Most Nigerian students spend their university years focusing on getting good grades without balancing this out with a taste of career planning and what having a job actually entails. Also, despite a few graduates being ‘lucky’ to have undertaken courses that required a couple of months ‘Industrial Training (IT)’ a lesser number of these lucky ones actually use this opening properly.
Here are 3 things to do during your NYSC service year and improve your chance of getting a job post-service:
1. Create a CV:
A very tiny percentage of Nigerian students work during their years at university and thus you will hardly come across a recent graduate – fresh out of university, still serving and in a lot of cases post-Youth Service, having a CV. A CV is your tool for job search and application. Create one during your Youth Service. Click here to see how to create an effective CV.
You may also download our free CV template below:
Download Free CV template now
After downloading the MS Word document, simply replace the details on the template with your information.
2. Apply for jobs:
Applying for jobs is not an easy task and MOST graduates out there remain unemployed because they are doing it wrong (very wrong). To apply for jobs, you need to have an idea of the type of job that is suitable for you, the skill you have or need to develop to be employed and also get a grip with writing a good application/covering letter to accompany your applications. Use your Youth Service year to get a grasps of all these and start to weigh the responses you receive. Click here to learn about writing a covering letter and also ensure you read on career paths and employability skills.
3. Attend Interview:
I know your first reaction here will be, ‘no one recruits Youth Corpers’. But in addition to reading articles online about interview preparation, you need to attend interviews to get some real life experience of what job interviews and tests entail. I went in for my first job interview while in 200level at university and even though I got the job, I recall my boss was kind enough to give me feedback on how I performed – I spoke too fast and was in a hurry with my responses. The feedback and experience on my performance at this interview helped me with preparations for interviews after I graduated. I have interviewed hundreds of job seekers, most of whom leave me with a disappointing impression of them; from turning in late for interviews to having no answer whatsoever for basic questions, it is shocking!
Your concern now might be ‘how do I get invited for interviews when I am just a Corper?’. Simple! Apply for entry level roles, roles you will apply for post-NYSC. I recently met a ‘smart Corper’ who omitted information on her CV that she was still in her service year. Here is how she did it: the most recent item on her CV was a job but she omitted information that she was on this job as a Corper and instead gave details of what she did at this job. Her activities at this job were a right fit of experiences for the job being recruited for and it was really impressive that even though she was just 3 months into her service year, she was already testing the job market. Don’t wait until you have completed Youth Service before applying for jobs and attending interviews, click here to read about interview preparation.
Get out there and get some experience in preparing your CV, applying for jobs and attending interviews. It’s never too early but soon it will be too late!