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Smart Job Search tips  for Ghanaian job seekers in 2019
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Looking for a new job in Ghana is very stressful for both recent graduates and seasoned professionals despite the increase in career agencies in the last few years. This article is aimed at assisting job seekers to boosts their chances of landing their dream jobs in Ghana and beyond.

Below, I have detailed 10 career tips on how job seekers can easily land their dream jobs in 2019. This article is based on real life encounters of the writer and also experiences Sobiaonline have had with job seekers in the course of providing our relevant services.

Know Yourself

Knowing oneself is all about having a deep understanding of one’s interests, values, skills, limitations, feelings and motives. People with high sense of self-awareness knows how the their actions and inactions impacts on their chances of getting a job.

The most common mistakes job seekers often make is assuming that they are not employed and based on notions of this nature they waste a lot of priceless time often in unproductive ventures. 

Truth be told, we all have 24 hours and as jenifer365.com puts it: “It comes down to what’s important to you and it matters what you priorities”. My simple advice is that unemployed people in Ghana must reawaken themselves to the fact that they are not unemployed, their job description is simply trying to find a job from say 8AM to 5PM.

Interacting with clients on daily basis, one question I often ask clients is the number of applications job seekers are able to roll out on weekly and monthly basis. The answers to this all important question has been almost always below par!

Tip: As a job seeker, one important fact you must note is that you cannot get a new job without applying for jobs and the more jobs you adequately prepare and apply for, the better your chances!

A Well-Planned Niche Will Set You Apart From the Crowd

No matter your job search situation, there is no need to opt for a job that interest you not. In most instances, such jobs seldom match applicant’s skills leading to their rejection. Thus, unplanned throw out of applications is not advisable.

The general assumption among job seekers is that, settling for a particular niche as a job seeker,  slims down applicants chances of getting a job. This is far from the truth. Once you identify a specialized field you are well suited, it gives you the room to adequately prepare your job search tools and interviews.

Interacting with job seekers, I am often confronted with candidates who appeared to be unprepared for the question: “which job category, job title, industry are you interested in?’ The trick is to settle for a specific job title and industry and your dream job is closer to you than you can ever imagine.

Tip: It’s easier to stand out from the job seeking crowd when you have a unique combination of skills, experience or attributes. In an environment where “success is being redefined by expertise”, those lacking specialized skills find it harder to get work.

Identify and Hone Your Core Skills

A job listing in Ghana in most instances gets over 1,000 views and hundreds of applications. This is why there is need for every job seeker to identify skills sets and unique selling points (USPs). USPs are special skills that sets an applicant apart from other job seekers. A

ccording to jobs.ac.uk identifying your skills sets involves two main stages: Identifying your USPs and then communicating their relevancy during job application and interviews. In identifying your USPs the following steps come in handy:


Step 1-Evaluate: Based on your academic qualification, work experience, and your interests, identify the expertise you possess or things you can do well.
Step 2- Differentiate: Identify within the skills you possess, specific skills or personal traits that differentiates you from others and make you a valuable employee. In doing this, back up your list with evidence such as numbers, dates, and location to make it credible.
Step 3- Research: Examine the industry as well as companies in the industry and their skills requirement. You can get this information by researching company job description. Some companies also have their staff portfolio on their website and this can be valuable source of information. This research will reveal the strengths and skills that appeal most in your chosen field.

Step 4-Compare: Having identified your core skills and what your prospective employer want, it is time to blend the two. The overlap of what employers want and your skills set constitutes your USPs that sets you apart from other candidates.

If you did not find this overlap, then, it implies that you will have to repeat step one to four in a more thorough and detailed manner.

Step 5-Detail: The final step is to effectively communicate your USPs orally and in writing. Expand the details, and show in definite terms how your experience and skills match up to the person specification to create a Unique Selling Point.

 

Tip: Clearly communicate your value proposition in writing and during interviews. Do not forget to improve upon skills areas that still needed attention!

Identify Legitimate Job Listings, Unmask blind adverts

Not all job listings are genuine. In some instances even when the job posting is genuine it may still lack sufficient information to enable job seekers make informed decisions.

As a job seeker, you need to read in-between the lines when you find a job listing you are interested in.To ensure that a particular job is legitimate, follow all links provided in the job advert to confirm whether it is still active or not.

If some of the links are not functional, then note that the job listing might have expired.

Also, check the company website to confirm the company name and crosscheck their career page for more information on the offer. It is also important to check for grammatical and formatting errors, and how detailed the job advert is. All these are potential clues that will prevent you from throwing your application to a non existent agency.

In the context of Ghana, most adverts are what career experts termed “blind adverts”. A blind advert is one that does not reveal the name of the employer or the recruitment agency behind it.  Whenever you come across a blind advert, unmask it by observing the following:
• Check the organization website and social media profiles.
• Check for the organizational tagline. Once you see a tagline you can simply research online and you might come across the agency
• Check for clues in the email address provided in the job advert. For instance an email address such as info@sobiaonline.com tells you straight away that this email address belongs to sobiaonline.com.
• Check for industry information. If the organization is one of the leaders in its industry it means that you can narrow your search down to some few industries.
• If the location data is geolocated you can easily track the specific location of the agency.
• Check for the same job description in other job portals and you might be able to get additional information.

 

Tip: Unmasking blind adverts will gives you a competitive urge over other job seekers

Customize your resume and Cover Letter to suite each position of Interest

What a hiring manager look for in a candidate depends on the job. A sales recruiter looks out for best sellers whilst a teacher recruiter looks out for people who are simply awesome at teaching.

To effectively do this, recruiters have developed two main ways of eliminating bad eggs: using applicant tracking systems and quick scans. Both have one thing in common: keywords.

CVs and resumes must therefore be designed to meet specific key words. This is the best way of using your skills and achievements to persuading the hiring manager that you are best fit for the job. For differences between CVs and Resume please click here. 

The simple trick to customize your resume therefore is to identify the keywords as highlighted in the sample below:

Company Profile

(Organisation name ommitted) is a development organization serving more than 20 million people worldwide each year. The organization’s mission is to be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them improve their social, economic, and environmental conditions (Your objective or profile and this mission should be in harmony). 

Job Description

  • Location: Accra (10), Tema (5), Ashaiman (5), Takoradi (5), Kumasi (5)
  • Job Title: Field Agent
  • Reports To: Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist
  • Contract Duration: Upon Request 
BACKGROUND
(Organisation name omitted) is seeking Ghanaian nationals for the position of Field Agents for the YIEDIE program in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation. This program is designed to create jobs and business opportunities for disadvantaged urban youth in Ghana and will focus on capacity building/training for youth development in the construction sector in Ghana. 
The Field Agent will provide data support for the YIEDIE field activities in all 5 project cities. In this role, s/he will assist the YIEDIE team by visiting specified communities/areas in order to carry out the following tasks. 
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Screening applicants for entrepreneurship/technical training opportunities offered by the YIEDIE program 
  • Collecting and recording data on YIEDIE program applicants and sampled follow up youth.
  • Entering data (from YIEDIE program areas) in an electronic system
  • Liaising with the Monitoring and Evaluation team on the YIEDIE project to address any challenges in the applicants’ screening and data tracking processes
  • Make calls to locate sampled respondent in conducting Project Surveys
  • Protect the privacy of respondent and confidential information
  • Undergo two day training on how to use the ODK tool 
  • Undergo two day training on how to administer the follow up questionnaire
  • Pretest of the ODK tool on the field
  • Comply with the requirements necessary for conducting a successful interview
  • Turn over all literature and materials used in  Project Surveys to the Monitoring and Evaluation team
  • Other general administrative work that may be assigned.
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
  1. A Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Development Planning and Sociology 
  2. A minimum of one year experience working in a similar role, preferably with an INGO. 
COMPETENCIES
  • Strong IT and database software skills and possess the ability to master new technology tools, as required.
  • Have outstanding communications, writing, and research skills
  • Ability to operate office equipment such as photocopier, scanner, etc.

How To Apply

Applications should be sent to: contact@example.org  latest by 25th June 2018. Applications without the job title and location will not be considered.

Enhance your online presence using a portfolio

An online presence can make a big difference in your job search. If you want better career opportunities, utilizing online portfolio and resume sites will make you stand out among other job-seekers and offer unique networking opportunities.

Most recruiter’s use social media like LinkedIn and Facebook to look out for quality candidates and to inform their hiring decisions. LinkedIn tops the preferred social hiring tools list. Do you have a LinkedIn account? If yes when was the last time you updated it?

An obsolete social media profile does more harm than good. With an updated formal profile picture, some good recommendations, and value-added work experience you can get yourself a good social media profile. With an online portfolio, your online presence is enhanced in several ways:

• You are able to provide a link to your portfolio in your CV. This sends pointers to recruiters as to where they should search for your online information
• You are able to link your portfolio (website) to popular social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, google plus, twitter, and Pinterest).
• You are able to create and safely store different versions of your CV in your portfolio. This is a smart way of buying time in your job search and also, it guarantees safety as your documents are safer when uploaded onto your website.
• Your portfolio provides the room for you to provide practical examples of what you can do using audio, video, text and pictures as it enables you to showcase your

 

The smartest way to enhance your online presence this 2019 is to create a personal website and then link it to popular social media sites.

Be well prepared for your call to interview

Once you are called to interview you need to adequately prepare and give it your best. Consider our step by step  guide to planning for job interviews here

See yourself through other people’s lenses

Whether you like it or not someone must definitely help you in your job search. The question however is who should be in your help list, how do you seek for help, and in which areas of your job search do you need to ask for help? Your job search help list can include people such as friends, family, past lecturers and other contacts on your LinkedIn network. The best way to seek for help even if it is from friends is to make it formal by sending an email or letter. If it is an email you can attach a sample of your resume. A typical help email can be formatted like the one presented below:

Dear friends and family,

I hope all is well! Thank you so much for all the leads and advice you have sent me so far as I look for a new marketing job in Accra (specifically within the non-profit sector).

I just wanted to let you all know I am still looking for a job opportunity, so if you hear of any open positions, or can think of any contacts you might be able to put me in touch with, I’d greatly appreciate hearing about them.

I’ve attached my resume once more; I’d appreciate it if you could show it to any contacts you have in the industry.

Thank you again!

Best,

First name Last name
Email

 

It is also important to target the support you seek from others. Allow your friends, family and mentors to review your CV, Resume, and portfolio. This will enable you to correct avoidable mistakes and properly format your documents.

You can also rely on trained experts such as career counselors and resume writers to fine-tune what you already have.

Deal with rejections, be optimistic

Whether dating or job searching almost every individual has faced one form of rejection or the other. The good news however, is that, it takes less time to forget of a relationship failure than a failed interview. The following points can successfully help you to remain optimistic in the midst of job rejections:

Venting: According to Psychologist, the first step in dealing with rejection is called venting. It involves sharing the frustration, disappointment, and anger after your job rejection in a confidential setting.
Diversify: Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Plan B is important. Even if you nailed the job interview there is still that window that you might not be hired. You need not to lose momentum

Feedback: If you do not get the job always ask for constructive feedback. Probably, you were not the right fit for the job. A feedback will help you to identify the weaknesses in your CV and interview performance and appropriately address them to get better results in the future.

Optimism: Stay Positive: The best way to deal with rejections is to keep a smile on your face. Transform each job rejection you encounter into a learning opportunity and stay focused on your career objectives. In most instances, rejections prepares job seekers for more fulfilling and credible job opportunities in the future.

According to www.theballancecareers.com “sometimes it’s hard to know exactly why a candidate was rejected and it could be you were too qualified. If that’s the case, the employer may come back at a later date with a better job offer”.

Therefore it is advisable to avoid burning bridges. Leaving a positive impression with the employer is very desirable. Immediately after a job rejection notice it is important to send a reply. A typical job rejection email response looks like the sample below:

Hello [Name],

Thanks for letting me know about your decision.

While I’ll admit that I’m disappointed I won’t be able to work as part of the [organisation] team in Ghana, it truly was great to meet you and learn more about the great work that you’re doing.

I’m excited to keep following [organisation] activities in Ghana, and I’ll keep an especially close eye on [ Name of Project]

Thanks once again for the opportunity, [name of hiring manager], and I hope our paths cross again in the future. I’m wishing you and [organisation] all the best moving forward.

Best wishes,
Sobia Issahaku Adam

Go down a less traditional career path

Lauren Hargrave described a less traditional path as “bruising yet beautiful” She opined that

“Unlike the attorneys and accountants you know, your trajectory isn’t neatly outlined in an employee handbook. Instead, you’ll have to create your own road map. You’ll draw on all of your resources, employ a bit of trial and error, doubt yourself (then learn to trust yourself), and do it all while the people around you tell you, “you can’t.”

When you hear of titles like UX designer, Casino business executive and freelancer what comes to your mind? Have you bothered to find out what this less traditional career opportunities offers?

In some instances it does not demand much effort to easily adapt and take advantage of emerging career prospects especially in the field of information and communication technologies. Find out more about existing nontraditional career paths in Ghana this 2018.

What job search techniques are you using currently. Share your views or ask for more clarification on the issues raised in this article using the contact form below. 

Search and apply for CURRENT JOBS IN GHANA TODAY & Funding Opportunities in Ghana on Sobiaonline. Do not pay any body any fees for our job search support and advisement unless it is for our Executive Job Search, CV Design or LinkedIn & Writing Services. Access funding news, career advise and our daily updates here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our updates. Call us or Whats App: 0245692357 or Email: info@sobiaonline.com

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