The Pre-Interview Stage
This involves all the activities that you must deliberately and intentionally engage into position yourself properly. For a lot of candidates, interviews are intrinsically nerve-racking. Even for the most outgoing and extroverted person, there’s something about them that spikes tension and stress levels. In any case, the best way to counter the pressure is to be prepared to make a good first impression as this will ease your nerves and boost your confidence.
These tips I will be sharing are structured under the following headings, just to make it easy for you to digest.
- Identify Your Path: It is quite critical that at this point you already have clarity and understanding of what you’re looking for in a career. In the course of my work, I’ve had to ask a lot of job seekers what kinds of job they’re looking for and about 85% of the time, the response I get is “anything”. To which I then ask, ‘Even a mechanic’s job?’ I respond in this manner because ‘anything’ means just that; ‘anything’. In essence, what you are saying is that you are willing to accept a job that is below your qualification and level of expertise, one that is outside your scope of operation and practice and even more so, one that may not align with your ultimate goal in life, whatever that may be.
- Build an Active LinkedIn Profile: You may never understand the value of an active LinkedIn account until you have one. LinkedIn is not just another social media platform like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Beyond being an interactive online space, it is one that has the potential to help you land your dream job. It offers plenty of opportunities for those in the job market. This is why you wonder how Miss A got a new job when you know she was not actively searching. Another beautiful thing is that sometimes, you are not even planning to switch jobs but then a recruiter or Company Executive reaches out to you and requests your services and voila, you’re tendering your resignation at a former place of work. Believe me, this happens every day. This is how powerful LinkedIn is.
- Draft A Comprehensive Resume: I cannot overstress the importance of a well articulated CV. When I came back to Lagos after my NYSC in Zamfara State, Nigeria, I had to commence the job search which entailed writing a proper CV. Almost everyone I made contact with at the time had the same “profile” description on mine because we did not understand the value placed on this document and so, did not take the time to learn how to sell ourselves with it. I have seen many CVs that made me laugh and cry at the same time because they reminded me of mine, many years ago. I have also come across a few that made me eagerly anticipate meeting the candidate as soon as possible. The art of resume writing, I must confess, is a highly sought-after skill but it has also been the bane of many jobseekers and I will tell you how.
- Previous Experience: highlighting the achievements from your previous experience is very critical and sets you apart from the regular candidate and for fresh graduates that may think where they want to find the “previous experience” you can apply for internships and volunteer for assignments.
Click here to read part 2 of this series