Kicking off a job hunt or trying to re energize an existing search in Ghana can feel a bit daunting. But, having a comprehensive job-search checklist handy can make this whole process a lot easier. So, let’s take an in-depth look at everything you’ll need to nail this from start to finish.
In Ghana most jobs are in Sales and Marketing, Banking and other Non Financial Services, Manufacturing, Foods and Beverages, Fashion and most recently IT and Online Related jobs.
Oh, and because it’s from start to finish, feel free to jump around between the sections:
Define Your Goals
Before you update your resume and start applying to open opportunities, you’ll need to understand what you’re looking for first. Are you hoping for more responsibility or a shorter commute? Are you dying to work for a company that offers free educational opportunities? Taking time to identify your goals (big and small) will help you to home in on the types of jobs you should be targeting.
Feeling stuck? Try ranking these five key factors in order of importance:
- Company Culture
- Opportunity for Growth
- Pay and Benefits
- Level of Responsibility
If you value stability over all else, a burgeoning startup may not be the best fit for you. Conversely, if company culture and opportunity for growth are at the top of your list, a well-established corporation probably isn’t a perfect match.
Understanding the specific day-to-day responsibilities you’d like to have will also be essential as you begin to update your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Try asking yourself what you’ve enjoyed doing most throughout your career and what you’d prefer never to do again.
This exercise should help you to picture your ideal role more clearly.
Lastly, try browsing job postings for the different types of roles you’re considering. Do you find the responsibilities described to be interesting and exciting or dull and boring? Make note of the duties that appeal most to you and keep them in mind as you begin searching and reading job descriptions.
Update Your Resume
Typically in Ghana, when a prospective employer looks at your resume, he should should instantly understand what type of position you’re looking for and how your experience lines up with his needs. He should also be able to easily pick out your greatest accomplishments.
It’s important that you don’t simply list your past responsibilities; you want your resume to tell a compelling story of what you’ve accomplished and how your experience would translate into a new role. For example, if you’re planning to apply for Sales Executive assistant opportunities that require extensive Field experience, be sure to highlight your Sales experience.
Most Ghanaian job seekers prepare a single CV and unwisely use that to apply for all vacant positions they come across. Ideally, you’ll need to update your resume for each and every role you apply to in order to ensure that you’re featuring your most relevant experience, having a solid draft ready to go will make your life much easier when you’re in the throes of the search.
Once you’ve finished updating it, run through the checklist below to make sure you’ve covered all of your bases.
- Is tailored to the types of roles I’m targeting
- Has up-to-date contact information (including my customized LinkedIn URL)
- Highlights my career achievements and accomplishments
- Is easy to read and follow
- Uses engaging action words (e.g., manage, develop, cultivate, drive, establish, implement)
- Is one page long (or two if applying for an executive position)
- Is free of spelling and grammatical errors
- Is completely accurate
- Features my most applicable and transferrable experience in the top third of the first page
Write a Dazzling Cover letter
There is some debate around whether or not cover letters are still necessary, but as long as certain prospective employers still require them, you won’t want to skip this step. A stellar one can be the difference between landing an interview or landing in the “thanks, but no thanks” pile, so let’s make sure you’re turning in your A-game.
While you’re also going to need to tailor this for every role you apply to, having an initial template or outline prepared will save you time. Here’s a list of everything your cover letter should include to get you started.
Prep your references
You don’t need to include a list of references on your resume or cover letter, but you should have a list of strong, professional options ready to go. Keep in mind that most companies have fairly strict policies around references and will typically only confirm your job title, dates of employment, and salary information to a prospective employer, so you’ll want to secure others who would be comfortable speaking from personal experience and not on behalf of the company.
Start by identifying three to five people. These can be past or present colleagues, professors, or supervisors. Then, ask each person in advance if he or she would be willing to serve as a reference for you. If they say yes, confirm the preferred method of contact, and be sure to stay in touch. If it looks like a prospective employer is getting ready to check your references, give everyone on your list a heads up.
Perfect your Interview Skills
Feeling well-prepared and confident about your interview skills will have a tremendous impact on your success. Enlisting a friend or trusted colleague to help you practice answering some of the more commonly asked interview questions is a great start, but you’ll want to be sure you check each of the following items off your list before every interview:
- Thoroughly review the job description
- Develop a solid understanding of what the company does
- Research relevant industry and company news
- Practice explaining your experience in a nutshell
- Practice explaining how your experience will compliment this role
- Pick relevant, engaging questions to ask
- Research your interviewers: Check out their company bios or LinkedIn profiles
- For phone or skype interviews, secure a quiet place to talk (with great reception or—even better—a landline!)
- For in-person interviews, take steps to ensure that you’ll arrive early (five to 10 minutes is good), but not too early
- Be ready to answer questions about your availability to start a new job
Write an awesome Thank You note
A great thank you note can seal the deal, so be sure to ask every person you meet with for their contact information and send him or her a follow-up message as soon as possible. Same-day notes tend to have the biggest impact, but sending the next day works, too!
How to take advantage of Jobs resources like Tonaton.com to reach prospective employers
Now that you have understood the application process you also need to be able to perfect Identifying your job-search resources which is a crucial step in this process. There are tons of ways to find new opportunities like portals that give information about the best Jobs in Ghana, but the most common ones are job websites like Tonaton.com/jobs which help you to see lots of live ads and vacancy opportunities.
Additionally, Tonaton.com has an applicant tool which enables you to fill in your CV and makes you more visible to prospective employers. To know more about how Tonaton’s Job portal work visit us now!