Tag Archive for: careers

Three Reasons Why You Should Pay Employers A Courtesy Visit

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle

While looking for jobs after my graduate degree, I often encountered a stumbling block when applying online.

Everyone does the same thing.

The implication?

I don’t get the attention that I want.

One day, I decided to try something different.

I approached key persons in choice organisations on LinkedIn and asked for a referral.

I wanted to keep it focused, so I only spoke to three firms as a start.

After visiting and conversing with these firms, I realised they needed new employees. Yet it was never posted online.

During our chat, they would say things along the lines of:

We were thinking about adding more staff, as we are busy now.

We just launched a new project and plan to recruit soon.

This revelation got me thinking.

If they are looking for staff to fill positions, why haven’t they advertised these roles online yet?

I quickly concluded that there is a hidden job market.

Employers might not post some job ads online due to several reasons.

 


They Don’t Know They Need Someone

… Until the right person shows up

Sometimes, employers don’t know they need someone until the right person with the right skills shows up at their door.

It’s like realising you are hungry after someone presents you with a nice meal. Your tummy signals to your brain. Immediately, you realise you are hungry.

It’s the same with employers too.

Many don’t realise they need someone until the right person shows up.

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser

A few years back, I approached some employers, and I was surprised by the number who became interested and wanted to offer me a role.

It turns out they had workloads and didn’t realise they needed an extra hand until I showed up.

Make a list of employer wishlists and pay them a visit. It might be your lucky day. I’d suggest you network with relevant staff on LinkedIn before showing up.

 


They Are Too Busy To Post The Job Online

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca

What if they realise a position needs to be advertised online yet haven’t done it?

Life gets busy, and employers get busy too. The pending job ad might be sitting on HR’s desk. They just haven’t got to it yet, because of other priorities.

So, if you are lucky enough to find this employer while the job ad is still pending, your chances of getting the job are higher.

You’d be saving the employer some good money and time.

They want it easy.

They don’t jump online to post these jobs straightaway.

Online applications are commonplace today. An overwhelming number of job seekers wait to respond to job ads. This is how they know how to job hunt.

While this might be good for employers, it does present new challenges. They must deal with hundreds or thousands of applications.

While large organisations have the resources, such as the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), to manage these applications, small to medium-sized firms don’t have these resources.

They prefer not to have these posted online (yet) and only want to discuss if they find a suitable candidate via referral or other means.

If you get lucky and come across this employer with a job you want, then your chances of landing a role are higher.

Why?

You will be in the driver’s seat to land the role.

 


They Are Waiting For An Internal Referral

Many employers prefer referrals to the traditional job ad response route.

It’s easier.

Scan 500+ applications for one position, or wave a magic wand and find the super candidate in front of you. Which would you prefer?

Some employers reward referrals with benefits after finalising the recruitment process.

At every job, I get asked if I know someone who might be a good fit for a new role before it goes public.

You see, hiring a new employee brings its risks. You don’t know if the person will perform well on the job. Many employers have this fear, too, so the job does not make it online immediately.

If you know an insider within a company, check with them to understand their current needs.

Ask for their current challenges and see how you can use this information to your advantage.

Sure, you might not always get in, but good chances are you would be getting in if they need someone that fits your skills.

 


Closing Thoughts

There are many reasons why you should approach employers at random. You don’t have to wait for a job ad to go public before you speak with them.

Many employers prefer a referral, don’t know they need someone or are too busy to post the job application online.

If you struggle to find jobs through the online application, I encourage you to consider other routes by meeting the employers directly. It might be your lucky day, and this meeting might end with a contract.

Sure, there might be some misses, but all you need is one YES. And the thousand NOs will no longer matter once you get this one YES.

Good luck!


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Quality Over Speed

“If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” — Chinese Proverb

Quality is not the same as speed.

I was chatting with a close friend a couple of years ago. Let’s call him John. It was one of those quiet evenings when there wasn’t much to do, so we had all the time to chat through our challenges.

He knew I had just completed my postgraduate degree and was open to job opportunities.

While we spoke, he got a notification on his phone that a new job matching my criteria had been posted. Not just that, it was in a company I was interested in joining.

He didn’t tell me what had happened immediately. All I noticed was an innocent smile on his face. I immediately asked him why.

He told me a job had been posted and advised that I left everything else I was doing to send my application, as I might be considered for the role because I would most likely be the first to apply. He stated that being the first to apply for a new position will put me ahead of others and help me land the opportunity.

John’s statement got me thinking.


The First Can Become The Last

“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize”

— Shigeo Shingo

Photo by Matt Lee on Unsplash

I know the rush of job applications, especially when it comes to online applications.

Employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for a single role. Depending on the company’s popularity, this can even run into thousands.

So, I understood his point when he said I needed to be the first to apply for the role.

Unfortunately, this does not work as you think it does.

Being the first to apply for a role doesn’t automatically mean the recruiter will shut the application and ring you up immediately to schedule you for an interview. The hiring manager might not even notice your application until after the application window has passed.

 


The Downsides Of Rushing In

“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

While sending your application as soon as possible is a great idea, there are downsides to rushing in.

Employers take quality time to prepare position descriptions for job ads and therefore warrants quality application to be received from the end of the applicants.

Unfortunately, rushing your application five minutes after the job was posted to impress the employer does not automatically mean the job will be handed to you like fresh cake straight out of the oven.

In most cases, the quality of your application may not contain keywords that can go through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system. Your application might also contain errors that can cost you the job. Rushing in to impress the employer might cause you more harm than good.


Your Goal Is To Put In A Quality Application

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

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Sending an application five minutes after it’s posted is nearly impossible.

I believe the real goal should be to apply as soon as possible but with a quality application. What’s the use of applying for a job if you wouldn’t be considered? Instead, take your time to target your application to the job ad and submit a quality application.

I have applied for jobs severally, and I can tell you it does take time to prepare a solid application. Despite my experience as a career advisor, it still takes me about 4–6 hours to submit a quality response to a job application.

So, I was confident it wasn’t good advice to apply immediately after the job was posted to impress the recruiting manager.

A recruiter will not be impressed by receiving a generic application immediately after posting a job. They are unlikely to see your application. If they do, it’s doubtful it will be considered because it will be generic.


Closing Thoughts

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

Don’t confuse quality with speed.

You might have been job hunting for a while and need to submit your application for a dream job immediately.

While it’s generally a good idea to apply as soon as possible, you also want to ensure you don’t neglect quality in the process.

Speed is not the same as quality. Take the time you need to develop a strong application and then apply.


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I developed this video using Videoscribe.

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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).

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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:

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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.

7 Career Lessons For Job Seekers After Hiring An Editor For My Second Book

Writing books teaches you career and life lessons.

A while ago, I decided to write my second book, The Migrants Career Guide.

As a writer, I could not help but source for an editor.

I didn’t want to add the editing process to my busy schedule. It’s also too hard to see my mistakes, so hiring an editor was probably best for me.

When I wrote my first book, “Before Graduation Day”, I hired an editor on Upwork. It was one of the best decisions I made. The editor helped me refine my book and made it better. So, this time, I thought I would do likewise.

Hiring an editor can significantly improve your writing

I decided to go to Upwork to recruit again instead of using the same editor I used for my first book before graduation day.

I did this because I thought the target audience was slightly different, and I wanted someone with more experience in that field. I also thought getting a new perspective from another editor would be great.

Here are some career takeaways for job seekers I learnt while working with my new editor.


#1. Following Instructions Is Key

In my experience, following application instructions is key.

I have been burned by not following application instructions, so these days, I want to ensure I read the first instructions before taking action.

In my ad, I asked applicants to include the word “I love editing” in their application response. I added this measure to filter out applicants who didn’t read the job description.

Sadly, about 40% did not do that, and I did not progress these submissions.

Taking action is key, but only after you understand what you need to do and what is required.

By following application instructions, employers will know that:

  • You read the job ad
  • You know what they want
  • You are genuinely interested in the job
  • You can be trusted to pay attention to details 

#2. Think Ahead Of The Hiring Manager

Two candidates went ahead of me and submitted work samples before I asked them.

This process made it easy for me to quickly review their work and see if they would be a great fit.

In the end, I hired one of these two candidates.

Hiring managers often have to review your resume or work samples before determining whether they will move you on to the next steps.

Thinking ahead of the hiring manager shows:

  • You are proactive
  • You know what they want
  • You know what they are looking for

So next time, if applying for a role, stop and ask yourself what the next step in the process might be and try to supply anything ahead of time to get ahead of your competition.

 


#3. Make Your Credentials Visible

In this new world of work, seeing is believing.

Employers no longer buy hope. They want to see the real deal.

In my ad on Upwork, even though I haven’t specifically asked for a work portfolio, some sellers already went ahead of me by visiting my newsletter, picking one piece of content that resonated with them, and editing it to show what they could do.

Here are some benefits of adding a portfolio to your work:

  • You automatically reduce your perceived risk because employers can easily see you can do the job.
  • You talk less because you have showcased evidence of your skills
  • Improve your skills 

#4. Reach Out To Get Ahead And Boost Your Submission

In my job post on Upwork, some sellers contacted me privately to ask further questions.

These questions ranged from how soon I would like to finish the process to some related questions I was happy to answer.

When you reach out to a hiring manager this way, you immediately:

  • Put a spotlight on your application
  • Put yourself in the mind of the hiring manager
  • Skip the application queue — depending on the quality of your application

So, before you apply for any role, it might be worth contacting hiring managers to ask some good questions about the process. The benefits are numerous.


#5. Get In Early

In my ad, I started looking at the applicants to see who I would like to shortlist. I also started short-listing early in my subconscious mind.

When you have a job application, you want to apply early. Although applying early doesn’t mean you will get the job, but it has some benefits:

  • Put your front door early
  • You will make the cut if employers decide to close the application early
  • It helps you become more productive in your job search 

#6. Help Them Save Time

Like me, employers want to save time, and they like to keep it at all costs. And that may include finding processes to discard unwanted applications.

Sadly, this is how the world of work works.

Most hiring managers’ job is not to hire people.

The hiring process is just on the side, while the core job responsibilities are on the other side. Knowing this, you need to make their job easy by thinking like them, knowing how they feel, and making the process as simple for them as possible.


#7. Employers Are Looking For Like-For-Like

In my post, I was looking for editors who have edited non-fiction books.

I didn’t intend to hire a first-timer, nor did I plan to hire someone who hadn’t edited a book before.

Writing a book is a lot of work, so I needed to ensure I got the editing component right. I was no longer hoping. I wanted experience and expertise. I wanted an editor who knew what they needed to do and could get the ground running as soon as possible with minimal friction.

Hiring managers think like this as well.

  • They don’t want hopes — they want someone they can get the ground running ASAP.
  • Hiring costs time and money, so they try to get the perfect candidates who are fit for the role.
  • They don’t want disappointment or poor performance.

Thus, you should only apply to roles where you stand a chance of being shortlisted.

That is a role where you have relatable previous work experience or projects.

Don’t apply to roles because the job title fancies you and sells hopes to employers. You will most likely not make the shortlist.

Employers will make sure they hire the right person. They are putting money on the table and want to make sure they get quality services in return.


Closing Thoughts

Make it super easy for them to select you.

Applications are competitive, and employers only care about those who will be shortlisted for the next steps.

I know it’s unfair, but not everyone will make a final shortlist.

If you want to get on the shortlists, you have to make it easy for them to select you.

This starts with reading the instructions, applying early and thinking right ahead of the hiring manager.

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


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Three Ways I Can Help You Advance Your Career

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

Give The Hiring Manager A Call

Early this week, I chatted with a young professional who was job hunting. He told me he had applied for some roles that suited him and was awaiting a response.

He looked excited and expectant. I was happy for him and hoped he would get his desired results.

When the conversation was about to end, I asked whether he had given any of the hiring managers a call. I realised he hadn’t given any hiring managers a call before or after applying for the roles.

I wish he did.

A call to a recruiter has many hidden benefits.


Unlock Information

 

A call can help you get more information.

I have come across position descriptions that were not very clearly defined. In this case, a 10–20-minute telephone call to the hiring manager can give you an insider’s perspective about what they need for the role.

Such calls can also help you understand whether you are a true fit for the role.


Become Familiar With The Hiring Manager

Hiring managers shortlist and employ those they know.

A great way to kick off your job search journey is to call the hiring manager to quickly chat with them to familiarise yourself and speak with them directly.

This act not only helps you absorb information but will also help you familiarise yourself with the hiring manager and possibly the team.

Remember, hiring managers hire who they know. Therefore, I encourage you to use the contact details in the position description to your advantage.


Prepare For The Interview

 

Hiring managers will reveal their priorities to you when you get on a call with them. They will let you know why they are hiring for that role and the immediate responsibilities.

Once you have received the information, the next thing you want is to use this information to kickstart your preparation for the interview.


Final Summary

Giving a hiring manager a call can go a long way in understanding the organisation’s needs, establishing relationships, and preparing for the interview for your next role.

Do not see a contact number as mere digits. Use it to your advantage by ringing the hiring manager to advance your job search journey. This action will help them remember you during the shortlisting process and hopefully hit the interview list.

I wish you the best.


Video Of The Week

Here is the video I uploaded on YouTube this week.

Please watch, like, subscribe and share. It will help other professionals like you find it.

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.


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Before You Jump Ship

After I completed my postgraduate degree, I landed a role that I loved in data analytics. Everything was going well, and I had a great manager that was super helpful. It felt like a wonderland. I got the opportunity to work on exciting projects too!

What more could I ask for?

Anyway, after 4-5 months on the job, I got approached with an offer. It had a nice job title, and I Imagine it would pay much more than I was earning at my current job.

Oh Wow! Was my initial reaction? So, what’s next? Inform my boss I was leaving and jump ship immediately? While it sounded good, something in me felt like I wasn’t ready. I felt inadequate and unsettled.

I decided not to accept the offer and instead chose to focus on my current job

It was probably one of the best decisions of my career.

Here’s why.


Don’t Move Prematurely

man holding book on road during daytime
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

We are in a time where things move very fast at the speed of light. It happens with careers too. We want to become the CEO of a new company in the first year of our career. We want to be the best we can be and be at the top of our careers.

It’s actually not a terrible idea.

While this sounds good and what we should all want, in most cases, you can’t become the CEO overnight. It requires time, commitment, hard work and, most importantly, career capital.


Build Enough Capital

low-angle photography of man in the middle of buidligns
Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

Jumping from job to job without building career capital can hurt your career progress.

You might find yourself landing a new role and struggling a lot. This is mostly because you didn’t build enough skills, knowledge, confidence and motivation to help and prepare you for the task ahead. You didn’t build enough capital.

Yes, you can learn on the job, but not when you have to learn everything afresh. It’s a backwards step that might lead to frustration and exhaustion.

Successful professionals moving from one job to another have solid career capital. They know the rules of the game. They probably know 50-60% of the tasks involved in the new role.

They know what they need to focus on to keep growing. They plan their career and their learning and development plans such that they can settle into jobs without issues

Not building enough career capital can have its impacts too:

  • It might affect your career growth.
  • It can affect how much you can earn
  • It can affect your skills
  • It can affect your relationships with teammates and managers.
  • It can affect your self-confidence

Wrapping Up

woman sitting around table holding tablet
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

You want to be the CEO within the first 12 months at your first-ever job. Or perhaps you want to land three promotions in six months, whether in the same company or by moving to a new role.

These are nice, but sometimes quick moves aren’t the ones for you and your career. You want to ensure you build enough capital and confidence before moving.

Think critically about any new opportunity to see if it’s the right step.

Don’t jump too soon.

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

 


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