By MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA
This morning, I woke up to Ndejje University graduating class of 2021 and there was something like “Virtual Session on Tips to secure a job”. Check Chimpreports.
You are graduating during one of the most difficult times to find a job (merit based) due to the economic downtown due to the Pandemic. So, you face an uphill battle to get a job. You will be competing against with unemployed or laid off people with more work experience than you fresh out of school. This means you will have to work much harder than the experienced people to get an entry level job.
There are people with upwards of 10yrs of work experience who are applying for entry level jobs. Many employers who don’t appreciate the importance of hiring young people for succession in jobs held by older people are taking the easy way out and hiring the experienced people. So, you will have to prove that your youth deserves attention by employers.
I would like to give you advice. Keep in mind that my daughter, Rebecca, graduated from University of Toronto (Utoronto.ca) last year during the pandemic. She hasn’t secured a job yet. She is still hunting. Over the next few weeks, I will share tips from her job hunting. Let me remind you that when I graduated with my Bachelors from Trent University, Canada (trentu.ca) in 1993, Canada was going through a severe recession. I couldn’t get a job with a Business degree. So, I worked for Marriott Corporation full time for a year. I had been working for Marrioty part time while pursuing my bachelors.
Although I loved my job with Marriott Corp, it was not the right fit for me for long term. So, in 1994, I enrolled into a Masters at University of Toronto hoping that when I got my Masters a year later, the employment field would have more to offer. So, I get my Masters in 1995 (I did my Masters in one year) I find out that Canada was still crawling out of a recession and jobs were still hard to come by. I sent out 100 job applications. I got only 4 replies. Remember, those days, job applications had to be sent by snail mail (Post Office). Bell Canada told me “we are still downsizing but we will retain your application in case we need your skills in future. I had dreamt of working for Canada’s Crown Corporation in their IT department. My Masters was in IT.
I prayed like you even have any idea. Some weeks later, 3 other companies contacted me for face to face interviews. So, from 100 applications, I got only 3 interviews. I got job offers from all the three. I am still with one of those companies. This is perhaps to tell you that if you send 100 applications, don’t despair. You might be the Perfect for an employer. Send out 100 job applications at minimum.
1) Set up a profile on Linkedin
2) Prepare a one page CV
3) Use Social Media (SM) to find opportunities
4) Use your network. Word of mouth. Relatives. Friends. SM gives you a chance to connect with potential recruiters and employers. Make full use of SM.
5) Send a job application daily. These days, you only need to use the Internet.
6) Clean up your SM to be professional. Delete garbage you posted in the past. Use only professional looking photos. Most employers and recruiters check your SM before even reading your CV.
7) Use Google. You can find jobs via Google or any other Internet Search Engine but by far, Google is the best Search Engine (in my opinion).
8) Consider volunteering while Job Searching bug do not volunteer for more than 3mths. Ugandan companies have a habit of exploiting volunteers. When you apply for a job and your only work experience is Volunteering for longer than 3mths, no one will touch you. At most, maybe 6mths. I have talked to Ugandans who have been volunteering for 3yrs. Come on, anyone worth their degree cannot work for free for 3yrs. Long periods of volunteering work against you. People don’t appreciate free things.
9) Consider starting a small business while looking for a paying job.
10) Go take a Masters degree if you can get a scholarship for it. I am against parents paying for graduate school just because their son has gone 3yrs without getting a job. That kid will likely still not get a job after the Masters degree.
The above are things I have been telling Ugandans since 2013. For free. If you check my blog (which is searchable), you will find CV samples and Job Interview tips. nangalama.blogspot.com
You can contact me directly if you need more advice.
Mobile / WhatsApp +15068716371
Yes, I am a political activist but above all, I prefer to get our youths working. MLN