How to find a job

  1. Polish up your CV. Clean up your CV to reflect all your qualifications, experiences, and skills. Try an online service to clean up your CV. Tailor the CV to the specific jobs you are looking for.
  2. Do a skills audit of yourself. Do an inventory of your skills, experiences, knowledge, strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to know your gaps which you can begin to work on. There are several online tools which can help.
  3. Research your target employer. Job hunting should be targeted. Don’t just throw CVs around without doing some research. I have always researched the company’s culture, pay, growth opportunities, my immediate boss, the industry, etc. Luckily most of this information is available online for most companies.
  4. Set up email job alerts. I have set up different job alerts on LinkedIn and other employment websites. Whenever a job is posted which matches my skill set I receive an email alert. I then check it out to see if it’s a fit. You can do this for the big employers as well on their career pages.
  5. Set up a LinkedIn profile. I am usually shocked when someone who is unemployed tells me they don’t have an updated LinkedIn profile. This is just being unserious. Most employers now research potential employees on LinkedIn.
  6. Prove your expertise. If you claim to be a business analyst there should be something online to verify your claim. Can I find an article you have published online? Where is the evidence of your work online. I don’t want to see your transcript. I want to see your work. If you’re a software engineer show me the apps and websites you have built.
  7. Intern. Look out for various internship programs around. Many businesses are looking for cheap labour and interns are cheap to hire. Try to negotiate for transport, food and some little airtime. Focus on learning as much as you can.
  8. Volunteer. You can volunteer in different companies and other social settings. For instance volunteering in your local church or community can help to display your leadership qualities to potential employers.
  9. Join employability programs. There are diffent employability programs around town. Join one of them. They usually involve some kind of reskilling, mentorship, and possible job placement.
  10. Go back to school. It’s never too late to go back to school. The course you choose should be based on your skills audit and your research of what potential employers want. Don’t just do a course to pass time.
  11. Work for free. Many people claim they are unemployed yet they are unwilling to work for free. When you work for free you break the curse of unemployment. Money comes after service. If you are not rendering any kind of service poverty will always be nearby. To keep poverty at bay you work. Don’t worry about pay. As you work more opportunities will show up and someone somewhere is going to notice your work ethic and they are going to take a chance on your. No one is going to take a chance on you when you’re just chilling in your parents house watching TV.
  12. Start providing your service. If you’re an accountant start providing your service at a very cheap rate to the small businesses around you. If you’re an environmentalist plant some trees around your community. Don’t just sit there with arms crossed waiting for paid employment.
  13. Send cold applications. After you’ve researched your target employers send as many cold applications as possible. Identify the hiring managers and send them personal emails. Arrange a meeting if possible. You have to be relentless in pursuit of employment. The competition is tight and the opportunities are few.
  14. Network with potential employers. These days people employ people they know. Most jobs are not even advertised. Network as much as possible. Join Rotary, church groups, community groups, SACCOs, Business networks, etc.
  15. Do a professional course. Employers generally prefer hiring a professional compared to a generalist. A professional accountant is more employable than a B.Com graduate.
  16. Freelance. We are now in a gig economy. Jobs are short lived and are project based. The internet has provided a platform to enable the gig economy.
  17. Work online. There are many opportunities to work online from the comfort of your home.
  18. Change careers. It’s not too late to change careers. I have seen teachers who have become data scientists. You just have to know what you want and then relentlessly pursue it.
  19. Go back to your previous employer. If you didn’t burn bridges with your previous employer you can always go back. I have seen many of these instances. So when you leave a job do it in such a way that you don’t ruffle so many feathers. You will always need your former employer in your career.
  20. Start your own business. As you job hunt start your own business. You may even find that you enjoy being your own boss after all.
  21. Be humble. Remain humble and teachable as you look for employment. Remain faithful. Don’t be desperate. No one wants to work with a desperate person. Take whatever job you can find. Don’t miss out on job opportunities because of self imposed standards. There is nothing wrong with operating a rolex chapati booth with your degree in the pocket.

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