- Job seekers should be intentional about their job search, especially given the prevalent use of AI tools that prescreen CVs during the recruitment process.
- Well-planned job searches can reduce unemployment duration for job seekers.
- Job seekers should optimize their profiles on AI-enabled job platforms by including relevant information in sections such as “About You,” “Work Experience,” and “Experience Level.”
The job recruitment process is a two-way street. Once an employer places a job vacancy and a job seeker embarks on a job hunt, each of them will mandatorily walk on this street.
However, to ensure that their paths cross without distracting obstacles, both the job owner and job seekers have a certain set of actions to perform.
For job seekers to be found by their desired employer, it is important to be intentional about the search, especially with the advent and use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools that often prescreen and sort CVs or profiles before employers have a look at them.
Data from the Digital Skills Gap Report by Jobberman Nigeria shows that 18% of Nigerian employers hire a new employee every month, while over 24% of employers engage new team members quarterly. However, for each new hire onboarded, there have been weeks and sometimes months of endless search for the right candidates and a series of interviews that can be simply daunting.
For the smart job applicant, it is in their best interest to make themselves quickly noticeable enough to be found by optimising the job search process.
A well-planned job search can significantly reduce the unemployment duration for a job seeker. According to the Jobberman 2022 report “How Do Young People Survive Without Jobs”, 34% of Nigerian youths have been unemployed for at least 1-2 years, while 16% have been unemployed for over 5 years.
These numbers could perhaps be lower if all job seekers are more intentional about “selling themselves” at the job application stage to make the employer`s task easier, as well as selecting the right platforms to put their resumes on. We all know at least one brilliant person who just seems unlucky in their job search.
Some job search and placement platforms, including Jobberman, have AI-enabled features which automatically sort CVs by relevance and match qualified candidates with employers whose job openings align with their profiles. Such platforms use matching scores to rank job applicants from most to least qualified based on their CV content.
This system serves as a first-level check between a job seeker and an employer. It means for a job seeker`s CV to get to a suitable employer, the profile has to contain the relevant keywords and information that the AI tool will search for when shortlisting an applicant.
By choosing similar automated platforms, job seekers increase their chances of being employed in a shorter time frame if they compile their CVs comprehensively. For the 21st-century job seeker, the beginning of a productive job search process is the identification and selection of digital platforms where they should be present and their CVs uploaded.
To properly prepare and optimise their profiles to successfully pass through the algorithms of AI-enabled job platforms and get linked to their next desired workplace, there are three must-have sections that a job seeker should include and consistently update on job sites. These are:
- By adding succinct information about overall background, career aspirations, soft skills and areas of professional interest, job seekers give the matching algorithms all the signals it needs to facilitate an effective matching.
- For offline reviews, this information also gives employers a clue if they will be a good fit for the position and corporate culture of the recruiting organisation. To correctly fill this section, keep it professional and avoid talking about such topics as what books are your favourite and what sports teams you support because they do not indicate competitive professional capabilities.
- Briefly describe your specialisation and industries of interest, aspirations as a professional, what soft skills you have, and the personal traits that you possess that would make you the ideal candidate for the role. For example, if your desired position entails frequent communication and you are a good listener and excellent problem solver, these are worth mentioning.
- When jobseekers write about their previous experience and their results, prospective employers are better able to understand the competencies and areas of strength of the candidate. Also, it is not only corporate positions that count as valid job experiences.
- As an active job seeker, include everything you have done to date, such as volunteering, internships, or owning a business. Even if your role was different from the one being sought by the employer, you may still have a suitable set of skills that is transferable to a new role.
- And remember — your work experience is not your job description; don’t be tempted to copy and paste the job descriptions from your previous employment letters into the work experience section of your CV. Employers are interested in what you did, not what was planned for you to do.
- Some employers specifically seek entry-, mid- or senior-level candidates. If job seekers indicate the number of years already spent in their field, they are more likely to get noticed by employers who are looking for that exact level of experience or by the matching algorithm.
- As a job seeker who understands their experience and competence level, you can consider job offers objectively to ascertain if you are under or overqualified for the role.
- Even with no experience or experience that does not directly match the role, there is a solid possibility that a job seeker might get an offer due to relevant education. For instance, some employers can reskill and upskill a new employee to fit a particular role. Whether you have a specific degree or vocational training, indicate it in your CV.
- If you engaged in extracurricular activities that helped you gain skills that will be useful in the workplace, be sure to mention them too. Who knows, it would be your position as the publicity secretary in your church fellowship as an undergraduate that gives you the edge over other candidates.
While brevity is encouraged when writing your CV, depending on your level of experience, do not waste the opportunity to sell yourself and use the right keywords to stand out on job sites.
Ensure to keep your resume constantly updated as you learn new things and achieve new results. After all, nobody can know your achievements better than you, and each person must be willing to position themselves in the most positive light.
About the author
Chisom Nwosu is the Recruitment Operations Lead at Jobberman Nigeria.