By Jackie Edward
The Nigerian government plans to start registering unemployed Nigerians in order to match them with vacancies in the private sector and government agencies. When jobsforall.ng launches, it’s hoped that through skills and job matching, it will help to cut Nigeria’s growing unemployment rate of around 555,300 people aged between 15 and 64 years old. But while this new government initiative is yet to show its effectiveness, just why are so many Nigerians struggling to find work? Is it because many are failing to stand out amongst a population of 178.5 million people? Regardless of whether a person is a new graduate applying for their first job, or someone with extensive experience, there are certain steps to follow to increase a person’s chances of standing out as the best candidate.
But why are many Nigerians out of work?
Getting a job in Nigeria can sometimes feel like a lottery, considering the number of people all looking for employment at the same time. Recruiters say the jobs are out there, but to land that dream job, job hunters need to be the best they can be in regards to qualifications and personality, but also in how they apply for the job too. There might be hundreds of thousands of jobs up for grabs, but there are also millions of qualified applicants hoping to grab them. The tough competition in the job market has meant that employers and recruiters can be choosier about their hires. Yet, many job hunters are missing out on their dream jobs by failing the very first stage of the application process.
Isn’t sending in a CV enough?
A CV is more than just a piece of paper with some basic details. It’s the start of your communication with the employer and is often the only thing recruiters will use as the basis of whether to call you in for an interview. You might know you have the right skills and experience, but sending in an inadequate CV will just mean that you drop to the bottom of the pile. Competition for every job opening has become fierce. But many good candidates are simply failing right at the start of their job search by making some very basic errors with their CVs. Here are some of the most common mistakes recruiters see in the CVs that land on their desks:
· Badly formatted
· No exact dates of employment
· Gaps in employment history that are unexplained
· Too long
· No contact details
· Cover letters are too long
· Irrelevant personal information
· Spelling and grammatical mistakes
· Details of current salary or salary expectations
Make your CV work for you not against you
Your CV should act as your introduction to the employer and show them just what you can offer them. The recruiter will be judging you on what they see on that piece of paper (or screen). So, make it easy for them by using clear and legible fonts, with no vague words or phrases. Your CV must be right for the job and organization you are applying to. A one size fits all CV simply won’t work. And finally, always be honest with what you include, as you never know when you will have to back it up later on.