About the Author
Babatunde Famoroti, the author of the book entitled Practical Steps to Securing a Job is a holder of a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the former Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti (now University of Ado Ekiti), where he graduated in 1990. Famoroti also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with specialisation in Human Resource Management from the University of Lagos in 2002. He has more than 14 years working experience in the private sector of the Nigerian economy.
According to the author, it is disheartening to note that thousands of our youths go through a tortuous academic system only to get submerged in the sea of the labour market at the end of the day. The situation has been like this because of a lot of reasons. The reasons include very few available and viable companies where to work, technical deficiency, inadequate training, professional incompetence, lack of information, poor contacts, mental laziness, and poor attitude, et cetera. Because of this situation, many job seekers cannot get a job while some are underemployed and underutilised, with many becoming unemployable. In some instances where job seekers get jobs, some have become redundant, while a lot more displaced, and some still are laid off in a short time.
Famoroti asserts that the objective of his book, therefore, is to highlight some of the factors militating against the chances of many jobseekers getting a job they desire. The book offers practical steps as to how to confront these seemingly innocuous but crippling problems and prepares the reader to face interviews with high hope of success. The book will also help the reader to discover attitude, talents and skills and offers the required physical, psychological and intellectual preparation needed to succeed during the search for a dream job.
The book is segmented into four sections.
Section One contains concepts such as introduction, field interviews, search for a job, how to respond to job adverts, writing an application letter, how to prepare for an interview, body language, suitable dress and likely questions. Few established companies are offering few jobs, while there are thousands of graduates and school leavers in search of employment year in year out. This has made interviews very competitive. Only people who distinguished themselves can secure a job. There are significant reasons why many applicants are disqualified before and during interviews. Some of these reasons, according to the author are the inability to address some fundamental qualitative issues, failure to pass essential quantitative and verbal reasoning test, and failure to make good grades in school. Unfortunately, there is so little that can be done to address the third deficiency at this point. We can only advise such applicants to improve their skills through self-development and obtain higher qualifications such as an MBA, MSc, PGD and the likes in relevant areas.
Among the many reasons why many candidates fail interviews are a poor curriculum vitae, lack of technical skills, poor outlook, poor body language, lateness and mental laziness. A job seeker should know the various ways open to him before he goes about the job search. A job seeker needs to do the following:
- prepare a good curriculum vitae
- read newspapers, professional magazines and journals for job placements and advertisements,
- search the Internet for useful recruitment information
- contact the human resources or personnel manager that can be of assistance regarding relevant details
- send CV with a cover letter detailing career goals, skills and potential,
- join professional institutions that are relevant to your career aspirations to give you added value, et cetera.
The author also looks at the composition of an application letter, stressing that it is strictly a formal letter. It must include all the structures of an official letter. Most importantly, it must be short, direct and straight to the point and written in clear language. You should use ruled foolscap sheet, put your address with dates on the top right corner, title and address of the employer/advertiser on the left, a step below where your address ends, put the job title as the heading, et cetera.
Section Two of the book explicitly examines how to compose a masterpiece of CV. Curriculum vitae is meant to provide concise but successful information about you that would efficiently qualify you for the next stage of the recruitment process. The importance of CV is central to getting a job. It is so critical that you need to prepare it carefully. Your CV is your other self. It must draw attention to you. It should have the capability to make prospective employers recognise your ability. If your CV does not earn you an interview, then it is not good enough.
The author identifies three types of CV you can compose as the chronological, functional and one-page summary. In a chronological CV, you list your employment history in reverse chronological order. This type of CV is the most effective when you are applying for jobs in the same line of work, and your CV demonstrates a clear record of career progression. The functional CV highlights your key skills and strengths, rather than career history, and it is most useful for first-time job hunters and those seeking a change of career. The one-page summary summarises your career and displays your track record, and is most useful for senior managers or those looking for freelance or temporary work. Additionally, the author offers tips and steps regarding how to compose a CV for different forms of career stages as well as career changes.
Section Three is based on practical questions typically asked in interviews, and it is subdivided into five sections. We have some segments such as quantitative attitude test, data sufficiency, problem-solving, sentence correction, et cetera.
Section Four of the book contains a bibliography, appendix and solutions of the practical interview questions listed in Section Three.
Stylistically, the author’s efforts are commendable. There is the simplicity of language and presentation, making the text interest-sustaining. The author uses a lot of detailed analyses and reflective illustrations to ensure easy understanding on the reader’s part. The title is simple and fascinating. What’s more, the book is a work of high aesthetic appeal. For instance, the cover is glossy and visually seductive, and the inside pages are well laid out. However, errors such as Forward (on the Content page) instead of Foreword, Masters degree instead of Master’s degree (back cover), Potentials instead of Potential, etc., should be corrected in the next edition.
However, overall, this text is a real compendium of practical, didactic and strategic employment tips. It is simply a must-have, must-read and must-digests for those looking for a better job or those who want to enhance their career.