Congratulations! You’ve concluded your one year mandatory National Youth Service and it’s time to kick-start your career. At first, it felt like your one year NYSC was going to last a lifetime, but time flies, and now you’re celebrating your POP (passing out parade).
Time is already ticking from now till when you’ll land your first job. Maybe you don’t know where to begin, maybe you’ve started applying for jobs before your POP, maybe you’ve started getting interview calls, or maybe not. Whatever your story is, this post will show you how to start your career after NYSC.
This post will give you the keys to starting a successful career, so put on your learning cap let’s begin.
How to Start Your Career After NYSC
You are done with service; the next thing would be to start sending out applications to as many companies as possible right? If you answered yes to that question, sorry to say, but you’re wrong. What you need now is something effective, but that step is backward. Job hunting is not something to just jump into, you have to be strategic. Therefore, to succeed in kick-starting a successful career after NYSC, you should start by developing a plan that will cut out the unnecessary stress that comes with job hunting as an entry-level applicant.
Here’re the steps to follow as you pursue a successful career after NYSC;
- Create a career plan
- Define your job target
- Create your job search documents
- Enlist your contacts in your job search process
- Find job posting/suitable job boards
- Reach out to recruiters and recruitment agencies
- Prepare for job interviews
1. Create a Career Plan
Normally, most people think writing a CV is the first thing to do when it’s time to get a job. Don’t get me wrong, writing a winning CV and cover letter is important, but your career plan should come before that. Creating a career plan will help you position yourself as a strong match when you start sending out your applications.
Career plans are important for all professionals and having a career plan will help you discover;
- Your key strengths, and career positions where they are best applied.
- The skills/competencies that will be needed for your career interest.
- Steps you’ll take as you begin your job search.
- Networks that you’ll enlist to assist you in your job search.
- Connections that you’ll need to make.
- Career positions where you’ll be most effective.
2. Define Your Target Job
Whether you did your career planning yourself or you used a career coach, your career plan will help you identify career positions that align with your qualification and strengths.
Keeping your options open will pose a challenge when you want to create your job search documents and profiles. For that reason, you should make your job search documents industry-specific. Above all, having a specific target will make it easier for your connections to identify jobs that you suits.
Hiring managers and recruiters can easily spot an applicant that is specific about what they are looking out for. The truth is that your CV will show if you’re targeting the particular position you applied for.
Note: Study the job requirements of the position that you’re interested in. Identify skills, certifications, or training that will strengthen your chances of landing the position.
3. Create Your Job Search Documents
Your job search documents provide opportunities for you to set yourself apart. Your CV and Cover Letter should help the recruiters connect the dots between what they need and what you can deliver. You can also use the platform to showcase your personality and your writing skills. To sum up, 75% of recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems, so create your CV to pass-through ATS.
4. Enlist your Networks
If you plan on going about your job hunting alone, then you’re in for a long haul. Involve your network, tell them the jobs you’re looking out for, and how they can be of help.
3 types of people that you can enlist in your job hunt;
- Family and friends.
- Professional connections that you know i.e. Alumni of your school, members of the same association/group/fellowship, etc.
- Loose connections i.e. LinkedIn connection and other professionals that you have met just a few times.
5. Reach out to Recruiters
You may search for recruiters and/or agencies in your location using Google, or connect with them via a social platform. When you have an opportunity with them, go ahead and register your interest. Mention your course of study, and the job positions you believe you’ll fit in. Connecting with recruiters will make it easier for them to recommend you when the opportunity arises. For instance, it’s easier to recommend a connection than a random “Richard” that applied via a job portal.
Tip: Some recruiters may request for your CV when you reach out to them, so ensure you have it handy before reaching out.
6. Find Job Posting
At this stage, you’re set to apply for a job, so look out for suitable job vacancies and start applying. Don’t restrict yourself to online applications; also look for offline job vacancies. If you are using job boards, be selective about the job boards you’re using. Use job boards that meet your needs, and industry goals.
Here are 4 places you can source for jobs;
- Company career pages
- Industry job boards e.g.
- Niche job boards e.g. FasthireNG (The Job Board for Entry-Level and Mid-Level Careers), Jobrem (Job board for remote jobs).
- State/local Job Boards e.g RivJobs
- General job boards e.g. Jobberman, NgCareers, MyJobMag
When you find suitable job openings, ensure that you send your job applications the right way. You can check this post on how to email a job application to gather ideas.
7. Prepare for Interview
To avoid common interview mistakes as a fresh graduate, don’t go for an interview without any practice. Start preparing for interviews as soon as you can, get a professional to coach you, or get a friend to conduct a mock interview for you. Record the interview and observe your body language and the questions that you didn’t answer properly.
Note: You won’t like to be paid less than you’re worth right? Therefore, negotiate your salary or benefits when the opportunity is presented to you during an interview.
The process of getting/landing a job differs from individual to individual; which is why you’ll need all the assistance you can get. Don’t shy away from volunteer experiences or graduate internship positions. More so, ensure to follow-up on your job interviews and job applications, and take care of yourself when you land that job.
I hope this post was helpful? Do you have comments or questions on how to start your career after NYSC? Please let us know in the comment section.