Workshop ‘Finding a job in the 21st century’

On Friday 28 February, the New Career Platform organized another workshop, this time focusing on finding a job in the 21st century. The event was an interactive conversation hosted by Jemila Abdulai (Founder and Creative Director Circumspecte.com) and Minoek Wijs (Recruiter JobnetAfrica). Over 45 determined job seekers gathered in the heart of Accra at the SB Incubator, a place that fosters entrepreneurship amongst the youth and women. The participants were eagerly waiting to get the latest insights on CV writing, online etiquette, networking and a perspective from the employers’ side.

The New Career Platform, initiator of the workshop, warmly welcomed all the participants. Coordinator Ileen Wilke (Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council) shared how they increased the number of participants due to the overwhelming amount of interest in the workshop. The high demand for the workshop clearly showed a need for guidance for entering the job market well prepared.

Trainer Jemila dived right into the purpose of the workshop by asking the participants ‘What does job searching in the 21st Century entail?’ and specifically, ‘why are you job searching?’ The participants shared that they were looking for a career change, a fulfilling job or a position that matches their skills set. After focusing on the ‘why’, Jemila emphasized the tools to compete in the job market: ‘how do you stand out from the competition?’ Some essentials in your toolbox should be a CV, cover letter and an elevator pitch. All these tools are meant to spark interest, present your skills set and will hopefully open doors to an interview.

 

 

Your resume and CV are key in your job search because they are your first impression. Although they look similar, a CV and resume do serve different purposes. A CV is literally “a course of life” describing your academic experience, work experience, achievements and more personal details such as your hobbies, favourite food or passion. A resume is an introduction of self and mostly summarizes your work history, skills and achievements. Jemila also shared a few Do’s and Don’ts for example, do highlight specific accomplishments, do use strong active works and don’t over embellish accomplishments.

 

 

Minoek Wijs continued the training by sharing her perspective as a recruiter. She has over 12 years’ experience in recruitment and works for JobnetAfrica since 2015. JobnetAfrica distinguishes itself by being a pan African job site for professionals that are looking for careers in Africa, with people who work(ed) (part of their career) in Africa. Minoek foresees that big global changes like climate change, globalisation, higher customer expectations and the increase of virtual workplaces will also have its effect on the (future) job market. This requires a different skill set for job seekers in the 21st century: there is a need to think critically, foster digital skills and encourage emotional intelligence to adapt to this ever-changing environment.

Moreover, a recruiter sees many CVs per day, on average its 50-100 CVs per day with 6 seconds to judge the document. This makes it extremely important to get your CV prepared and spark that interest at first sight. Minoek shared that LinkedIn is the most used to find talents but recruiters also use social media such as Facebook and Instagram to check candidates. She encourages reviewing your online visibility because this also creates a first impression. Aside from your presence online, making a real-life connection is just as important. Networking is not only giving your business card out. It is all about leaving the right first impression and create a “call to action” when doing your elevator pitch or introduction.

 

 

After the two presentations, it was time for the participants to practice what was preached. All participants formed duo’s and fulfilled the role of the recruiter, what struck you most on the other’s CV? After this, the participants were challenged to prepare a 30-second pitch about themselves in order to make the listener curious and spark that interest. It was harder than expected but together with the feedback from the group, all participants learned from the assignments.

 

The workshop ended with a warm applause for both Jemila and Minoek for sharing their experiences and insights. People sticked around long after the workshop to share stories and connect with each other.

Got curious about the work of Jemila and Minoek? Find out more here: