Since men have learned to shoot without missing, the birds must learn to fly without perching; since getting a job is becoming fiercer, you too must learn to go all out to position yourself better.
I won’t theorise about how to get a job, but rather I feel it would be more beneficial to take you on a short journey regarding how I guided this first-class graduate of physics/industrial physics with my own set tools to land a job in 60 days after nearly 13 months without one [She took 8 weeks off my training too to learn some programming languages!].
Having lost her last job in December 2017, Ms Chikah P U couldn’t secure another till January 2019. About 13 months later.
Today, I show what she did differently and why you too must change your job search tactics, and embrace the unconventional strategies to getting any job anywhere in the world!
- how to choose a specific job role to focus on
- how to recreate your LinkedIn profile perfectly
- how to connect with hiring managers and internal recruiters directly who can give you jobs
- how to connect with your university alumni who can refer you to existing jobs in their network of friends
- how to work on your CV to bring out the ‘wow’ factor
- how to write interview-winning cover letters and ‘sympathy letters’ that connect with people at an emotional level to willingly help you, and other things that will transform your job search situation to advantage more intelligently and quickly
We must approach today’s job search in a new way.
Believe me or not, oftentimes, your inability to find a suitable job upon graduation can be traced remotely to the grave danger inherent in having concentrated wholly (during your study years), in the academics and leaving job matters until you’re done with your degree!
That’s a late time, people!
It’s one of the biggest contributors, if not the biggest, to being job-stranded upon graduation.
You would hardly get the job you didn’t prepare for earlier.
I’m angered daily seeing graduates who worked so hard to earn a degree but now unable to find jobs, and there are jobs!
The school system and the way it trains candidates must take the larger blame.
Yet, most students still concentrate only on reading for their degree and are not properly guided to think seriously about their post-university real world of work. And how they would get well-paid jobs upon graduation.
So, pay attention because if you master and apply these principles and the processes I teach in your job-hunting, it can help you or your loved ones to escape unemployment quicker.
Let’s go on this ride, people!
HOW SHE FIGURED OUT THE EXACT JOB ROLE TO ASPIRE TO
We started here. Initially, there was confusion on what job to aspire to. Can I be frank with you a bit? There’s no good in searching for a job called ‘anything’ or even two to four dissimilar job roles simultaneously. It’s better to focus on a role at a time. How do you know the role to pursue?
Most people confuse their academic disciplines with real-world job roles. For example, a bachelor’s in computer science degree holder is different from a front-end or back-end developer. The former is academic and often too theoretical, the latter is a practical, real-world job title that you can be gainfully employed in if you have the expertise, skills and experience.
For her, there was confusion whether to search for a job as an IT Help Desk Analyst or IT Technical Support or Customer Support officer – roles she previously worked in 9 months at Chevron. I explored with her what job role she’ll like to see herself happy in the future considering her knowledge, experiences or personality. She said, ‘I love to be a Software Developer’. So, that was clearer. She then researched to understand what skill sets it required to become a software developer. She started short training in coding including CSS, HTML, Python, R, database management, and other different programming languages. She’s an incredibly fast learner!
HOW SHE CREATED HER LINKEDIN PROFILE TO A PROFESSIONAL STANDARD
In your job search, first, you must concentrate on fixing your LinkedIn profile to the highest possible standard before reaching out to connect with people. The image you want people to have of you must be professional and well communicated on your LinkedIn profile.
She made the usual mistake as most people do on their LinkedIn profile: no clean headshot, no cover image, confusing headline, poorly written summary that doesn’t consider the ‘clients’ but rather concentrates on self (the ‘I am a self-motivated, highly-ambitious… type). Her profile wasn’t optimised.
We corrected together all these, completed her work experience section and added achievements. We added at least two colourful images on each of the job experience and educational sections. We showed how to request for recommendations and endorsement of skills as well as how to join LinkedIn’s special interest groups. The final one was to change her URL to a custom name.
You needed to have seen how her original profile was compared to her present one!
HOW SHE CREATED HER CV FOR THE SOFTWARE ROLE TO BRING OUT THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR
Most inexperienced job seekers and graduates write poor CVs that do not attract the attention of potential employers or recruiters.
In the last 16 months, I have reviewed at least 2000 CVs for Star Jobs Recruitment, London. I can tell you what we look for in good CVs to pass them on for a more critical look. They are,
- ‘Are you living locally (or did you indicate “willing to relocate”)?
- Is there a wow factor in the CV? Do you have the relevant experience required?
- Are there employment gaps in the CV (and were they explained)?
- How does the CV look (i.e., layout or formatting; how appealing is it to the eyes)?
We worked on these and other critical aspects of good CV writing. I’ve written more elaborately on this.
See the pseudonymised screenshot of her sample CV at the end of this article.
CONNECTING WITH ALUMNI, RECRUITERS and POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS DIRECTLY
This skill is where the boys begin to be separated from the men!
If you know how to do this well and with the minimum work put in, connecting with alumni could be the quickest means to land a job. That’s what happened to this lady.
I’ve written elaborately on how to connect properly on LinkedIn and add value to your ‘connections’ continuously. However, the silver lining is in knowing how to build some level of friendship as ‘human beings help friends, not contacts’ said Courtney Connley of CNBC.
This candidate identified the alumni of her university on LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/alumni and selected those working in the IT sector [although people working in other sectors can also help]. I’ll show an example of her initial connection request message shortly. A well-personalised message!
But first, let’s see her alumni page.
The first screenshot above shows there were 24,912 of her university’s alumni on LinkedIn and you can select by ‘country they live’, ‘where they work’, job title and sector, ‘what they studied’ and ‘when they graduated’, among others.
She then used my template [I give you my templates, just like, comment or share this article], tweaked it and sent a personalised connection request to the alumni working in the IT sector, which was her interest. For example
So, she sent this connection request to hundreds of her alumni, a ‘holy spamming’ is allowed. Lol!
Almost every alumnus accepted her connection. She would then send a follow-up message, and interactions would happen back and forth, in a very conversational way, for example:
It’s from having these kinds of fluid conversations with her alumni that saw opportunities opening for her.
She kept track of her new connections. An example of how to do this is shown in this Table below:
I show below also the other half of her connection recorded to help her in the following-up exercise. Her alumni connections spanned all sectors and in different top companies in Nigeria including oil and gas.
She also identified more than 20 companies that employ software developers. She then researched, found their HR managers and connected with them directly. Most would request for her CV immediately; the other managers would accept a CV after a few additional conversations. She always followed up.
Keeping track of the connections helped her to focus on the most important alumni and HR managers to follow up conversations with and to not lose traction.
Because of this unique way of reaching out to so many alumni, many opportunities opened. She started receiving referrals, pledges and commitments from people who vouched to assist further from every nook and cranny. Alumni would fall over themselves to assist her to get a job in the IT sector. Some offered her free training and materials as well as professional advice.
Next, I show some of the incredible conversations and promises from alumni:
She had concrete commitments from alumni who promised to assist which would never have happened without the camaraderie that only alumni spirit can spark:
When you know how to connect in this way, you see that people are willing to help. Most especially, when you have first contributed to the new friendship. I have written on how to continuously add value to your LinkedIn connections before you ask for help.
HER CV, INTERVIEWS AND INTERVIEW PREPARATIONS
Someone who had no concrete interviews in the last 12 months started having invites. What had changed? She got the right knowledge of what to do and acted!
She worked on her CV and cover letters. I have written on how to write interview-winning CVs AND
She followed my principles and here is a draft of her CV that fetched her interviews. I have changed her personal details for privacy.
Another critical success factor for this lady was the ‘SYMPATHY LETTER’ that I developed with her which she sent to HR managers and alumni. This was her ‘plea for help’ letter. It connected her with people at a deeply emotional level much better than sending a mere ‘can you give me a job’ request. The letter yielded many positive results.
She also trained in interview success principles. She listened to my video which analysed and provided useful guides on how to answer seven key categories of interview questions in the areas of:
☑ Personality (will you fit in?) ☑ Aspirations (why do you want the job?
☑ Behaviours (can you cope with stress?) ☑ Competency (can you do the job?)
☑ Illegal (would you bend the rules?) ☑ Management (what is your management style?)
☑ Self-motivation (are you energised and focused?).
Here is another useful strategy she used to develop a 30-60-90-day plan which she took to her interviews.
It is a document you develop based on the job description which you should take to an interview that indicates what you’ll do within the first 30, 60, and 90 days to add value to the organisation if they employ you. It’s a winning formula too.
Finally, the lady landed a job early February 2019 with an IT services firm in Lagos, Nigeria, as a developer.
Now, imagine if this lady had the same knowledge and career support narrated above during her school years, perhaps, it would have saved her the pains of 13-month unemployment, even with a first-class science degree, which is appalling.
Whether you’ll land a well-paid job upon graduation depends on what you do and how much you put into the post-school job preparations during your study years.
It would depend on how many:
- internships, placements, relevant part-time jobs, volunteering, insights weeks (if you’re a UK resident) you did
- short and targeted skills development training in the areas of your chosen real-world job role you went out of your way to gather into your kitty
- or even a one-year work placement
- relevant certifications you earned
To not do any of these before graduation, and then start writing an empty no-experience CV afterwards would be a sorry situation! Therefore, the more of these activities you undertake, the greater your chances of having a fantastic CV set to go!
In all, you would see that this unconventional approaches to job search are a specialised knowledge; thus, the reason it is hardly taught by the school system in this manner.
Could I try to solve your job-hunt problem?
Feel free to inquire more about how I can train you or your loved ones using this approach to get a job quicker than applying online where the competition continues to be too fierce. Our job search training has a 100% success rate working with you until you receive your offer letter.
Visit www.norwoodemployability.com/norwood/services today to see possibilities!
Simon Gray of www.careercodex.com specialises in Executive Job Search strategies. An incredibly awesome and experienced career coach who knows his onions!
P.S.─ Even when she’s now at work, interview invites (of previous applications she submitted) are still coming!
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