Friday August 1 2014

The workplace >How to manage the job search strategy

By Isaiah Kitimbo

Tom graduated with a diploma in Development Studies seven years ago. He has tried to apply for several jobs, including media adverts but no employer has ever shortlisted him for an interview. He presumes diploma holders are no longer relevant in the job market.
Many jobseekers view a futile attempt as failure, which is a wrong conclusion. It is obvious that various employers will seek to hire people for different reasons and needs. Oftentimes, applicants are hired depending on skills, knowledge and ability.
For specialised jobs, however, hirers will be interested in taking up applicants who possess that particular skill while for general hiring, any qualified applicant will be given a chance. Such slots are often advertised under the catchphrase; ‘qualifications: diploma or basic university degree.’ This partly explains why some people end up in professions where they do not have first training but just cling unto apprenticeship. But this does not make such openings less competitive. In a country where unemployment rate is high, a job applicant needs to have more than mere qualifications to shine ahead of the pack.
A job seeker needs to understand the nature of the job that he or she intends to apply for to gauge themselves accordingly. Job qualifications can range from an ordinary certificate to postgraduate qualifications. Acquiring knowledge about the job offer helps an applicant to not only apply rightly but also prepare adequately to impress the interview panel.
Also, make job hunt a full-time engagement until you are hired. Try as much as possible to send applications to several employers to increase your chances of getting hired. Networking is another tool that can give a job seeker an edge. Where possible, use the walk-in and get hired approach. Manage your search engine better for your dream job might be next door.

The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist.