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Tips to land a job.

by Evalyne Ndanu

Job searching can be a daunting task. It can be discouraging at times especially if nothing is forthcoming. Many ask the question, ‘What am I not doing right?’. Here are some tips that could ease the process of job searching. Tips to land a job.

1. Learn about yourself.
As much as this sounds obvious, many of us aren’t actually aware of our strengths, our skills and what we currently possess. Who am I? Ever asked yourself this question? What do I want? What makes me tick?
You may be surprised by the discoveries.
If possible take a personality test https://www.16personalities.com/.
Get to know your strengths and weaknesses, what career paths would best suit you, what kind of work environment will best suit you. As cliché as it sounds, everyone else is taken, be you, you are exactly what the world needs and in this case, exactly what the job market requires.
Your strengths will ooze out even during an interview. Knowing who you are will give you an upper hand. It will help you know the areas that you can improve and work on.

2. Begin working with what you have.
In the technology space especially, there is a lot already available at our disposal. We have open source code projects. This is particularly one of the ways that companies have sourced for their staff. Don’t be afraid to collaborate, debug some else’s code and collaborate in projects. It may be the way you get noticed.
If you have a project you are working on, push the code to GitHub to improve your portfolio. Work on projects individually that interest you and put the work out there. Someone may be looking. Then they will find your portfolio updated and doing something with the resources you have, which may simply be a laptop and internet.
Volunteering and Internships are also a Great way towards working with what you have. These humble beginnings are what have helped many transition to full time work opportunities. Don’t be discouraged with the pay at first. Of importance first is finding something to put your hands on.

Don’t despise the humble beginnings.

3. Build your experience and skills. (With emphasis on quality)
Once you have identified your interests, it is then time for growth. It’s time to scale up, to bring yourself up to date with the relevant skills.
Scaling up means increasing in skills from beginner level to intermediate and/or intermediate to expert. It’s certainly important to be aware at what level you are and focus on growth. There is definitely a reason why some jobs require so much experience than others. Don’t allow this to be a barrier in your job journey.
In this information Era, scaling up of skills is made easier. YouTube practically has innumerable tutorials in topics you may desire to gain more quality experience and skills in.

Be exceptionally good in what you do.

4. Network
Research goes to show that 85% of people get jobs through their networks. Very few people actually get jobs from applying to jobs that are advertised on job boards. Most hiring is actually in house affairs and the employees are informed of an open job position that they could refer someone for.
Attend social events that promote networking. Get to meet new people. Introduce yourself to them and let them in on your life. Don’t be afraid to let your networks know that you are looking for a job.
Employers are far more comfortable hiring someone who has been referred. Especially if the person referring them has an outstanding performance in the organization or is a key decision maker.
You are worth your network.

5. Mentorship.
We mentioned that one of the impacts of mentorship is building relationships. Firstly, it is from Mentorship that you can get a referee. References are included in the CVs and form part of the people who can be contacted to vouch for you for a certain role you applied for. Having a referee is a boost to your CV and no better from someone who has mentored you.
Secondly mentors have their own circles as well and your mentor could point you to a Job. Since they already know you, they know as well which opportunities are better suited for you. Imagine having someone who is looking out for you even without your knowledge. It is a blessing.

6. Be a solution.
The way to make money is to solve a problem. If you can solve a problem,  you can get yourself a job and financial stability. Stop and look around, what solution could you offer to a problem around you? What problems are people stating unawares? Are you listening to their ‘I wish’ statements? It is in these statements where a solution can be built.
Employers are inclined to people who can help solve the problems they are experiencing. Solving problems streamlines activities and makes work easier for everyone.

An example of creating a solution is this; You try searching for one of your former schools online but you can’t find them. The school seems not to have an active online presence, you could propose creating one for them. This way, you will have landed yourself a job if they decide to go with your offer.

7. Apply.
Different application techniques come into play here. There are jobs that can be applied for directly on LinkedIn. There are jobs which require you to go to their specific websites and upload your application there,  including your CV, Cover letter and other necessary documents. There are jobs in which you need to send an email to the company with all the required documents attached. There are some which require your physical presence while applying.
Of significance is to apply and pay attention to the job requirements.
Most companies, due to the large volume of applications that they receive, eliminate most people who don’t meet the requirements just to make their recruitment process easier.  It is essential to thus pay attention to all the requirements.

8. Learn about the company.
Assuming that you have landed yourself a job interview, it time to prepare for the interview. One of the key aspects is learning about the company. Once again we are in the information Era. Most of the information about the company will be found online. Google them read about their mission, vision and values. Read about their existence, operations, employees and their Portfolio. Make sure you acquit yourself thoroughly with what they are all about. Make sure you know your ‘why?’ Why this company?.

9. Create an online presence .

Update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it has the relevant work experience and if possible have a professional photo there. There are companies which look up their employees even before inviting them for an interview. Your online presence thus becomes their first point of interaction with you.
Don’t be afraid of putting your skills out there. Be confident in your abilities. Many of us suffer from imposter syndrome. We are prone to doubt and second-guessing ourselves. This can be overcome as we remain positive and hopeful.

10. Don’t give up.

With people graduating every other time, the job search is increasing tremendously. While you may receive many Nos, there is also a chance of getting a yes. Continue applying until you get a job. Don’t throw in the towel unless you opt for a different path for example in business. Keep pushing, quitters never win.

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