Are you looking towards getting a job in 2023? This is your year of great fulfillment!
Getting a job in Nigeria in 2023 is very easy, as more jobs are springing up. Job roles that do not exist before are now surfacing. Therefore, hiring managers and recruiters are massively recruiting job seekers with the right skill sets and experience.
In this article, we will be discussing how to get a job in 2023 while utilizing our certificates and skills, the mistakes we should avoid, the steps we should prepare for, and also, how to keep ourselves busy while looking for a job. Please follow through till the end.
GUIDES ON HOW TO GET A JOB IN 2023 (7 STEPS)
The value of acquiring a Certificate cannot be over-emphasized. Your certificate is the first prerequisite for a job and every employer will always demand to see it. Even if you don’t like going to school, the fact that every employer asks for a certificate before granting employment should be a drive for you to get one.
In any case, getting a certificate is not just about the paperwork as many Nigerians assume, it is about learning and exposure. Aside from professional roles, such as Medical Sciences, Law, and sometimes Engineering, that require employing people that study strictly related courses, all other courses of study can be easily diversified.
A Mathematician can work as a banker, likewise, a graduate of education can end up working as a software engineer. Although career path can be determined by the course you study, the point I am only trying to make is that there is always a big room for diversification and the primary focus should be on getting a university certificate and experience. If there is a particular course that you really have passion for, do well to go for it or at least something related.
Now, what are the values you should seek while acquiring a certificate?
- Problem-Solving Skills: That long Mathematical Equation or Chemical Pathway Essay that you were given to treat are not meant only to develop your grade or understanding, they are meant to grow your problem-solving skills. Your ability to solve them without being deterred will have a great influence on your ability to solve any challenges you are confronted with outside the school. Please stop asking your friend to do it for you, if you don’t understand it, seek an explanation on how to do it yourself.
- Analytical Skill: Unfortunately, many people interpret this as a “Mathematical Skill”. No, analytical skill does not mean Mathematical Skill. It only means your ability to give critical analysis, breaking down a complex thing for the purpose of the study. Having a good analytical sense is one of the core values you should look out for in school. This will not only aid your problem-solving ability, it will also make you have a defined foresight – a characteristic that differentiates you from an illiterate and the exact thing every employer would love to see in you.
- Access to Resources: Being a student is not a joke, and you definitely should not joke with your time and access to valuable academic & human resources. The school environment guarantees you access to colleagues, a library, and well-trained professionals, you are there to tap from their wealth of wisdom and possibly form a lasting partnership.
Your understanding of these values will reflect in your final grade and believe it or not, every employer will consider you deficient in one or more of these values if your grade is below Second Class Lower. Surely if you had below (2:2) but have these values, it means you were faced with some other challenges or distractions while in school.
However, you have to prove yourself with something else and not your certificate any longer.
Now that we have highlighted the exact thing we went to do in school, I want to believe you now have a better view of what that certificate you are holding should mean. It means you are smart, an analytical thinker, a problem solver, and a team player. The inevitable qualities every employer wants to see in you.
STEP 2: STAY INFORMED
“You cannot get the job if you are not informed about the job”. As a job seeker, ensure to stay up to date as regards every available opportunity out there. For a fresh graduate, entry-level jobs, internships, and graduate trainees should be your best keywords. Trainee-based jobs mean the employer is ready to give you all the adequate training required to perform in the advertised role. All they need is your educated brain. This is where your understanding of STEP 1 comes in.
A mistake fresh graduates commit while applying for a job is to assume they have zero years of experience, although this will be discussed when we get to CV writing, do understand that your 1-year 6 month, or 3-month internship is an experience. Therefore, you can be a fresh graduate with 1-year of experience.
As for experienced job seekers seeking a better opportunity, your ability to stay informed about job opportunities will greatly influence your ability to get a job. As a handler at iR Job Alert, we try our best to keep our WhatsApp Groups updated on the latest opportunity available, you can CLICK HERE to join the group to receive updates. However, it is always advisable to have a good number of credible sources to keep you informed.
Lagos State naturally receives a lot of attention when it comes to job availability because of the economic activities in the state. As a job seeker, you should be ready to seek out opportunities even outside your state of origin or state of residence. Aside from getting information from sources like iR Job Alert, you can always explore an old-fashioned style of getting in touch with the Human Resources Sections of companies near you.
Employers are naturally looking for the best candidates to grow their firm, and learning about the needs of companies around you can give you an employability advantage over those that are far located from the company.
The only way you can take advantage of this is by staying informed about the activities of the company, looking into their needs, developing your skill towards solving one of their needs, getting the phone number or contact of the HR Manager or any of the team members and present your CV to him/her. Once your application gets to the HR Manager’s table, they will surely take a look at it.
In case you don’t know, there are lots of recruitments especially Governmental agencies that never get advertised. The key is to stay informed and take advantage of every piece of information at your disposal to get a job.
STEP 3: UNDERSTAND THE EMPLOYERS’ EXPECTATIONS
There is no perfect definition of the “right candidate” as different employers have their individual wants from a candidate. While some are based on company policy, most are based on competence. Understanding what the employer wants to see in you is a rare ability that will make you different from other applicants.
To get a good understanding of what this is, you have to digest the responsibilities and requirements for the role you wish to apply for. Know the effect of the position on the overall output of the company and be ready to display your absolute understanding of what the position is all about.
Another good thing you can do is reach out to members of staff of the company, either formally or informally, to get an insider view of what the role requires. Many people will consider this impossible, but please try to get an insider’s analysis.
Also, learn about the core values of the company. Not all companies have a standard, but big companies in many cases do have a standard, go online and do some digging about what these standards are. It will not only guide the way you submit your application, but it will also guide the way you answer their questions when called upon for an interview.
In other scenarios like Federal Government Jobs, the expectations from you are not only your brilliance but also your “connections”. Although the Nigerian Government generally explains that they are equal employers, the reality is that only a few get the job solely on merit. In many cases, you have to prepare to work hand in hand with someone “at the top”, family members, friends, colleagues, or anyone that can help out, before your merit gets you the job.
In this case, once you have submitted your application diligently, try as much as you can to reach out to every single person that can do a follow-up on your application. Government Agencies in many cases work with slots and if your application is strong, it will be easier to get the job when you have someone interested in your application doing a follow-up.
Please do not get me wrong, you can get a Government job purely based on merit and without any connections whatsoever. Just ensure you applied diligently based on the understanding of the employer’s expectations. However, you will be a lot smarter if you try as much as you can to get someone “at the top” to monitor your application.
STEP 4: DEVELOP A SKILL & IDENTIFY YOUR SKILL SET
As an educated person, highlighting the skills that are important to you is not a matter of the course you study but a factor of what you enjoy doing, have a passion for, or a skill that is always in demand in the labor market.
There are lots of skills demanded by employers that are not taught in the Academic environment. Take, for example, an employer who demands the service of a Graphics Designer who has a Bachelor’s Degree. This employer in this instance is looking for a candidate who has the qualities of a graduate as discussed in STEP 1 (See Reference), coupled with Graphic Design skills.
As a job seeker, developing a skill should be one of your biggest priorities during or after your academic study. As I have earlier mentioned, diversity is an important growth factor that everyone must acquire. If you get this right, together with a certificate, there is a high percentage that you will attain success. It is a big deal on how to get a job in 2023.
Skills to Learn: While this is mostly personal, I can only mention the factors to consider to determine the right skill to acquire and also how to take advantage of them. To start with, these three reasons should be your drive to learn a skill:
- Advancing your Knowledge
- Following your Passion
- “Chasing the Bag (Money)”
An Explanation: Although there is nothing called “wastage of time” when it comes to knowledge acquisition, there is surely a way of being smarter with your time. Skills are meant to make you grow bigger as a problem solver, they are meant to open you to more opportunities and finally, get you a good job or good income.
This is the first time I am mentioning “income”, I will discuss more what I mean when we get to the “Starting a Business” section of this article. As a job seeker, you have to move ahead of what you are taught in school by seeking out the right skill that can fulfill your purpose and get you a job. A skill directed towards the practicality of where you hope to work is the skill to learn. For example, an engineer can advance his knowledge by learning the usage of all the Engineering Apps that are in use in the Industry, an Accountant can enroll for ICAN, a Computer Scientist can learn to code better, and so on. This gives you an advantage over all other job seekers without this knowledge.
Having knowledge of what is practicable in the industry gives you a bigger chance of getting employed. Also, the ability to follow your passion simply means you have grown to understand the smart thing you really enjoy doing but you have to be careful. Do not follow a passion that has no foresight or demand. That will really make you unwise.
Your passion must either have a great possibility of getting you a good income or be in high demand in the labor market – Chasing the Bag. I am not an expert in psychology, but biologically, human beings are created to adapt to any particular situation and therefore making us the rare ability to develop a passion for anything that we choose to put our mind in.
A skill that possesses great value and is in high demand is where your passion should be directed, not a skill that offers no value. These skills will either get us a job or get us the bag (Money) and at the same time, put us at the forefront of solving people’s problems.
Chip in: A skill can only be in high demand when it solves people’s problems. The bigger the problem is solved, the more valuable the skill becomes.
“People’s Problems” also include the problem of your potential employer. There are a lot of skills that are in high demand in Nigeria that you can explore. Skills involving Marketing a Product or Service to potential customers, collecting leads, making sales, and maintaining customers, will always be in-demand. In that case, you can grow your skills towards being a good “Physical & Digital Marketer”. Likewise, Financial Management, Information Technology, Computer Programming, and Fashion Designing, among many other skills.
STEP 5: WRITE YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
A CV is a brief presentation of your education, qualifications, experience, and skills. Since you are a stranger to the employer, your CV is meant to give you a proper introduction. Presenting yourself in the best manner to the employer is highly important and this step should be treated with great importance.
In many cases, a good CV will always get you to the interview stage of a recruitment process, employers will never bother to invite you if your CV fails to meet their expected requirements or qualities.
As a job seeker, you must be able to refine your CV for each and every job application you put out. Employers’ Expectations are always different, as discussed in STEP 3, CV sent for Job Application A might not work for Job Application B.
In general, your CV is expected to have your name, address, phone number(s), email, professional summary, skills, education history, certifications, and references. I have written an article on how to write an ideal CV, you can check it out HERE to compose yours by yourself.
Your CV will reflect your understanding of yourself, the employer’s expectations, and your experience. Remember, refine your CV to meet the employers’ expectations of each job you are applying for. If you are applying for the position of “Receptionist”, your CV should show the skills, certifications, and experience you have to fit perfectly into the position of a receptionist. A similar process should apply to every position you are applying for.
In case you are applying for a new position, in which you have no experience, your CV should be refined to show the qualities and experience you have that will aid your performance in the role. Usually, that will be to show that you are a fast learner and team player with great track records.
STEP 6: SENDING YOUR JOB APPLICATION
Now that you are fully equipped with all the resources that can get you employed, it is time for you to present your file to the employer. There are three ways employers utilize to collect applications from job seekers, the first being by email, the second being through an application portal, and the third being through a third-party application like LinkedIn. All of them are slightly different but the end result is the same – presenting yourself to the employer.
In this step, you will be required to write a Cover Letter. A Cover Letter is a One-Page document that introduces your person, your understanding of the job, and your interest in applying for the job. Like your CV, your cover letter should always be refined toward the employers’ expectations for the position you are applying for.
The aim of the cover letter is to give the employer an insight into what you have achieved and can possibly achieve if given the job. This should make him/her eager to take a look at your curriculum vitae (CV).
Illustration: A good Cover Letter will grant you assurance of getting your CV read and a good CV will get you an interview.
A Cover Letter should follow this basic structure:
- Introduction: Carefully written to grab the hiring manager’s attention and explain why you want the job.
- Body paragraphs: At least two paragraphs detailing your relevant education, skills, work experience, and suitability for the job.
- Conclusion: A concise ending that reiterates your strengths, and asks the hiring manager to contact you (known as a call to action).
See the Example below:
“I am writing with respect to the job vacancy for the position of Digital Marketing and Communications Officer advertised on your Job Portal. I am a graduate of Physics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. During my degree program, I focused my studies on communications physics exploring various means and methods of communication including the world wide web and especially, social media. As such, I am very interested in the position of Digital Marketing and Communication Officer being advertised.
I have worked in various capacities in companies of high standards among which are Airtel Networks Limited, Zenith Bank, and currently, Globacom Nigeria as a Digital Marketing Specialist in the Business Development Department, granting me exposure and experience in information technology and core digital marketing strategies.
In addition, I am a certified digital marketer having undertaken a digital marketing course that entails – Market Research, Website Development, SEO Optimization, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Copywriting, Email marketing, YouTube marketing, Facebook marketing, Twitter marketing, Quora marketing, Google Adword, Google Analytics, Instagram marketing, Pinterest marketing, LinkedIn marketing, Facebook Ads and Application marketing.
Hopefully, my skills, experience, and knowledge will match your needs and expectations for the position of Digital Marketing and Communication Officer.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to a favorable response from you.
My Name, firstname.lastname@example.org
Once your Cover Letter is ready, your application process will be smooth sailing.
For Jobs that require you to send your CV to an Email, ensure you follow the instructions on what should be written in the Subject of the Mail and use the Content of your Cover Letter as the body of the Email before attaching your CV.
Many job seekers send blank emails containing just their CVs, this is totally wrong and will limit your chances of your mail being attended to. As for job applications collected through a portal, follow the prompts and upload your CV and Cover Letter where required.
STEP 7: PREPARE FOR THE NEXT STEP
After your job application has been submitted, employers process your application for the next step of the recruitment process. When your application meets the employer’s expectations, you will be invited to the next step. Understanding the steps of a recruitment process is important as it aids your preparation. While many companies will require you to take an exam or aptitude test, some will only invite you for an interview based on the contents of your CV and Cover Letter.
These are the common recruitment steps to note:
- Examination/Aptitude Test
Employers get the opportunity to test your academic strength through the aptitude test, in the real sense of it, they are trying to “reduce the number of qualified candidates”. The fact that you were invited for an aptitude test means your CV and other details meet the requirements, however, employers are looking for the best among the bests. You have to prepare for the test.
This is not the time to start telling stories of how much you hate Mathematics, or how you failed it without any consequence in the University. The employer really does not care and you definitely should not expect him to. Aptitude tests are designed to test your Verbal Skills, Arithmetic Skills, Logical Reasoning, and in some cases, current affairs or environmental knowledge.
Various organizations have different ways of setting questions, the most important thing to note is that all the questions will revolve around the aforementioned sections. Since there is no defined curriculum, the best way to prepare is by studying and answering “Sample Questions” popularly known as “Past Questions”. Learning Materials for Examinations like GMAT will also help to build the necessary readiness. This GMAT material has been found very useful, you can download it HERE and check it out.
- Situational Judgement Assessment
This is one of the modern methods of understanding a candidate’s personality and decision-making ability. This test has no right answer, the questions are simply built on scenarios asking what your decision would be if confronted with such a scenario. In many cases, you would be given 5 or more decision options for which you would rank according to how you consider them fit.
The best way to answer these questions is to be real and smart while answering them, your answers must not contradict themselves. In all, this is where employers get to have an idea of “the kind of person” you are.
- Job Interview
There have been a lot of talks and write-ups on how to ace a job interview. If you have followed through the steps carefully, acing an interview might not be a challenge. The first thing to note here is that you must be confident but not proud. Confidence is in what you know and what you can offer the company. Employers need you as much as you need the job and getting the employer a straight on-point answer is key.
Your understanding of the employers’ expectations will play a role in this stage. Remember that at this point, the employer believes you are smart, an analytical thinker, a problem solver, and a team player, he/she only wants to see you in action. Do not let him/her down.
Before going for the interview, prepare your outfit and begin to assume the kind of questions that will be asked. Go back into the job responsibilities and look through how your role affects the operations of the company. Recruitment Managers will always ask direct and inferred questions trying to learn if you really understand what you are saying.
I have witnessed interviews where some candidates do not have the confidence to talk, they are “shy” [Laughs]. That is really very poor quality for such a brilliant person who got to the interview stage. Please throw away all your shyness when going for an interview. And why should you be shy in the first place?
If you passed the Interview stage, you are in and the next line of action would be to resume on a particular date. However, for some companies, you will be placed on probation – a process of testing or observing the character or abilities of a person who is new to a role or job. Do not joke with this process as it is meant to build confidence and trust with your employer.
A job is more than just a source of income. It provides you with fulfillment, productivity and purpose. A job delivers the responsibility affirms that are needed. But not all jobs are pleasurable. Some led to procrastination, while others quit it.
So, how to find the right job? The answer is getting equipped with new skills everyday and in other words, learning. Getting a job is easier with our website on IR Job Alert. Our website is designed to help you get the job you want and get you hired as soon as possible.