8 Steps To Get Your First Job in Nigeria
Help! I need a Job! The cry of average Nigerian Graduate
After graduation from college/university the next important and urgent thing that comes to the mind of most fresh Nigerian graduates is the need to get a good job. This need is fundamental, and in fact is reason most of our parents send us to school (‘so that you can get a good job, settle down, start your family and take care of us’. Lol! I am quite sure you are not strange to this. Therefore, anything short of this expectation makes you a disappointment to them and you wouldn’t want to be regarded as such. This expectation from our parents and society has put a lot of our fresh graduates under pressure of getting a job immediately after graduation or youth service. This has made a lot of them cry from one office to the other in need of a job but crying would not just help! But what will help then, you may ask! On this article, I will be sharing with us practical steps that can help you lay hold on a job after graduation or youth service.
Sometime ago, I had a discussion with a Human Resource consultant, and I asked him ‘Sir, what is the hope of our young graduates seeing there are really no jobs again?’ I was enthralled by his response; he said ‘Who told you there are no jobs in this country? Though it might not be so much, but certainly there are jobs out there, but only that some of our graduates these days are not employable, while some do not know or cannot follow through a simple process and lay hold of a good job, but expect some kind of magic’. Those words got me thinking and I began to research, ask questions and the product of that research and the knowledge gathered is what am sharing with us in this article.
With all the news you’ve heard about unemployment in this country, I want to inform you that there are fresh graduate getting meaningful employment immediately after graduation or youth service, at least I know some of them. However, this is not the case with some, for some, it takes some 2-3years, for others, many years of struggle before laying hold on a job. So what did the few in the first category know or do that makes their case different? From my exposure to Human resource personnel, recruitment agencies, friends and personal research, I have discovered there are things you must know and do if you must have a lead, because truth be told, the labor market is really competitive, there are jobs but not everyone can get it, therefore, it is people who know and do what others do not, that get ahead.
Before now I used to think that one can never get a job without having an uncle or aunty, or know somebody physically in the company or organization he/she wants to get the job, I am sure you also thought so too if that’s not currently your mindset. I’m glad I now know better; I hope you do too! The truth is, this mentality can be really frustrating as it can demoralize you and not allow you make any effort to get a job, I know of many opportunities I have lost because I thought that everything had been done behind the scene, while the advert was a formality. Whereas it cannot be completely denied that few are getting employed through ‘man know man’, there are a lot other people getting jobs in multinationals, big organizations without apparently knowing anybody there.
As a fresh graduate, it cannot be denied that all you know is about the course work you have learned in school, and unfortunately, our course works never included how one can apply for a job and get it. We were never taught the intricacies involved in getting a job, all we do then was read, recall, write exams and pass, now that we’ve passed and gotten the certificate, how can use it to get a job? All these we will learn together, because all these cries of I need a job; carrying files about will not help.
8 Steps To Get Your First Job in Nigeria
1. Networking through Social Media: Networking is all about connections. You may have heard the saying that your network determines your net worth. Thank God for the technology revolution that has brought about an upsurge in the development of social media platforms that give us opportunity to connect with people of different background, class, profession, career, nationality. and even companies and organizations all over the world. You have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., right? How are you using them? Who are your connections, friends, followers or followings on these platforms? Is it the slay-kings and queens? Wise up dear, proper connection with the right people, organizations and industries with well updated profile can get you a job on these platforms. It’s one of the effortless way of selling yourself to the world, at least people have gotten jobs through these platforms as a testimony; I know some of them, you can be the next. If don’t have accounts on these platform, create them.
2. Get a Good Curriculum Vitae (CV): Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can evaluate at a glance, how you can contribute to the employer’s workplace. It is in short, a way of marketing yourself. The truth is, while you may have all requirements for a particular position, your CV is a failure if the employer does not instantly come to the conclusion that you “have what it takes,” because this determine whether you’ll be called for interview or not.
The most effective CVs are clearly focused on specific job title and address the employer’s stated requirements for the position. The more you know about the duties and skills required for the job and organize your CV around these point, the more effective your CV. N/B, you did not learn CV writing in school, therefore you can consult expert to help, remember, you need a lot of information to write a good CV. Have here, a quick advice, always have your CV ready, opportunity may come up anything and it will require your CV and never submit the same CV to two organizations. Don’t say, I didn’t tell you!
3. Internship: An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called interns, to work at a firm for a fixed, limited period of time. It is what most of us refer to as student industrial training (IT), and it is usually for undergraduates, however, it is also available for graduates in different forms. Most internships last for any length of time between one week and 12 months and sometimes beyond. It is a huge opportunity as it gives you the privilege to gain relevant skills and experience in a particular field. Moreover, based on your commitment, hard work, demonstration of intelligence, etc. you can increase your chances of getting employed after your undergraduate studies or better still get good recommendation. Some people I know have gotten employed through this medium; why not take advantage of it? Companies like Shell, Totals, PZ, Haliburtons, etc. have internship opportunities for fresh graduates like you. You can enroll in Unilever Future Leader programme, Graduate Contract Staff by UBA plc, etc. it is meant for graduate, also check out other internship programmes meant for graduate in career page of your favorite company or organization.
4. Volunteering: Companies or organization might not be ready to employ, however, they’ll not reject the service of a volunteer. You might decide to render your service to an organization, individual, or companies as a show of goodwill, impressed with your service, you can be employed, reserved for an opening or get good recommendations. You have a good marketing skill; why not volunteer to market the product for an organization or company you like? You can never tell the outcome, a lot of people are using this medium already and there are getting results, what stops you?
5. Get some Skills and Training: Many of graduates straight out of school are too raw and therefore not ‘employable’ in the words of the consultants. Thus, we need to get some training and acquire relevant skills if we are get any employment or be productive. Basic and relevant skills are added advantage to your certificate, so, if you are ever going to have a comparative advantage in the competitive job market, you need something beyond the certificate.
6. Attend Conferences and Seminar: One of the many ways of gaining connections and building network physically is by attending seminars and conferences as it gives you opportunity to meet with employers, seasoned professionals, captains of industries face to face and if you are wise enough, you can get the contact of these people, and then follow them up. It’s working for people already, they’re noiselessly getting employed through this means, don’t say I didn’t tell. Best of all, if you have the capacity, you present a paper during the conference, it is a boost, and you can get instant job or recommendation.
7. Write on Topic Relating to your Industry: Do you know that doing a personal project or writing creatively on your topics of interest and publishing them on a magazine or uploading them on the internet is a fascinating way of marketing your knowledge and proficiency? Stories are abounding of people who explored this medium and are gainfully employed or hired. The truth is, you do not know who might be reading through your work, who might be interested in you project or research, therefore, give it a try and thank me later for it.
8. Subscribe to Job Posting Website: there are a lot of job posting websites available on the internet these days, find a reliable one and subscribe to them to get regular updates on vacancy and posts across various industries especially the one of your interest as they come up.
I understand how it is seeking for job, I know the frustration that sets in when you do not have gainfully employed after about 3 year of graduation, that is the reason time has been taken to enumerate various means/medium through you can facilitate your chances of getting employed in this contemporary times, what will you do with them? Will you just scroll through and return to your status quo? Do you still want to be crying about, ‘help! I need a job!’ Wake up dear, days are counting, do something, explore those avenues that have been enumerated above. I believed you enjoyed the 8 steps to get your first Job in Nigeria
Now over to you! Best Wishes!
Written by Consultants at Freshgraduatecv.com