Happy new year job seeker! Over 50 per cent of new year’s resolutions involve getting new jobs, changing careers, receiving promotions and getting high-performance reviews.
This is also the time most graduates are making their very first attempts at job searching after flamboyant graduation ceremonies in December.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Survey report released in September 2021 indicated that over 700,000 Kenyans lost jobs in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even the informal sector lost about half a million jobs, from 15 million to 14.5 million.
This is to tell you that those in the race to find new jobs are many and it going to get competitive.
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Your new year’s resolution strategy must be superlative for you to land your dream job.
Understand what your prospective employer wants
For once, imagine you are the employer and interview yourself for that role. You will definitely see a different angle.
Employers do not necessarily want your CV and cover letter, they want you. This is the defining line, and it is the very line that l invite you to see.
As you read through the job advert, take a pause, and ask yourself, what are they simply saying? Why have they advertised for this position? Are saying they want someone with a new skill in this area? Do they just want someone who can drive a new digital strategy? etc.
This dissection of job adverts is what has contributed to what is called skill mismatch. On one hand, we have job seekers who lack patience, get over-excited to apply, and do not read adverts even twice or fine-tune their documents.
Others make too many job applications that they can’t remember what the job entailed at all.
On the other hand, we employers who are waiting for applications that are top-notch, competitive, and encouraging to read.
Too many job applications do not equate to too many interview invites.
There are organisations that train and place youths in different job industries and have really mastered this art. Apart from listening to what employers are looking for in a candidate, they go ahead to prepare that candidate to be a perfect fit and this has lowered attrition rates among its employer partners.
We are in the “skills race’ era. Employers out here are looking for candidates that have a unique set of skills that can turn around their strategies. The whole interview screening process is simply a skill matching technique being put in place.
With new technology, Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) are being employed to identify this in applications.
Of course, these systems do not make the final decision, but they present you to recruiting managers who assess your soft and technical skills.
The interview assessments tests you see before formal interviews are testing your skills. Here is the catch: nobody wants to test old skills. They are all looking for new skills.
According to the international labour organizations (ILO), skill mismatch is a discrepancy between the skills that are sought by employers and the skills that are possessed by individuals. Simply put, it is a mismatch between skills and jobs.
This is led to what is called upskilling: LinkedIn defines it as helping employees advance their skills to thrive in their current roles. You don’t have to wait to be employed to upskill, identify the new skills in your industry, and enroll in refresher courses.
Luckily, technology has provided many platforms for upskilling and some of them are free to enroll and complete.
What is more interesting is that employers are beginning to recognize candidates with these online certificates as individuals who are outgoing and teachable.
Develop a Positive Mindset
Reading through that job advert again to identify what may have been the reasons you were not invited for the interview is what has identified great talents.
Taking time not to complain about not receiving feedback but assessing what those who received interview invites did will set you apart.
Send that thank you note after receiving a rejection, it will grow your emotional intelligence capacity.
Finally, when your time comes, love your job, and never work again in your life.
The writer, Nelson Komba, is an Alumni and Communication Coordinator at Generation Kenya.