Finding a job – tips from our scholarship-holder

Our scholarship-holder Tikila Munashimwe is currently studying in his first year at the Institute of Bankers in Windhoek. The more graduation is approaching, the more he thinks about how he will be able to find a job. In his current report he explains what is important when applying for a job.

The following report outlines facts and general information that I have gathered regarding finding a job and how to approach it.

For the past decade, the education system has developed in such a way that previously disadvantaged children are able to seek assistance with organizations within the Namibian government for assistance to study in Namibia, the SADC region or overseas. Statistics, however, show that 64% of those who graduate with a degree do not find a job within a year after completing their studies. How does this impact the economy at large?

The Namibian Statistics Agency was kind enough to point out the reality when it comes to employment in Namibia. The main reason Namibia remains one of Africa’s developing countries is for the mere fact that it lacks modern infrastructure, skills and expertise in the developing environment. This means that it lacks the means to create jobs and employment.

The graduates are thrown into unemployment after graduating and are mostly hopeless to find a job soon that can generate an income for themselves or even the family. More Namibians find it impossible after four months of searching and, instead, gather their thoughts and decide to go back to school to consider studying something they think will be a better choice than their initial chosen field of study.

Investigating reasons as to why many Namibians struggle to find a job after their studies is what I spent my previous month with.

The student graduate does not know how to go about searching. When ads are placed, it is key that you can see the position advertised, the closing date and the name of the company advertising for you to research a bit into what is being offered. Secondly, it is vital that the criteria apply to you and it is within your range of skills. Pay attention to the main responsibilities which are the duties expected of you to perform. Apply if you meet the criteria.

The Curriculum Vitae, better known as the CV, is the document you submit when applying for the position you desire. It is important that one is typed out neatly as a crowded and unprofessional looking CV is unattractive and seen as rubbish. Grammar and proper English is another reason some do not get selected even as qualified as they are. If expressing yourself cannot be done in simple English, then how does the channel of communication work when information needs to be passed down from person to person? It is imperative to have this studied well or researched for the benefit of the candidate. This could then again be the deciding point as to whether you land a job or not.

Oral skills are vital: How you express yourself is key. You got called for an interview? What now? Getting prepared is important. Starting off with proper attire is crucial. Who lands a job with baggy jeans and dreadlocks lately?

Researching interview guides is a perfect way to understand possible answers and ways to answer questions when it comes to the interview process. For example, chewing gum is not allowed, listen attentively, think before you answer, question the interviewer if you didn’t understand what was said, avoid using ‘uhm’ and dragging your words. These are typical examples that all determine your success. Remember to smile and be polite at all times!

As CV documents are only a taste of what the candidates can do, the interview is the face-to-face process as to why so many do not make it for the job. CVs are similar and the interview room is the arena to prove oneself and hopefully stand out against the rest.

We have a tendency to doubt ourselves and our capabilities when it comes to finding a job. The ideal thing one should realize is that the confidence you need to bring with you to the interview room has to be the type of confidence resembling that of a lion. Be sure. Many Namibian students are either afraid of the employer or too shy. Take a course in public speaking. Learn the basics and adapt. We fail to see the bigger picture but only what is in front of us.

You find a really good guide on how to write good application documents in our “Your Career” section.

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