WEBINAR WITH BUNMI SIMOYAN: HOW TO LAND A JOB AT A GLOBAL COMPANY LIKE SHE LEADS AFRICA (FEB 27)

Have you thought about what kind of company you’d like to work at? If your dream job is a traditional 9 – 5, where you get to send out a couple of emails and scroll through your IG feed for the rest of the day, this is NOT for you!

Now, if you’re wondering how you can land a job at a global organization or work with a dynamic and innovative team that’ll inspire you to learn continuously and be part of something bigger – don’t sweat it, girl, we’ve gotchu!

Join us on Tuesday, 27th February, as we host a Webinar with Bunmi Simoyan, who will be sharing exclusive advice on how to land a job at a global company like She Leads Africa.

Bunmi is the Head, People Operations at She Leads Africa. She is passionate about building successful careers and connecting the right people with the right jobs.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Creative ways to get a recruiter’s attention with your job application
  • Traits global recruiters look for in candidates
  • How to slay the interview process
  • How to demonstrate that you are capable of doing a kickass job
  • Do’s and don’ts of securing a job at such companies

Register below to have access to this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Bunmi to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Time: Lagos 4pm // Johannesburg 5pm // Nairobi 6pm

Place: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch here:

About Bunmi

Bunmi Simoyan currently works as the Head of People Operations with SheLeadsAfrica.org, where she adopts innovative HR solutions to drive and promote leading-edge people strategies. She is also an independent HR Consultant for various small to medium-sized companies.

Prior to joining SheLeadsAfrica.org, Bunmi spent the first 8 years of her career at Ecobank Limited Nigeria, where she worked in e-business, transactional banking and operations before pursuing a career in Human Resources.

Born in France, raised in Nigeria, Bunmi is a trained HR professional who is passionate about providing innovative HR solutions. She is convinced that her purpose is connecting the right talent to businesses and providing solutions that can help businesses succeed.

Bunmi graduated with a Distinction in Human Resources and Knowledge Management from Lancaster University – UK. She also holds a Post-Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

How Hobbies Can Help You Connect With Employers

Sometimes a hobby is more than a hobby

Do you like long walks on the beach and kittens? Yes, of course, you do. But what does that have to do with getting a job?

Sharing your interests on a resume is a way to build a connection and show off your personality. The tricky part is knowing what hobbies to put on your resume to give off a good impression and let the hiring manager know that you will be a good fit for their company.

When to list hobbies on your resume?

Listing hobbies on your resume is a much-contested matter. To some, a Hobbies and Interests section is a relic of the nineties — something generation X started doing to prove they aren’t just corporate drones, but actual people.

Nowadays, many hiring managers hate it when employees waste valuable space on their resumes to talk about their love of books and socializing.

But work culture is increasingly changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring and finding employees that would be a good fit for their work culture.

Adding a hobbies section might just do the trick!

Work culture is changing. Many companies are refocusing on personality-based hiring Click To Tweet

How to match the company’s work culture?

Trying to figure out whether you should put a Hobbies and Interests section on your resume?

First off, you need to understand the company’s work culture:

    • Go to their website and have a look around. Read up on the company values and what        perks they provide their employees with. What events they organize.
    • Then, have a look at employee profiles to see if they mention hobbies.
    • Next, check employee profiles on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Employees are        more likely to put some hobbies on a LinkedIn profile than elsewhere.
    • Finish up with any general press to get a feel for how others perceive the company’s            work culture.
  • If you know who is responsible for hiring new talent, look them up, too. Interests are          great way to break the ice and create rapport with the interviewer.

What hobbies should you put on your resume?

Let’s say you want to work for a professional wedding planner. You did your online research. You checked out the company site and browsed employee LinkedIn profiles.

Perhaps you found out the company is looking for outgoing, playful, yet business-savvy employees with a basic understanding of social media.

You noticed the recruitment page even points to some specific hobbies that their employees engage in, such as, say, dance, cooking, and mixology (all these evidence from their Instagram profiles!)

How are you going to show those dream wedding planners that you’re playful yet business-savvy?

That’s right. You add your hobbies that mirror the general vibe you’re getting from that company.

Pro Tip: Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests. Assuming that adding them does the trick and you get a face-to-face with the recruiter, you’ll want to be able to leverage your hobbies and not stutter and stammer once you get asked about them.

 Don’t lie about your hobbies and interests Click To Tweet

How to fit in hobbies on your Resume

Once you’ve pinpointed a company’s work culture, there are a couple of ways you can flesh out your hobbies section.

Leverage your hobbies to signal cultural fit:

According to research on what employers look for on a resume, cultural fit comes in a close second right after work experience. And that makes perfect sense. According to this comprehensive study, good cultural fit makes for happier, more motivated employees who stay longer on the team.

If you think using hobbies as evidence of your value as an employee this is what you should do:

    • Choose a hobby that requires you to use a skill set that would compliment the skills               you need for the position you are seeking.
    • For example, if you’re applying for a creative job, go for a couple of creative hobbies.            Want to become a journalist? Photography might come in handy.
  • Another approach is to add hobbies that require the use of a skill set that the hiring              manager may have a hard time finding in other candidates because of a skill gap in the        market. Want to work for a travel agency and you happen to run a travel blog?                      Mention this hobby as proof of your interest as well as niche grasp of skills such as              wordpress and basic HTML.

Pro Tip: The hobbies section might be better for recent graduates rather than professionals with years of experience.

Now, coming back to signaling cultural fit.

Say you want to work for a travel agent specializing in crazy adventure vacations. Your love of whitewater rafting might just come in handy! Want to be a server at a restaurant and you have a knack for cooking?

Go ahead and list that on your resume. It’s relevant, plus, who knows, the employer might need a competent backup for the kitchen, too!

What hobbies should you avoid on your resume?

Are there any hobbies you should not mention on your resume?

Those include any hobbies that are of a religious, political, or sexual persuasion. You also might want to avoid hobbies that others might consider strange or awkward (taxidermy anyone?)

Or, if they are too general to make sense — like reading books and watching movies. C’mon, it’s like saying you are special because you breathe air!

Remember that the whole point of sharing your interests is a way for a hiring manager to get a fuller image of you, to connect with you. And, perhaps, to see what skill sets you have apart from those you developed in a work environment.

Sometimes a Hobby Is More Than a Hobby

If you’ve taken part in conferences, expos, and industry events, you might want to create a separate section like Conferences. Especially, if you were a speaker. Did you volunteer at an NGO? You might want to move that to a Volunteer Work section.

Although it’s not typical work experience, it does imply you can navigate the work environment.

And finally, command of foreign languages warrants a mention in the skills section. Don’t hide it among semi-relevant hobbies. You’re a superstar, show that off!

Will adding hobbies to your CV help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really, but... Click To Tweet

Key Takeaways

Adding a hobbies and interests section is the fun part of resume writing. You get to write about things that interest you. Plus, you can show off your sparkling personality.

Just remember to research the prospective employer. You want to match their expectations and make sure they are a good fit for you, too.

Will adding hobbies help you beat the applicant tracking system? Not really. But that isn’t the goal here. You want to show your human side and prove to the employer that you get them.


P.S. There are many more ways to come up with the perfect resume for the job. You can read up on everything you need to know online.

Then again, if you want to save time, you might as well just use a resume builder. Here’s a handy list of the best online resume builders. Just make sure the creator you choose will provide you with expert guidance and tips!


DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE WITH US? SHARE YOUR STORY HERE.

How to land a legal job: The dream cover letter for the future attorney

Don’t expect anything if you don’t work for it Click To Tweet

It seems obvious but a lot of the time we wish for things and then wait around for them to happen to us. This as opposed to grabbing opportunities and making things happen for ourselves. Particularly when it comes to seeking employment in the legal profession, competition is unavoidable.

You need to differentiate yourself and be proactive in getting yourself that job of your dreams. Your first shot to get through those doors is just two pieces of paper, your CV, and your cover letter.

What is it for?

There is a common misconception that the cover letter is redundant and the magic is in the CV. However, if we analyse the objectives of these two documents, it becomes clear that the CV is a list of information. Important information, yes, but not necessarily relaying your personality and charisma.

The cover letter should be just that, your emotive selling point and the document that can push you over the edge when the employer is stuck with a pool full of like-minded CVs. It, therefore, has the power to be a critical document in your pursuit of employment. You can take your list of achievements and translate them into relevant skills that your prospective employer is looking for.

The CV has important information but not it doesn't relay your personality & charisma Click To Tweet

The law degree will see everyone in much of the same position in terms of subjects. So the extracurricular activities and interest areas will be what makes you stand out – it is important to highlight this and make it clear in your cover letter.

What should I include?

The contents of the cover letter are dependent on what you are applying for. So before you jump into writing, take a few steps back and spend some time engaging with the requirements of the position you are applying for.

Is it a position at a big corporate law firm? Then your cover letter should focus on your ability to work long hours and maintain attention to detail; your ability to translate constructive criticism to a change in your work product and motivated attitude (to name a few).

If it is a position at a human rights non-government organization, then the cover letter will be completely different to the aforementioned. Mention motivated attitude again but now link it to previous experience highlighting your passion for the cause; determination to work regardless of the barriers and interest in following court decisions in this area and the trends you have seen.

Don’t make your cover letter another list of skills in a different order. Take that vacation work experience and make it work for you! Highlight how you learnt the value of networking and even though it was a long work day, you are excited at the prospect of challenging yourself and learning more.

Don’t make your cover letter another list of skills in a different order Click To Tweet

Should someone else read through it?

It can be nerve-wracking once you have poured your heart into this document to then expose yourself to a third party prior to sending it on to your prospective employer. However, there is a lot of value in getting insight as to whether you have sufficiently sold yourself for the position you are applying for.

It is important for a third party to read your cover letter together with your CV to assess whether there are any achievements or skills that you have missed out on including or whether something else could be more relevant to include.

Am I going to use this again?

I think it is helpful to start off with a generic cover letter that covers some of the transferable skills that will be relevant regardless of the position. Then working off this, tweak the original to suit the specific position.

Of course this means that your base cover letter needs to be cracker, and by cracker I mean a strong reflection of some of your core skills that differentiate you from the masses. Then for each new position you are applying for, go through the same process of analyzing the position and your suitability to it and amend your base cover letter accordingly.

Selling yourself is never a bad thing

You are amazing, you just need your prospective employer to see that Click To Tweet

You are amazing, you just need your prospective employer to see that. The benefit in taking the time to reflect on the position and your ability to fulfil the position can result in you realizing that perhaps you are not suited to being a corporate law associate because you don’t like working long hours and you have not really had an interest in corporate law given your previous experience.

Through spending more time and effort on the cover letter process, hopefully you manage to match yourself to position that will fulfil you and to which you are happily suited – it shouldn’t be a strain to sell yourself for a position.

Writing cover letters for jobs in media or communications

Remember, it's not about you, it's about what you can do for them Click To Tweet

The media industry is a very cutthroat place driven by extreme timelines and deadlines. That being said, most media professionals will not have time to read through pages of a cover letter explaining every single job you have ever had or what clubs you chaired in high school. They simply want to know these five things:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why should we hire you?
  3. What do you know about us as an organization/company/institution/publication?
  4. What sets you apart from the rest?
  5. How do we find you?

Put all this in a cover letter and you’re on your way to getting that interview call back you are hoping for. How to go about this though, is where most of us get it wrong. The world changes every day with each passing day, hour, minute and second, therefore it is imperative to keep up with the constant changes going on.

What worked as a cover letter say 5/6 years ago, is definitely not the case today in 2017. Check out the dos and don’ts below which I hope will be a quick guide to writing a great cover letter.

DO: Start off with a very intriguing first sentence

The media/comms industry is all about being creative and thinking of different angles to put points across. Do not just say, “I’m applying for this position because I really need a job and I feel this would be it”… Let’s avoid the tired cliches, shall we?

Start with what you know, which is your field, where you saw this vacancy and that you are interested in the position. This, first of all, gives them an assurance that their ads are being seen. Secondly, it tells them you know you fit the description by saying what you do already and lets them avoid wasting time reading the entire letter only to find out you don’t even know what you are applying for.

DON’T: Start writing out a detailed description of your resume or LinkedIn profile

By the time an editor, HR officer or head of department is receiving your cover letter, he/she has already looked at your resume. Do not waste time filling cover letters with repetitive content.

DO: Tailor your cover letter to the job description

Generic cover letters are a lazy way of applying for a job and they can be sniffed out from a mile away. A good example during my time working at an NGO, I was tasked with the job of going through various applications that had come in and had to cut them down to at least seven from 30 files.

Out of the 30, half the group had exactly the same cover letter, copied and pasted from a popular career website, just different names and sent on different dates. That saved me a lot of time in terms of evaluation but it cost those candidates a job because they did not bother to actually write a detailed cover letter.

Answer the questions they are asking by saying exactly how you fit the job requirements and you can provide one or two examples of what you have done in relation to the position.

Applying for a job in media/communications? Here are tips to write a stellar cover letter Click To Tweet

DON’T: Go overboard with selling yourself

Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for them. Focus on that. Don’t talk so much about where you went to school, or the accolades you achieved. In this industry particularly, your honours, summa cum laude nod, distinction… aren’t prioritized as much.

Someone with a Ph.D. can just as easily be outshone by a freshly graduated senior from college, it all boils down to efficiency, skill and how badly you want this job. Show them you are worth the investment, don’t tell them what they could have easily looked up on Google.

DO: Your research

Find out all you can about the place you are applying to. Talk to them about their visions, their values, their goals. Show them how adding you to their team will contribute to bringing about even better communication campaigns or how efficient of a designer/copy writer/editor you are thus providing a fresh approach to their brand/publication/business.

Show them you know them and that you are ready to not change things around, but contribute to an already well-established organization.

DON’T: Have grammatical errors

None whatsoever. Cross all your Ts, dot all your I’s, have every comma, period and apostrophe properly placed. Proof-read your letter once you are done writing to make sure there are no typos, spelling errors etc. Have someone else check it as well to have a fresh set of eyes on it.

There have been cases where an entire application has been cast aside due to one single typo in the cover letter. This industry is very detailed in the work they do and a simple mistake such as wrong spelling or a missing piece of information can cost them millions in the long run. A cover letter with grammar mistakes shows you are not meticulous and are sloppy with your work thus a liability to the company.

DO: Be brief

I’ll reiterate the concept of time. Most people in these industries will most likely skim through these applications than actually read through them. They will look for the five things mentioned above and tick off or cross out where appropriate and move on.

Anything more than a page will not be considered at most organizations because again, no one has time to read through all that. Do be brief and concise yet include every detail you deem important to you and them on there. The art of paraphrasing comes in handy when applying to fields such as these.

A cover letter to the UN will be very different from a cover letter to a travel magazine Click To Tweet

DON’T: Forget to provide contact information

If it is not located on your CV, the cover letter is the place one shall look for a way to find you. Also, provide a period of availability (if asked) and when you can be reached. These industries do not work with your typical 9-5 schedule and may sometimes want to call you after business hours. Make sure you can be reached.

DO: Be gracious

Treat this is as a once in a lifetime opportunity and say how fortunate you would be to join such a great work place. Make them feel good as a business and show that you will do this job to your absolute best if considered. Sign off politely, prompting that you hope to hear from them soon.

DON’T: Forget to follow up

This is especially if you are applying to someone directly and not going through the HR office/automated job portal. Send a follow-up email to he/she asking if they received your application.

Give it 3-5 business days before sending the first follow up email and when you do send it, kindly ask when you are likely to hear back from them if it is not indicated on the vacancy announcement.

Now I’m no expert at all things resume/cover letter writing but these are tips I learnt in school and picked up in my time as a job seeker. My cover letter went from a generic 2-3 paragraph email to a concise, one page word document, tailored to the different positions I have applied to over the years.

A cover letter to the United Nations will be very different from a cover letter to a travel magazine or an advertising agency. Keep these tips handy and keep practicing on your writing, the more you do it, the better you get at it. I wish you all the best!

Webinar with Odunayo (PushCV): Writing your cv and cover letter for your dream job (July 13)

What do the first six seconds of your CV say to a recruiter?

If you’re attending many job interviews but never get a call back from employers, we’re about to solve your job hunt misery.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, or how much skills you possess, having a bad CV and NO cover letter can end your chances for a job in no time.

Learn all you need to know from @OdunEweniyi about rewriting your CV and cover letter. (July 13) Click To Tweet

Now, whether you’re planning to write your CV yourself or get a professional writer, you also need to understand the difference between your CV and cover letter and know how to construct and present both to potential employers.

We’ll be chatting with tech founder and Chief Operations Officer of PushCV – Odunayo Eweniyi on Thursday, July 13th, about how to get the attention of recruiters, through your CV and cover letter.

Odunayo launched PushCV for both employers and job seekers – to fully harness the power of technology in the search for the perfect candidate or the perfect job.

Register for this webinar below.

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Techniques for Job application
  • Rewriting your CV and cover letter
  • How to get the attention of a recruiter in 6 seconds (Presentation)
  • Interviewing processes every job seeker must know of

Webinar Details:

Date: Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Time: Lagos 1pm // Joburg 2pm // Nairobi 3pm

Place: We’ll send you the link to watch once you register

Watch here:

About Odunayo

Odunayo Eweniyi is the Chief Operations Officer of Sharphire Global Limited – which owns subsidiary companies like PushCV, Piggybank.ng and FrontDesk.

Odun, as she is called, is very passionate about education, employment and most importantly, female empowerment, which enabled her to work with her team to build products to achieve that goal over the past 4 years.

She graduated with a first class degree in Computer Engineering from Covenant University. She loves to write a lot, and when she’s not working or eating, she’s watching TV shows.

Interview Prep Sheet

Your resume was on point. Your cover letter showed them how passionate you are for the job. You passed the screening call. Now all you have to do is ace the interview to get that dream job right?

The interview is where so many people stumble and lose out on the job of their dreams. Those of us who are good public speakers think we can just run up in there and say whatever comes to our minds. Those of us who are a bit more reserved have a hard time coming up with the right answers to questions even though we know what to say.

So how can you avoid missing out on a great opportunity due to silly interview mistakes? PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

Yep, we’re talking about practice. Not the actual interview, but practice. The best way to succeed in an interview is to do the work beforehand so you know your story top to bottom and can effectively communicate that to the hiring manager. We don’t want to see you answering questions like this:

Job Interview Meme

Girl bye. Like good bye and don’t come back again until you get your life.

Since you’re a smart woman and those smarts brought you to this page we know you’re ready to get started on some serious interview prep. The SLA Interview Prep Sheet will give you a checklist of top questions to think about in advance of your next interview and the space to work on what your top answers should be.


So how do you download this prep sheet? Easy –  just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide and AWESOME weekly content.  

 

Write The Perfect Cover Letter In One Hour

If you’ve found a job that you’re really excited about and can’t wait to apply for, this is the time for you to put your best foot forward. But do you know how to stand out from the competition? Everyone knows that resumes are critical but what about your cover letter?

Cover letters give you an opportunity to distinguish yourself from a flood of resumes. Use them to highlight your passion for the role, why you’re great fit for the company, and  your stellar communication skills.

Download the workbook, and in just a few step you’ll polish the cover letter that will differentiate you from the crowd.

Topics this guide will cover:

– How to select which work/volunteering experiences to highlight in your cover letter

– How to personalize your cover letter and showcase your research

– Structure and format

– How to write a strong opening and closing paragraph


Want access to this free guide and to start churning out cover letters like Kermit?Kermit typewriter

Just fill out the form below to join our community and get access to this guide and AWESOME weekly content.