Mary (not her real name) was interviewing for a content creation role when the interviewer asked her “Why do you want this job?”
Here is Mary’s answer;
“I want this job because I’ve always loved writing—even as a kid. I used to write short stories a few times a week for my friends. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I didn’t know I could make a career out of creating content for websites.”
She got the job.
This question can be asked in various ways such as; “why are you interested in the position?” or “why do you want to work for us?’”
Just like the “tell me about yourself” question, this is one of the questions that will always come up in an interview.
It may seem like an easy question, but even this common interview question can mess you up if you are not prepared for it.
So how do you answer “Why Do You Want This Job?”
1. Express enthusiasm for the company
Even though Mary’s answer did not contain any information on the company, it is always a good idea to show that you did your research on the organization and try and include that in your answer.
So to prepare for this question, take some time and conduct some research on the company and what it does. Then pick a few aspects to include in your answer to show you are a good fit.
This is especially helpful when interviewing for a position at a small company, “it’s always impressive when a candidate knows a thing or two about what goes on at the company,” says Carolyne Kariuki a recruitment manager in Nairobi.
2. Align your skills and experiences with the role.
The next thing to include in your answer is why you are a good fit for the role and this is where your skills and qualifications come in.
Go through the job description and see what the main responsibilities are as well as the desired skills and work your answer to show that you have the skills and ability to do what the job requires.
3. Connect to Your Career Trajectory
No one wants to hire someone who after a few months of working for them quits because the job does not align with their career goals. This is why employers always want to know why you want the job and if it aligns with your career goals.
When answering this question you need to ensure that your answer tells the interviewer that you don’t just see the position as a stepping stone but you will stay for more than a few months. This will make it easier for them to invest in you and offer you the position.
You don’t have to state that you plan on being at the position for a long time, you should just imply it.
What not to include in your answer
Avoid reasons that focus on you
Even if it is true and you are only interested in the position because of the salary, location or working hours, you don’t need to tell the interviewer this. Remember it’s about showing the interviewer how you will be of benefit to the company and not the other way around.
When it comes to answering, “why do you want this job?” you can use the three steps above to come up with an answer that not only impresses the interviewer but also manages to sell your skills and qualifications as a candidate and show that you are a perfect fit for the position.
If you have ever prepared for an interview, you know how intimidating it can be. To get one on one advice and help on how to perfectly answer interview questions you can book a mock interview session to ensure you ace your next interview and land your dream job.
By Judith Moraa
So do you have any question for us?
As your job interview comes to an end, one of the final questions you may be asked is, “What can I answer for you?”
And at this point you realize that you’ve been set on the spot and you just can’t wait to finish the interview and disappear from the interview. Right?
How do you react? Do you actually go ahead and pose the questions or do you freeze with a faint NO?
And by the way, do you know that asking some few questions can also give you the opportunity to further highlight some of your qualities, skills, and experience?
It is advisable to have at least something waiting for this moment. Don’t just appear blank at the interview. You might be giving yourself away. Seek assistance from an interview expert, friends or even colleagues when in doubt.
So, your goal during this point in the interview should be:
- Highlighting your qualifications for that particular job
- Demonstrating your confidence levels
- Reinforcing your commitment to that position
- Understanding your employer’s challenges
- Making yourself accountable
However, don’t squander this opportunity to shine by asking mundane questions like what is a normal day like? The interviewer has probably heard this over and over again.
Let’s look at some of the sample questions you can include in your list.
1. Ask questions about the company
You can ask them what they value most as a company, and how they think your work will further elevate these values.
Questions about the most and least desirable aspects of the company’s culture are a good way to establish a connection with the employer.
How does this company define and measure success?
On top of this, you can ask them about their competitors. It shows that you are already thinking about how you can help the company rise to meet some of its bigger goals
2. You can also actually ‘ask’ the interviewer some questions
Focus some little attention on the interviewer but with extreme care. Ask them what they like about the company.
This question is important because it lets you “create a sense of closeness” with the interviewer because “interviewers just like everybody else usually like to talk about themselves and especially things they know well.
You can agree with me on this.
Furthermore, this question gives you a chance to get an insider’s view on the best parts about working for this particular company.
3. Don’t forget the bonus questions
This should be the very last. Don’t make them appear as some ‘me questions’ that put yourself ahead of the employer.
At the interview level, you are simply trying to demonstrate to the employer how you can benefit the company, not the other way around.
So some bonus questions can be such as:
How will you judge my success? What will have happened six months from now that will demonstrate that I have met your expectations?
What is the next step in the hiring process or when can I expect to hear back? Or by when do you hope to make someone an offer?
Also questions such as “when is the anticipated starting date for this position or whom should I reach out to if I have any further questions, can come in here.
By Lilian Wamaitha
How long have you been job searching? How many CVs have you sent without hearing back from the employer?
The questions on your mind now would probably be “What is wrong with my CV?” “Is my CV being seen?” “Am I less qualified for all jobs I apply for?”
I sat down with Ms. Muthoni Ndegwa a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing to shed more light on why employers reject CVs without even reading them.
At the end of the day, it could be that you are qualified for a job, but your CV is a total turn off. Here is how;
1. You don’t name your CV appropriately
According to Ms Ndegwa, a majority of CVs fail to get the employer’s approval because of how they are saved.
Think about it; if an employer is receiving thousands of applications on a single position with no proper naming, how are they going to keep track of all the CVs?
To be on the safe side, name your CV accordingly. For this she recommends that you name your CV by your first and last name.
“This will give the recruiter an easier time when short listing and even keep track of all the applicants,” she says.
For instance, you could name your CV as ‘Lilian Wamaitha CV’ or ‘WamaithaCV’.
It’s that simple.
2. Sending your CV as a “forward”
I am not a recruiter but I have had so many of our readers send their CVs to me for a job.
However, the problem is not sending the CV but how you send it.
If you are in the habit of forwarding your CV and I mean from the last one your sent, I am here to tell you that this is one of the mistakes that recruiters don’t forgive easily.
It not only shows a lack of focus but it brings you out as lazy.
I mean, how simple is it to create a completely new email when applying for a job?
3. Sending your CV accompanied by lots of attachments
Often employers have about 7 seconds to scan through your application to determine if they will shortlist you for a job.
One of the mistakes that job seekers make is sending so many attachments for a single job application. This will include a CV, cover letter, all their certificates and some even take it to the extreme by attaching their birth certificate as well as health records.
Go through the job description and note what the employer wants. If they say send your CV only, kindly do not send a cover letter along. If they say to email your applications, a CV and a cover letter will do.
Avoid attaching your certificates when applying for a job unless the employer has specifically asked you to.
Chances are, they will tell you to bring the other documents along when they shortlist you for an interview?
What does this means then? It means that your CV should be comprehensive enough and tailored towards the job you are applying for.
4. Saving your CV In the wrong format
Word and PDF format should be the only systems to use when sending your CV to potential employers. Avoid sending your CV then saving it in a format that cannot be accessible.
The end result? Employers will not get a chance to have a look at it and it is your entire fault.
“I have had applicants sending CVs by sharing it on Google docs where I have to have permission to view the file, something which is impossible,” says Ms Ndegwa.
To be on the safe side, just save it as a word document since it’s the easiest.
5. Your CV is too long
The length of your CV depends on your working experience but having a very long CV runs the risk of an employer discarding it before getting a chance to read it.
You can’t have 2 years experience and afford to write a 10 page CV. The recruiter has 100 more CVs to shortlist so chances are that your 10 page document will be rejected. An employer will simply move on to the next, more shorter and organized CV.
In this competitive job market, applying for a job and getting invited for an interview is quite a big challenge. However, if you stay away from these mistakes, you will increase the chances of a recruiter considering your CV for a job offer.
Writing your first CV after graduating or for graduate jobs can be tricky, especially if you’re looking for your first professional position.
With the Ghanian job market, fresh graduates are rarely considered for the top management jobs. Which means that as a fresh graduate, straight from University of Ghana or any other university in Ghana, your next best option is a graduate trainee program.
These programs are themselves very competitive with the thousands of graduates entering the job market each year. Your CV could be the barrier preventing you from jumpstarting your career profession through the job trainings. Hence for you to stand out, there are various disclaimers you should explore while writing that CV for those positions. It could be
CV Writing Don’ts for Graduate jobs
1. Don’t use a generic CV for all applications
The graduate jobs are there to train you into a good professional in your area. Hence, they are not keen on your experience but rather the skills that you are bringing on board.
Don’t be afraid to shuffle things around on your CV with each job you apply for. Have a relevant employment/experience section on the first page of your CV so the employer can see that you have really thought about the position you are applying for and how it directly relates to your previous experience if any.
Key point to take home is to ensure that you tweak you CV to match the various requirements of the companies you are applying to.
2. Don’t include unnecessary personal details on your CV
You are straight from school we understand. And you are most likely desperate to get into the next phase of your life. However, giving your potential employer unnecessary personal details, that are not relevant to the position you are applying for is not part of the bargain that gives you the job.
Stick to the professional CV writing format offered by CV writing services companies.
3. Don’t waste space on a personal statement
Instead of personal statements, use the space to write a career summary; three or four lines outlining what you want to do as a career and why.
This is both different to the norm and helps you show some focus on what you want to do. The internships are looking to build your professional skills. Hence focus is key for employers when recruiting graduates, as too many applicants have no idea what they want to do.
Plus focus and direction is still not common at this stage for fresh graduates. Stand out!
4. Don’t be irrelevant
Tailoring your CV to make it relevant for the job you are applying for is something most jobseekers looking for graduate jobs sometimes overlook.
Most employers don’t have long to read your CV, so don’t include irrelevant information like the title of your final year research unless it is relevant.
Instead, describe some achievements and skills which you used when writing it.
5. Don’t overlook your campus responsibilities and achievements
It can be useful exercise to write the body of your CV using these phrases “I was responsible for …” and “my achievements included …”. Even if you don’t use those exact words, it will help you avoid process descriptions like “I attended numerous meetings to plan the Graduation” — and instead demonstrate what you were responsible for and what you achieved, however little.
Continuously keep improving and upgrading your graduate CV as you continue searching for a job. Corporate Staffing Services offers a free CV template which makes it easy to customize and offers a range of additional benefits over a traditional CV, giving you more control over who is viewing your CV and instant feedback from recruiters and hiring managers. They as well offer CV writing services to ensure that your CV hits the recruiters’ attention at a glance!
By Juddy Moraa
Growing up it was always drummed into you that you will need to do well in school and go to university if you want to live a good life. You are led to believe that once you complete your studies you will get a well paying job automatically and start to live the life you want.
However, after graduation, reality tends to set in and all those dreams fly out the window for some people.
This is because the promised jobs are nowhere to be found and you are stuck job searching for years. This means that most people end up going back to school to do a different course or get a masters degree.
In this article see some of the things you could be doing wrong and how to improve your job search process.
Here are some of the mistakes graduates make when job hunting
- Applying only for jobs that you are skilled in
Most times you are told to apply only for jobs you qualify for but this doesn’t mean that you don’t apply for jobs where you only miss a few skills.
Take for example, if you don’t have knowledge in Excel and a Diploma in Communication yet the job requires that you do, you can still apply for the job if all you are missing is knowledge in Excel.
Some companies are willing to train new employees if they think they are good enough and as such you might end up getting the job.
So don’t limit yourself when it comes to making job applications but you also have to be realistic and honest with yourself.
- Ignoring low paying jobs
A common mistake graduates make is only applying for well paying jobs. This is mostly because they want to live a good life and the fact that in school you are always told that studying will get you a well paying job. The problem with this is everyone has to start somewhere and some have to start lower than others.
You need to be willing to gain experience first because that is what will determine your pay. You cannot expect to be paid the same as someone with 3 years experience yet you have none. You need to earn it, so you have to be willing to work hard to prove you deserve the high pay.
- Using the same cover letters
This cannot be stressed enough; you need to stop using the same cover letter for every job application you make.
You need to tailor your cover letter to fit the job and organisation you are applying to. This is because every job advert is different even if they are for the same position. What one organisation is looking for might be different from what another one is looking for.
By sending the same cover letter for each you are not really showing the company how you qualify for that particular job and the recruiter will notice this which ruins your chances of getting the job.
- Not preparing for the interviews
This is one of the biggest mistakes graduates make when job hunting. It is completely unacceptable to go into an interview blank. You need to have done your research and practised your answers to the very common interview questions.
Before walking into any interview you need to have proper research on the company be it what it does, its products etc and you also need to ensure you are up to date on the latest trends in your field of profession.
You need to have an idea of what your answers to the common interview questions will be. this does not mean that you give robotic answers you spent cramming but you have a general idea of what you want to say.
You need to show the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job and this can only be done if you are well prepared.
- You don’t want to relocate
This is sometimes a touchy subject for some people. Are you willing to leave your home and friends for a job? If you have ever turned down a job just because of the location then you need to become more flexible.
In the current job market getting a job is not easy, you should therefore, take any chance to gain experience as long as it is safe and it makes sense. You need to be smart when it comes to deciding because you might be missing out on a great opportunity.
- Accepting the very first job offer
Another common mistake graduates make when job hunting is running to take the very first job offer they get. Sometimes this offer isn’t really the best but because you do not want to be jobless any longer you end up taking it.
It is always better to consider your options especially if you have interviewed for various positions. You never know, a better offer might just come up and you will very happy that you waited. You need to be careful though and only do this within a reasonable time frame.
Remember, this is the time for you to discover what you want and what your skills are you should therefore be open minded and don’t give up even though you have been jobless for a while. Job hunting is never easy and you should be prepared to put in work, however, if done correctly you will not have to stay jobless for very long.
Having the best salary negotiation tips at your fingertips is as important a preparation as any other things a job seeker should know when they are readying themselves for an interview. This is because not all employers reveal the salary offer when they go out seeking for individuals to fill a vacant position.
“In the interview room, any employer who knows about your previous salary always has a figure for you in their minds. Salary negotiation skills are a mind game that you as the job seeker should acquaint with if you really want to end up with a better offer in the job,” Carolyne Kariuki, Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services says.
According to Ms Kariuki, it is important for a job seeker to have a figure concerning their expected salary at the ready so as to know how to handle the salary negotiation in the event that it comes up during an interview.
This said, what are the salary negotiation tips when you are looking to get a new job?
Salary Negotiation Tips During the Interview
As you look to gain experience in your new job, remember that the salary you get at the end of the day determines your motivation to work hard and even grow in your career.
Possessing some of these salary negotiation tips therefore will go a long way to ensure that you start the job, satisfied with the package that you are offered, and in a way that does not make your employer feel wasted.
1. Match your salary to your skills
Best put, you need to match your negotiation to what you are able to offer to the organization.
“Ask yourself whether your level of experience is what your prospective employer would wag their tongues over. Consider if you have the right skills that are able to benefit the organization. This acts as a strong negotiating ground for you,” Ms Kariuki advises.
In short, don’t bargain if you have so little to offer that the recruiter won’t feel the pinch if they decide to let you go. In this case, you end up losing the job on offence of negotiating for a better pay.
2. Ask in terms of other benefits
Your salary may be meager as compared to the figure you had in your mind but if packaged with other benefits, you realize a good offer.
Ask whether you can get allowances including house allowances, travel and medical cover. Ms Kariuki finds fault in job seekers who downplay the magnitude of such benefits forgetting they could be the best salary negotiation tips to go by.
“Such benefits including allowances exist in most companies. Not many candidates ask for them however during the salary negotiation. If you do not ask for them, only a few recruiters will give them to you,” she says.
3. Wait until you are asked
Don’t make it the first thing that comes out of your mind when you are asked whether or not you have any questions to the recruiting panel. The worst thing is, you are not sure whether or not you will get the job.
The salary interview question may be phased in several ways for instance, ‘What are you looking for in terms of salary’ and so on. Wait until you are asked. Only then can you approach the topic according to the advice we gave you concerning salaries.
4. ‘I am open to negotiation’
It shows you are flexible and thus an answer that many job seekers looking to get favour of the recruiter will give. According to Ms Kariuki, you ought to choose such an answer with total caution.
“When you say that you are open to salary negotiation, you should already know where the recruiter should get and not cross the line. Any recruiter would be glad to get employees willing to get as little as possible to favour their own budget,” she says.
You should therefore be armed with information on what the job is bound to reward you in terms of salary. Know what you are moving from too so that you do not end up with an offer that is way below your previous salary.
As much as it is courteous to go slow with money matters in the interview room, always remember that you have a right to ensure you make the most of what the recruiter is willing to offer. With the above salary negotiation tips, know how to stand your ground when bargaining for a better pay.
All the best in your interview preparation.
While I was still in my first year of university, I was lucky enough to secure an internship at a PR firm. This was an exciting moment for me as it not only meant that I was getting the experience to build a career while still in school but being a paid internship I would always have something in my pocket at the end of the day.
The internship was what I wanted but I failed to negotiate the salary before I started working. I was so excited to be offered 3,000 as stipend that I never stopped to think about the expenses I would incur daily. Well, to cut the long story short I completed my 3 month internship but at the end of it I was up to my neck in debt.
The transport fee ended up taking the entire salary and I had to add an extra 1,500 on top to cover it all and not factoring in other expenses. Why am I telling you this? If at that time I had someone tell me that it’s okay to negotiate a salary, I would probably have had enough for expenses and even for a savings account.
You may be starting a new job or have been invited for a job interview and deep down you know the salary they are offering is mere peanuts but you can’t dare say anything because let’s face it, you have tasted the bitter pill of joblessness for far too long.
Take it from me, at the end of the day, that job won’t mean anything if you can’t cover your expenses. Here are great tips on how to negotiate a salary if you are an entry level job seeker that I wish I knew then
1. Know your Value
You can never be good at salary negotiation if you don’t know what you are worth. This means that you need to understand the job market at the moment. Do your research; what do your fellow entry level job seekers in the same position earn in that industry?
For instance if you are applying for an Accounts Assistant job, find out the starting salary of a CPA holder in Kenya. You can get salary ranges at Glassdoor.com.
2. Talk about what you can do
Before you start talking about numbers show the employer what you can do or what you have already done and that way they are likely to take you serious. I knew what I was capable of accomplishing which gave me a very good recommendation letter at the end, but had I stated this from the beginning, I would have gotten a better offer.
3. Focus on the future not the present
It is very common for the employer to ask you what you are currently earning or your last salary in an interview.
When prompted with this question, the best thing to do is to be honest. If you are unemployed, just say so and then go ahead to talk about what you are looking for, your capabilities and the market value for someone in that position.
4. Consider the other person
When negotiation salaries, it is natural to just put ourselves in the picture not considering that your employer matters. Think about it.
Is the company capable of paying you the salary you want? Are the roles you will be undertaking worth the salary you are looking for?
5. Stay positive, not pushy
Negotiating a salary is scary and one of those conversations we all dread having with our prospective employers.
However, you should always try to keep the discussion as positive as possible.
For instance you can say something like “This is a position I would enjoy doing as it is in line with my career goals. However I do believe that I will do a superb job and a little something on my compensation is all I desire.”
With this the employer is more likely to consider your request.
6. Don’t mention personal needs
This is probably your first job which means that you are finally leaving the nest that is your parent’s care. However talking about how you need a good salary to afford rent and transport is a no go zone.
The truth is that other employees are also dealing with the same problems. Therefore stick it out the first few months, do a good job and then talk about a raise.
7. Negotiate a salary only if you have something to show for it
You won’t make it in the job market if you are a greedy job seeker who only wants to take without giving anything in return.
When offered a job, consider taking on the role first and from then on after you have something tangible to show for it, sit down and have that salary discussion with your employer.
8. Never Fear Moving On
Finally, if you know your value and that the company can offer more than what they are giving you but they are adamant, no need stretching yourself for a job that’s not worth it. It probably means that that was not the right job for you. Rejection may be the door to something better.
If however you have the means of supplementing your salary, maybe with the support of your parents, go on and take the job.
In the end, negotiation a salary is something you will find yourself doing in the course of your career. The goal is to understand your value and have something to show for your demands.
And by the way never be afraid to ask for better pay just because you are an entry level job seeker and feel you are not entitled to such a request.
For a long time John Achogo has been attending interviews but he always gets confused on whether to shake hands with the interviewers or not.
“I have always felt the need to shake hands in an interview but when I get to the room I stand there and do nothing. My introduction is usually verbal. The few times I have tried handshakes always ended up awkward. Could I be losing out on jobs because of a handshake? In the case of a panel interview should I shake hands with everyone? What is the right way to introduce myself?” he writes in an email.
Handshakes are not everyone’s cup of tea. During an interview, most candidates opt not to shake hands because they are uncertain of how to go about it.
This being the case, should you shake hands with the interviewer or not?
The best way is to let the interviewer guide you. There are some who are not comfortable shaking hands while some will even stand up and stretch their hand to you. Once you enter into an interview room, read the interviewers actions and take it from there.
Don Varney from Expert Village says that after making eye contact with the interviewer the next important step is to give a handshake.
“Most people sometimes feel that if they have a very strong handshake they would be well noticed by the interviewer. But this is not the case,” he remarks.
Mr. Varney advises that. “You need a firm handshake. Firm does not mean that I’m going to squeeze your hand and break it but it also doesn’t mean that it is limp and soft. It’s a nice firm handshake.”
According to him the perfect handshake can be described as one done with dry palms, a firm grip, two to three shakes, eye contact and a smile.
What if it is a panel interview ? Do you enter the room and stretch your hand to each one of them?
It is not wise to enter the room and greet everyone depending on the time of day.
After that the panel will let the interview continue as planned. They are conscious about time so allowing you to shake everyone’s hand will not save on time. For example enter the room and say ‘Good Morning’ wait for the response and follow their lead.
Giving a handshake does not present an opportunity to get personal with the interviewer or narrating everything that happened before you got to the interview.
In conclusion, one goes into an interview room without knowing the type of personalities to expect. So, if you are planning to offer a firm handshake, ensure your hands are dry and your nails are clean.
At some point during a job interview, it’s your turn. You’ve answered a number of questions (possibly even some of the 27 most common job interview questions.) Now you get to ask the interviewer a few questions.
Some job candidates don’t actually care about the answers to the questions they ask; they are just trying to look good by asking what they hope are great questions.
Others genuinely care about the answers — because they’re still trying to decide whether they actually want the job. (And, of course, as a secondary benefit they hope the interviewer will be impressed by the quality of those questions.)
So if that’s you — if you hope to ask the interviewer questions that you really want answered, and you want to make a good impression in the process — here are some of the best questions you can ask during a job interview.
1. “What top skills and qualities do all of your top performers have in common?”
Great people want to be great employees. They know every organization is different — and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations.
Maybe the top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Maybe being willing to spend the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end equipment is what really makes a difference..
Ultimately, you 1) want to know if you will fit in, and 2) if you do fit in, how you can be a top performer.
2. “What is the key driver of results in this job?”
Employees are investments, and employers expect employees to generate a positive return on their salaries. (Otherwise why have them on the payroll?)
In every job, some activities make a bigger difference than others. Maybe you need your HR team to fill job openings, but what you really want is for them to find the right candidates, because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs, and better overall productivity. Maybe you need your service techs to perform effective repairs, but what you really want is for those techs to identify ways to solve problems and provide other benefits — in short, to build customers relationships and even generate additional sales.
You want to know what truly makes a difference and drives results, because you know that helping the company succeed means you will succeed as well.
3. “What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 90 days?”
You want to hit the ground running. You don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” You don’t want to spend huge chunks of time in orientation, in training, or in the futile pursuit of getting your feet wet.
You want to make a difference — and you want to make that difference right now.
4. “What are the company’s highest priority goals this year, and how would my role contribute?”
Is the job you will fill important? Does it matter?
You want a job with meaning, with a larger purpose — and you want to work with people who approach their jobs the same way.
Otherwise a job… is just a job.
5. “What percentage of your employees were ‘recruited’ by existing employees?”
Employees who love their jobs naturally recommend their company to their friends and peers.
The same is true for people in leadership positions — people naturally try to bring on board talented people they previously worked with. They’ve built relationships, developed trust, and shown a level of competence that made someone go out of their way to follow them to a new organization.
And all of that speaks incredibly well to the quality of the workplace and the culture.
6. “What do employees do in their spare time?”
Happy employees 1) like what they do, and 2) like the people they work with.
Granted, this can be a tough question to answer. Unless the company is really small, all the interviewer can do is speak in generalities. Or he or she can pick out a few people and describe what they do outside of work — and if they can’t even do that, they don’t know your employees nearly well enough.
(And of course what people do outside of work may not reflect how they are to work with. I’ve known people who were supremely driven and focused on achieving goals outside of work… and totally lazy while at work. But still.)
You want to be sure of having a reasonable chance of fitting in on a personal level as well as a professional level, because to many people, cultural fit is extremely important.
And even if it’s not important to you, it does help to know what you’re getting into.
Credit : Inc.com
Most jobs nowadays require one to make online applications because it is more convenient and it enables some organisations to electronically weed out applications without having to go through thousands of them.
However, most people make very silly mistakes when it comes to sending online applications and as such end up ruining their chances of landing the job.
1. Failing to add a subject/ref
So many people forget to include a reference/ref when applying for jobs via email. This is a huge mistake because your email will not be opened.
Hiring managers do not have time to guess what your email is about and they receive hundreds if not thousands of them. Therefore, it is up to you as a job seeker to make sure the subject of your email is easily known.
The next time you apply for a job via email please ensure you indicate what the email entails. For example, REF: Application For Communication Officer Job.
2. Copying every organisation
Although not as common this is still a mistake job applicants make. You need to remember that if you copy any other person on that email the recipients will be able to see.
Today I received an email from someone applying for a job. The problem is that this person had copied over 5 other organisations in the email. I can see all the companies she applied to and so can whoever received her email.
This means that in all those organisations her application will not be considered because employers don’t want to see that you are applying for jobs in other organisations.
3. Fail to follow instructions
Most organisations will give you specific instructions on how to apply for the position. For example, they can say that one needs to quote the title of the position you’re applying for as the reference.
Some also specify how many attachments you need to send while others strictly ask for your CV only.
Now as a job seeker, it is important that you adhere to these rules and failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification.
So before applying for any job ensure you understand what is required from you and follow the instructions given if any.
4. Attaching poorly formatted documents
I once saw an application by someone where their CV was upside down. Now this might seem like a trivial thing but the hiring manager does not have time to start rotating your documents.
Most recruiters take at most 3 minutes to go through application and upon opening your email if the documents are not properly formatted they move on to the next.
They have more than enough applications and throwing yours away will not hurt them in any way. What this means is that before hitting send on your email you need to ensure that all the documents are okay and do not have any mistakes.
5. Applying in the wrong place
This is also a very common mistakes, when a job is posted even on job sites like JobWebGhana, applying in the comment section does not mean you have applied for the position. Neither dose sending any of us your application count.
It is always advisable to apply where the advert tells you to be it via email or on the company website. This is because job sites do not go through applications for those positions all they do is advertise them.
Making online applications may make the process easier but it is also important that you follow instructions provided and avoid silly mistakes that could cost you opportunities.
Following a recent job scam doing rounds by a company calling themselves JobWebLTD purporting to be JobWebGhana, we have taken it upon ourselves help you identify a job scam, to escape snare of having to deal with scammers and fraudulent advertisers.
The rate of unemployment in Ghana is very high with close to 50% of eligible candidates for jobs remaining unemployed. That said, we know that many of you are desperate to get a job in order to earn a living and survive.
But it is also crucial that you remain sober and alert so as not to fall for a scam. That said, here are 7 ways of identifying a job scam.
1.The ‘employers’ always ask for money
Isn’t it strange for an employer to ask you to pay them to give you a job? Being asked to pay some money, as little as GH₵ 50.00 is questionable.
Never pay money up front to an employer.
No genuine employer will ask you for money to get hired. Most of those who do should be suspects of job scamming.
2.They ask you for your valuables
As I mentioned earlier, I fell for a job scam years ago. The advertiser of this job invited me for an interview and asked me to carry my laptop, for him to install a software, that was needed for the job. (It was a data entry job).
In very rare occasions will an employer invite you for an interview asking you to carry your laptop. Unless the interview includes a power point presentation. But even then, it’s important that you do your research on this company to ensure that it’s a genuine company.
3.The process of getting the job is full of twists and turns.
First, they tell you to meet them at a particular place. As soon as you arrive and call them, they make you travel to a different location.
In my case, the scammer had told me he worked for DHL Company and he needed help with data entry. I was to meet him at the DHL Offices. On the day of the interview, however, he said that he had left for lunch, and suggested that I meet him at the restaurant he was having lunch.
Scammers keep changing stories. You can tell by how they handle the process unprofessionally.
If you come across a case where instructions keep changing, it’s a clear indicator of a job scam.
4.The location of the interview
Hotels, a small room with a desk a chair, a few files or a house are not standard locations for any legitimate interview in Kenya.
Very few scammers have decent offices or any at all.
5.The job description and the salary does not match
The job might read “no experience required” which is not necessarily bad, but then the salary indicated is 70K or 100K.
When the deal is too good, think twice.
6. Opportunity to work from home jobs
Scammers know that work from home jobs such as online writing are very common and the preferred choice for some, and they target people looking to work from home.
Beware then, of jobs that offer you an opportunity to work from home. Ideally, in the Kenyan job market, only CEO’s have the privilege of dashing home or opting to work from home one day of the week.
That said, most work from home jobs should be put under careful scrutiny.
7.Too many job responsibilities for a very junior role
Have you come across a job that had too many responsibilities for a simple sales job? That could be a scam.
Scammers always want to appear professional and legit, by posting job ads that look standard, but often go overboard with the responsibilities.
Lastly, most scammers don’t have websites and even if they do, those websites don’t look professional and the information on the website is not coherent, in that is it’s not logically connected.
So you have written a beautiful Cover Letter and you cannot wait to send it to potential employers. Before you do there are a few things that you need to double check to ensure you got them right.
In this article see some of the things you need to double check before sending out your job application.
1. The Hiring Manager’s Name
Yes, before you send that beautifully written cover letter you need to double check that you have used the right name. You do not want to address your letter to the wrong person.
It is important to use the person’s name as opposed to writing Dear Sir/Madam or to whom it may concern. This will make the hiring manager know that you spent the time to research on the organisation.
It is equally important that you do not misspell the name of the person you are addressing the Cover Letter to. You also need to ensure that you use the right title. You do not want to call someone MS when she is a Mrs. If you are not sure about the correct title it is better to avoid using it all together.
2. The Organisation’s Name
The one thing you have to ensure you get right is the company name. Before you send out your application it is important that you check that the company name you have used is correct.
You need to ensure that the spelling is correct and that you have used the full name of the company. For example, if it has a Ltd at the end.
Otherwise, how can someone hire you when you cannot even spell their name correctly?
3. Your Contact Information
Surprisingly, most people get this wrong. If your contact details are not correct it will be very difficult for the hiring manager to get back to you when it comes to inviting you for an interview. This means they will move on to the next person.
You need to ensure that you have used the correct telephone number and email and that you have access to both. Your number needs to be working and your email should not be one you forgot the password to.
You might be wondering how one gets the date wrong but you would be surprised how many people send out applications with the wrong dates. This mostly happens when you have used the same Cover Letter for every job you apply for which is not a good thing.
Something that might seem small like having 3/6/2016 instead of 6/3/2016 can prevent you from getting the job. This shows the recruiter that you are careless and no one wants to hire a careless person.
Most organisations have a limit as to how many words your letter can have and as such you should ensure that your Cover Letter is not too long.
You do not want to bore the hiring manager. Ideally, a cover letter is supposed to be short. Try and have only information that is relevant to the job in the cover letter you send.
If your cover letter is illegible and looks terrible you should be very sure that the hiring manager will throw your application out.
This is because no one wants to struggle reading something that has been poorly formatted. Therefore, it is important that you keep you Cover Letter clean and simple to read.
7. Spelling and Grammar
This is a very important part of checking your Cover Letter. You should never send out an application with poor grammar and spelling mistakes. This will automatically disqualify you for the position.
Having spelling and grammar mistakes will show the hiring manager that you have a poor command of the language and that you are careless because you failed to rectify those mistakes.
Always proofread your Cover Letter before sending or better yet give it to someone else to double check.
Doing this might not guarantee you the position but it will ensure your application is at least considered which is what every job seeker wants. So the next time you send a cover letter to be sure to double check the following.
It can be frustrating to attend a job interview and not get the job. And when you don’t know what you did wrong, the mistakes you made or what you should have done differently, the frustration can get worse.
In some cases, recruiters will mention the mistakes they made. But with others, you have to keep guessing, consult an interview coaching service or rely on information available on job interview mistakes.
Learn the top mistakes that people make during a job interview in this new post.
1. Lack of proper preparation before the interview
Let’s explain using a common scenario.
Jack receives a phone call inviting him to an interview. Unfortunately, he isn’t sure what position he is going to interview for. He also doesn’t want to ask the recruiter because he’s afraid he might ruin his chances.
Hoping all will be well, he walks into the interview room with crossed fingers. As the interviewer asks common interview questions, like “Tell me about yourself” and “Walk me through your typical day at Company X”, everything seems to be going on well.
But that’s until the interviewer asks, “What motivated you to apply for this position?” At that moment, Jack becomes anxious, starts to sweat and the rest of the interview becomes a nightmare. Like you would guess, the interviewer decides Jack is not the best candidate for the role.
This kind of scenario happens a lot. But you can salvage it by revisiting your sent emails and scanning all recent applications. This way, you will find all the positions you have applied to, and pick out the winner.
If for one reason or another you still don’t comprehend the position, you can always ask politely.
2. Being rude and having a bad attitude
The way you treat the security guard, talk to the receptionist or employee who attends to you, and your interaction with interviewers acts as a huge determining factor. If you are rude to these people or have a bad attitude, it is unlikely the job will be yours.
Employers and hiring managers use your personality to decide. This means that in addition to technical expertise, you will also need a likable personality to get the job.
So, make sure you are not rude to anyone in the moments leading to your interview. And avoid portraying a bad attitude. These two are a guarantee for a failed job interview.
Rudeness and a bad attitude have never worked well for anyone. In fact, purpose to be a polite person at all times. And always remain positive.