An HR Executive’s Tips for finding a job during COVID-19

This is by far one of the most challenging times in history. Businesses are shutting down, people have lost jobs and finding a job is even more challenging than ever.

As we adjust to life during a global health pandemic, operations departments all over the world are looking for ways to stay lean to weather the storm. While this might seem scary as hell if you are trying to find a job now, the good news is that there are still a lot of opportunities out there.

As you try to find a job to help you move on to the next phase of your career during COVID-19, here are some smart things you should do.

1. Restrategize

When it comes to finding a job, it might be time for you to go back to the drawing board. Be open to roles outside of your current career path. Think about what you can do today, or in the next 30, 60, and 90 days. It’s fine to take a job outside of your field for a little while, especially if it means it’ll help your personal finances.

Expanding your scope of work may even make you more marketable when the crisis is over. Use this time to explore jobs you may have not considered in the past, and perhaps you’ll find opportunities you’d never have thought of.

finding a job

2. Pick and Choose Your Targets

I cannot overemphasize the importance of research. It is very important to keep up with the latest news on companies hit by the crisis. This may not be the best time to be targeting a job in the oil and gas sector or the aviation sector, for instance.

Find out which companies and industries are still in operation and may not have been hit as much by the pandemic. Top picks to focus on for me would be logistics, technology, food, entertainment and telecommunication industries.

It doesn’t matter how many jobs are or aren’t out there, you must focus on looking for the right one for you- Nneka Alfred, HR Manager at She Leads Africa Click To Tweet

3. Work Your Network

There is no better time to reach out to your network. You may have been in contact with a recruiter, co-founder, or business owner in the past but slowed down on conversations.

Now is the time to rummage through those business social media contacts and let them know you’re available. As a recruiter, I can tell you that during these unprecedented times, what matters is value. More than ever, we rely on referrals and direct candidate sourcing versus investing time/resources on probability.

finding a job

4. Consider Freelancing

Freelancing does not mean that you are not good enough or that you stop chasing a full-time job but you need to keep an open mind. Most companies would rather not commit to long term funded projects as there is no clear or specific timeline for when this pandemic will phase out.

You can get freelance gigs on African focused sites like NoSweat, Jobvine, CediJob, Hausbuddy. You can also check out global freelance sites like UpworkFiverr, and Solidgigs. You never know, your first paid gig could be one click away.

5. Know the job description of the position you are applying for

Knowing more about the role helps you recall past achievements in previous jobs that align with the job description Click To Tweet


It is important that you study the job description to truly understand what the employer is looking for. This is extremely important. While the primary purpose of the job description is to detail the role and entice you to apply, there’s so much more you can do with it.

Knowing more about the role helps you come up with possible interview questions and recall past achievements in previous jobs that align with the job description. This is one of the easiest ways to ace your job interview.

6. Sell Yourself

Selling yourself involves you doing more than learning about the company. You’ll also need to also focus on the employer’s needs.

Learn how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way. Include testimonials or proof of past achievements to your resume, application, or professional profile. Your resume inspires any recruiter’s first guess, so you want to make sure it’s a compelling portrait of your strengths and skills.

The recruiter should not only see what you were responsible for but how well you did it and how you can make that success happen for them.

7. Ask for advice

We are humans, not robots. And when things don’t go as planned, we feel very sad. Reach out to colleagues, friends, mentors in similar sectors for moral support and practical advice on the best ways to land that job you seek. Be specific about the ways you want them to help you. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

8. Stay Positive

The most important thing when searching for a job in tough economic times is to keep a positive attitude. No matter how hard or how gut-wrenching these times are, my first order of business is to smack myself across the head with the simple message, “I will not give up. Caving in is not an option.”

Focus your energy instead on what you can control. Call that person at your dream company who is friends with your friend. Figure out how to use LinkedIn to your advantage. Take an online Excel course to shore up a required skill. Celebrate after each milestone to keep you energised.

Developing resilience isn’t easy, especially in these tough times. Pause, take a few deep breaths, meditate if you need to. But strap on your boots afterwards and find some new ways to muck your way to victory. You’ll find a job in no time!


Want access to more resources and articles to get you ahead in your career? Visit SheLeadsAfrica.org!

How to find a job on LinkedIn

Need a new job?  Well in case you didn’t know, LinkedIn can be one of the best places to start. This is why we’ll be taking you through 5 major tips for how to find the job of your dreams on LinkedIn. Play your cards right and you’d be surprised when potential recruiters are the ones reaching out to you! 

Update your profile

Think of LinkedIn as an online CV but with more. Don’t hold back, use this opportunity to detail the work you’ve done and the skills you have. Apart from a brief summary of your work experience, have a LinkedIn bio that’s interesting enough to read through with hobbies and a bit of what you’re passionate about. 

Set up job alerts

You can set up job alerts on your career interests dashboard so that LinkedIn notifies you when a new job is open. With this feature, you can be one of the first to apply for jobs you’re interested in.

Build your connections

Be sure to connect and engage with things and people that interest you on LinkedIn. Following companies that you’re interested in and connecting with their employees and recruiters is always a good idea. 

If you have a list of emails of people that you have connections with offline, all you need to do is upload a CSV file of those contacts and LinkedIn will automatically send connection requests to all of them. This can also help to give your LinkedIn profile a little boost. 

Reach out

When you’re looking for a job on LinkedIn, you’ll need to reach out to recruiters in your choice organisations. One way to make this easy is to have a message template that you can tweak

Here’s a good example: 

“Hello Ms. Archer

My name is Lerato. My background is in software engineering. I’m exploring job possibilities and at this stage, am thinking that Maverick could be a fit for me because I can design systems exceptionally well. Can we meet for 15 minutes to discuss?

Recruiters are busy people so you want to make sure you give at least a week for a reply. 

Let Recruiters Know You’re Open

Showing your profile to recruiters is another great way LinkedIn helps you find a job. To do this, enable the open to job opportunities feature on your LinkedIn profile. You can also choose to opt in to appear in recruiter searches that match your career interests.

LinkedIn tries to protect your privacy by not showing your preferences to recruiters in your current organisation but you need to know that it’s not a 100% guarantee that you will not be visible.

That’s it! You’re now on your way to applying for the job of your dreams!

How to find a mentor online- without leaving your house!

Since Covid-19, we’ve all been in search of new ways to do things from the comfort of our couches. Figuring out how to find a mentor online can be a bit challenging because successful people are usually booked and busy but it’s very doable!

When you’re looking to find a mentor online, sending a bunch of emails or LinkedIn messages requesting that they take you under their wings may not be the best way to go. If you’re looking to have someone to mentor you, they probably get tons of similar requests every day. You’ll need a strategy that helps you stand out. 

Here are some hacks to help you find a mentor online and possibly a friend for life: 

Find relevant people

find a mentor

If you haven’t already, make a list of people in your field who inspire you. You can then boil it down to 3-5 people. When you have your list, make sure you find out as much about these people as you can. To find a mentor, you can also use the LinkedIn Career Advice feature, a great tool for finding new mentors. 

Make yourself visible

The next step is to make sure your LinkedIn is popping with your work experience and accomplishments. The CEO of a company is not very likely to reply to a message from an account with no bio and 5 connections. Apart from LinkedIn, you want to make sure your presence on social media is clean and reflects who you are in the best way possible.

Hit them up!

find a mentor

Now it’s time to send a message to your mentor. Don’t say who you are and then go on to ask for them to mentor you. What you want to do is show that you respect the work they’ve done and talk about how this has also impacted your own life, you can then go ahead to ask if they can help with a specific area of your career.

Once you do this, don’t forget to give a reasonable time for a reply, preferably a week. Make it easy for them to contact you by providing your contact information.

What can you do for them?

Don’t forget that mentors are people too so what you want to do is gain their friendship. One of the best ways to get a mentor is to build a personal connection.

Volunteer to help them with a project, help out with a cause they’re passionate about or offer to help with some research. You can even interview or write an article about them – this is a great way to get to know who they are and connect with them in the process.

How to Create a Slaying Social Media Strategy

Social media has become the next big thing. One can’t deny the relevance of social media marketing in driving website traffic, creating brand awareness and generating leads. 

Statistics show around 90 percent of adults aged 18-29 are on social media. Most people mention social media as their preferred source of communication with businesses.

After reading this, you may consider creating a social media strategy and want to start straight away. However, there are a few things to consider before creating a social media strategy. These pointers ensure you don’t mess up your campaign.


Define Goals and Objectives

The first thing you want to do before coming up with a social media strategy is to have a clearly defined set of goals. You need to ask yourself, ‘what do you want to achieve out of your efforts?’. Social media marketing isn’t about flipping a switch and calling it a day.

So to start, it is important to set SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Your goals will not only determine how much effort you put but also what type of resources you will need to invest in to get certain results. Some social media goals you can consider include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Higher quality of sales
  • Improve ROI (return on investment)
  • Create a loyal fan base

Target Audience

Where are your customers likely to be found? Approximately 70 percent of adults use Facebook but that doesn’t mean your customers are actively engaging with your brand there.

When you target your audience, you get to understand things like who buys your products, their age groups, and income level. It’s important you understand demographics such as age, location, job title, and income level. What are their pain points? Their challenges and needs?

All these are necessary as they inform the type of content to use. But more so, you also need to determine what social media channel will be most effective towards achieving your goals. You can learn more about this through researching essential demographic data for each social media platform. This will help you determine what tactics to employ.

Source: Sprout Social

Track, Measure and Improve

Remember those goals you set out to achieve? You will need to find a way of measuring your work to ensure that you are meeting your goals. Metrics are important in social media marketing as they help you understand how your business is doing out in the public.

To select metrics, you ask yourself, ‘what social media metrics are associated with my overall goals?’ Vanity metrics such as likes and followers will not be enough to tell the full story of how well your brand is doing on social media. There are 4 main ways you can measure metrics – reach, engagement, clicks and hashtag performance.

Finally, it is important to often and always check up on how your social media strategy is doing. Change is constant. Platforms such as Facebook change their algorithms all the time. Therefore, there is a need for you to continuously track and measure your online activities to see which areas need improvement. 

Investigate your competitors

This is an important step to an effective social media strategy. It’s important you investigate your competitors to see what they’re doing. In doing this, you learn from their failures and successes.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to copy exactly what they’re doing. No! Researching your competitors lets you know what’s working for them so you can adjust and incorporate it into yours. Before creating content, it’s good you investigate what others are doing. You often find new ways to look at the content by analyzing what’s making your competitors successful. 

Create engaging content

No one maintains interest in content that is not engaging. Therefore, it is very important to always try and create content that is engaging, but that it also aligned with your brand’s identity. So you need to ask questions such as what type of content should be posted? What about time and frequency? In doing all these things, you will be able to have a successful social media strategy.

Make yourself stand out: How to build your public profile with Imad Mesdoua

Big news, our first #SheHiveLondon event took place over the weekend. As with all our #SheHive sessions across the world, we were joined by inspiring speakers who are making waves in their industry. One of those speakers was Imad Mesdoua, a political risk analyst, senior manager at Africa Matters, TEDx speaker and the list goes on.

He’s spoken on major channels like the BBC and rubbed shoulders with some of Africa’s most influential policy makers. Safe to say, he’s mastered the art of building his profile and becoming a known name in politics. If you missed Imad’s session in the flesh, we’ve summarised his top tips on how to make your public profile stand out like his. You’re welcome.


1. Twitter and LinkedIn are your friends

Social media is one of the most powerful tools of recent generations. The question is, are you using them well? For Imad, engaging in social media opened up opportunities to speak to politicians, journalists and other influencers who may have been difficult to contact in the past. It even landed him a mentor -all he did was reach out and express his desire to make an impact in his field.

Imad reminded us to never underestimate the power of Twitter. Instead, follow the movers and shakers in your industry and share your opinions on trending topics. Embrace popular hashtags, be fun and relevant but remember to keep it professional.

Stay away from Kanye-style rants and you’ll be fine. Remember, at the end of the day it is all about trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making those all-important professional connections. It gives you the chance to showcase your education, your work achievements and your interests all on one page. It’s the perfect way to make a strong first impression online, so make sure it’s up to date and includes enough detail to keep people interested.

Imad Mesdoua Yemi Osinbanjo
Imad with Nigeria’s Vice President Osinbanjo

2. Be a social butterfly and become a familiar face at events

This one isn’t just for the extroverts of the world. Even if you’re a little more introverted, heading to events specific to your sector or industry can do wonders for your public profile.

Getting out there to events like #SheHive and others is the best way to learn from industry leaders, gain knowledge and establish lasting relationships. If you go to enough events, you’ll start to see familiar faces and become known as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

For every person you meet, think of how you’ll describe yourself in 20 seconds and how you can add value to your new found contact’s life. We know, we know, networking can be scary, so here’s how you can make the most of it.

3. Be a student of life and escape the comfort zone

Never rest on your laurels. One thing Imad noticed is that sometimes we establish our skills and talents and then get too comfortable. We stop learning and adding to our experiences, which can be a disadvantage in the competitive world of business.

One way to overcome this is to dive out of your comfort zone. For Imad, this meant getting a job outside of the Africa-focused political industry. While doing something different might feel strange, it makes us ready to take on new challenges.

Let’s admit it, looking for a new opportunities is never easy and sometimes you have to think out of the box. While looking for his ideal job, Imad himself got creative and took on speech writing and consulting roles which helped him meet his long-term career goals.

Naomi Campbell Never Rest on Your Laurels
Mama Naomi said it best

4. The one thing you can’t forget…

You can be a social media pro who is at every event and who always builds on her skills, but without this one thing it all falls apart. That one thing is professionalism.

Professionalism ties all your efforts together. Professionalism means being consistent and going the extra mile to hone your craft and personal brand. In Imad’s case, that meant ‘overdress, overspeak and oversabi’. Remember to have fun with it though, find what drives you, pursue it and be open to making changes along the way.


While #SheHiveLondon might be over, don’t worry, the world tour continues. Lagos and Jo’burg, we’re coming for you!

5 ways to upgrade your LinkedIn profile

Improve your LinkedIn profile in just one

Your LinkedIn profile is your introduction to the professional world. It is just as important as your resume/CV. However, the two are different. If your LinkedIn profile is an exact copy of your resume/CV then you are doing it wrong.

LinkedIn provides users with a platform where then can include more aspects in their profile than they can fit in a standard resume/CV. Use that to your advantage. Think of it as a marketing tool.

Remember that recruiters are now using LinkedIn to not only vet job applicants before an interview, but also to find and contact potential candidates.

Wondering how to upgrade your profile? Here are 5 ways you can do it:

1. Get a great headshot

Yes, it is necessary! No one wants to click on a profile without a picture. You want your profile to get the attention it deserves so upload a photo. Not just any photo either. That means no selfies, group photos or pictures of you turning up.

Put up a high-resolution picture of yourself without anything distracting in the background. Dress appropriately and smile. You want the picture to exude confidence and happiness.

Read more here: 3 Ways To Transform Your LinkedIn Profile From Crappy to Fabulous

2. Add a creative headline

The headline is one of the first things that people looking at your profile will see. It should grab their attention and compel them to read on. Think about your next career step.

Where do you see yourself? What kind of opportunities do you want to explore? Use this to inform how you craft your headline. Incorporate keywords and structure it in a way that it shows exactly who you want to be.

 Think of your LinkedIn headline as a condensed mission statement. 

3. Write a concise summary

A well-written summary will help recruiters and potential partners find you. Make it personal. Share your passion about the industry you are in or are looking to transition to.

What is your background? What have you achieved so far? What are your career goals? Use keywords and weave your responses into a career story that will give recruiters insight into who you are, and make them want to meet you.

Read more here: Three Steps To Writing The Perfect LinkedIn Summary

4. Add media

LinkedIn allows users to incorporate media to their experience section. It’s a great way for people to get a sense of what you have done.

Have a presentation, video, photo or document that you worked on? Upload it. Is your work online? Link to it. Add media that you are proud of and that showcases the range of your abilities.

Take advantage of the media add-ons on LinkedIn to SHOW people exactly what you are capable of.

5. Skills and endorsements

Be strategic about the skills that you list. Limit them to the ones you are most confident in and that you want to be known for.

Endorse your colleagues’ skills. Chances are they will do the same for you. Endorsements show that you have the skills and expertise that you say do.

Have you tried any of these tips? Were they helpful? Any others I didn’t mention? Go ahead and share them with me below.