By Kibet Tobias

Are you a recent graduate looking for a job today?

You have probably not worked for long and therefore have limited work experience needed in the field. So what can you expect during your interview?

According to Ms. Esther Kamau, a professional interview coach at Corporate Staffing Services, interview questions employers ask entry level candidates will typically be focused on why you are interested in the job and why they should hire you.

That said, here are commonly asked entry level interview questions with sample answers.

1. Tell me about yourself

This question is usually used to break the ice and see how personable you can be. Be careful not to be too personal when tackling this question. Employers simply want to understand your professional background.

To effectively answer this, think about your professional self. Don’t talk about family issues, marital status or religion.

You can safely give a brief overview covering where you grew up, where you went to school, why you chose your field, any relevant internship experience you have, and why you’re applying for that particular job.

Sample Answer

“My name is Mercy Njeri. I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Bachelor of Commerce graduate with two years’ experience working as an Accountant in a manufacturing company where I was charged with all financial records of the company.’’

2. What are your weaknesses?

Employers normally ask this question to find out the qualities you have that will help you succeed in the job if you are hired. Are you going to be problematic or a team player in the organization if considered?

So how do you go about this question?

Remember to be honest when answering this question. Don’t be tempted to lie or exaggerate yourself. Employers already know that you are not perfect. They also have their own challenges.

Sell yourself well and don’t deny your real weaknesses. However, the weakness you discuss should not put you in a bad light.

You can appropriately recognize the weakness and just be honest about improving yourself. Talk about also how you have worked to improve in your previous job.

Sample answer

 “My greatest weakness is an inability to share responsibilities. I want to be in control because I don’t trust others with projects I know I can do better. However, I have discussed this with my supervisor on ways to improve. I’ve engaged myself in several team building activities and a volunteer group and I love the progress. I’ve learned to trust others.”

3. What are your strengths?

This question sounds easy to a lot of candidates but it is quite The employer wants to know if your strengths match with the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for

So how do you perfectly answer this question?

You can explain the skills, achievements, and experience that you have which directly corresponds to the job you are interviewing for.

However, as much as you want to be the best candidate, you should never discuss unrealistic strengths.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a communication job, here’s the best answer:

“I have excellent writing skills. Having worked as a content editor for two years, I have a strong attention to detail when it comes to writing. I have also written for a variety of websites and leading publications, so I know how to shape my writing style to fit the target audience. As a digital marketer, I will be able to effectively incorporate SEO, write and edit articles and update web content with accuracy and ease.”

4. What do you know about our company?

Employers will ask you this question to find out if you are really interested in the company. They want to hire someone who is interested in the job and has a passion for it and the employer.

They also want to know if you have good research skills.

How to answer

Preparation is important when answering this question. Do your research about the company earlier and know them in and out. You can use their websites and social media platforms to know about their services and products.

Sample answer

“I love your products and services (mention specific products and services). Your company won African Travel Awards 2017. The company mission you represent is closely aligned with my interests.”

Interviews are hard especially when you feel that your experience is no match for what the rest in the industry have. However, it is not hard. You can still pass that interview by ensuring that you prepare for the common interview questions you may encounter.

What other interview questions have you found tough to handle? Leave a comment below.

An interview is supposed to act as an avenue to sell your skills and expertise to the hiring manager. It is also an avenue to ask relevant questions to the interviewer. According to Ms. Melody Mwendwa, a Professional Interview Coach at Corporate Staffing Services Limited, you should never leave an interview room without having asked a question. It shows a lack of interest on your part in the organization or the job. She advises that you engage the interviewer in a few interview questions related to the job and the company.

Interview Questions you should ask during the interview

1. What are your short- and long-term goals for the position?

Employers will probably ask about your career goals, but you should ask them what they want the person in this position to achieve. Are they concerned with increasing revenue, visibility, leads, improving morale or any number of other things? You want to know that they have a purpose for this position and aren’t just looking for a temporary solution.

2. Can you tell me why the last person left this job?

They might not tell you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If the person got promoted or took a better job elsewhere, that’s a sign that the position is a good way to advance a career.

3. Who are the people I’ll be working with on a daily basis?

Where does this role fit in the overall structure of the team and the business? Will you interact with people who can help your career? Will you spend most of your days in silence, typing on a computer? All that matters is that you receive an answer that appeals to you.

4. What do you think is the biggest challenge for a person taking up this role?

No position is perfect. In fact, some jobs are created to address a problem that needs to be solved. That could very well be what attracted you to the job. An honest employer will tell you what struggles lie ahead. That’s your opportunity to turn the answer around as a challenge you’re happy to accept and present some ideas of how you would tackle the obstacles. If the employer makes it sound too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Do you have any recommendations for how I could improve my interviewing skills?

Most job seekers forget to ask this. It helps you work on your failures so that you are ready for another interview. If you don’t get the position, you’ll be disappointed, but use it as an opportunity to improve your interviewing skills. Some employers won’t give you tips, but others might give you feedback that will help you on the next interview.

An interview should be an interaction between the candidate and hiring manager. As a candidate, you are interviewing employers just as much as they’re interviewing you. Have a list of interview questions ready before you start. You don’t need to ask these questions to look good to the employer; you need to ask them to learn about the employer.

Compiled by Lilian Wamaitha

By Susan Gitonga

Life is a journey and your Career is also going to take a journey of ups, downs, achievements and failures all of which are part of a beautiful career journey.

When you get that first job, you might feel like the most talented and competent person in the whole office but as time goes by you will realize that there’s so much to learn.

As they say, no one has a monopoly of knowledge. There’s always something to learn every day.

Moving up the career ladder will come with so many lessons to learn. You will look back at the person you were when you joined the company as an intern and the person you have become and conclude that you have grown in many ways.

Below are 5 career Lessons You Will Definitely Pick Up As You Go Up The Ladder

1. More responsibility is not a punishment but a promotion

Most certainly. As a child, more work almost meant that you were being punished by not so in the job world.

When more opportunities for you to do more at work come, it’s a sign that you are being trusted to do more tasks.

As an intern or an entry level employee, always be open to opportunities, extra work etc

Your employer will trust you and give you a bigger role, which will eventually come with a bigger salary.

2. During your first days at work, don’t take things personally

In your career journey , you will obviously meet many types of people, some of whom you might cross paths with.

Whatever the case is, don’t take things to heart. Go easy on your colleagues, your employer and supervisors.

Have an open mind and grow with the job.

Endeavor to learn instead.

3. Management Roles Are Not About You

When you get a promotion to manage a team, it’s no longer about you but about the team.

People are the most important asset you have. Listening to their needs and working together as a team will bring more success than the title you hold.

Management is a big role and with the right approach, a lot of success can be achieved.

4. Senior Management is an opportunity for you to climb up higher

At this point of your Career Ladder, you have managed to get into a very senior position.

You can now make great decisions for yourself and the people below you. Don’t fear asking your boss to change a few things here and there. You are next to your Boss in terms of management and your opinions do matter greatly.

If you have new ideas, present them and follow through with them

Your opinions and ideas are needed if the Company should grow upwards!

5. Being a CEO is all about the Businesss and the team

You are the driver of your Bus, and the captain of your ship.

Making the right decisions for your Company will be the most important thing you do for your business.

Have the right team, right systems, management, structures and environment for your people.

All the decisions you make will have a great effect on your business. Consulting your managers and gathering opinions and feedback from your team will steer your team in the right direction.

There’s no end to learning. Embrace all the lessons that come with climbing the Career Ladder.

By Susan Gitonga

Passing interviews should be at the top of your list of priorities this year. It is possible to have different employers giving you job offers because of how well you present yourself during an interview.

It is also possible for you to be spoilt for choice, wondering which job offer to pick. The secret lies with how you handle your job interviews.

Have a look at some of the best Interview Tips No One Ever Tells You About!

1. Interviewers don’t take one word answers lightly

When you sit in the interview room with an employer, you can expect to be asked many questions. Giving a one word answer like ‘yes/no’ might come across as being offensive to an employer.

It might also send a message to the employer that you are either shy or not interested in the job.

Example: When an interviewer asks you if you gained any skills in your previous job, don’t give ‘yes’ as the only answer. Go on to expound on what skills those are, and how they contributed to your growth and performance.

Best Tip: The more information you give, the better!

2. The first 5 minutes and the last 5 are the most crucial

They say first impressions are everything! Indeed they are. Walk into the interview with a smile. You might find that the employer is in a bad mood, and your smile will light them up and make them forget what’s bothering them.

Be confident, dress well and be light hearted when you walk into an interview.

The last 5 minutes apply the same concept. Shake hands with the interviewer, ask them for their business card, smile and sum up the interview on a high note by thanking them for their team.

Treat your interviewer as a new friend you have made. Leave them wishing they had interviewed you for a longer amount of time.

3. Believe that you are the best candidate for the Interview

Confidence and having a high self esteem is key.

It doesn’t matter how many people you are competing with for a job. Don’t fear competition.

Having the mindset of a winner is all you need.

If the interviewer invited you for an interview, it’s a very clear sign that you are close to the finish line. You are a great potential candidate for the job.

It’s now your duty to prove yourself in the interview.

You do not prove to the employer why you are better than the other candidates. You prove to the employer why you are qualified for the job.

Believe that you are best, and you will ace the interview!

5. Your personality is more important than your papers!

In an interview you will find that some of the people who end up getting jobs are people who didn’t have all the papers needed. Sometimes, your personality is the best CV you can ever show to the employer.

Are you a positive person? Do you give good responses to the questions asked?

Are you promising the employer to give your best once you are given the job?

Impressing the employer with your personality and your overall presence during the interview will give you an edge over someone who has the right papers but has a very dull personality.

Having a great personality that is welcoming and sociable is all you need, alongside your papers.

With the above tips implemented, you can be sure that you are on your way to landing that job you really want in 2017! All the best.

How many jobs have you applied for and not heard from the recruiter? Next question….What job search methods are you using? If you been job hunting without success it could be because of you are using one of these outdated job search techniques that are hindering you from getting invited for interviews .

Here is a list of some of the outdated job search techniques

1. Relying on just one job search technique

In this digital era it is very foolish to think you will find a job using one technique. By there are so many places you can find job adverts such as, Facebook , Twitter, Linked in, company websites, job websites, and Recruitment agencies.

This is because just because a company is hiring does not mean they have put it up on their website. Most organisations are using Recruitment Agencies to hire people anyway. Therefore vary your options you may be surprised.

2. Having only one standard CV and Cover Letter

We have heard this so many times but for some reason people still make this mistake

You cannot assume that the cover letter you wrote when applying for a job at company A one year ago, can still be used to apply for a similar position at company B.

This is because every position varies no matter how similar the titles. This is due to different company policies as well as expectations.

A generic Cover Letter or CV will be obvious to spot and the recruitment manager will most likely throw your application out.

Sit down and write a specific cover letter for every job you apply for and tailor your CV to highlight the requirements of the job as well. You could also have these professionally written and save yourself the hustle.

3. Applying for advertised jobs only

Most people assume that because an organisation has not advertised a position then there is no opening available.

Do not limit yourself by believing that the only jobs out there are the ones advertised. Sometimes companies may not know they need someone with your skills and your application may show them that you will be a great addition.

4. Applying for many (or just any) jobs to increase your chances

Why do you need to apply for over 20 positions? Most people believe this will increase their chances of getting an interview. Sadly this is a misconception.

While you are applying for all these jobs, you are probably sending the same CV and cover letter. This as discussed earlier will not add any value. Instead pick a few jobs you truly are interested in and fit your qualifications and spend all your energy and time on them.

Zeroing in on a specific target offers you a better chance as opposed to applying for every job you see. Not to mention this can even lead to demoralization especially if you do not get any interview.

5. Not applying for jobs during the holidays.

We all assume that during the holidays no one is hiring. Which is mostly true, however if you happen to apply for a job when a majority of people are not doing the same, you increase your chances of getting picked.

Think of it this way, if you apply during the holidays, then there is minimal competition and your application will definitely get looked at. But if you wait to apply in January, there will be hundreds of applications and yours could get swallowed by the rest.

Do not take a break just because it’s a holiday. That is the perfect time to apply.

Landing a job might be as simple as you changing your ways. All the best in your job search.

By Susan Gitonga

“What should I do now that I am done with my degree ? “ and “ What should I do next now that I am fed up with this job ?”

I believe that most of us, if not all of us have asked themselves these question sometimes in their lives.

No one wants to walk through life blindly without a direction. More importantly, none of us wants to live a life full of regrets wishing they had followed careers of their dreams.

How then can one know which path to take/follow?

If you’re a fresh graduate, you will most likely come to terms with this question.

Dora Wanjiku, a Writer in Nairobi and a recent graduate says that she had to determine what she wanted to pursue after graduating.

She adds that her lecturers were a great source of guidance when it came to which path to follow, based on her strengths and her interests.

On the other hand, other people might be stuck in jobs that they don’t quite enjoy. They feel like their potential is being under utilized.

Whichever the case,

1.Volunteer in a Career

You could be having interest in a certain field lets say Sales or Public speaking but you cannot quit your current job with the current job insecurity in Kenya.

But you could volunteer with people who run such companies and see if you are best fitted for that field.

Volunteering will help you know what you are really good at and it will give you an idea of how the field you’re interested in works.

This is a great way of helping you make a decision of whether or not you want to pursuea career in that direction.

2. Reach Out

Maybe you know someone who is working in a Career you’d be interested to know more about? Schedule to meet them.

Ask them how the industry works. Listen and learn from them and make a bold step to follow that direction if it fits the bill.

3. Intern

You will never know what you really want to do with your life unless you intern. Take a bold step and work for someone, even if it’s for free.

I personally interned in around  5 Companies before ever getting a permanent job.

I had very many interests and I wanted to test them out.

During these internships, I was able to know what I really wanted and was passionate about.

4. Start Your Own Projects

Sometimes, being employed is not the only option you have.

You might have a very great business idea or project that you would like to try out.

Don’t fear failure.

You would rather try and fail than not try at all.

Save some money or ask relatives for money to start your small business.

Open up a blog if writing is your passion.

Save some money and buy a camera if you want to start a photography business.

Whatever the case is, don’t fear failing.

Test out all your interests and with time you will find a path you want to pursue.

5. Pray About It

If you’re wondering which path to take, there’s no better person to ask than the one who created you.

He says that he knows the plans he has for you, plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future.

Ask God to show you and reveal his plan for you when it comes to your Career. Best believe he will.

All the best.

By Michelle Wanjiku

Writing a cover letter may seem simple enough but when it comes to getting a job it could be the difference between getting your CV looked at and having your application thrown out.

Most hiring managers don’t have time to go through all the CVs so instead, they look at your cover letter, if it is found wanting then your application is normally thrown out.

It is therefore, very important that the letter is free of mistakes and well written.

Here is a list of mistakes to avoid when drafting your cover letter

1. Failing To Customize Your Cover Letter

This is really important when it comes to writing a cover letter. Sadly most people use generic cover letters to apply for all the jobs they are interested in.

You may be applying for the same position say, HR Assistant, but the responsibilities and required qualifications for each job might be slightly different.

Therefore, for every job you apply for, you must draft a different Cover Letter. This is because, an application letter is supposed to show the employer that you are fit for that specific job. Not for any general HR assistant position.

2. Failing to address it to a particular person.

Now even if the person receiving the application may not have been mentioned in the job description, it is up to you to make a point of researching and finding out who will receive them.

This is a good way of showing the hiring managers that you truly are interested in the position and you took the time to do your research.

A recruitment manager is more likely to invite you for an interview if you addressed them by their name as opposed to the Dear Sir/Madam salutation.

3. Using ‘I’ or ‘me’ a hundred times.

According to Melody Mwendwa, a CV/Cover Letter writing professional at Corporate Staffing Services, the focus on your cover letter should be on how you meet the company’s needs not about you.

Instead, focus on showing how your qualifications are relevant to the position you are applying for.

4. Using statements like ‘I am a hard worker… etc

His are general statements that don’t really show what you bring to the table or what you have done.

You should provide real life examples of what you have done that relates to the job. Remember to keep it short and not to use too many examples.

If you are applying for a customer care job, you can say, you implemented new methods of delivering customer service at costs well below industry standards.

5. Grammatical Errors

There is no excuse for having grammatical errors in your Cover Letter because this shows that you are irresponsible and not very keen.

These are traits that will not land you a job. After writing your letter it is important that you go through it or give someone else to proof read it.

This will help ensure that the copy you send does not have any avoidable mistakes.

By Florence Mukunya

I know you have probably read a thousand articles on how to write a good CV on what to include and what you cannot dare include. But have you ever asked yourself what employers actually look for in a CV?

In any given application an employer is likely to receive from around 500 CVs, says Carolyne Kariuki a Recruitment Manager at Corporate Staffing Services .

“Out of these applications the employer only needs to meet around 15 candidates to determine who is best suited for the job,” She adds

So what do employers really look for in a CV to determine whether you are qualified for the position?

5 Things Employers Look For in a CVs

1. Relevant experience

The first thing that an employer looks for in your CV is relevant work experience. This refers to any past or current hands on experience. Now, the mistake many job seekers make is failing to include some of their past experiences as some tend to favor what they are currently doing either because it pays better or just because they like the company. The number of years you have worked also matters as it’s used to measure the amount of expertise you possess.

Remember, employers are looking for experienced candidates as it saves them time to train and also they know the candidate is likely to bring in some expertise from the companies they are coming from.

2. Companies you have worked for

You might find this not very important, but employers are actually interested on companies you have previous worked with. For example say an employer is in the banking industry, if they are looking for a Sales Representative, they are mostly likely to go with a person who has previously worked as a sales person in the banking industry.

Reason being, the candidates in the industry already possess the knowledge of how the banking industry works.

So the next time you are writing your CV make sure you include the names of the companies you have worked with

3. Consistency

There is no employer who is looking to employ a candidate whose CV does not portray consistency. Now, if you keep changing jobs after every few months the employer might not have confidence in you, Says Ms. Kariuki.

She advises that when writing a CV, candidates should ensure that they point out clearly on the duration they have worked on different companies, that is inclusive of years and months.

For the jobs where one has worked for short periods, for example a contract, she says that one should note in brackets that it was a contract.

4. Age

Well, this might be a point to debate about, but employers are also keen on a candidate’s age. Some positions especially the senior ones are looking for mature people, same goes with entry level jobs, where employers will mostly be looking for young graduates.
When writing your CV ensure you include your age.

5. The CV format

You might agree with me that a good CV may include all the above but then it needs to be put in a neat professional format. Ms Kariuki says that every time she concentrates on well formatted CVs she is sure to get qualified candidates from the batch as opposed to badly done CVs.

She concludes by advising job seekers on keenly scrutinizing their CVs and the jobs they are applying for before making an application. Failure to include details that are relevant to the job will cost you.

She further and gives an example of an employer who is looking for a sage accountant, well, even if you have the experience working with Sage and have not included that on the CV, then employer will just skip your CV to the next.

We are over with the festive and its time to focus on what is important to us this year. Well, if you did not get that job last year do not give up yet, get back to the drawing board and evaluate on where you could have gone wrong and correct as early as now. Here are 5 tips that will help you in getting a job in 2017

1. Have a good CV

A CV is a very important document when it comes to job applications; it’s the document that gets you interviews. It should contain your name and contact details at the top and then list all your work experiences with dates starting with your most recent at the top to the last one position.
It should also include your qualifications and lastly, the CV should have your work achievements and professional affiliation where applicable as this distinguishes you from ordinary job seekers giving you a head start.

2. Apply for the right jobs and at the right time

Just because you did not get a job last year does not mean that you now apply for any job that comes you way. Study the job first, make sure that you match the qualifications the employer is looking for, beyond that make sure that you make the application at the right time which means within the first three days of the advertisement.
Again, it makes no sense in making an application for a perfect job but you do it late when the position is already closed.

3. Reach out to your networks

More than half of the jobs are found through networking and referrals; this means that being in touch with your networks is an important part of finding the right job.

4. You need to prepare for your interview

Well, getting invited for an interview does not mean you got the job, it only means you are a little closer to getting the job and what stand between you and the job is an interview.
It’s very important to prepare for the interview as it increases your chances of getting the job. Carry out a background research on the company, research more on the role, also go a step further and find out what different companies are offering for the position so that you are able to negotiate for the salary.
The importance of interview preparation is that it reduces nervousness during the interview as when you are well prepared you feel more confident.

5. Stop waiting for a dream job

Most graduates wasted the whole of 2016 waiting for the perfect jobs; those big titles in prestigious companies. Truth is, there is nothing that comes easy and you have to start below in order to get to the top of the ladder. So if you get offers for attachment/internships this year, accept the offers as this is where you get experience need to go to the next level.

By Michelle Wanjiku

Most people do not know what to say when asked this question; they don’t know how to start or what to talk about. Sadly this is one of the questions you need to answer well if you have any hope of landing the job. After all, if you do not know anything about the organisation, then why should they even hire you?

Researching and finding out more on the company before the interview will show the employer that you take initiative which will give you an edge in the end.

According to Perminus Wainaina Head of Recruitment at Corporate Staffing Services,

You should avoid giving visions and mission of the organisation. Pointing out the mission and goals is not important and adds no value. So, there is no point in cramming them because it shows you didn’t really take time to learn about the company but instead just copied what was on the site.

How to Answer the Question

Talk about products and services

Take this opportunity to show you are well versed on the products and services offered by the organisation. Before the interview, take time to study what the company does. The employer wants to know that you are both interested in and conversant with the company.

Being able to talk about the company’s products and services will make a good impression on the employer which then increases your chances of getting the job.

Talk about management

You can even go further and talk about the management of the company. What you found out about its management in terms of style. This not only proves that you know about the company but it also shows that unlike others who skimmed on the surface you took time to learn more about the organisation which is a great way to show that you are a fit for the position.

News items

If the organisation has been in the news for good reasons, you can mention a few stories you came across. For example, if the company recently won an award you can mention it briefly. This shows the employer you are truly interested in the organisation which will come in handy when they are selecting a candidate.

Talk about being a customer.

If you happen to use one of their products or have been a customer at a certain time then this is a good time to mention it. Keep in mind that you should not lie because you might be asked questions that you cannot answer on the product which will ruin your chances at getting the job.

Talk about why you use their product and why you like it. This will build more faith in you.

Remember the more you know the better however, there should be a balance, you cannot spend more than three five minutes talking about the company. Keep your answer brief but detailed. In order to answer this question well you need to have done a lot of research on the organisation and not just going through their website.

By Lilian Wamaitha 

Are you attending an interview soon? Looking for tips or advice on how to prepare for an interview? Whether you are a fortnight away from your big interview, you can still beat the competition through preparation.

When it comes to interview, this is your one chance to shine and convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate. Preparing for any interview is therefore key to succeeding and finally landing a job.

Mistakes job secrets make when preparing for an interview

There is never a second time to make a first lasting impression. You therefore need to keep the interviewer hooked from the moment you enter that room to the minute you leave.

These mistakes can kill a job interview and they are common among Kenyan job seekers.

1. The dressing

The first impression an interview gets from you before you even talk is the way you are dressed. If you dress in shady outfit that proves that you never thought this through, you have already killed the interview before it even starts.

If nobody has ever told you, t-shirts, short skirts, jeans, sandals, hats among others are never acceptable in an interview. Ladies, that kinky latest hairstyle that seems like you spent an entire day in the salon doesn’t do well for you. It’s an interview not a socialite audition!

2. Coming unprepared

Lack of preparation is an automatic opportunity killer. Think of an interview as an exam. Research the company; go over the job description again. This way you won’t appear uninterested in the interview.

3. Getting angry

Sad to say that, angry people are not what employers are looking for. Yes the interviewer may have gone overboard in the questions by bringing in some personal issues (but rarely will this happen). Don’t show him/her that you are annoyed. Instead if you can’t answer a question give them a reason why and let them move on to the next question (not clear consider revising). Getting angry will only cut your interview short and you won’t get the job.

4. Negative body language

Body language determines to a large extent whether you get a job or not. Let your actions portray what a positive person who is interested in the job and what the interviewer is saying.

5. Sharing too much

Some job seekers tend to think of an interview as tell the truth and nothing but the truth sort of situation. So they end up spilling their guts and sharing too much unnecessary information. Not useful or relevant in any way!

Ways in which smart job seekers prepare for an interview

Smart hob seekers know that an interview is a do or die kind of situation. This is why they go a notch higher when preparing for an interview. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for an interview that will guarantee you the job.

1. Prepare good responses

Most interviews involve basic questions based on your CV and some behavioral aspects. Knowing how to answer basic questions that interviewers ask before the interview is vital if you want to move past that stage.  This is where interview coaching comes in. Interview coaches prepare you by giving you responses to different interview questions in Kenya.

2. Prepare what to wear

As we mentioned what you wear portrays a lot about the inner you. What kind of an interview are you attending? Is there anything you can find online about what to wear to an interview at such a company? If not, dress very formally and make it simple.

3. Plan what to bring

This is one of the biggest challenges to most job seekers. Basically on the day of the interview, you are supposed to have an extra copy of your CV and documents. Don’t just assume that the interview already has your documents which you used to apply.

Make extra copies in case it’s a panel interview. Knowing what to bring and not bring beforehand will save you a lot of stress and embarrassment of explaining to the interview why you don’t have a copy of your CV when they ask for one.

4. Research the company

When asked ‘what do you know about us’ in a job interview’ what do you say? Don’t just walk into an interview room, not knowing anything about the company you want to work for. Nobody wants to hire a person who is not interested in their company.

The moment you get that call or email to attend an interview, go online. Learn everything you can about the company– their culture, their vision and setbacks they have had in the past, their employees and so on.

5. Analyze the job description again

How much do you know about the job you are interviewing for? A smart job seeker will analyze in depth the job description paying attention to the skills, knowledge and competencies required to perform the tasks. Determine where the job fall in the hierarchy or the company – managerial or supervisory.

Compare your qualifications to what the employer is seeking for. This will help you maneuver questions like ‘why should we hire you’ or ‘why do you think you are qualified for this role.’

When you know how to prepare for a interview, the interview stage becomes less stressful. If you put into consideration the tips discussed above, you are on your way to landing that dream job.

We are all blessed to have the internet today, where we can access all the information and help that we might need, including jobs.

The traditional way of looking for jobs 10 years ago was through Newspapers and you will admit that the competition when applying for jobs posted on the papers is very high because many people get to see these jobs, right?

Thankfully, we now have online media platforms that make it easier for you to get a job with different companies and organizations.

So, how can you become successful in your online job search? What must you take into consideration when hunting for your dream job?

Here are 5 great tips for a Successful Online Job Search

1.Choose job sites carefully

Even as you look for jobs online, you have to be careful about which sites you are using to conduct your search. Now that many people are using the internet to source for jobs, others are taking advantage of this by posting jobs that either don’t exist or jobs that require you to cough large amounts of money to secure a place.

With that in mind, ensure that you research on the companies advertised to be hiring. You can also go ahead and send an email to the company to confirm if indeed they are hiring.

Also, use your discretion when you come across a job that requires you to pay certain amounts of money. The majority of companies in Kenya do not ask for any fee to interview with them. Therefore, choose sites that have a good reputation online, sites that are known to post jobs that are true.

2. Set up Email Job alerts

Since vacancies are advertised everyday from different companies and organizations, you should subscribe to job email alerts.

This will make you automatically know of new job listings every day.  Another advantage of setting up job alerts is that you will have the advantage of applying for jobs as soon as they are posted.

This is bearing in mind that employers interview candidates on the basis of the applications made immediately. It’s always done on a rolling basis. The faster you submit your application, the better.

3. Keep your job search focused

To avoid getting frustrated in your job search because you are not receiving any feedback from the applications you have made, ensure that you only apply for jobs you qualify for.

Majority of the time, job seekers apply for jobs they are not qualified for and unfortunately, their job search becomes very stressful and unsuccessful because they fail to get any interview invitations.

With that in mind, be focused on jobs that you are 100% sure you qualify for in terms of working experience, education qualifications etc.

4. Write a Customized Cover Letter

It’s so important to write a Customized Cover Letter that shows how you will effectively deliver and perform in the roles outlined in the job advertised. This, you can do by providing information about your skills and expertise that will enable you to be the suitable person for the role.

5. Clean up your CV and Cover Letter

Having an excellent CV and Cover Letter is the most important aspect of job search. Use your CV to shine and make an excellent impression when the employer looks it.

Before you submit your application, make sure that there are no spelling mistakes and that the font type and size are the same for all the sections of your CV.

Have a clean and presentable CV that will make the employer want to interview you.

Also, update your CV with all the relevant information, including a short part time job you had, a volunteering activity you were involved in, or a short certificate course you enrolled in.

The goal here, is to make sure that you send a great CV with all the information up to date.

Searching for a job online should not be difficult. The internet has made it easier to land a job and all the information you need with writing your CV or Cover letter is available. With the above tips, you can make your online search a great experience and ultimately secure a great job.

By Agnes Aineah

Job seekers are taking advantage of new media to make their job search fast and also to keep at par with companies that are using technology to source for employees. Such media platforms include Face book, twitter, LinkedIn and many others. A good LinkedIn profile is bound to turn around your tedious job search so that employers come looking for you.

According to Michael Gacha, Recruitment Assistant at Corporate Staffing Services, it is a common thing for recruiters to use job applicants’ LinkedIn profiles in the course of headhunting for a particular position.

“After I advertise for a particular vacancy I get responses of people expressing their interest to take up the offer couple with many applications. I ensure that I visit each particular job seeker’s LinkedIn profile to check their suitability for the job,” Mr Gacha says.
Mr Gacha says that it is only an impressive LinkedIn profile from an applicant that attracts him to go ahead and extend a job interview invitation.

Here are a few things you need to polish on your LinkedIn profile to make it attractive to employers so that they invite you for a job interview.

Areas To Polish On Your LinkedIn Profile To Get A Job Faster

Unlike other electronic and new media platforms, LinkedIn provides you with an avenue to echo out your relevance in the career field as loud as you can. It goes beyond the CV that limits you to two pages and a cover letter that should be short as well.

Mr Gacha reveals the most important aspects that never escape his scrutiny while headhunting to fill a particular position.

1. Your profile picture
This is the first thing on your LinkedIn profile that you need to polish to show that you are a serious job seeker. It is the first thing that the person viewing your profile sees.

As Florence Mukunya, Career Advisor at Corporate Staffing Services points out, this is not an opportunity for you to use photos that you would otherwise need on social platforms.
“Pick your best official photo, preferable passport size because it is an official platform. Maintain professionalism as much as possible. It is not the time for you to upload selfies,” She says.

2. Your work experience
This is an entry where you fill the places of work you have ever been, the titles you have held and specific roles in your position.

Make your work roles as detailed as possible. Let potential recruiters know your job description by merely looking at your profile. It is the best chance to echo your suitability, so use it. Job seekers err when they only mention their position and just leave it at that so that the person viewing your LinkedIn profile does not know the specific roles you carried out.

For instance, if you were a communications officer at ABC company, go ahead to describe the day to day duties you were charged with while at the company that could include preparing newsletters and press releases, updating the website, representing the company in external functions, taking notes, and so on. Don’t just leave it at Communications Officer.

3. Key words
Wherever there is textual information on your LinkedIn profile, make it as keyword rich as possible. Keywords include terms that are relevant to your career path. Employers are more likely to filter LinkedIn users into the lot they require for a certain vacancy by use of specific search words. Know what your field entails and the relevant jargon that you can use on your profile.

IT jargon for instance is specific to the various professions within the field prompting them to talk about programming, software development, debugging, network architect, cyber security analysis, cyber attacks and so on.

4. Type of people in your circles
LinkedIn is a little more than social sites that people connect with just anyone. For LiknedIn, it should be people mainly relevant to your career goals.

Have people and companies in circles that are bound to add significant to your job search. It is such people that can connect you to a new job or give you relevant career advice.

Even though the number of people in your LinkedIn profile connections make a significant impression to your potential employer, these people are supposed to be those that matter to your job search. Mr Gacha says that he does not pay much attention to the number of connection a job seeker has in their connections.

“It is easy to get people in your connection that you have no idea who they are. Far much easier is to have them endorsing you for skills that you do not have at all. Only skills that match your career path are the ones that I look for when I am narrowing down on specific job’s candidates,” he says.

This could be the time you devoted a little more energy on your LinkedIn profile to get the employers looking for you. Compared to other media platforms, LinkedIn is what recruiters are using more to seek for suitable candidates as companies rush for space on the cutting edge of technology.

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