I was opportune to participate in the recruitment process for a notable organisation in Nigeria and it opened my eyes to so many mistakes our graduates make during application. One thing everyone needs to understand is searching for a job is a full time job which requires skills, experience and a lot of hard work
Let me explain what happened
We placed ads on so many online portal , in less than one week, we got over 2,000 Applications (CVs.) Like seriously? How am i going to sieve out the candidates, Truth be said i tried opening the CV one after the other, I wasted the first 2 days without result as none of the applicants were impressive. So we had to employ some methods to shortlist which worked perfectly.
So from the experience, here is the solution to the common mistakes employees make during application:
1. Write A Little Description in the body of the email: Always Add A brief description about yourself in the body of the email. I don’t mean writing about where you came from or your hobbies, write a little about your qualifications and skills. This gives you a high chance as it gives the recruiter a reason to want to open your CV.
2. Well Arranged CV: Before anyone reads the content of your email, the first thing that attracts them the quality of the design of your CV, make sure your CV is well formatted with good fonts and make sure it looks good, i don’t mean designing your CV or adding colours
3. High Quality CV: Write good and simple English, avoid writing stories, write short and straight to the point, make your CV very interesting and attractive that would make the recruiter want to shortlist you
4. Reply Interview Emails: Whenever you get an email from a company about an interview or test, always reply their emails confirming the appointment for the interview or test. I noticed most applicants don’t do that. This makes the interviewer somehow know you.
5. Avoid Too Much talk and Be prepared: During the test or Interview avoid too chit chats with other applicants, always be prepared, bring your biro, pencils, calculators, paper etc. I noticed some people come for test without biros or pencils etc
6. Reschedule if need be: If for any reason you can’t make it to the interview, Don’t be scared to ask them to reschedule instead of sending emails after the interview has been conducted if you cant make it down on the interview date.
7. Thank You Message: Once you have been shortlisted, don’t hesitate to send a thank you message, But please make it very formal. Guess what? It has a way of making the Interviewer remember your name, you will be surprised how this will go a long way in making the person want you. I still remember the names of the 2 people that sent us a thank you message.
8. Never Miss a call: During the interview, one aspect of the interview was to do a phone call interview before inviting users for the face to face interview, During the process, Some applicants phones were switched off while some missed our calls, and the funny thing is 70% of them never called back, and because we had so many people, we didn’t call them back, when you are applying for a job, your phone must be available 24/7
9. Watch your caller tone: while calling I noticed so many funny and annoying caller tunes, Its so funny how those caller tunes already gave me a very bad impression of the person,
10. Dress Well: Please please please, even if you need to borrow, never wear a rough , dirty or tar-tared cloth to an interview. believe me even if you are good no one is going to employ you
11.Bad Body language: Sit straight, focus, make a good eye contact, but don’t make it look daring, I cant believe most people cant sit well on a chair, their body languages was just totally off.
12. Color of cloth: Please when you are going for an interview there are some colours you should just avoid, how can you wear a black , red or pink shirt to an interview. Its not as if these colours are bad but people put meanings to colours, its safer to wear something everyone is comfortable with like Blue, white, or any strip shirts beware of lousy colours. During the interview, a guy wasn’t picked because he wore a pink shirt. One of the interviewer who is very sensitive to pink says the dude might be gay, so funny
13. Some people talk badly: Most people don’t even know they talk badly, you need to watch the way you talk, Do a video of yourself talking and you will understand what i mean, some people are fond of using some particular words or ehmm ehmmmmm , yea huh, etc Ask people around you and also be conscious of how you speak.
14. Listen and don’t Interrupt: Never in any way interrupt while the interviewer is speaking, if you must object while the person is talking, either you raise your hand or wait for the person to finish talking but interfering while the person is talking makes you look rude.
15. Don’t Lie: One thing i have noticed during interviews is people always lie, never lie except you can actually back up your lies very well. E.g. don’t tell me you have computer experience when you cannot even type on a computer,
16. Avoid too Much Sir: One annoying thing i noticed during the interview is the desperate ways Nigerian graduates use “Sir”. Good morning Sir, Thank Sir, What did you say sir, I didn’t hear you sir, can you rephrase sir, i didn’t bring it sir, I attended Babcock sir. If possible prevent using sir, or if you must use it, you shouldn’t use it , it should be limited, Over using it makes you look desperate and cheap.
17. Research well About the Company Before Negotiation: How can you be applying to a company and you know nothing about them, make sure you research well about the company and their salary range, When asked how much you want to be paid, make sure you have researched a little about the company or just go for an amount you feel comfortable with. Don’t under charge because you are desperate and also don’t overcharge because you are expecting a miracle, How can a graduate without skills/experience be demanding for Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000) in an investment company
18. Smell Good: I understand we all get sweaty and sometimes smelly, but getting smelly in an interview room is a NO NO, please use a roll on or perfume, You don’t want to be smelling, if you have a mouth odour, chew gum to give you a good breath before entering the interview room.
19. Make sure your certificates are Clean: Make sure your certificates are properly kept, why would you employ someone with a torn certificate ?
20. Don’t be late: For any reason never be late to an interview. No one would like to employ a late comer.
– Guest Post culled from http://www.naijanani.com