manager is looking for.
Here’s a suggestion that can help. check out about 10-15 job descriptions for a particular role that you might be interested in. Highlight certain keywords that are most repeated in all the ads. If you don’t have the skills highlighted, then it’s time to develop them. Also, use the keywords to search for more jobs that might have been advertised in a different position but with similar roles.
4. Create a resume
As new graduates, it is important to highlight the skills and perhaps certification that are likely to give you an edge over others. So, you need to choose the right kind of resume format that highlights your knowledge and skills more than your experience.
There are 3 formats for writing a resume, which includes; chronological format, functional format and combination format. Chronological format highlights your job experiences. Functional format highlights your skills while combination format combines both formats.
You can read this guide to help you create your resume.
As new graduates, it’s advisable to use either functional format or combination format when creating your resume.
To help improve your skills, you can consider doing some volunteering job. You get to learn new things, test your abilities and even network with people who might turn out to be potential employers.
Also, volunteering can form a job experience that can help boost your resume.
6. Start with an internship or part-time job
Finally, I know that all you want right now is to get the perfect job as you begin your job search process, but it might help to consider equipping yourself with the knowledge and experience you need in your intended career before launching into it. So, you can consider interning or doing a part-time job. You can document your experience, achievements and skills gotten from these in your resume, giving you an edge over other entry-level job seekers.