How can I make a successful pitch to a potential employer?

Friday July 31 2020


By Jane Muiruri

Dear Jane,
Until last month, I was employed as a waitress at a five star hotel in Mombasa. However, I was laid off due to the economic hardships that came with the coronavirus pandemic. I am now job hunting and looking for a way of endearing myself to potential employers. How can I make my pitches successful to my future employer? Jackie

Dear Jackie,
Cold pitching has worked for decades, especially in sales. However, it rarely works during recruitment processes. This is not to discourage you from sending unsolicited applications, but it would be unwise to send these documents to companies that are barely surviving during these tough times.
Start by updating your CV to match the roles you are targeting. Do not be that candidate who sends out one CV for all job applications. The job advert should guide you on what skills to highlight depending on the kind of job and the organisation in question. Do not yield to the temptation of including skills you don’t have.

Are your friends and members of your professional network aware that you are on the job hunt? Don’t shy away from asking for referrals or letting them know that you are looking for new opportunities. What online sites do you frequent? If you have not signed up on LinkedIn, consider doing so. This is a professional site and most employers use it to search for potential candidates for various roles. This is your online CV and you should update it regularly. You can also contact a few recruitment agencies and check if they can allow you to upload your CV on their website. On this one, Google is your friend. This newspaper also has a section dedicated to job advertisement, so you can buy the Daily Nation on Wednesday and Fridays, or access the ads on our e-paper platform.

If you were previously employed, let your former boss know that you are interested in taking a new role when the opportunity arises. Send him your updated CV highlighting any new skills and work experience you have acquired since you left for greener pastures. The recruitment process has changed. To stay ahead, invest in a good phone in case your potential employer invites you to a virtual interview. As you are doing all this, why not take an online course to improve your skills? Don’t listen to those who think there are no job openings. If you have set of unique skills and competencies, all you need to do is identify an employers who will take you in.

Jane Muiruri,
Senior HR Manager,
Nation Media Group