We need much more than just a salary raise

A woman counts money in Uganda. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • With so many unemployed, or underemployed, people are always on the lookout for job opportunities. 

Jobs are scarce, yet year in and out, higher institutions of learning churn out thousands of graduates who have to compete for the limited  opportunities in the market.

The labour market is so slack that at any one given job posting in any organisation, hundreds of candidates will apply for that one slot. 

According to National Planning Authority (NPA) statistics released in 2021, 700,000 people join the job market every year regardless of qualifications but only 90,000 get something to do. 

This translates to 87 percent of people ready to work but can’t find a job, and at least nine in every 10 Ugandans who have completed any form of education are unemployed.

With so many unemployed, or underemployed, people are always on the lookout for job opportunities. When organisations advertise jobs, they are usually overwhelmed with applications. 
And it is the duty of the human resource personnel to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’. 

To be shortlisted for a job interview in this competitive job market is a big step itself.  It means the recruiters see potential in you with the possibility of being hired. 

So when you are among the lucky few shortlisted, do whatever is within your means to shine through the process, and bank that job if possible. When it comes to preparing for job interviews, some old rules are still relevant to date; like being on time for the interview, and dressing well.   

Speaking of dressing decently, sometime back, I went for a job interview, and one of the other candidates, a young woman, came dressed in jeans and a very transparent chiffon blouse. One could clearly see the colour of her bra, and her skin. I wondered whether she knew this was inappropriate 

In the corporate world, it is still required that candidates dress professionally, that is suits for males, while females formal business clothes such as dresses, skirt suits or pantsuits.

As a candidate, you may not have a suit, but you can dress business casual, which means dressing professionally without being overly formal. 

According to indeed.com, a candidate should never wear such attire to a job interview; shorts, skirts or dresses that are too short, flip flops and other open-toed sandals, athletic shoes, shirts with too-low necklines or that expose one’s belly, gym attires such as sweatpants, stained or wrinkled clothing, and ripped jeans or shorts. 

If you are not sure of what to wear, you can research the company dress code. The purpose here is to make a great first impression. 

Like Will Rogers, an American vaudeville performer, actor said: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Dressing well also increases your confidence, shows you respect yourself and those interviewing you, and that you are interested in the position you applied for. 

For those who may not know, dress code, grooming, body language and self-expression are some of the aspects assessed during job interviews. The way you dress shows whether you take yourself and the job seriously or not. 

Carry your resume like your mobile phone. Recently, I had an opportunity to be in a room where interviews were being conducted, and one of my major observations, and something I can say was quite unsettling is that half of the candidates had not carried copies of their resumes. 

In the interview room when asked to present the documents, some said they had left them behind, while others said they thought the papers were not necessary. The interviewers asked such candidates to go and find places where they could print out their resumes. 

So dear job seekers, whenever you are invited for a job interview, take copies of your resume/ and original academic documents with you. Just like you never forget your mobile phone at home, never forget your resume when going for an interview. 

Whether it has been mentioned in the job advert or not, always move with your resume on the day of the interview. It saves you from wasting time, confusion, panic, and it shows you are thoughtful and organised.

Mathias Kigoye, Senior Inspector of Schools

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