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Get that Job

04 Nov

The unemployment problem is global and presents a particularly difficult labour market experience for youth. In Africa especially, unemployment and underemployment continue to be major obstacles to the full utilization of human resources despite relatively strong growth in the region over the last decade. Unemployment stalks Kenya’s youth. The youth are experiencing much higher unemployment rates than the rest of the Kenyan population. The youth in the urban areas are more at risk of social ills associated with unemployment.

Good news is that the Kenyan economy is rapidly expanding. Kenya has turned out to be the regional economic hub in Eastern Africa. Coming with this positive expansion is the need for human resources. Kenya’s institutions of higher learning are turning out high quality graduates year in and year out so competition is stiff and imagine if you add the number of expat students coming back for a piece of that “proverbial” pie.

It is imperative that you stand out as a candidate, and avoid hitting that wall of silence, i.e when you apply and apply for jobs and you do not even get a reply. Renowned Human Resources analyst Kunjan Zaveri has a few tips in order to get at least an interview when you apply for jobs:


1. Quality over quantity: For starters — and this might seem counter-intuitive when you’re feeling desperate to land a job — be selective. “No one should be applying for ‘thousands’ of jobs. Or even hundreds,” said Mary Ellen Slayter, a career expert at monster.com. “You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.” Instead, focus on whether you have the right skills and training for the jobs you actually want.

2. Peppering doesn’t work: Many people make the mistake of simply peppering their CV or resume with keywords, thinking that will be enough to get them through the applicant tracking system (ATS) software that 75 per cent of large companies use to screen applicants. But keywords alone won’t work, according to Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass, a career analytics company. Newer search technology offers a more “holistic evaluation” of your resume or CV than in the past. Therefore, your resume should not be a list of facts but rather a narrative that tells a story. “A narrative resume is essentially what every resume should aspire to be, that is, something that tells the story of your professional life in such a way that it’s clear that this new job is the next chapter in that story,” Sigelman said.

3. Do your homework: Mary Goldsmith’s biggest pet peeve when she was an executive recruitment consultant was applicants “who didn’t bother to edit their resume to reflect the needs of the organisation, or role requirements, even when a comprehensive position description was available.” Not taking the time to customise your resume gives a really bad first impression.Research the company before you complete your application for clues on how to develop your application. Check employee profiles to get an understanding of the type of people they recruit and what they value.

4. Name dropping: If you have experience at a well-known company, take advantage of it, suggested Steven Yeong, a recruiter coach. And send your CV to all of the direct competitors of the company where you worked.

5. Always a better way: No matter how well you craft your resume or CV, it still can’t beat a personal contact who can recommend you to a hiring manager or recruiter. “As everything changes in job search, some things remain the same,” said Wendy Enelow, founder and director of Resume Writing Academy. “Networking is still the number one way to find a new position.”





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