Here are 5 reasons why you need a personal website

Have you ever seen  a myname.com website and thought “oh that’s so cool but it’s not for me?”

Well let me shock you, if you want to stand out online whether in the corporate or business world as a slay queen in the 21st century, then you best believe it’s for you.

Still in doubt, let me give you 5 reasons why you need to grab your domain name and have a beautiful website designed to suit your goals and personality.

1. Your paper resume is about to go extinct!

A recent study by OfficeTeam shows that more than one-third of companies feel that resumes will be replaced by profiles on social networks. What this means is that prospective employers and clients are and will be searching for you online.

Having a personal website that is optimized for search will ensure that they find you when they need you – @OlubunmiFaj Click To Tweet

2. You get a home for all your online activities

It means that even if all social media platforms crash, there’s still something to your name on the web.

It also means that there’s something to link to when people mention you on the web.

3. Worldwide exposure

Having a personal website allows you to be able to express yourself, your gifts and your thoughts online thereby building thought leadership in your areas of experience and expertise.

This makes you more attractive to people seeking to work with you.

4. Make digital sales

“I don’t want another source of income,” said NO ONE EVER!

Having a personal website makes it easy for you to create and sell virtual products without messing with your job or business.

You can host products such as ebooks, online courses, pre-recorded songs and albums, webinars and so much more on your personal website and make passive income from them.

5. Build your personal brand

Having a personal website helps you get conscious about building your personal brand.

You can retire or resign from a job or business, but you can never resign or retire from being you. So don’t build your career or business and forget to build your personal brand.


If you’d like to learn more about building thought leadership and online visibility for your personal or business brand, please click here to get access to my FREE online visibility checklist on my personal website 😁.

Theodorah Manjo: Building a brand starts with being relatable

Theodorah Manjo

Popularly known as Miss Manjo on the Twitter streets, Theodorah  Manjo is a digital marketer and online influencer with a thing for helping the unemployed better themselves.

Her timeline exudes positivity and humility and through her social media content, her passion for guiding and assisting the unemployed through knowledge sharing and upliftment is hard to miss.

In this interview, she talks about building and maintaining a brand online and how to put your best foot forward with your CV.


 You are essentially Twitter famous, how do you get to 63k+ followers?

I came across a cool social media team called The Hand of Sas (now known as HOS) about two years ago and it was like having an online family. We spoke about everything social media, online etiquette and how to have an “online voice”.

I learned how to speak to “strangers” in a familiar way, showing my personality and allowing people to be a part of my life even when they didn’t know.

I started falling in love with the aspect of being able to reach & speak to people in provinces I have never been to, and it expanded to Africa. I’m now part of a team called #AfricaTweetChat where we discuss all things digital media with people from all corners of this continent. It makes me so happy!

Building a brand online starts with being relatable. - @MissManjo Click To Tweet

Building a brand really starts with being relatable, following and talking to people and understanding that everyone will always be “strong” behind a screen & you shouldn’t take what people say online to heart because you WILL break.

Don’t be reckless, if you say something online, make sure that you will be able to stand by that even 6 years from now because once it’s out there, somebody has already screen-grabbed it.

How do you use your influencer status to continue to build your brand?

It is all relationship building, making connections and again, being relatable to your audience. The biggest thing is being true to what your story is, you are either a food enthusiast, a budding entrepreneur, an artist or a student going through the motions.

People follow you because they can ‘relate’ or they can learn from you and enjoy your content.

I have always been vocal on unemployment, social media characters/influencers and how to conduct yourself online. Through my content on those topics, people got to know what makes me tick.

Yes, my content varies – I have jokes, I have rants, but most of all I engage with my followers. I want to know what other people are busy with, what makes their day and how I can connect with them NOW so that later, we can have a meaningful relationship.

It has proven to be amazing and I have met & befriended a lot of wonderful people online.

Don't be reckless, if you say something online, make sure to stand by that even 6 years from now - @MissManjo Click To Tweet

What is the ultimate story for Miss Manjo story?

Hmm, what a thought-provoking question. What’s my story? I want to be able to reach and teach at least one person a month, at least ten people in a year. I want my presence online to be relevant and make sense. It’s not about me, it’s about us – how do WE get better at this life thing together?!

Celebrate yourself. Are you happy, are you giving and are you helping someone be a better version of themselves? – These are my heart notes to myself daily.

What is your strategy for online brand preservation?

Think ahead! I want to be big in my industry, I want kids one day – will what I put out there make my future baby girl cringe? Will it result in me having a meeting with my CEO about being too expressive? If questioned about what I tweet personally, will I be able to look at the person in the eye, and stand by what I said without quivering?.

I am still a person at the end of the day, things make me angry, people make me angry but what will this mean for me tomorrow morning? Is this who I want SA & Africa to think I am?
Practice what you preach or change your speech. And sometimes, there is beauty in silence!

Practice what you preach or change your speech. - @MissManjo Click To Tweet

On helping the youth get jobs, and keep them!

How did the passion to guide and assist the unemployed come about?

I started working at a recruitment agency while I was in between jobs. I only stayed three months because my spirit didn’t really agree with how recruitment worked in this particular place and also, I am a creative so I felt like I was boxed.

The whole trend was that they would find people already in employment and headhunt them when in reality there are thousands of people who are unemployed and have the right skills.

Through my frustrations of not finding candidates for my roles, I created a Facebook page and I wanted to explore a medium that had a lot of “word of mouth” but with individuals who may not all be employed, and that was how “I Need Someone Who…JOBS” was created on a Tuesday afternoon, without my team leader knowing.

It was a risk in that I would probably get kicked out of my job or receive a warning, but my gut didn’t let me down; I was ready to fight for this cause even if meant I would have to be moved to an admin position due to disobedience.

This is where I discovered just how much heart I had for those who were unemployed, because a month ago, I didn’t know where to look for a job, nor did I have the means to, but thanks to friends and connections I was lead to this place that has allowed me to change potentially thousands of South African peoples’ lives.

 

When one reads a job advert, what are some of the red flags to be mindful of?

  • Company name and the grammar: Most things will stand out like using small letters at the beginning of a sentence or addressing names with small letters, sentences that use “WhatsApp language”.
  • Method of contact: The biggest one is the fax. Who still uses a fax? Why would a company email you just for them to ask you to respond via fax?
  • Contact…: “Contact Miss Mary or Mr. Victor” – nobody addresses people with a Miss or Mr and ‘first name’.

What are your top 5 tips for putting together a CV?

  1. Keep your CV clean, check your grammar & punctuation
    2. Make sure you put your role, company name & time spent there
    3. Bullet point all your duties, don’t be brief. In place of ‘admin’, say ‘took minutes at meetings, facilitated in budgets for company events, scheduled and arranged meetings etc. If you don’t sell yourself, who will?
    4. References – make sure your references KNOW that they are your references; make sure they will speak WELL of you. Do not put your manager who was trying to get you out, you will never find a job. Rather find another senior person who worked with you to vouch for your work ethic.
    5. Only add relevant things to your CV. Some people like to add hobbies, my hobbies of dancing will not add value to an Accountant position. So why put it in?

For people with no experience, what should be highlighted on a CV?

  • Make your personal summary (two to three sentences right at the top) tell the employer about your capabilities.
  • Add what skills you have and how they will assist in the advertised role. Align your skills with the job spec.
  • Add achievements, community work – this CV will be more of personality, skills, and traits rather than of your experience.

How do I best present my experience?

Don’t shortchange yourself, if you worked with your account director aligning strategies as an account manager, that is a skill & experience you would want people to know about.

In your comprehensive CV, make sure you detail the IMPORTANT aspects of your roles in such a way that a promotion in your next role is an obvious step up.

Most if not all recruiters will search via keywords, so include the important terms to be found easier.

What are your top tips to keeping a job

The biggest tip is basic and biblical, whatever work you do, work with EXCELLENCE and you shall be rewarded. It may not be in a week, or a year – but one day you will be grateful that you always gave your 110% even when you felt that nobody appreciated your efforts.

You should also follow the following tips:

  • Have a learning spirit.
  • Ask questions.
  • Volunteer to help. Even those tedious admin duties, do them and do them well. The more you learn the greater you will be when you get to the next level of your career.
  • Never talk about your work/colleagues on social media. It becomes messy even if they aren’t on your platforms, people are connected.

One day you will be grateful you always gave your 110% even when you felt nobody appreciated your efforts - @MissManjo Click To Tweet


 If you’d like to get featured on our Facebook page, click here to share your story with us.

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.

What is your next employer looking for?

Employers have a certain type of candidate they need to join their organization. Opportunities will open up, and you will be among those seeking (and eventually chosen) for that role.

This article shares what the employer is looking for as well extra tips on what you also need to avoid or stop doing if you want to enjoy a fulfilling career.


Reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness

To succeed in your career, you need to be trustworthy. Your boss, team members, and other colleagues can depend on you to carry out agreed tasks and keep your word. You need to be a reliable member of the team. Those are the ones that get recognized and get to higher heights in their careers.

Listening

Communication as an essential skill cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, listening is a challenge for most people. Learn to listen attentively and go a step further to ask questions and clarify statements or comments so that you avoid making mistakes in the long run.

Do not assume that you heard one thing and then do the other. That is a career stumbling block right there. Try and re-iterate what needs to be said enough to make sure you are sure about what you have interpreted.

Know your onions

Make sure you have the ability to actually carry out the job you’ve been employed to do. No distractions or time wasting on tasks.

Let your wardrobe SLAY

Depending on the type of job it is, wardrobe co-ordination is very essential. Your day at work should be a day you can easily create a professional impression. Get your outfits suitable enough to show that you are ready, qualified and happy to be given an opportunity at the company.

I suggest you do smart and professional dressing in your first few weeks until you settle into your role and the organization’s culture.

Always be punctual

Being punctual is essential. From your work start time, to your work prioritization, you need to eliminate all forms of “African time”. Click To Tweet

Know your key strengths

You have a gift. Call it talent, skill or passion. Just know you have a gift. Figure out what it is. It is also identified as your key strength. You already have it. It may take time to discover but you will and can discover them.

Develop and learn from others

The interesting thing is that you can always find a person who also identifies with your strength and has done more in developing this key attribute.

That is why we have mentors or coaches and role models. You should have an attitude that is willing to learn. Your attitude to learning from others will determine your acceleration.

Take personal responsibility

You are what you create. Make decisions and stand by the consequences of them. Click To Tweet

Kill that entitlement mindset that blames everyone but yourself. Determine to not only grow but to also be the one going to make sure you definitely grow.

Below are some habits that employees need to really avoid.

All employers aren’t the same but you can be an exceptional employee and that attitude will take you higher. Click To Tweet 

I recommend this to everyone looking to attain a higher impact in their chosen field.

1. Taking all the credit

Working as part of a team means everyone contributes their own quota to the success of a task, goal or project. Do not take credit for anything you do. Even when you work alone on a project, it will be obvious what your contributions are but even in that, you still would have needed some input or help from someone other than yourself.

Avoid taking credit that you don’t deserve and over-estimate your participation to the achievement of a goal.

2. Talking down on others

It is totally wrong to speak to a colleague in a derogatory manner. It makes you project yourself negatively and gives off the impression that you lack confidence and possess low self-esteem.

Avoid the urge to speak of or join in, to destroy a colleague’s work reputation. It’s an epic no for your career success.

3. Expressing anger at work

To be in a position of leadership is not a walk in the park. Expression of emotions especially anger is a skill that needs mastery. No one is entitled to use anger to intimidate or communicate at work. It is not a management or leadership tool. To ensure you enjoy a successful career, do not wear your emotions on your sleeves and express emotions when you need to and appropriately.

4. Negative Personality

Another career stall is one who has a negative personality. Everything about you is negative and distasteful. Nothing good comes from your conversations, you always have negativity and spread it to anyone around you. Your contributions are always negative, your output negative, your impression or comments about colleagues are also negative. The outcome is disastrous to your career success.

5. Inability to take responsibility for actions

Avoid the need to point fingers and blame everything and everyone for the mistake or gap. It is going to stall your career if you are unable to own up to it. When you lead a team, you, as the lead, are responsible for the success or failure. Do not pass on the buck but stand tall, admit the wrong, learn, adjust and move on.

6. Hoarding Information

Withholding information from your colleagues so that you can be in competition or at an advantage over them is not a criteria for a successful career.

It shows you are not a team player neither are you a candidate for getting into higher leadership positions. Information is to be shared, not kept as a secret weapon.


What key lessons have you learned as an employee or an employer? Share your experience with us here.

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.

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.

Odunayo Eweniyi: I kept going on interviews but was never hired

Push CV

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.

9 reasons you should (seriously) consider an internship

Internship

I started giving proper thought to my career during my second year at university. The buzz towards the end of that period was crazy, and getting an internship was all everyone seemed to talk about. The energy was amazing; everybody wanted to get into big firms, especially the investment banks. I would be having lunch, walking along the corridors, working in the computer labs and it was the same – Goldman Sachs this, JP Morgan that, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas…my head almost exploded at a point because that’s all I would hear about.

I wasn’t particularly bothered about getting an internship because I had gained a considerable amount of part-time work experience up until that time, and I had a very well paying summer job coming up at Edexcel (now Pearson UK). I had really enjoyed doing the job the previous summer because of the large number of Nigerian students working there. It was serious fun and there must have been at least 100 of us young Nigerians working there at some point.

Anyway, a great friend and classmate of mine, Chitra, asked me if I had applied to any of the investment banks. I said, “Nope, Edexcel pays very well and I enjoy the work.” She must have thought I was crazy, because she gave me an, ‘Are you ok? Can’t you see what your mates are doing?’ look.

She managed to convince me to put in at least ONE application. I procrastinated for a few days before deciding to check the websites. Lo and behold, I was too late – I had missed all the application deadlines (or so I thought).

I didn’t even feel bad, thinking ‘it wasn’t meant to be’. It must have been a few days later when she asked, “Did you check the Credit Suisse website?” I was like “Errr”…Anyway she told me it was still open and that the deadline was that day. I was like “Today? How am I supposed to get it done in a few hours?” Long story short, I dropped everything else, put in my application and forgot about it. I was convinced they wouldn’t call me because of how I rushed to get it done.

Imagine my surprise when I got called for a telephone interview – I couldn’t believe it. I passed the phone interview, and was invited to attend a 9-hour assessment centre (story for another day). I somehow managed to make it through that successfully, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was an A M A Z I N G experience. I got to meet and learn from so many brilliant people and was especially fortunate to have a great boss who helped me gain clarity with regards to a decision I had been struggling with for a while, like whether or not to do a master’s degree – I ended up not doing it).

Best of all, though, was the lunch. They had ALL sorts in there, Italian, Indian, Chinese – you name it. Even the dessert was nice. I always looked forward to lunch because of the many different options.

Anyway, let me get down to the real reason I wrote this post. What competitive advantage did my 3 months at Credit Suisse give me? Why should YOU intern?

Internships are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door in terms of getting a full time role. Work hard while you’re there, and there’s a good chance you’ll be asked back. I was made a full time offer for a graduate position immediately after my internship and this meant I didn’t have to worry about applying for jobs in my final year.

Upgrade your CV

Even if you’re not made an offer where you interned, the experience will seriously boost your CV and increase your chances of getting a job elsewhere.

Test drive a career path you’re interested in

I was bent on getting into the telecoms industry after graduation because I enjoyed all the telecoms modules I took as an undergrad. I’m glad I got a chance to intern because my experience at Credit Suisse was a key turning point in terms of helping me discover what I really enjoy doing. (I eventually did my NYSC at a telecoms company and I absolutely hated it).

Develop key transferable skills

An internship is a great opportunity to hone your existing skills and develop new ones, which employers are always looking out for when recruiting.

Learn the importance of work ethic

The workplace is very different from the school environment and the best way to learn work etiquette is in a real life work environment.

Build your network

You get to meet new people and build relationships you can leverage. ALL the jobs I’ve had since NYSC (and I mean ALL 5 jobs since 2009) have been through the network I’ve built over time.

Get professional training

I was ‘trained professionally’ for the first time during my internship. It was the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) training and must have been worth around $150 at the time. Not only did I get it free, I learnt some concepts that I still use today.

Earn a salary

While some internships are unpaid, mine was very well paid and I remember thinking ‘WOW’. It gave me an idea of what I could possibly earn as a full time graduate trainee. Besides, who (especially as a student) doesn’t like some extra cash? 😀

Boost your confidence

The experience seriously boosted my confidence because I had to hit the ground running in terms of the tasks I was assigned. I also had to learn and apply new concepts very quickly in a ‘real-life’ setting. This made me feel like I could achieve anything I set my mind to.

So, what’s holding you back from an internship? I hear many young job seekers complaining about the lack of opportunities in terms of jobs out there and while this is true, there are many ways you can help yourself get a few steps ahead and an internship is one of them.

There’s an absolutely amazing website called Stutern (by Jobberman) that you can use to find out about and apply for internships in Nigeria – I seriously suggest you check it out and apply for any opportunities that interest you.

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.