By Kibet Tobias
It is just recently that graduation ceremonies and parties were in full swing across the different universities in Kenya. It was really lovely to walk around any university and see all those caps, gowns and proudly-beaming graduands and parents.
Now you’ve got that hard-earned degree certificate, what next?
Maybe you are going on to further study – great, make the most of the experience.
But I know, a greater percentage of you will be searching for your first graduate job. If that is you, we are here to help. You don’t just want a job – it has to be a great fit to launch your career.
Now, it is important to note that with the rising number of graduates in Kenya, most companies receive an average of 100 or more applications for a graduate job advertised. This means the job market is very competitive.
So what should you do stand out from the crowd? You have to know how to market yourself appropriately to beat the other candidates. How do you do that?
Here are 3 practical tips to market yourself:
1. Work out what employers are looking for in a graduate CV
For every application you make, the role and industry sector matters a lot. Your CV should be customized well to fit the role.
Through our CV writing services, we have helped our graduate clients secure interviews and jobs with top companies in Kenya. We’ve noted that found most of the companies need an impeccable academic record in your CV. That does not indicating your good grades only.
Think about Any extra academic achievements – scholarships or awards from your former school, college or university. Having some on your CV will make a big difference. Ensure you highlight them.
However, if your academic record isn’t quite that excellent – don’t stress. There are lots of job opportunities out there and we help graduates from all disciplines and universities secure their target role.
On top of a degree, all graduate employers are looking for well-rounded candidates with broad extra-curricular achievements and work experience. I hear this time and again from every industry leader, from investment banking and management consulting to marketing, engineering and the public sector. Graduates without any outside interests or work experience are unlikely to be selected for the top graduate programmes.
Start pulling together notes of all your work experience. It doesn’t have to be high-level or glamorous. You’ll have learnt valuable skills in any part-time jobs or volunteering you’ve done. Then, look at any interesting activities – sports, hobbies, travels, involvement in university clubs and societies you’ve been involved with. Pull out any achievements and highlights.
Take a careful look at some job ads that interest you. Where are the overlaps between your transferable skills and those listed in the person specification? Whether you’re working on your CV, covering letter, application form or LinkedIn profile, always be thinking about how you can demonstrate the competencies sought by your target employers.
Related Content: Top 7 Mistakes That Make Your CV Look Unprofessional
2. Make sure your CV is professional – but not boring
A CV is a marketing document not just a tedious list of qualifications, experiences and clichés. It definitely needs to demonstrate transferable skills and show how you are a perfect fit for the role, with concrete examples, facts and figures. If you can also show some personality on your CV, you’ll stand out.
Your CV and covering letter should be company and role specific. The CV also needs to be keyword optimized and formatted to get past the ’CV Robots’ (ATS) and generate interviews. Avoid unusual designs, text boxes and quirky fonts because they increase the chance of your CV being automatically screened-out before it even gets in front of a human.
The same applies to your LinkedIn profile. It should be an interesting read, focused on achievements and results and keyword optimized. Remember, this isn’t Facebook or Instagram – your online brand should be as professional as your CV.
Finally, make sure all your marketing documents – CV, covering letters and LinkedIn profile – are checked (and checked again). Research suggests that 97% of hiring managers reject CVs on the basis of only two typos.
3. Don’t think you can just wing an interview
The biggest mistakes candidates make in interviews is not researching the company and not preparing for the type of questions they’re likely to be asked. Read up on everything you can find about the employer. Not just the obvious stuff on their website, but annual reports and media commentary.
For general ‘tell me about yourself’ style questions, prepare – and rehearse – your personal story. It’s your chance to shine, so make sure it’s succinct and relevant to the role. Depending on the job, you’re also likely to be asked technical questions or competency-based scenario questions (these often start with ‘tell me about a time when you…’). Again, preparation and practice are key.
The graduate job hunt can feel daunting. But stay focussed, follow our tips and you’ll get there. And, remember, if you need any advice we have graduate packages and a team of experts to help you every step of the way.
(Find Our Professional CV Writing Services)
Our goal is to help at least 5,000 professionals to get jobs in different top companies through our CV writing services by the end of 2019. We have done this before, so we are tried and tested. Do you want to be in our list of happy clients? Don’t miss out!
Let us start working on your CV. With our team of professional CV writers, we guarantee you a 30 month successful job search. We are here to help you succeed in your career!
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A Powerful Interview-Generating CV In 6 Easy Steps.
- Order your bespoke CV: Order online or call +254 729 735 467 or +254 787 667 233.
- Your 1-2-1 CV consultation: Via Skype or phone, scheduled at a time to suit you (including evenings and weekends), you will have an in-depth 1 hour discussion around your aspirations, skills, experience and achievements, to position you to stand out from your competition.
- Your CV consultant writes your CV: With exceptional writing talent and top-tier, corporate cross-sector backgrounds, our team have the insider knowledge to put down on paper exactly what recruiters want to see. We have rigorous on-going training to keep ahead of industry trends.
- Quality: Your new CV will undergo a unique editing process, incorporating a clear interview-producing strategy, linguistic accuracy, correct tone and pitch, and key-word alignment to applicant tracking systems (ATS). CV quality is personally overseen by the company CEO. There’s absolutely no room for error.
- You will receive your new CV: This will be sent as a Word document within 2 working days. For our 24-hour express service, call +254 729 735 467 or +254 787 667 233.
- Fine-tuning: Call us or email any comments. Your new CV will be refined and the finished result – including formatting, power phrasing and keyword optimization – will be tailored to you and your requirements.
Order online now or call us on +254 729 735 467 or +254 787 667 233 to speak to a member of our team.
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