“You can only get a good-paying job if you have strong connections” is a popular saying amongst millennials in the Nigerian society. How true is this? If we are to critically examine this statement, we will find out that this is, in fact, our reality. An applicant can easily get a job in a reputable organization based on a referral, which can be likened to connection in this case, while another applicant, who is overqualified for the same job, might not get it. This form of nepotism has eaten deeply into our system, and it is going to take a huge overhaul to get rid of it totally.
So, while we are waiting for that revolution to happen, you know, the one where an applicant can get a job based on merit, what steps can you take to secure your place in the world of employment? The Nigerian labour market is already saturated with unemployed graduates, and in a few week’s time, Batch B, Stream 2 corp members will be joining the pool. Are you without great connections in high places, but you have excellent skills that can earn you a good-paying job? If your answer to this question is yes, then this article will definitely set you on the right track.
You must have heard of LinkedIn and how it is an amazing platform for professional networking. Are you also aware that many recruiters are lurking on this platform? As a millennial, you absolutely have no excuse not to have a LinkedIn profile. Although, you may find it a bit intimidating when you check different profiles on the platform, but what you should understand is the fact that you are not in a competition with anyone. You have just one duty to perform, which is to sell yourself to prospective employers. So, how can you increase your chances of getting employed? By simply following the steps below:
Create A LinkedIn Profile
As an applicant, it is very essential for you to have a LinkedIn profile. Gone are those days where recruiters scout for talents by the old, traditional methods. That is, posting job vacancies in newspapers and placing billboards outside their companies to notify applicants of a job opening. In this age and time, most recruiters make use of smarter ways to source for applicants online. This is very cost-effective, efficient, and time-saving. And this is where LinkedIn comes into play. As earlier stated, LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It enables you to upload your resume, certifications, achievements, and also bridges the gap in interacting with the top shots in your desired industry. Isn’t this amazing? You get to sift through the numerous vacancies posted on the platform daily, and you have the choice of settling for the one that resonates with your skills. This sounds easy, right? But how do you position yourself for the right job?
Build An Enticing Profile
I know you must have heard of the importance of talking about your skills whenever the opportunity arises. The relevance of this can never be overemphasized. You might say a book should never be judged by its cover, but do you realize that there are other books too with attractive covers that promise to be a good read? So tell me, would you rather choose a book with a blank cover and forgo a book with a beautiful cover and a powerful message on it? If your answer to this is “no”, then it simply means you understand the importance of presentation.
So, you have finally created a LinkedIn profile, the next thing to do is to portray yourself in an ‘approving manner’. Make your introduction, which can also suffice as a cover letter on your profile, compelling. Highlight your skills and the content you are willing to give your prospective employer or client. Write about your achievements, no matter how little you think they are. Did you volunteer at an orphanage home during your service year to help organize their stock record? Include it in your profile, as this will come in handy someday. Clearly list your skills, experience, educational qualifications, and additional certifications that you have acquired over the years.
Make it easy for that recruiter to employ you. Do not make your LinkedIn profile vague, as there are so many other options the recruiter can pick from. Fill up your profile with ample information about your skills and work experience. And please, be truthful.
Connect And Interact With Like-Minded People In Your Field
LinkedIn can be likened to the Facebook platform. The major difference is that the former is a more professional platform. You can search for the people you look up to in your industry and connect with them. Use this opportunity to follow different recruiters to get daily updates on job vacancies. Interact with your followers and those that you are following by liking, commenting, and also sharing their posts. Write meaningful content on your page, and always respond to comments on your post. You will be amazed by the number of people you will get acquainted with. Above all, try to keep it classy and professional always. People you do not even know will view your profile, what perception do you want them to have about your personality and work ethics? Always keep it refined.
Make The First Move
If you are not getting the desired result you wish for, you can actually seek it out yourself. Remember, you are now in the midst of experts in various industries, so you have to make use of this opportunity by reaching out to them and telling them about the skills you possess. Be subtle and polite in your manner of approach. I am pretty sure that you do not want to chase your prospective employer away with a bad attitude. Please do not send them messages, begging desperately for a job. This is a total turn off. Instead, congratulate them on their latest achievement and try to establish a relationship with them. Once you start off on the right foot, it will be very easy for you to position yourself for a job without shamelessly begging for it. Who says you cannot get a good-paying job even in the midst of this pandemic? Now is the right time for you to get your LinkedIn profile running.
There’s a quote by Adebola Williams, which states that “the universe will always create space for value”. It is as simple as that; you do not beg for it, instead, you work hard towards that position and you earn it.