One of the most common Nigerian trend is for unemployed graduates to lament about sending out their CVs over a hundred times a month without getting a single feedback. They even curse the government for not giving them jobs.
What if I say most Nigerian graduates are unemployable!
It’s high time you all stop disturbing the mailboxes of recruitment agencies and companies who have better things to do than reading your CVs. I’m not a Human Resource manager, HR or whatever term they give to those people. I don’t run a recruitment agency. I’m just an observer in one corner of Lagos, almost as good as unemployed. Sometime last week I was opportuned to help place a job ad and receive the CVs that come in, and I must say being a HR is one of the most difficult job.
First, the job listing sites do not help matters. You place a job ad in one site because you don’t want your mailbox to overflow with CVs, then other job sites you never knew existed take it upon themselves to publish. I was set for the excitement and fun that came with receiving CVs for the first time, so I let the job listing sites do what they please, without inkling that it would be a frustrating experience.
As the CVs began to troop, all I expected was to get applicants who had the relevant job experience stated in the ad, but the reverse was the case. Why would you apply for a job you clearly know you’re not qualified? The job experience contained in your CV is ‘bar attendant’, ‘sales officer’ and ‘front desk officer’, then you go ahead to apply for the role of web content developer. How does that work? Even if you’re graduate of Mass Communication, I’ll send your CV to trash. Sorry.
Several times I’ve called on people who are unemployed, to take up jobs as guest writers, volunteers and others, where they would be paid little or nothing, but they gain experience which they would include in their CVs. This suggestion of mine has always been turned down. Everyone wants money, not experience. This is why they keep carrying empty CVs, applying for jobs that require experience and having their CVs sent to trash almost all the time.
Most annoying part of my experience was when I felt really insulted. How on earth will you send your CV to multiple recruitment agencies at the same time? First, you’re not qualified, then I see you ‘sent’ your CV to my company, Dangote, FCMB and Chrisland schools’ recruitment email. This is just wrong. Here’s the funny part, the subject title was – ‘Here! My CV, for employment’. Another version of this insulting email was the one who forwarded the application email he had just sent to another company. It doesn’t end there, the CV wasn’t in Microsoft word format, not in PDF, but pasted in the body of the email. Yes. That’s how bad it was.
You see, when the HR manager or whoever is receiving CVs get 20+ mails from unqualified individuals, the next question that comes to mind is, “Can I just get a few qualified applicants”? The moment about 5 qualified CVs arrive, that’s almost always the end of the show. If the HR is not as impatient as I am, he or she might decide to go through the frustrating experience of opening another 20+ unqualified CVs in a bid to wait for 5 more qualified applicants.
This is what happens when you’re qualified but never get called. There are tons of people applying, 80 percent of the CVs are empty and unqualified. Once the HR gets 5 percent of qualified applicants that he needs, the door closes and the remaining CVs might never get opened because it’s frustrating to open yet another scary document.
Again, I’m not a HR Personnel, but I have acted it, and it’s really frustrating to receive CVs. You’re 31 years of age, meaning you must have finished your Secondary School education many years ago. There’s no argument about that because you graduated from the University in 2009. Secondary School will definitely be a long time ago. Now, why bring it into your CV that you were a time keeper during your Secondary School days? Who cares about that? Does it relate to the job you’re applying for? Even if it does, no one will take a look at that.
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Qualification and experience is stated in job ads, pay attention. Applying for jobs doesn’t mean sending CVs to whatever job ad you come across. Imagine receiving a CV for the post of a Web Content Developer from a Biochemistry graduate who has just the experience of being a lab attendant/technician. Yes, everyone can develop content, but this is serious business.
If your job application is not a serious business to you, it is for the HR. Don’t go about getting phone numbers from the websites of companies who place job ads. This might sound strange, but it’s real. You see a job ad you’re qualified for, and instead of sending your CV to the email provided, you go ahead to the company’s website, pick a phone number that was provided for inquiry purpose and then call to start giving unwanted ‘gists’ about how qualified you are for the role. No one is interested. Save your airtime and send your CV!
The job recruitment and application process is just crazy! From just one job ad, over a 100 CV’s are received. How about a solution? There should probably be a way to close the mailboxes after a maximum number of CV has been received.
It’s really frustrating for the HR, and also frustrating for you to keep applying for jobs month after month without feedback. Save your CV from a life in the trash folder. Get experience! Read the job ad over and over again to know if your qualification and experience fit! Make things easy for yourself and whoever is receiving the CVs. You’re probably asking how on earth you’ll get experience if you don’t get employed? There are tons of jobs that do no require experience, take advantage of them and respect the wish of those who seek experienced applicants.
I had fun receiving CVs as a pretend HR, but at this point, it’s no longer fun. The mailbox is weeping, and as frustrated as I am. Tell those still applying that it’s all over. Let them know they’ll never get a feedback. In fact, inform them that successful applicants have not only been selected, they’ve also resumed work. All the best in your job search!
Writen by Christie Uzebu
Twitter/Instagram – @xtyzeb
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