Job hunting 101: 6 survival tips for the aspiring Motherland Mogul

Are you feeling personally victimised by the job application process? These tips are for you Click To Tweet

Anybody here feel personally victimised by the job application process? Yeah, me too. I thought having a degree would mean people would come knocking at my door, begging me to work with them. Wishful thinking.

I’ve come to realise the job is not going to find you, you’ve got to go to look for it. The process can be so tiring but it has to be done, you know, if you want food on the table or that life you’ve always dreamt of. First-time job seekers, this one is for you; welcome to job hunting 101.

The devil is in the details

Your C.V is the first thing your potential employers will see. They need to be able to pick out key highlights of your professional experience at a glance. It is also important to streamline your C.V, what about it says ‘I am perfect for this job‘.

Remove irrelevant details. Nobody needs to know you got mad skills with the knitting needles unless you’re applying for a job in the weaving industry. If that’s the case, make sure your portfolio shows all you can do. Make sure your professional accomplishments are distinguishable, that’s how you get your brand out there.

Your cover letter is just as important. Be prepared to write countless versions, each tailored for the company you are applying to. Research the company. Add small details, such as why you like the ethics of the company or how you would be a great fit. This lets them know that you aren’t sending a generic cover letter but that the interest is real.

Apply, Apply, Apply!!!

The application process can be slow and tedious. Set aside a day to focus on sending out applications. The truth is that not everyone will respond. Don’t give up! There is no harm in putting your C.V out there, it is more likely to do good than harm.

Be proactive, drop your CV off at places you are interested in. Don’t worry about your pride, she can’t get you a job, determination though? She is your best friend. You’ve got to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.

Don’t underestimate the power of resources like LinkedIn. Create a detailed and notable profile that will make you stand out as a viable candidate. You can also use LinkedIn to reach out to professionals in your field to check if they have any openings or ask for advice. The resources are endless, use them to your best advantage.

Apply for your dream job, apply for the practical jobs. The key thing here is to never stop applying. I repeat. Never stop applying.

There is no harm in putting your C.V out there, it is more likely to do good than harm Click To Tweet

Be patient

Easier said than done, right?

Companies are more likely to not respond to your application and somehow actually receiving a rejection email is more comforting than deafening silence. Don’t be discouraged, something’s gotta give. Something will give!

The worst expectation you can have when you start applying is that job offers will flow in constantly. Getting your first job could take months but it will happen, it’s not impossible but it’s not easy either.

Just keep swimming

Getting a job after university or after a slump is hard. Especially when it feels as if everyone around you is getting great jobs, moving forward and leaving you behind. This is on top of the actual overwhelming feeling of job applications.

People sit and tell you to get a job as if you can wake up, snap your fingers and have it. The external pressure is suffocating. Remember, don’t compare journeys, your path is just that, yours. Comparing yourself to your friends won’t get you a job, it will just make you miserable. Focus on what’s important and go get it.

Comparing yourself to your friends won't get you a job, it will just make you miserable Click To Tweet

Go the extra mile

At some point, the job hunt will make you feel like you are going crazy. You’ll find yourself applying to jobs that seem out of your field. And that is okay!

Look at job opportunities that may require you to step out of the traditional thoughts of how your career should look. Each experience should inform and be a stepping stone for the next.

Connection is key

People like to make you feel that asking for help when looking for a job is shameful. Nobody got time for that. Put your pride back in your pocket, you don’t need her. Network and connect. Jobs are often about who know as much as you having the necessary skills for them.

It is key to keep contact with people in your industry, even if it is with your peers or with someone you once interned for. Keep yourself on their mind, so when opportunities arise they think of you first. When someone sees a job that they may not be available for or isn’t in their field, they can refer you.

Make and keep strong genuine connections. Connect with as many people as you can and stay in touch, help others out, the path to employment isn’t one you have to walk alone.

About Ruva Samkange

Ruva is a Junior Technical Officer at the International Labour Organisation after completing her Masters in Shipping Law. Ruva is an avid book reader, a series junkie and loves a strong cup of coffee. Constantly inspired by the women around her, she believes that the future is female, hers and most importantly yours too.

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