Sunday, 19 February 2012

My 8 tips will get you hired faster!

After four years in campus, guys are now all over the Internet filling up aptitude,reasoning and numerical tests.Printing bureaus around campus are doing good business churning out resumes for students in the final year. Well that’s the traditional way of doing things. Everyone does that!!Worse still those paper resumes go straight to the Shredder a few seconds after you leave.So don't waste your money dropping them everywhere.Save trees!!Don't print them!!! 
A few get hired through this method. P&G, EABL, Nation Media, KQ, safaricom, The UN, Microsoft or Coca cola will not employ the whole class on 2012.We would all love to work for these companies and organisations but they have just a few slots. Missing a chance here doesn’t mean you aren’t the best. It just means you should look elsewhere!!A lot of firms in the medium sized companies’ category offer amazing careers and growth opportunities plus a reasonable pay package. So to start with let’s not jam P&G servers by all applying for jobs there!!!
A month ago I was recruiting human resource for a start up company my former boss had launched. I posted the vacancies on dealfish, and after 20 minutes the vacancies went viral!!Every Kenyan job site had the vacancies; The cover letters started flowing in; Following the advertisement on blah blah..i hereby submit my blah blah…. I got applications from the young, the old, the educated ones, guys in big companies, Calls were also countless. Everyone gave it a shot!!!
In just 3 days I had got over 350 emails for the two vacancies!!I had the courtesy to go through half of them and send out regrets and humbly say “We are glad you took your time to apply for this position, however we regret to let you know that you were not shortlisted. We have kept your resume in our database in case we need someone with your expertise in future we shall contact you.(Makes an applicant feel appreciated and gives him or her the energy to keep on applying). Finally I got 15 CV's that I liked and the rest as they say is history!!
This is what happens when you apply for jobs that are in the public domain!!
As you go through my tips,some of you may ask,but where does this guy work?has he made it in life to give us these tips?NO! I just have a little bit of experience in job seeking.My advice might help a few of you do it smarter than me and avoid mistakes i made.

Here are my tips!!

1.Have great cover letter
If you have to go traditional then invest your time In having a great cover letter. Template cover letters don’t work of you are serious about being hired.
Research shows that few or no people download let alone View attachments so for the 15 CV's I got, the cover letters were extremely nice. Made me feel like I wanted to know this guy better!!So that prompted me to open their attachments. If I liked what I read there too. Then I gave them a chance to interview with us!
Me,Bob and Wes the Marketer
By networking I do not mean going to state dinners, paying for expensive conferences or hanging out in expensive joints to meet the elite of the society. These people also go there with their selfish needs so not unless you are really cool and set to meet them, don’t do it that way. Those CEO’s we meet rarely remember us next time we bump into them. Your business card mostly will end up at the Dry cleaner if it was forgotten in his suit.
Networking here simply means knowing people around you. These guys will introduce you to people they know. Attend fairly priced events, concerts,clubs, theatres, free networking and coaching forums.etc. At these places you meet the kawaida Kenyan. These kawaida Kenyans know a lot of other guys. So if you impress them, they have lots of opportunities to offer!!!When I worked at shade systems, I met a guard who worked for the Canadian Embassy. These offices are not accessible to all and sundry, but because I knew the guard I got a pass at the gate(really Quick). With the pass I had the chance of presenting my proposal to the right guys in the procurement office. Most secretaries’ snob you, lie to you that the boss isn’t in, whereas he is right inside. Just imagine if you knew that pretty face? You’d get direct access to the boss!!!
3.Use Social Media!
Social media is a powerful social branding tool. If I check out your profile on Linked In, Facebook or twitter I should tell that you are a financial analyst, customer service expert an artist or a designer.
If I check out @alykhansatchu  i'll directly know what the guy does, Ruskin Onyambu, Josh Komoth, Wes the Marketer and several others are also a perfect examples
Everyone is on social media today, when you apply for jobs, guys check you out on Face book. Once in a while they send you a friend request to see your behavior. Are you the kind that talks about the weekend parties on a Tuesday morning? Do you have photos of you terribly drunk on your birthday right there on Facebook? What are your updates? Do you talk about women? The strip clubs with coolest mama’s? Don’t put it up all there!!
Add people in your industry, these guys frequently share out vacancies they have! Join the right interest groups; participate in discussions on various groups On Linked In. If your arguments hold water, someone may contact you for an opportunity.
Social media is also a good Keep in touch system. So once in a while check on your past buddies, colleagues at your former work place. Just know what they are up to and where they are. Occasionally you can meet them up for coffee or beer the boys way!
4.Start a blog!
Starting a blog may be a challenge to some of us, But my blog has worked for me! Its a good referral point and in most cases people don’t ask for my transcripts when giving me jobs or contracts!!!It’s a nice way to avoid the embarrassment from the D’s you have in accounting!!
A blog also helps me share my thoughts on various issues and topics. Such a forum is important if you also want to establish your authority in a certain field. It helps you share your knowledge with the rest of the world. With good hits, you can reach a good audience and sell yourself to the world. If you have the energy , drive and passion to start blogging go ahead and start one. Don’t do it for Google ad sense or monetise it at the beginning!!!

Most of us guys forget to ask for opportunities. You have really made that good impression but you forget to ask for a chance. Could be simple as…if you need someone in the marketing department at company XX , please notify me.
I randomly send my professional profile to new connections on Linked In. Introduce myself, what I have done and what my area of specialisation is and I clearly state it in my email that if an opening arises at company XX please feel free to submit my resume or profile for consideration.
This is tricky if done improperly and may not yield results. However what does it cost you to try it out!
Check on your friends, ask them to alert you when opportunities arise in places they work ; let them know you are looking for a job. Pass your resume to them. However don’t keep nagging your friends or acquaintances, uncles, relatives to get you a job…Every Kenyan has his or her own problems, priorities and issues. So let them help you. Don’t make it their work to GET you that job. Chances are they won’t!!!
6.Use your Appeal
Nyagz 4th Marketing@ UON
If you are beautiful with all the curves in the right places, why don’t you just drop your resume in person? If you are lucky to get past the dumb beautiful secretary at the reception go right ahead to the HR and give John the HR assistant your resume!!Do it professionally but use the ‘right amount’ of your sex appeal. John could be saved, dating or gay!!So much of this could also sell you as cheap, plain and stupid! Smiling sheepishly at john is also a turn off!!!Do it nicely, make sure John wants to recommend you to his manager because he wants you around the company and thinks you'd make a good colleague. Ladies get date offers every time, however it’s a bit foolish to just drink beer and dance the whole night.Sit the guys down, discuss some good professional issues with them, let them know you are intelligent, could be about the recent happenings in your industry, get them to discuss that(Shows you are updated)ask for their insights give them your opinion.
Maybe after two or three dates you can ask about any vacancies they might have or their recruitment process. Remember this guy or chic in some cases is interested in you so you can leverage on that to land a major deal!!However don’t forget it’s a date, not an interview or an audition!

7.Look Good!
Ruskin  UON and Peter Mwangi Of NSE
Everyone wants to hire a good looking guy or lady to represent the brand. If you are targeting to work in the marketing, sales or  PR departments..You need a bit of investment in how you look, because besides the good grades the person has to be Like able!!You don’t have to worry much about this, but at least a smile changes 30% of how you look!!So put it on!!
For guys dressing could set you apart here, clean shaved beards, a nice scent and a good sense of humour could get John interested in you. Chat him up, know what club he supports? If he is a gunner, empathise with him, if he looks easy; ask him about his take on Nyeri women?
8.Hit at Them
This is my favourite because I recently got an opportunity to work with a major multinational company’s (Read Coca cola) because I told them how they were messing up with their social media platform.
This may not work for everyone but if you are a marketer, designer, advertising or communication graduate, you may apply this!if you are keen, you will notice certain mistakes that companies make. As marketers we discuss commercials or campaigns that several companies run. If it’s a hit. Send an email to the marketing department, congratulate them for the good job. Point out certain aspects of the ad or scenes in the commercial where you felt they got it really on point!!If it was a miss, point it out to them squarely!!!Write down the mistakes articulately and spell it out to them. Give them reasons and recommendations or give them suggestions on what they can do differently next time!!Then attach your resume quietly!!They'll forward it to the HR and recommend yo!!!
If you have a blog, post your thoughts on it. Share it with your audience on various social media platforms. Chances are if the company didn’t want to hire you, a competitor will want to hire you!!

9.Take The experience first Money will come in later
After you finish campus don't expect to land a job with 100k plus salo..there are there,yes...but they competitively hire the best!!be reasonable...chances are some of us will become interns first,put on probation for 3 to 6 months on a meagre salary.This shouldn't demotivate you.
If you arent lucky to get a job straight away, do your internship hard,impress your bosses and dont forget to ask for positions you feel you qualify for.
If you did well on that probation period,chances are that you will be hired.However if you feel you are too experienced to be an intern,why don't you ask for a permanent position?Tell the panel that you would like to work for firm XX but not on internship because of reasons YY. If they feel you are worth it...they might as well give you a contract right away!!Every company wants to hire and retain the best.So if you fit the bill and you got the balls...Turn down the internship and ask for what you want!!Same thing applies when you are negotiating a salary!!
Since my second year i have worked for different firms in different industries. In some cases all i got was 10k if i was lucky!! or nothing,but i have also had the lucky breaks where i had a good salary and bonuses plus a company car assigned to me at 22 years!!!
All these jobs gave me a chance to meet new people and taught me a few things you probably don't know!!
My point here is...don't look at what they are paying you,focus on the other side of the coin..The experience you are getting,the growth opportunities available at the firm,do they offer good training programs to employees? I get job offers from time to time and share them with my friends on facebook however most of the guys ask me"How much are they paying?" My dear friends....if you had a business,how much would you pay an inexperienced graduate?with good grades got from dubbing exams on google and reading the last minute?(Be reasonable.)
Seize up these offers,volunteer,do free stuff...these activities sharpen you,give you the soft business skills you never learn from class and better still they help you fill up your resume.You will be surprised to see that a good number of graduates have only been polling clerks or referendum officials at the last general election or managed to be enumerators in the last census!!!
Are there other ways we could use on smart job seeking?Please share them with us.

Here are two Video resources to help you further!!!


  1. informative. certainly have highlighted some areas to be put into perspective

  2. You have really "HIT" on me en etals.

  3. I feel like I just got a kicked on the backside after reading this. Good looking out Sir.

  4. very informative a must read to all young entrepreneurs and all who need to start businesses and to the many frustrated by being jobless.....

  5. A very interesting read..

  6. A piece of advice worth a thousand words

  7. Very Educative. Wish all who read this shared it to others so that all of us know where to start especially starters or fresh graduates

    1. Thank you so much Dorcas for the review. I appreciate your kind words.

  8. Your website seem very yummy!!! I love chocolate!
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    your blog is good! I'll visit again :)
    God Bless You

  9. Interesting...After reading this, i must say it felt like "that's why". Good work. Have to put this into action pronto!!

  10. really cool article learnt a lot keep up the good work