by Teresa Osore
“Just like Omo you are a product in the job market. If your packaging is not good, no employer will choose you.”
This was the outstanding message passed on to professionals by Mr. Perminus Wainaina, the CEO for Corporate Staffing Services during the just concluded Career Talk Forum themed “How to stand out in the job market.”
“I have been getting job interview invites but I never get further invites for follow-up interviews…. I am currently jobless. This has really confused me since I have all the relevant credentials, expertise and experience and should be considered a top candidate. Where could I be going wrong?” Collins, Environmental Management Graduate
The current job market space is highly saturated and this has made it hard for qualified professionals to find a job. During the career talk forum, Mr. Wainaina used elements of the marketing mix to provide tips and tactics to help professional stand out, get noticed and get hired.
Mr. Perminus Wainaina speaking during the free career forum
“To get hired, you need to first position yourself as an expert in your industry by acquiring the required technical and soft skills that will help you get the job done. You then have to package your brand through customized appealing CVs and cover letters that not only grab attention but highlight how you will be an asset to your employer. You then have to aggressively promote yourself by promptly applying for relevant jobs and expanding your network by showcasing your profile and portfolio through online platforms like LinkedIn” Mr. Perminus Wainaina
Mr. Perminus attributed the current saturation in the job market to the influx of universities and graduates that has rendered degrees’ undesirable to employers He stated that due to these reasons only 1% of recruiters are interested in degrees or advanced degrees.
To thrive in the marketplace, Mr. Wainaina gave professionals 4 pointers on how they could stand out. First, he advised professionals to first understand themselves and what they bring to the table for a prospective employer. He advised that the best way to do this was by first gaining the technical skills and soft skills that aligned with employers needs and expectations.
Secondly, he advised professionals to package their CV in an appealing way that effectively conveyed their credentials, accomplishment, career journeys and value proposition. He cautioned against using the same CV to apply for multiple jobs in different fields and encouraged professionals to always tweak the CV to reflect the jobs demands.
“If you are using one CV to apply for multiple jobs, you are doing yourself a great disservice.”
Thirdly, he encouraged candidates to continuously monitor the current trends in their field to identify areas for further improvement. He then concluded by urging candidates to exploit opportunities in their current job roles that could expand their portfolio and boost their technical and soft skills.
The event came to a close after a very interactive and enlightening Q&A session. This ongoing free event is an opportunity for professionals to make personal connections, get free career advice and learn how to make smart career moves in order to launch and progress their careers.
“I am a project management professional who has been working in agri-business for the last 3 years. Making my move to the project management field has been hard since I don’t have the relevant experience in project management. The only job I seem to find are entry-level jobs which I have been reluctant to settle for since they mean a pay-cut and a downgrade to my current role.
Project management is my first love, and after this forum and the advice provided by Mr. Wainaina, I am now willing to start over again from the very bottom and climb my way to the top even if it means sacrificing my salary or downgrading my role.” Mwangi- Agricultural Officer.