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5 Bitter Truths Nigerian Job Seekers Must Know

I’ve come across many Nigerian job seekers – frustrated job seekers who haven’t gotten their dream jobs after submitting several applications and showing up at more-than-countable interviews. And I’ve had chats with them regarding their job search.

One thing I’ve come to realize is that most of these job seekers cite various reasons when asked why they think they’ve not been able to land a job.

Some say they haven’t gotten a job because they have no “connections.” Some blame their own cases on studying the wrong courses at school. Some say they’re just unlucky. And some say recruiting managers have been unfair to them.

Recently, however, I met a seasoned recruiter and interviewer who had worked as a hiring manager for several Nigerian companies over the past 2 decades. In the course of our conversation, I asked him if hiring managers are truly unfair to some candidates during recruitment. And he responded well.

He told me that hiring managers have no reason to be unfair to any candidate, and that this claim by some job seekers isn’t true. He further explained that there are many things that most job seekers don’t understand about the recruitment process.

Now, if you’ve been searching for your dream job, but haven’t landed it, below are some truths you need to realize, as revealed by the man .

1. Being a perfect match for the job description doesn’t mean you’ll get the job

Even if the job description for a vacant position seems to be describing you specifically, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get the job. In fact, you may not get an interview invitation. This is because hiring managers look beyond your qualifications when making hiring decisions; they’re more interested in your skills and your achievements.

Also, not matching job descriptions perfectly doesn’t mean you have no chances of getting a job. In fact, you may be chosen over others with stronger credentials if you have skills and achievements that will make you asset to the employer.

However, this is not to mean that applicants who match job descriptions perfectly aren’t favorites. In fact, they have the brightest chances of getting the job. But sometimes, the job goes to less qualified candidates.

SUCCESS TIP: Don’t just highlight your skills an capabilities in your CV and application letter. Give instances in the past where you used them to achieve great results. And ensure that you include only skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

2. Most CVs end up in the trash bin after the first glance

For your information, the length of your CV is not what impresses hiring managers. What impresses them is its uniqueness and relevance to the job position you’re applying for.

What hiring managers hate the most is a generic CV – one of those several copies that you’ve made just to distribute around in case one of them falls on “fertile ground.” Such CVs land inside trash bins!

SUCCESS TIP: Tailor your CV to each job position you’re applying for. This may seem tedious, but it’s key to getting a job in this tight economy, as it convinces hiring managers that you’re serious about getting the job.

3. Not all CVs are checked

Some hiring managers don’t bother to check CVs; they believe CVs aren’t just enough to measure the employability of candidates.  Others believe that anyone—even the worst candidates for the job—can craft stellar CVs.

So, many managers would rather read application letters first, and then check the CVs of candidates with outstanding application letters. Even though this method seems odd, many hiring managers use it.

SUCCESS TIP: Write your application letter in a way that makes a powerful first impression.

4. Most application letters aren’t read to the end

Hiring managers receive tons of application letters, and yet, they’re given deadlines to fill vacant positions. And because they’re in a hurry to weed out mediocre applications, they usually read only the introduction paragraph in application letters. If they can’t find any compelling information within this paragraph, they trash the letter and move on to the next.

SUCCESS TIP: Let your introduction paragraph contain every piece of information that proves your suitability for the job.

5. Being eloquent at the interview doesn’t mean you’ll get the job

Most of the time, candidates who speak most eloquently at the interview are not given the job. So, even if the interviewers are nodding in response to your answers, this doesn’t signal that your answers are impressive. Interviewers like to tease with their nods!

While eloquence may be a plus, only relevant, honest, no-fluff answers impress interviewers.

SUCCESS TIP: Prepare adequately for the interview and avoid irrelevant answers.

By now, you should have realized few areas in which you’ve been making mistakes. Boost your chances of getting that dream job by correcting those mistakes. Good luck!

Guest Author: Abass Toriola is a Nigerian seasoned freelance writer and SEO strategist. He’s the author of the Ebook titled, “How to Get Your Dream Job in Nigeria.” 


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