Job hunting can be a daunting task. This is especially true for developing countries where employment opportunities are far less than the number of people who are looking for jobs.
I remember very well when I would send over 50 applications a week and wonder why no one would bother to respond. Even if it is to say that I did not qualify for the job. Now that I sat on a recruitment panel I fully understand why. And it has nothing to do with being connected or your looks or ethnicity. I will give you a list that can help in a in a short while, but before that…
Let’s have a look at the employment statistics
In Kenya, there are 7 million unemployed citizens. This is against a total of 25 million Kenyans who are in the working-age bracket of between 18-64 years old. Representing an unemployment rate of about 28%.
Majority of these unemployed citizens are desperately seeking placement. Whereas the remaining bit opt to go back to school to further their studies. All in the hope that they will have an added advantage when they finally go job hunting.
And by the look of things, this situation is not about to change. The tertiary education institutions are pumping more graduates every year into this shrinking job market.
Tertiary education output
According to our analysis – there are 20 public universities, 27 private universities and 266 colleges/ Technical & Vocational Education and Training Institutions.
These feed approximately 96,000 graduands every year into the job market. Public universities are the greatest contributors to this spew. Led by University of Nairobi with approximately 14,000, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology 11,000 and Kenyatta University and Moi, each with approximately 9,000 graduates annually.
Let’s get into it
The situation I have just described paints a grim picture. It underlines the reason why your job applications need to be 100.
I have had the opportunity of being part of a recruitment panel.
What I’ve seen was heart-breaking. But the good news is that everything in this list is in your control.
PS: If you see yourself in this list, do not blame myself. They didn’t include any of the things I am about to say in any unit or course that I know of.
10 Reasons why you flood the market with your CV only to get no response
- You apply for a job you are not qualified for
So this ranks number one my list. So you sent your application. And they are looking for a Commercial Pilot. With at least 10 years’ experience. You are a fresh graduate… with a Degree in Animal Husbandry…
HR teams are seeing this and wishing that they could reach through the internet to your laptop and virtually slap you.
- You have a crazy email address
- You sent an application to many companies at once:
“So Dear ALL. Attached is my application. Kindly have a discussion and agree who can give me a job in their company. Thanks.”
- You address the wrong company:
This is as a result of something a former boss of mine called ‘copyosis’. Where you copy and paste your application from XYZ and apply to Research 8020 Limited. And you forget to change the headline. And the headline reads my competitor.
Bad. It’s like calling your spouse another person’s name. Yikes.
- You have a cluttered CV
Your CV is 17 pages. Font type Arial black, at font size 8. With Three columns. Including a few quotes from Bible.
You have to understand that HR teams most of the times have to dig through hundreds of applications. If your CV is not easy on the eye, then very little attention is paid.
CV should be a maximum of 3 pages.
- You used the email address from where you currently work
This just is a question of ethics. If you can’t respect your current employer, then you won’t respect us. Sorry.
- You have an unprofessional photo
You decided to use a photo on your CV. The photo was taken on your way to the barbershop. And you were upset. And hungry.
My advice – no photos. Unless specified in the application. By the way, once you put a photo, it becomes part of the evaluation. Don’t be surprised if you are eliminated just because you didn’t brush your teeth. Yes they can tell. Don’t ask me how.
- You have put unnecessary details
You need to pay attention to what the employer is looking for. You making it to the finals of the national drama festival or heading a Miraa task-force in Meru won’t do you any good in your application. Unless it is related.
- You have bad email etiquette
Your CV has bad spelling. Bad grammar. No punctuation. Is in capital letters. Is blank. Has no heading.
Bad. Very bad.
- You didn’t double check your application
Most times than not, there are excellent application where the attachment is missing. Or the email is not typed correctly. Sometimes crucial details are missing. Or worse you send corrupted files.
Always double check your application. Check it against the application and the mandatory requirements. Remember to also check it again after you have sent it. And again in a few minutes after sending – it may have bounced.
I hope this helps you in your quest for a new job. Happy hunting and all the best.