Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts


Display Instagram Footer

userId: 2262549106, accessToken: '2262549106.1677ed0.760f3d756da04b01ada6b337010cb095',

Dark or Light Style

Observations of a Young Nigerian Female . Powered by Blogger.

About Me

My photo
I am young, "normal" and I like to write. People say I eat too much, people don't know what they are saying.

Search This Blog


21st Century Career Checklist

A Guide to Positioning Yourself for a Career in Today's Market

One of the biggest errors of the education system is not teaching us how to get a job. These days, there are career fairs and career days at secondary schools, though in my day there weren’t, and these events help students understand what careers are out there. It helps them align their interests with actual existing jobs, but that is all students get at school, what jobs are there, not how to get jobs.

So, people go from secondary school to university and spend years learning how to do jobs, but again, not how to get them.

Getting jobs in this day and age is very different than it was a decade ago, and so it’s a lot harder to go right from university to a job today. The internet has redefined the way everything works including job search, recruiting and positioning yourself for a job. Knocking on doors and passing around printed CVs does not cut it anymore, and neither does knowing CEOs.

Here is a checklist I created to help people position themselves for new careers. This is good for fresh graduates and former employees trying to transition or restart a career after a break.

    Set up LinkedIn: I learned about LinkedIn in my second year at the social media conference organized by Franklin Boluwatife Epidi at my university. The person who mentioned it was Solomon King, a speaker at the conference. That conference changed my life. I had no idea about all these things that one has to do to be seen and to get ahead.

LinkedIn is the marketplace and you haven’t even started if you’re not on LinkedIn. At least once every month, I get messages from recruiters asking me to review a job description for a role they think I’m a fit for. I’ve been contacted by recruiters for UBA, Africa Prudential and TEC; these are the really cool ones.

Get on LinkedIn, set up your profile, update your skills, certifications and experience, then just post about your professional activities whenever you can; that’s courses you’re taking, internships, professional events you attend, and anything else that has anything to do with your career.

    Create a Modern CV: You see how that adjective right there is very specific? That’s because there’s a difference between the CV your parents had and taught you to create, and the CV that actually works today.

Let me keep it simple; no one cares about your local government, your primary school education. Why? Because if you went through university, you obviously went to primary school, and honestly, no one cares when. It doesn’t affect your capabilities in any way.

The CV that matters today is a CV that shows what you can do. Before, all you had to prove was that you went to school. Now, employers want you to show interest and expertise. Your courses and internships show that you’re interested, and your practice projects show your expertise, so highlight those and keep your mother’s maiden name out of it.

    Get Headshots: With the way recruiting is done these days, it is very important that you position yourself in the very best way that you can. That means that you should not put up a low quality selfie on your social media profiles.

Not having professional headshots will not directly hinder you from getting a job, but it always helps to present yourself in the best light possible.


    Identify Necessary Skills: What skills would you need to have for the job you want? Find them, list them, then start developing those skills. It’s that simple really. It’s like identifying the ingredients you’ll need to make a meal then going out and buying those ingredients. For instance, to pursue a career in digital marketing, I’d google “skills for digital marketers”, make a list of the skills that are similar across board, then start studying for each of those skill. That’s all there is to it.

    Set Career Development Goals: Set goals just like you do for other things you want to achieve. Set SMART goals to get you from the point where you are to the job you want. Include who you want to meet, certifications you’d like to have, knowledge you’d like to possess, and so on and so forth.

    Create Multiple CV Variations: Different industries have different expectations for the same roles with different lingo and more, you should not send the same resume for a job in public health as well as for education. Aside from industries, you might also be applying for multiple roles and it is important that the CV you submit reflects the skills and experiences required for each role. List roles you would like to apply for, and section your skills and experience to fit each role, then make CVs that are suitable.

    Set Job Alerts: You can set job alerts on LinkedIn, Indeed and some other career sites. These job alerts help you get very specific notifications for jobs that might interest you. With LinkedIn job alerts for instance, you can set roles, location and type. Example; copywriter, remote, entry-level. You get these notifications in your mail as soon as they have been posted so you can apply quickly for jobs that you are actually interested in and are actually suited to.

    Go On a Certifications Spree: This one is pretty straightforward. You’ve outlined the skills you need, find courses that come with a certificate and take them. If one of the skills you want is social media management for instance, all you need to do is go on an online education platform and search “social media management certificate”. You can find certified courses on Coursera, Udemy, and several other online learning platforms.

    Get an Accountability Buddy: Accountability is core to your growth and success with anything at all, and your career success is not less so. I run an accountability group for women in Nigeria who are looking to get remote jobs. It would be great if you could join an accountability group, but if you cannot, it will greatly benefit you to get an accountability partner.

This should be someone who is close to you and knows your goals, but most importantly, this should be someone who can motivate you and tell you the truth.

An accountability buddy will help you stay on track and reach your goals by supporting you to keep your commitments.

    Follow Career Pages: There are several pages on social media that share career tips freely. Subscribe to channels like that on YouTube, follow on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. There is a lot of free and incredibly useful information out there, so take advantage of it.

This checklist is concise and hyperlinked with resources. If you follow it, you should be able to properly position yourself for jobs in today’s career marketplace.

Share this article to help someone get on the right track.


You Might Also Like

1 comment:

I am a young, Nigerian female who does not possess the abilities and genetic disposition to reserve her comments.

Follow @young_nigerian_female