Research has shown that the population of the unemployed in Nigeria and indeed the world over are becoming higher by the day. According to Adeolu Akinyemi, author of How to Get Your Dream Job, the factors to consider when looking for a job are:

  • Relevance of the job
  • Ambience
  • Remuneration, and
  • Growth opportunities.

The job should be a place where there is an opportunity to rise within the ranks, gather new experiences and grow career-wise. According to an article entitled Five Keys to Finding a Job (published by Awake Magazine, July 8, 2005, Edition), the person that obtains the best job is not always the most qualified applicant but the most effective job-seeker. Employment consultants and experts like Brian have identified the five steps that can be taken to become an effective job-seeker, which are as follows:

  • Getting composed
  • Penetration of the closed job market
  • Flexibility
  • Having a masterpiece of a curriculum vitae, and
  • Having adequate interview preparation

Getting Composed

According to Awake Magazine, if you have lost a good job or have been unemployed for some time, there is a possibility of getting dejected.

“When I first lost my job, I was optimistic about finding another one,” says Katharina, a dressmaker in Germany, “But as the months dragged on and I was unable to find work, I became depressed. Eventually, I even found it hard to talk about the subject with my friends.”

According to George Egbuonu in his book titled, How to Get a Job in 30 Days or Less!, It is important for you to establish your “workday” schedule so that you can start your day with the knowledge of what needs to be done. Set daily goals and record what you have done. Get dressed properly to have confidence even when talking on the telephone.

Penetration of the Closed Job Market

Research has shown that only about one-fifth of the job market is what is called open. That means that only 20% of job vacancies are ever publicly known. The main avenue of informing the public about these vacancies is through “wanted” adverts in the mass media as well as on the internet. Employment agencies and executive search firms are other sources of open market positions. The other four-fifth of the market can be conceived as closed, implying that you cannot find out the vacant positions unless you dig deep. The digging deep most often takes the form of making a compilation of the list of all the companies in your field that may you be interested in working for and contacting them to ask for an interview. This type of situation automatically necessitates sending out your cv accompanied by the kind of cover letter technically referred to as the uninvited or cold-contact letter. This job search tool can be handy, especially if you have a set of companies you wish to work for or are looking for a job in a specific geographical location. The uninvited cover letter enables you to take a proactive approach to job hunting instead of a reactive approach, in which you merely respond to adverts. It can be a great tool for unveiling hidden jobs where supposedly no vacancies exist.

Your letter can make such an impression that you will be remembered as soon as there is a vacancy in the target organisation. You may also be able to diplomatically create a job for yourself by convincing the prospective employer that the company needs someone with your talents. At the very least, you may secure an interview in which the potential employer can refer you to others in the field, who might need you. Whenever possible, any cover letter should be sent to a named individual, and with the uninvited letter. You can also employ a referral strategy by using the referral letter. This kind of cover letter is very close to the uninvited letter. This letter, too, is uninvited or has some edge.  It prominently displays the name of the person your addressee knows. Referral letters are the product of networking, which many experts see as the most efficient method of job hunting. In its simplest form, networking involves using everyone you know as a resource for finding a new job.

Referral letter can come about in a variety of sources. You might talk with someone at a meeting of the trade association in your field who will tell you of vacancies that are unaware of. An acquaintance at a party might tell you of someone he knows whose company could use an employee with your experience. A friend might tell you about a job he saw through his company’s internal job posting. The value of the referral letter is in its name dropping. If you can arrest the prospective employer’s attention in the first line of your letter by mentioning someone he knows and respects, then you have jumped over a major hurdle. Some variations on the referral letter include approaches like:

“Mr. Sola Oni of the Nigerian Stock Exchange suggested to me that you might have a vacancy for an Associate Editor.”  


Another thing suggested by Brian is to be adaptable or flexible when looking for a job. According to Jaime, “It is unlikely there you will find a job that has everything you hoped for. You need to learn to be content with the employment that is less than ideal.”

Being adaptable may imply getting over your prejudice against certain jobs. According to the said Awake Magazine, consider Ericka, who lives in Mexico and trained as an executive secretary, she was initially unable to find the kind of work she preferred.

“I learned to accept any suitable work,” she says. “For a while, I worked as a sales assistant. I also sold tacos on the street and cleaned houses. Eventually, I was able to find a job in my field of expertise.”

Masterpiece of a CV

You also need to have a masterpiece of his CV to get your desired job. Your curriculum vitae is a tool with the aim of winning an interview. Indeed, it is an advertisement. A great CV does not just tell a prospective employer what you have done that presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer there you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. It is so eye-catching that the reader is tempted to pick it up and read it. It stimulates the prospective employer’s interest in meeting with you and learning more about you. It inspires a potential employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview. You can create a CV that makes you stand out as a superhero candidate for a job you are seeking. With a well-composed CV; you will be invited for interviews more than many people that are more qualified than you. Note that the best-advertised product often gets our patronage than the best product.

According to Nicolas Lore, the author of the Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career For A Lifetime Of Satisfaction And Success, it is a mistake to think of your CV as a history of your past, as a personal statement or some sort of self-expression. Admittedly, most of the content of any CV is focused on your job history. But, write from the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you. If you write with that goal, your final product will be very different from if you write to inform or catalogue your job history.

To write a CV that is effective, you need to learn the strategy of writing a powerful but subtle advertising copy. Additionally, you must sell a product in which you have large personal investment, that is, yourself. It is because a lot of people do not think of the marketing way while composing a CV that they compose an ineffective one.

There are three types of CVs, and these are

  • Chronological
  • Functional, and
  • Combined Chronological Functional CVs.

The most effective one is the Combined Chronological Functional CV that takes care of the conceptual deficiencies of chronological and functional CVs.

Adequate Interview Preparation

According to Arch Lustberg, author of How to Sell Yourself, one of the most stressful speaking situations is the job interview, and we probably might have all been through it one time or another. If you need that job, and it seems as though your whole life depends on it, the stress can almost be unbearable. Lustberg says that if you are desperate and it shows, you have not got a chance, stressing that that piece of advice is the key to success in the job interview and every other form of communication. When an interviewer or an audience see you squirm, becomes aware of your desperation, you’re almost certain to be a loser.

Akinyemi on his part has this to say: “As a qualified interviewer, I have interviewed several candidates and even trained many interviewers. I can say categorically that the failure rate at interviews is also very alarming. It’s either that candidates do not know how to express themselves, are not adequately prepared or have spent (a) majority of the time on unnecessary competencies.”

According to Lenny Laskowski, a renowned communication consultant, while many of us may not think of job interviews as a presentation, it may be the first presentation we ever make. It may also be the most critical. Laskowski identifies the five stages of the interview process as:

  • Preparation
  • Introduction
  • Presentation
  • Obtaining necessary information for yourself, and,
  • Writing down all the reasons for the target company to hire you.

You need to ask if your background matches what the company is looking for. Ask if they are interviewing other people for the same position and when you can expect a decision. Ask if the interviewer wants you to call later for an update. Also, ask how long it will take before the interviewer decides. Never forget to follow up with a phone call or a thank you note. Tell the interviewer that you are interested if you are before you leave the interview.

Last Words

With a job interview, you are there to sell yourself not just ideas. First impressions are critical and like presentations, you should adequately prepare yourself for the interview. If you can do this, you will surely get the job you want.


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