Dear Job Seeker,
We understand how it feels to be jobless, well most of us though. This does not help at all but according to the most recent jobs survey from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2018, 7million Kenyans were unemployed with 1.4 million out of this figure desperately looking for jobs. Does this spell doom for job seekers in Kenya?, What are some of the solutions, the 844 system has cultivated a mindset of employment dependence, should the curriculum be changed, but even if this was changed we still have so many unemployed people.
During a recent debate on jobless in Kenya I was astonished to hear employed people in different parastatals and government agencies blame job seeker for their plight and shamefully asking them to venture into entrepreneurship instead of blaming the government for lack of jobs, forgetting that they are also employed.
Any way we can chide each other without helping our dear job seekers, from a Human Resource perspective these are some of the steps as job seekers you can take to at least ease your way into employment.
Smart Habits of Successful Job seekers
Networking and be proactive.
Sometimes passively sitting at a computer and just clicking on the “Apply” button doesn’t produce results. This job search strategy is usually reactive because the only option is to search and to respond to what job vacancies are available.
You have to understand that so many people are doing exactly (and only) that same thing. Rather than re-actively waiting to see what jobs are posted on job sites, pro-actively explore ways to discover where the job you want may be lurking, waiting for you to find them.
For instance, you can get back in touch with old friends, former classmates, and former neighbors. See what they are doing. Perhaps you can help them. Perhaps they can help you.
Find a job search support group this could be in the different social media sites, I know two good one in Telegram that you can join and exchange leads and get job vacancies and share ideas with other job seekers.
Go to that professional association meeting, seminars, etc., you may be surprised to find that some of them are free, you may learn something when you listen to a speaker, have the opportunity to talk with real live people, and perhaps discover who is hiring, what, where.
Or, better, do all of those things.
Get career support from a professional. There are different companies and individuals who offer professional CV writing, tips to perform better in interviews, also add some important skills for example taking short courses like excel communication etc.
If you are lucky enough to have internet, instead of wasting your time liking scrolling through Facebook and other meaningless sites you can use that time to learn so many skills via youtube.
A qualified career coach can better prepare you to land your next position.
Let me share a quick Tip, if you have worked before and have some experience it’s advisable to remove the word help from your CV Instead you can use the following;
Don’t give up
You’ve done your research and submitted your application/resume, but now what? Keep your eyes open for other potential employers and opportunities as they come available, it’s better to apply for any positions that interest you than just applying to one or two.
If a company sends a rejection letter, take this opportunity to ask them what you could have done differently, and build on that for next time.
A connection in linked posted that she was rejected 50 times before she landed her first job. So don’t stress about the things you cannot control. Network, Volunteer and Learn new skills. Job searching is emotionally draining, but it won’t always be like this. Keep on believing and speaking that things will one day work out. Remember, it’s not about how many NO’s you get. It’s about that one YES. Shake off rejection and disappointment and keep going. Don’t give up. Your time will come!!!
Dress For The Job You Want
You have heard of the saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” it really does hold some truth. When going into an interview, don’t dress just for your part, dress for the part of upper or senior management, or the position that you hope to obtain during your career at the company.
Remember first impressions are everything, especially when you only have 30 minutes or so to talk with someone before they decide to hire you. Make it count!
Don’t Fake It
Most recruiters/employers do not want to see fake smiles or rehearsed answers when it comes time for the interview. They want to know who they hope to hire and you want to match the position and culture. Being misleading helps neither of you.
Before you tell an employer how great you are, find out as much as you can about them, and what they need. In sales, this is called learning the client’s “pain.” This will help you see – and explain – how you can help them. If you immediately jump into how great you are, you may completely miss learning what they need so you can customize your explanation of your greatness to target their needs.
Saying what you think the employer wants to hear might get the job, but the job might be a total misfit for who you truly are and want to become. Being honest is the best way to show off your skills and land the job of your dreams.
“Employers do not want to see fake smiles or rehearsed answers when it comes time for the interview.“
While in the interview, it’s important to back up your skills and experience. Share stories and gives examples of situations that really made your skills stand out. Provide ways that your skills helped benefit your last company.
Your past is your past, leave it at the door..
When you’re talking about previous experiences and situations, it’s important to remember that you should not talk down a past employer. Speaking badly about people you used to work for makes the interviewer question what you will have to say about them down the road.
‘’Forgive yourself, forgive your ex-employer, and forgive the world.
Move on toward a better career future.’’
This can create a bad impression on your character. Plus, this is an interview about moving forward. Any past discrepancies have no place there.
Whether you’ve heard back about the job offer or not, it’s important to follow up a few days after the interview. Send a thank you letter or email stating how it was a pleasure to speak with them and that you really appreciate the opportunity. Reiterate any thoughts about why you want to work for them, and be sure to offer them any contact information, so they can easily reach you with any further questions.
This shows that you are just as invested as they are, and are sincerely interested in the position.
Before applying to any job, create a list of references and reach out to those people to make sure they are comfortable with you listing them. Give them a heads up that you are applying to certain companies that may contact them. These should be people who know you through networking, past co-workers or anyone else can speak to your work experience and skills.
Also, make sure they are a good source of information. Choose people who are familiar with your work ethic and who can provide an unbiased, honest opinion
Every situation in life is temporary. So when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not so good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.