Here are my contributions on how to find a job quicker in 2020.
Since men have learned to shoot without missing, the birds must learn to fly without perching.
Getting a job is becoming fiercer, you too must learn to go all out to position yourself better.
I won’t theorise much about how to get a job. Instead, I feel it would be more beneficial to take you on a short journey. On how I guided this first-class graduate of physics/industrial physics with my set tools to land a job in 60 days.
Meanwhile, she was jobless for nearly 13 months [She even took eight weeks off my training 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. Be ready to embrace the unconventional strategies for getting any job anywhere in the world!
These steps include:
- how to choose a specific job role to focus on
- the right way to recreate your LinkedIn profile perfectly
- how to connect with hiring managers and internal recruiters directly who can give you jobs
- the effective way to connect with your university alumni who can refer you to existing jobs in their network of friends
- creative ways to work on your CV to bring out the ‘wow’ factor
- how to write interview-winning cover letters and ‘polite letters’ that connect with people at an emotional level to help you willingly. 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.
Often, we can trace your inability to find a suitable job upon graduation to having concentrated too much (during your study years) in academics. You left job matters until you had done with your degree!
That’s a late time, people!
It’s one of the most significant 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. Meanwhile, there are jobs!
The school system and the way it trains candidates must take the more substantial blame.
Yet, most students still concentrate only on reading for their degree. Schools don’t correctly guide their students to think seriously about their post-university world of work. And how they would get appropriate 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 different job roles simultaneously.
Instead, it’s better to focus on a role at a time. However, how do you know the role to pursue?
First, 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.
Second, she researched to understand what skill sets are required to become a software developer.
Third, Chikah started short training in coding, including CSS, HTML, Python, R, database management, and other different programming languages. She is 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. You have to communicate this well on your LinkedIn profile.
Chikah made the usual mistake as most people do on their LinkedIn profile. No clean headshot and cover image, confusing headline, a poorly-written profile summary that doesn’t consider the ‘clients’, but instead, concentrates on self (the ‘I am a self-motivated, highly-ambitious… type).
Her profile wasn’t optimised as well.
We corrected all these, completed her work experience section and added achievements.
Next, she added at least two colourful images on each of the job experience and educational sections.
I then showed her how to request for recommendations and endorsement of skills. And 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 Chikah created her CV for the software role to bring out the ‘wow’ factor
Most inexperienced job seekers and graduates write poor CV─CVs that do not attract the attention of potential employers or recruiters.
In the last 30 months, I have reviewed at least 2350 CVs for Star Jobs Recruitment, London. Let me tell you for free what we look for in good CVs to pass them on to the hiring manager. 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)?
With Chikah, we worked on these and other critical aspects of good CV writing.
Meanwhile, you can view the screenshot of her sample CV later in this article (the CV was pseudonymised to protect her identity).
Connecting with alumni, recruiters and potential employers directly.
This skill is where we separate the boys from the men regarding how to find a job!
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 Chikah.
I’ve written elaborately on how to connect effectively on LinkedIn and add value to your ‘connections’ continuously.
However, the silver lining is in knowing how to build some level of friendship. This is because ‘human beings help friends, not contacts’, said Courtney Connley of CNBC.
Chikah identified the alumni of her university on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/alumni)
Next, she 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 indeed!
But first, let’s see her alumni page.
Alumni page and connection
This screenshot shows there were 24,912 of her university’s alumni on LinkedIn. You can select to view by ‘country they live’, ‘where they work’, job title and sector, ‘what they studied’ and ‘when they graduated’.
Chikah then used my template [I’ll give you the templates, just ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’ this article]. She tweaked it and sent a personalised connection request to the alumni working in the IT sector, which was her interest.
So, she sent this connection request to hundreds of her alumni, a ‘holy spamming’ is allowed. Lol!
Almost every alumnus accepted her connection. Chikah would then send a follow-up message, and interactions would start happening back and forth, in a very conversational manner.
It’s from having these kinds of fluid conversations with her alumni that she saw opportunities opening for her.
Also, she kept track of her new connections. Below is an example of how to do this:
I show below also the other half of her connection. She recorded it to help her in the follow-up exercise. Meanwhile, her alumni connections spanned all sectors and in different top companies in Nigeria, including oil and gas.
Besides, Chikah identified more than 20 companies that employ software developers. She then researched, and found their HR managers and connected with them directly. Most of the HR managers would request for her CV immediately. The others would accept her CV after a few exchanges. Chikah followed up as well.
Networking with HR managers directly
Keeping track of the connections helped her to focus on the most critical 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 help 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 on how to find a job for her. This 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 notably, 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 preparation for interviews
Someone who had no concrete interviews in the last 12 months started having invitations. What had changed? She got the right knowledge on how to find a job and acted!
Chikah also worked on her CV and cover letters.
She followed my principles, and here is a draft of her CV that won her interviews.
I have changed her details for privacy.
Another critical success factor for this lady was the ‘POLITE LETTER’ that I developed with her. She sent them to HR managers and alumni. This was her’ plea for help’.
It connected her with people at a profoundly 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. Chikah listened to my video recordings which analysed and provided useful guides on how to find a job as well as 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 (are you able to do the job?)
☑ Legal (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. She developed a 30-60-90-day plan which she then took to her interviews.
This plan is a document you develop based on the job description.
It would be best if you took it to an interview. This plan indicates what you’ll do within the first 30, 60, and 90 days to add value to the organisation if they were to employ you.
It’s a winning formula as well.
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 I’ve narrated above (on how to find a job) 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 higher 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 the school system hardly teaches it.
Could I attempt 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 the possibilities!
Simon Gray of www.careercodex.com specialises in Executive Job Search strategies. An incredibly excellent 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!
Meanwhile, read other results like Ms Chikah’s from:
David Alade (PwC)
Victor Nsisong (P.E.T. Associates Limited)
Nathan Clifford (Zinox Technologies)
Suleiman Ibrahim (University of Nigeria)
Follow me on LinkedIn.