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Increase your Chances of Getting a Better Job! Read 4 Tips for the Experienced Professional

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Looking for a job when you are above 35 or have several years of experience under your belt is a whole different ball game from the usual job search for fresh graduates or persons with a few years experience.

With the statistics putting the number of currently unemployed Nigerians at 20.3 million according to Dr Temi Kale the Statistician General of the Federation, it is more than ever before a bigger challenge to get mid to top level job opportunities. These statistics, corroborated by the Nigerian Directorate of Employment Director General Mallam Abubakar Mohammed represents 23.9% of Nigeria’s population. The competition in the market place is indeed fierce!

So what happens if you are out there with a bunch of qualifications and experience behind you and looking for executive or mid level management job opportunities? Here are ways you can increase your chances of landing an executive level position even as opportunities for high paying, top level jobs shrink further.

Exploit Your Contacts and Network
If you have over five years works experience behind you chances are that you have several networks you can exploit in your job search. The advantage you have of being experienced is that you must have met several persons in the past who may be in a position to help. These include former bosses, supervisors, colleagues, clients etc.  Think about your contacts who can potentially refer you to opportunities and don’t hesitate to ask. Apply for open positions. Data available shows that many jobs are open until the right candidate(s) are found and then the jobs are more or less no more vacant. Early applicants always stand better chances especially for jobs that require certain levels of experience.

Have Another Look at That CV
At Ngcareers we noticed a common trend in the CVs of most experienced job seekers. They list all past work experiences whether relevant or not and use the same CV to apply to several different jobs. To make your CV have the right impact for the type of job you are aiming to get, be sure to create a CV that highlights your past experiences that are relevant and useful to your current job aspirations. If you have worked for over 8 years there is no need including your NYSC work as a teacher in a junior secondary school when you are applying for an Operations Manager position. Instead, include all previous job experiences that will lend strength to your ability as a potentially good manager. This leads us to stating the obvious; ‘When you are Seeking for Highly Experienced Job Positions Never Ever Use the Same CV for Different Job Applications’. Each application should be with your CV but fine-tuned to project your relevant skills, qualifications and experience for that particular job.

Embark on Strategic Skills Upgrade
One way to make it easier for you to land jobs as a mid level or experienced job seeker is to do a check of your current qualifications, skills and knowledge. Are they still competitive enough or do you need to embark on some refresher courses? If your CV shows how active you have been in improving yourself you stand a better chance when submitting applications for such experience level jobs

Get Strategic With Your Online Networking
Nigeria is certainly witnessing a move to online networking platforms. While there is Facebook, the two online platforms we have found more practically useful for individuals looking to network for career opportunities are LinkedIn and Twitter. With LinkedIn you can easily find individuals working at any company and connect with them. The key here is to make your connections professional. Share useful information and make polite requests when the need arises. Don’t ever start to ask your connections on LinkedIn or the people you follow on Twitter to give you a job. If possible, try to get them become familiar with you at a professional level then request that they tip you with information on any opportunities in so and so area. Many of the experienced level job positions today are filled through back channels and insider tips.

I hope you found some of these tips helpful.

Photo Credit: elev8.com
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Paul Eze is the Co-Founder of Ngcareers a top job search and career site in Nigeria publishing thousands of jobs daily for renowned companies and recruiters. Follow on Twitter @Ngcareers

13 Comments

  1. Gracie

    February 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for this souvenir/ insightful information.

  2. Paul Eze

    February 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    You are welcome. Hope it helps

  3. jcsgrl

    February 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Please you forgot to add how some daft Nigerians (excuse my panya) will clearly read a job post online that gives them specific instructions on how to apply and yet they post “pls Sir I need a job. I have OND.” Is that how they told you to apply? Or CVs that just list the place and time you worked with no bullet points of what exactly they did. OMG! Don’t get me started on Nigerian candidates!

    • Paul

      March 5, 2013 at 2:44 am

      LOL. We get to see lots of them. Many do need to educate themselves of best ways to search and apply for relevant jobs. Sending in an application just for the sake of it means you do much work and get little or zero return. Thanks for reading

  4. Mz Socially Awkward...

    February 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I agree with your tips and one more tip I would like to add, if I may, is “Never burn bridges”. Try not to leave any employer on irrepairable terms because it’s often the case (or maybe I can say this because the industry I work in is very incestous) that you might find out a couple of years down the line of a plum job opening up in that company which you’ll be interested in applying for. And 9 times out of 10 ex-employees still on good terms with the employer are guaranteed to get the job.

    Of course, the rule doesn’t always work if you left because the situation was unbearable and your sanity/life/ethics were being seriously threatened. In which case, just fervently pray that God flushes out all of the previous management team and replaces them with reasonable human beings 🙂

  5. HRS

    February 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Well said…. Great article…. Never thought of having different CV for different job applications, but seeing it here, it makes a lot of sense… Will look into that ASAP!

  6. Maryann

    March 1, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for that information. Different cv for different job. Av learnt a new thing. God bless u

    • Anonymous

      March 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Err… I don’t think the writer meant different CVs for different jobs in that context. What he meant was if you are applying for a banking job and you’ve spent the last 4 years working in a bank but you worked in a hotel as front desk officer prior to joining the bank, simply take out that bit as it doesn’t add anything to your CV as regards the position you are currently aspiring for.

  7. oresiaa

    March 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    very insigfhtful information!! im growing fund of this website
    not only is it entertaining, it is also inspirational .
    the bellanaija team are doing a fantastic job

  8. Dooshima

    March 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Great write up…but just a little correction…the Statistician General of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics is Dr. Yemi Kale..not Temi Kale..

  9. emma

    March 5, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Pls, i have ‘OND’ in glass and ceramics technology but i could n’t get a job- pls help/advise me.

    • Paul Eze

      September 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Well there is no fool proof way to get a job otherwise most would have got themselves one. You can start by registering on http://ngcareers.com to kickstart your job search. Goodluck!

  10. Paul

    March 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    @Dooshima my bad. correction noted

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