Odunayo Eweniyi’s story is one that is probably familiar to most young graduates. Leave school excited for the real world. Apply for several roles and go out on interviews. Wait to hear back from the interviewers. Keep waiting. Keep waiting. Keep waiting. Give up hope and become a permanent indentation on your mother’s couch. Instead of just wasting away until a job found her, she went out and created her own job by forming PushCV.
The Chapter Lead for the Nigerian chapter of Women in Tech Africa, wanted to create a platform where qualified candidates could get connected directly to job opportunities and cut through the delays. Odunayo shares with us where she thinks most young Nigerians struggle with getting a job, how she’s differentiating her company and what she believes is the most important element of a CV.
Why did you start PushCV?
We started PushCV right out of university. When I graduated I went on a couple of interviews and I never even heard back, despite being told that I passed the interviews. It went on like that for a bit, plenty of CV submissions and no call backs. So PushCV was borne of a personal need. I wanted to be more involved in how employment is done.
We started PushCV because we thought that employment and recruitment could be done better. Every other service was going digital, so why couldn’t recruitment move with the times? Hence we launched PushCV for people – both employers and job seekers – to fully harness the power of technology in the search for the perfect candidate or the perfect job.
In what areas do you think most young Nigerians struggle when it comes to finding a job?
I have heard employers complain that great candidates don’t exist and I have heard job seekers talk about the lack of jobs. While there’s a degree of truth in these claims, the problem is more of a divide between the employers and job seekers.
The struggle is essentially in two places. Employers struggle to find the best suited candidates for their vacancy, and the truth is that sometimes, those candidates do not exist. As a result job seekers struggle to mold themselves into the cast of the perfect candidate. But really the biggest problem is employability. Most of the graduates in the country currently lack the technical or soft skills that would satisfy prospective employers.
That is why PushCV is committed to bridging that divide. We created the Elite Employee Quest for this purpose – to isolate the already built up candidates and put them in front of employers; and to work with and on the jobseekers that are lacking in some respect, and make them better. We aim to make every candidate into the perfect candidate by building all aspects of them – soft skills, innate employability, interpersonal skills etc. We do not send candidates who have not met our rigorous standards for interviews.
How do you ensure Push CV stands out against all of the other job search platforms on the market?
We never stop innovating because we listen to our customers. We believe that we can only move forward when we are fulfilling a pain, not just a need. We have a robust feedback system that we use to track customer preferences of employers and job seekers. What do they want? How can we make it better? Those are the questions that we answer and use those answers to develop a constantly evolving product.
What can we expect to see from Push CV over the next 6 months?
Over the next 6 months, I think that you can expect to see us gaining an even stronger foothold in the market. The next 6 months will see us pushing the boundaries and bringing better alternatives into the very traditional world of recruitment.
Unemployment is one of the biggest problems that Nigeria is facing. As someone who is committed to education and labor and I feel privileged to run a startup that wants to solve this problem. I think that the one thing I can promise is that we will do our absolute best to bring unemployment to the barest minimum. We often employ unconventional methods, so people can expect more outside the box thinking from PushCV over the next few months,
What is the most important element to a CV?
Here, I should tell you that it’s your “Work Experience” or your “Education”. But really it’s just the top third of your first page. The average resume gets about six seconds of review time before it’s either retained or pitched.
So, you need to make a compelling argument for yourself in those six seconds. If the top of your resume works hard and quickly makes your case, you will be retained for review consideration.