Even without consulting statistics, it is obvious that the unemployment rate in Africa is alarming. Statistics from 2021 showed that one-third of Africans young population is unemployed and another third vulnerably employed. This discouraging fact should prompt us to think of ways to position ourselves for job opportunities and increase our chances of being employed.
Every day, national and international job opportunities are being created. There is a high possibility that an organization right now has opened an employment opportunity that you qualify for but are not aware of. You might not have the ability to place your CVs on every human relations desk in your State of preference but by using the online tools available to you; you can have access to employers for more areas than you can physically visit.
We’re in the digital age and a lot of employers are sourcing talents online. Clients in need of goods and services are looking at various social media handles to determine the best person for the job. Individuals are putting a preference for online recommendations rather than recommendations from people they know. You can leverage a lot of opportunities online and the next few paragraphs will show you how.
Build your Social Media Accounts
How many social media platforms are you active on? What are your activities on these platforms? It’s okay to entertain yourself with Instagram reels, Facebook posts, and live streams by celebrities and influencers in various niches. Through all these activities, you’re devoting your time to people who have committed to building their social media accounts in a way that encourages you and many others to engage in it. On your end, you need to get to work and ensure your social media accounts attract engagement and more importantly, recommend you for a job.
Your profile/bio is a great place to start. Your profile picture is usually the first thing people check when they want to connect with you. Use a professional picture of yourself as your profile or display picture to identify yourself on all the social media platforms you are active on. Edit your bio to reflect your skills or positive values. Use your full name on your social media accounts to help you to be found easily.
Your contents should be geared towards specific areas of interest. Make a decision about what kind of content you want to deliver on the various accounts and platforms and stick to it. As much as possible, use correct grammar and formal writing on your content to recommend your English proficiency. Avoid careless or rude comments and degrading conversations. Keep your content clean and recommendable.
LinkedIn is a great place for job seekers to advertise their skills and grow a professional network. You should consider dedicating time to your linkedin profile. Add relevant skills to your profile, upload great content and follow the pages of companies you are interested in.
Your social media profiles should recommend you to prospective employers or clients who might be looking. You should pay attention to how you engage on other people’s profiles. Let your comments suggest interest in learning, growing, and other positive attributes. Network with high-profile individuals in your niche and contribute intelligently to group conversations. Remember that your social media is your identity and should speak only the attributes that would recommend you for suitable opportunities.
Showcase your Skills, Abilities, and Qualifications
Imagine a fine dazzling diamond buried in a typical farmland, unknown to anyone. The worth of the farmland would be underpriced and the diamond would not attract any attention. Think of your abilities as this unique gem buried inside of you and probably seen and appreciated by a few. There are a lot of opportunities out there that require your unique abilities but you need to market your abilities and skills so people can realize your worth. In this case, words do not suffice. Show off your certifications, achievements, designs, awards etc. For example, as a story writer, share your stories on Wattpad and medium, or as a designer share your designs on Dribble and other relevant online platforms. Share tips and how-tos as an indication of the knowledge you have.
There’s no humility in undermining or shadowing your skills and abilities. Remember that potential clients, partners, and employers are seeking evidence that you can get the job done. Ensure that you’re putting yourself out there and that you can convince them that you have more than head knowledge.
Attend Online Events
Virtual conferences, training sessions, webinars, exhibitions, and career fairs are great opportunities to meet people, get connections, learn principles to increase your employability and the list goes on. Prepare before the online events to ensure that you’re able to give relevant contributions and participate in interactive sessions.
Follow up with networks you create during online events. A large amount of employment is based on recommendations rather than a job interview. Thus, it is important to have a wide network of people who could vouch for you in their companies or recommend you to clients and other opportunities when the need arises.
Be Consistent and Intentional
As you get engaged with responsibilities or discouraged based on results you might begin to slow down on building a social media presence. However, consistency is key to achieving success. Even after getting desired opportunities online, for example committed clients, a dream job, etc. you have to continue good online ethics. You have to keep in mind that there are other opportunities out there that you might miss with a poor online presence. These could be speaking invitations, recommendations for partnership, sponsorships, scholarships, etc. Therefore, you have to commit to giving value and creating a professional and positive image of yourself online.
Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, and trainer said he motivated himself to lose weight and be fit by putting a picture of a thin man on the refrigerator door. Just before he could indulge in appetite he would be reminded of his dream weight. Think about the positive goals and dreams to fuel you on the journey. Find motivation for what you do such that you don’t give up on the positive steps you’re taking with time. You can focus on giving value and encourage yourself with the number of persons who benefit from the value you offer. You could get an accountability partner to ensure you’re meeting your targets notwithstanding discouragements and distractions. Whatever you do, remember to stay active and relevant online and enjoy the process.
Which of these steps are you taking up first?