The More, The Merrier

Charles has just decided to go back into the market for another role.

He had been on a temporary contract across multiple employers in the last couple of years. He wanted something more stable, so he had to start looking into the market again.

The good news is that Charles is highly skilled and does not foresee any challenges with his job search. He knew he would be able to get an offer with ease.

Charles wasn’t wrong after all. After weeks of applications and interviews, he was swimming in job offers.


Having too many offers is not a problem

I love Charles’ problem. Having multiple job offers is a good problem to have.

Imagine the reverse was the case, and Charles had to run out of contract before finding a role. Or he only had one offer to choose from.

Contrary to your opinion, it’s a good problem when you have more than an offer. I understand that you might have trouble deciding which is the best for you, which might cause you a little bit of anxiety.

In the end, all you really must do is:


Decide what’s right for you

two women sitting on leather chairs in front of table
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Ultimately you will have to decide which one is right for you. This might mean the one that offers more flexibility or the one with more benefits. You’ve got to decide.

It was an easy decision when I was confronted with multiple offers a few years ago.

What did I do?

–          I made a list of things that were important to me.

–          I decided early.

Deciding early before getting confused when the offers come knocking is particularly helpful.


 

Always put yourself first

woman in black long sleeve shirt using macbook
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

 

Whatever you do, you must put yourself first.

After all, if you don’t, who will? Certainly not the employers. Employers look after themselves by ensuring they hire the right person, so why not look after yourself by making sure you have made the right career decision?

Remember, it’s your responsibility to look after yourself and put yourself first.


Closing thoughts

Getting faced with multiple job offers can be confronting. However, this can be an opportunity to decide what’s right for you. It’s your job to look after yourself. If you don’t, no one will.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Need Career Advice?

Whenever you are ready, here’s how I can help you advance your career:

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career in data analytics. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Career Services for Data Analytics: Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Get a copy of my new book “Before Graduation Day” It’s the best career guide for students. Get a copy for yourself or someone you care about.


Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

I developed this video using Videoscribe.

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Top 10 Networking Mistakes To Avoid In Your Job Search

Networking has become critical in today’s job markets. Many employers now prefer to use non-traditional means to fill open roles within their organisations. They rely on referrals from current staff members, partner organisations and other referral sources. They trust the referrals from these sources, as they consider them less risky than sourcing talents from traditional job ads. The usual recruiting process takes ample time and resources to scale through the series of shortlisting, interviewing, and notification of candidates at different points of the interview process.

Networking is essential for job seekers; however, it can also be challenging, as it’s relatively easy to make mistakes during the networking process. This post will discuss the mistakes professionals make when networking.

 


#1. Waiting until you need to network

Networking under desperation does not work well. Start networking today

A job search process can be long and tedious, and it may take several months to land the job you want. It can be tempting to put-off networking until you need a job. However, building your network now is the smartest thing you can do when you don’t need one. Strong relationships with other professionals will open up doors for you when the time comes.

Waiting until the last minute or before you need help to start networking can severely hurt your chances of landing a job, as you will be a lot more under pressure to seek networking rewards that may not come outrightly. Networking under desperation does not work well. Your new network may detect you are all out to feed on them, which can hurt your chances of gaining a deep connection with your network and striking up a good conversation.

Even when you don’t need it, continuous networking ensures you have a wide range of networks you can tap into when you eventually need help. This move can save you from the emotional dilemma and the untold pressures you encounter when you desperately need a job.

Therefore, ensure you grow your network daily by meeting and connecting with professionals and mentors in your field who might be able to hear you out when you eventually need someone to talk to. This activity affords you some time to understand each other before actually reaching out for assistance. You can continually grow your network by:

  • Attending networking events in your locality
  • Expanding your network on LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Joining relevant groups — both online and locally
  • Following influential and notable professionals in your industry

     


#2. Asking for a job outrightly

Networking is a process —it takes time to establish trust and build rapport

After a long job search, it might be tempting to put all your requests before a connection you just met and make demands outrightly. Do not make this mistake — build trust and rapport with the person and get to know each other first by being genuinely interested in learning about their work. Getting useful information from your new network is your primary goal.

You don’t want to be perceived as needy and desperate. Asking for favours on your first meeting is not ideal, as most professionals are unlikely to do any favours for someone or offer assistance to someone they just met and barely know. Networking with a new person is similar to developing a romantic relationship — it takes time to establish trust and build rapport.


#3. Not researching the potential network

Conduct sufficient research on your network before the meeting

In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re conducting your research before meeting with someone. Whether online or in-person, knowing as much as you can about the person you meet with will help the conversation flow more naturally and give you a better understanding of their interests.

Therefore, ensure you conduct enough research on your network before meeting with them. There are plenty of resources out there, including LinkedIn, that can provide you with information about your network’s interests, career path, and work history.

 


#4. Not having clarity of goals

Define and be clear about your career goals

Networking can be a great way to meet professionals in your field and learn about job openings. However, if you are unsure about what you want, making the most of these meetings can be challenging. To ensure you are adequately prepared for your networking meeting:

  1. Be clear about your career goals
  2. Determine the aim of the meeting — what would you like to take out of the meeting
  3. Ask the right questions — be prepared to ask questions that show your genuine interest in the person and their work.

Knowing what you hope to gain from the meeting will help you make the most of your time with the interviewer. By having a specific goal, you can better focus your questions and come away with the information you need.

 


#5. Arriving late for the networking meeting

Don’t ruin all your hard work by arriving late for the meeting

Networking is an essential part of any job hunt, and first impressions last longer, and sometimes there is no other opportunity to make a second impression.

Arriving late for a networking interview might reduce your chances of landing a job even though the connection is ready to help you. You have done the most tedious part of the process by connecting with the right person and organising an interview — don’t ruin all your hard work by arriving late for the meeting.

Try to get to the meeting location at least 5–10 minutes early so you can compose yourself and avoid any last-minute rush. We know life gets in the way, and the unexpected may happen; ensure you notify your network if you are running late.

 


#6. Not following up after a networking meeting

Keep your network alive by staying in touch

If you are like most people, the thought of networking makes your palms sweat and your heart race. It’s difficult enough to put yourself out there and make small talk with strangers, let alone create a lasting impression that could lead to a job opportunity. A networking chat doesn’t have to end the minute the meeting ends. Keep your network alive by staying in touch with your network via social media and other channels.

 


#7. Neglecting personal branding

Know your strengths and put your best foot forward

Before your next networking meeting, make sure you have your personal branding clearly defined. That means having a clear understanding of what makes you unique and different. Knowing how to communicate your strengths confidently will help you make the most of those valuable face-to-face interactions. So take some time to think about what makes you stand out from the crowd, and practice sharing your story in an engaging way. By putting your best foot forward, you’ll be sure to make a great impression on your network.

 


#8. Not meeting enough people

The more people you have in your network, the merrier, and the higher your chances of landing a job

The goal of networking is to get the results you want. It can be tempting to go to sleep after one successful networking meeting. While it’s completely okay to feel fulfilled and satisfied after a networking meeting, you want to keep going.

Do not get your foot off the pedal. When it comes to networking, the more people you have in your network, the merrier, and the higher your chances of landing a job.

Therefore, I encourage you to meet as many people as possible to grow your network and ultimately improve your chances of landing your dream role.

 


#9. No “thank you” note

Show appreciation

Networking can be a great way to meet new people and find jobs. But what do you do after the meeting?

Thanking your networking contacts shows that you appreciate their time and can help keep you in mind for future opportunities.

In addition, everyone is busy, and such a gesture should be appreciated with a simple thank you note. This act will go a long way to let your contact feel valued. Ensure you do the following after your networking meeting:

1. Send a thank-you note within 24 hours of having the meeting.

2. Personalise it, thanking the person for their time and advice.

3. Mention something specific that was discussed in the meeting.

4. Keep it short and sweet.

 


#10. Not dressing the part

Remember to dress the part — first impressions matter.

Networking meetings are an excellent opportunity to connect with people in your industry. You want to make a good impression, so it’s essential to dress well.

It’s easy to get over-prepared for the questions you wish to ask your connection, yet neglecting an essential part of the meeting — dressing up for success.

Dressing for success is vital in the professional world. It’s a chance for you to make a good impression on potential employers, so it’s essential to look your best. Fortunately, dressing well doesn’t have to be expensive — a business casual outfit should work.

 


Final Summary

In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to build your professional network. A strong network can help you find jobs before they are even posted, as well as connect you with valuable contacts who can help you advance your career. Networking can help you find a new opportunity or provide an introduction for someone who could potentially hire you.

Networking also allows you to build relationships with people who may be able to help you in your search, or at the very least, put you in touch with someone who can. To make the most of your networking opportunities, it is crucial to avoid these common networking mistakes as you prepare for your next networking meeting.

Good luck!

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it.


Other Ways I Can Help You

Whenever you are ready, here’s how I can help you advance your career goals.

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Explore my career services in data analytics. Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Sponsorship: Promote your brand to my loyal audience.
  • Check out my career and data analytics books, guides and templates.
  • Get a copy of my new book “Before Graduation Day” It’s the best career guide for students. Get a copy for yourself or someone you care about.

     


Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

I developed this video using Videoscribe.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share.

It will help other professionals like you find it.


The Tools I Use:

Please note that these are affiliate links, and I will get a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

Why LinkedIn’s “Easy Apply” Might Fail You

I have seen LinkedIn Easy Apply for a few years and have never really used it.

You may wonder why I haven’t used such a great tool that makes job applications easy for candidates.

If you have known me for a while now, you will see that I don’t like low-hanging fruit applications. Every job is unique, and you should put in some effort to apply for it if you are genuinely interested in the role.

The LinkedIn easy apply function is a great way to get your application submitted for a job as quickly as possible.

You can expect to get what you asked for from the term easy apply. It’s a quick process that makes your job easy on the front end but might hurt your chances of landing the role on the other side.

Let’s talk about this a bit more.

 


Why it may not work for you

Recruiters only see a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile when they receive an “Easy Apply” application, including your photo, headline, past and present job titles, etc.

If your LinkedIn profile is not up to date, lacks detail, or fails to showcase your complete career journey, it is unlikely that prospective employers will reach out to you.

However, if you have created an impressive LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords, detailed descriptions of your experience, tangible accomplishments, and a compelling headline, using the “Easy Apply” button will give hiring managers a clear understanding of your qualifications for the role.

In short, only use the button when your profile matches the job requirements and opt for a general application when it’s not.

 


What you should use the easy-apply option

  1. When It’s Not Your Dream Job

While casually browsing through LinkedIn job postings, you come across an opportunity that may not be your dream job, but you’re open to learning more about the company. The Easy Apply feature lets you quickly attach a resume and apply for the role.

Remember that recruiters will first see your LinkedIn profile, so ensure it’s current. If your profile doesn’t make a good impression, the hiring manager may not open your well-crafted resume.

Either way, you have nothing to lose when you don’t hear back because it wasn’t your dream job.

  1. Your LinkedIn profile is top-notch.

I have seen some excellent candidates on LinkedIn.

These profiles are top-notch, and you can’t help but admire their profile. They have a stellar profile picture, headline and a strong summary section. If this is you, then employers will want to take a second look at your profile.

If you’ve got a strong profile, maybe you can try it. After all, recruiters are always looking for great candidates to fill roles.

Mind you, I still consider the easy-apply method less effective than the traditional application method. In the conventional way, I can also attach a cover letter, while the Easy Apply option does not allow you to attach a cover letter.

I don’t use this method myself and would not advise you to use this application method.

 


Closing thoughts

The LinkedIn Easy-Apply method can be a great way to submit your application for a job. While it looks fast and easy, it can hurt your chances of landing a job because it doesn’t adequately showcase your profile and application to a recruiter.

Only use this option if your profile is top-notch and you are confident of your abilities or if you are testing the waters because the job in view isn’t your dream job.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it with someone you care about


Other Ways I Can Help You

Whenever you are ready, here’s how I can help you advance your career goals.

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Explore my career services in data analytics. Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Sponsorship: Promote your brand to my loyal audience.
  • Check out my career and data analytics books, guides and templates.
  • Get a copy of my new book “Before Graduation Day” It’s the best career guide for students. Get a copy for yourself or someone you care about. 

Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

I developed this video using Videoscribe.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share.

It will help other professionals like you find it.


The Tools I Use:

Please note that these are affiliate links, and I will get a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.

The Strategy That Helped Me Improve My Interview Shortlist Rate By 67%

“Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.” – Unknown

I recently reflected on my job search journey.

My Return on Application (RoA) has been excellent, and I have been active in different roles over the last few years.

I pondered what I have done differently to ensure I get shortlisted for jobs almost all the time, especially in the last few years.

I realised that a successful job search process involves intentional and directed actions.

There’s a lot you can do and should do as job seekers to make this process guarantee you the results you want.

Here’s my personal three-box system for a successful job application.


Step 1: Ready

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking” – Henry Ford

A successful job search does not happen by chance.

You must be ready to put some time aside to plan your job search.

Before applying for any job, I usually spend a day or two thinking about what I want and whether the role is right for me.

Within this period, I’d also contact the hiring manager and ask them any questions not answered in the job posting. It’s a strategic step. Hiring managers love this step, and it’s very beneficial to me.

Who do I do this?

Gaining clarity is helpful for my planning purposes.

I gather lots of information.

I love a holistic view of the role both from the inside and outside. I want to be sure it’s the right one and won’t waste my time.

It helps me, and it helps the hiring manager.

It’s a win-win.


Step 2: Aim

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – William A. Foster

A successful job search process requires a strategy. Your goal is to put in your best foot during the application stage to land the job interview. That’s your only job at this stage.

Nothing else matters.

A successful job application process requires a strategy; it requires you to assess the job posting critically and then aim your application at the job posting to ensure it is targeted.

Note the keyword: “targeted”.

I do this 100% of the time. I don’t just spin my resume to a job application like a lazy person. I carefully read the ad and tailor my resume and cover letter to the job posting.

It takes time. I know that for sure, but it’s a pain I have to go through, and it’s what hiring managers love.

This is where I spend most of my time. Roughly 80%.

Once I complete this step, I move on to the final step.


Step 3 – Fire

“Quality is not act.  It is a habit.” – Aristotle

Obviously, as a job seeker, you must do your part by applying for the jobs you want to land. No inputs mean no outputs.

Doing your part is simply to fire your application to the hiring manager’s desk.

Getting your application to this stage will take some time, but it’s worth it.

Sadly, many job seekers throw resumes here and there. They have no plan, no strategy and aren’t ready to commit any time to it. They might apply for 100 jobs daily; all they do is fire, fire, and fire.

Applying to jobs this way may not bring the best results as they have not put in the effort they need to be shortlisted.


There Are No Shortcuts To Job Application Success

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs

Remember, job hunting itself is a job.

There’s no other magic to it.

You must be ready to dedicate your time to it daily.

Many job seekers only put in minimal time and expect the best results. Depending on your situation, you might want to put in several hours each day strategically. Make no excuses. You must put in the work to get the results you want.


Final Summary

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

A successful job application process requires planning, strategy and doing your part.

You need to plan your application, aim your efforts towards drafting the best application and then fire your application.

Only by doing this do you stand a chance.

You may not get a 100% response rate, but you put in your best.

Thank you for reading Career Digest from Banji Alo. This post is public so feel free to share it with someone you care about


Whenever you are ready, here are three ways I can help you advance your career:

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Explore my career services in data analytics. Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Shop my career development and data analytics products.

Subscribe To My YouTube Channel

Here is the video I uploaded on YouTube this week using Videoscribe.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share.

It will help other professionals like you find it

3 Mistakes Candidates Make To Ruin Their Next Job Interview

Job Interviews are a serious affair.

A moment that can define your future career and life.

Yet, some candidates take it for granted.

They leave their next job opportunity to chance.

There are many reasons why candidates get rejected, but there are the common ones I have witnessed firsthand.

You must avoid these events like a disease if invited for an interview.


1 – Turning Up Late

The panel may not forget if you attend a job interview late.

First impressions, they say, last longer.

You would need to be exceptional to overturn the initial disappointments.

I once sat on an interview panel for a top analyst role.

We had this candidate lined up for this interview. It was an online interview. At the start of the interview, we didn’t see this candidate join.

Two minutes passed, 10 minutes passed, and still nothing.

We rang the candidate to find out what was going on. The candidate apologised that they would join shortly and joined five minutes later.

There was no prior communication about the coming later. Nothing. The candidate just turned up with a smile like Santa bearing gifts on Christmas day.

I was surprised.

Of course, that first impression ruined the entire experience. It would take a miracle for the candidate to land the role. As expected, they didn’t get the job because the interview was below par.

If you are ever going to interview, you must prepare to come in early. Yes, life happens, but that’s why you have your mobile phone and should communicate.

  • Try not to run late for an interview. You can do a practice run to the interview venue a day before or so to familiarise yourself with the route.
  • Check your tech if attending online.
  • Set multiple reminders or alarms or inform a friend or family member so they can remind you if possible.
  • Sometimes, life happens. Always communicate if you are running late for an interview.
  • Communicating shows you respect the panel as you would yourself. 

     

2 – When It’s obvious to the panel you didn’t prepare

Not preparing for an interview might ruin your chances of landing the role.

I recently sat with a panel chair interviewing for a senior role.

They had to interview two to 3 potential candidates for the role.

The interview went well on average; however, there was just one thing that disgusted the panel chair – the lack of preparation of one of the candidates.

The hiring manager said it was so clear from the first question that the candidate did not prepare.

Their responses lacked direction and depth and could not explain why a candidate would show up for an interview without preparation,

The candidate did not get the job, and they would probably not land any other roles within the same team soon.

Always prepare for your interview.

Why?

  • It shows you are genuinely interested in the role.
  • It shows you are ready to move to the next level.
  • It shows you respect the panel’s time. 

3 – Fail to attempt an interview task

I once sat in a panel where candidates were required to complete an assessment task before the interview.

The candidates were meant to present and speak about their analysis during the interview.

They were not required to submit it prior.

This candidate joined the interview, and the panel asked to show the presentation, but they hadn’t completed it.

It was strange to the panel chair.

The interview barely lasted half an hour because the candidate did not complete their task.

Remember:

  • Always complete your assessment task before the interview
  • You can ask for an extension if you need more time.
  • Not completing a task shows you aren’t interested in the role and may not get hired.

Closing Thoughts

Interviews can be an excellent experience if you are prepared for them.

Don’t get automatically disqualified because you showed up late without notice, did not prepare for an interview or did not complete an assessment task.

Put in your best in your next job interview.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.


PS – My data resume and cover letter guides are now available for pre-order at a discounted price.

This price is only available to my loyal readers like yourself.

Prices will go up after the launch.

Get in early and guarantee your next job interview with these ultimate guides.

Secure My Spot


Whenever you are ready, here are three ways I can help you advance your career:

  • Book me for a 45-mins one-on-one chat to discuss your career. Talk to me directly and have your questions answered.
  • Explore my career services in data analytics. Resume Upgrade, Cover Letter Review, Personal Branding and LinkedIn Profile Optimisation, Interviewing Hacks and Job Search Strategy.
  • Shop my career development and data analytics products.

How Long Is Your Resume?

As a job seeker, you might be wondering how many pages your resume should be.

This subject has been widely debated amongst professionals.

As a general rule, I’d advise that your resume be as short and concise as possible.

  • If you recently just completed your studies, then a one-page resume is often non-negotiable
  • If you have had one or two jobs with about five to seven years of work experience, you may have a two-page resume only if you can’t fit it all into a page.
  • Avoid having a one and half page resume – if you do, stick to one page.
  • A one and half page resume does not look good on paper with all the extra white spaces.
  • Remove irrelevant contents – sometimes a few words are better than many words
  • Remove responsibilities that do not add value and replace them with achievements.

Again, for most young professionals, a one-page resume is achievable and can do the magic.

 

8 Books I Wish I Read Before I Accepted My First Job Offer

A young professional starting a new job recently contacted me.

He was starting an exciting role and requested a list of books I recommend when starting a new job.

He has my respect for reaching out to ask for these recommendations.

Why?

Because not so many people do that.

You see. Starting a new job is beautiful, especially when it’s your first job.

You begin to imagine everything you want to do with the money you earn when you finally start collecting your paycheck.

You want to get the most admirable things for yourself and show the world that you can achieve great things and have what it takes to succeed.

You forget this is a new job; you still must prove to your new manager that you are worth the chance.

You have to show the organisation that you can add value.

If you are about to accept your first job offer, here is a list of must-read books you should consider reading to help you prepare better.


1.       Think Again — Adam Grant

We need to rethink our original ideas and be happy to be wrong to make better, wiser, and more informed decisions.

There are benefits to knowing what you don’t know.

While in your job, you would need to accept that you can’t always be right.

The more you are open to new ideas and suggestions, the better you become a person.


2.       Essentialism — Greg Mckeown

Where should you focus your energy?

As a young professional, you will quickly realise that there is a lot of work to do, and you need to focus on what matters to you the most.

This book will teach you to be an essentialist


3.       Effortless — Greg Mckeown

How can you design your work and life to make the most essential tasks the easiest to achieve?

Burnout is not fun and should be avoided at all costs.


4.        Atomic Habits — James Clear

Your career is a destination, and what you do daily will contribute to who you become in future.

Success does not happen overnight.

You will learn how to work daily to achieve career success.


5.       Millionaire Next Door— Thomas J. Stanley

There are patterns in the behaviour of the rich and the poor, and these patterns affect their financial life.

You will learn about simple financial principles as you start your career to achieve financial independence.


6.       Influence — Robert Cialdini

Influence is a must-read Psychology book for everyone starting in their career.

Robert uses investigative research to uncover how individuals are misinformed and manipulated through the power of influence.

You need to arm yourself with the knowledge to improve how you relate and work with others.


7.       How to Win Friends and Influence People — Dale Carnegie

We are social beings, and we will always need to interact with people at work.

Learn the strategies that will help you get along with your colleagues and manager and be likeable.


8.       Rich Dad Poor Dad — Robert Kiyosaki

You need to learn certain financial principles to achieve career success.

Having financial knowledge and applying it daily to your life is vital for financial independence.

These are great books to read before you start your first job.

Learning about personal finance, self-improvement, human psychology, and influence will help you achieve career success.

I have compiled these books on this page. You can view and purchase any of them here.

I wish you the best.