4-Step Approach to Successful Job Hunting

Funminiyi Olubanjo

Funminiyi works in the Nigerian office of one of the Big 4 professional services firms

By now, I assume you are done with your service year, you have probably gained first-hand experience being a teacher, and have realised it’s not that easy. Or if you are among the lucky ones, you got a posting that involved other job functions, congratulations on getting pre-job experience.  If you were not lucky enough to get retained where you served your country, then you probably took that long trip home with thoughts in your mind on next steps in your life.

In my opinion, most job applications should be done during your service year to enable you attend the interviews towards the end of your service year and shorten the time before you get a new job. But let’s leave that for other publications, I am sure you have heard that a million times.

In this article, we will focus on all the activities necessary to get a job regardless of where you currently are, whether you are still doing the NYSC program or you’re done with it.

First off, many people might opine that, going online is the first step to search for job openings, but I believe that first making a personal assessment is the first step to a successful job hunt.

Step 1: Do a personal assessment

Make an honest assessment of everything you have to offer these companies you are applying to

The basics: What’s your degree in? What’s your grade level? What certifications do you have? What are your standout awards or contributions to the society?

The intrinsic: What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are your talents? What can you improve on? What is your vision for the future? What’s your idea of a dream job? And, in what sector do you wish to pursue this dream?

If you can effectively answer these questions, then you are on the right track to applying for jobs that are worth your value. Remember that you are worth a lot, and self-esteem and self-confidence are necessary to attract good jobs and also to wow interviewers.

Step 2: Have a simple but concise CV

We can spend all day giving tips on how to write CVs , it’s everywhere, but in my opinion your CV must satisfy the checklist highlighted below to have a chance at escaping the trash bin. Statistics say that employers view your CV in 3 seconds  before making a decision, what you want to do is get their attention on those first seconds to make an impression .

School2job cover 2

These are my easy steps to writing a good CV:

  • Your font must be formal and legible.
  • Your name should be in the first name surname format. No middle names.
  • Give a brief and captivating summary about yourself and what you hope to achieve underneath your contact details.
  • State your education and work experience with relevant and accurate dating for the time periods.
  • State your hobbies and interests and certifications, N.B do not choose generic hobbies like reading and writing, everybody does that, look for interesting hobbies that you can back up like blogging or vlogging.
  • Remember to use effective line spacing and good alignment and always make sure your grammar and spelling are correct.

Step 3: Hit the online job market

The world is global now, but let’s aim domestic for now, after effectively assessing yourself, now you can visit popular websites like jobbberman, hotnigerianjobs.com, ngcareers.com and the likes to search for job openings that align with your assessment. At this stage , you will be mostly interested in applying for graduate trainee job openings, so for example, Tolu is a graduate of computer science with a second class upper grade and he dreams of working in a bank or financial services firm, Tolu has done an assessment  and understands his strengths , Tolu now opens up the job recruitment websites and clicks on graduate openings and starts applying to firms such as KPMG, Ernst and young, PwC , StanbicIBTC, UBA, and Access Bank because these all align with his plans. This is an example of smart planning and thinking to achieve one’s goals.


Step 4: Research and read widely

Read extensively and get more information on the companies you applied to, improve your knowledge on all issues, read newspapers and online journals, make yourself filled with knowledge so you can offer some insight if you get into the interviews and assessment stage and don’t forget to PRAY, regardless of your religion.


In the next part, I will be talking about how to go about being successful at assessment centres, interviews, and of course the exams. Search for my name on this website to read the concluding part.


Editor’s Note: While the insights offered by the writer are very valuable to successful job hunt, we do no agree that there is anything wrong with having middle name on CV or using writing or reading as hobbies.

See also: From School to Job: A Complete Guide

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