Job Search Mistakes That Nigeria Graduates Should Avoid

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As a fresh university or polytechnic graduate in Nigeria, one thing you want to avoid at all costs when you start job hunting are job search mistakes. Apart from making you look unprofessional, you could lose the job even before you get hired.

Fresh graduates are often challenged with the new job market, especially when they have no idea on how to approach the job search process. Most times it can be challenging to find a new job immediately after graduating from university.

When it comes to job hunting, there is no room for mistakes or second chances. One wrong word or question could cost you what would have been a dream job. In other words, only the candidates who make the least mistakes get the jobs. Here are job search mistakes you should avoid as a fresh graduate.

Common Job Search Mistakes Fresh Graduates Make

1. Failure to choose a career path

Many job seekers are desperately in need of a job, so they tend to go all out for any job that comes their way. Failure to choose a career path or choosing the wrong one can make your job search really confusing. Hence, you should go for the job you want and channel your preoccupation with that direction.

2. Failure to choose a career path that fits your interest and skills

Searching and applying for random jobs that you find anywhere, is one job search mistake you should avoid as a job seeker if you want to have a more tailored and focused job search.

3. Failure to prepare for a job search at all

Many job seekers don’t know that job searching is a job on its own. Before you go ahead to search and apply for jobs, you should make sure you have discovered your career path, created a winning CV, and an attention-getting cover letter. Luckily writing a cover letter is not as difficult as people think. You can use an online CV sample to create yours.

4. Overloaded details on CV

A CV with too much information will get discarded because the key aspects a hiring manager might be looking for becomes lost in tons of information. Your CV summary should be brief, clearly expressed, and very catchy with highlights of just exactly what you have to offer.

5. Not tweaking your resume and cover letter

Amongst all the job search mistakes this one is the most common. Every CV should be tailored to the particular job that you are applying for, rather than creating a CV that is meant to fit all purposes. The problem is that if you don’t tailor these documents to the specific roles you’re applying for, you’re less likely to get your foot in the door. Therefore, a CV that is tailored to meet a particular job description will get more attention.

6. Creating a poorly organized CV

How organized or how disorganized your CV is, says so much about your personality. If you have issues formatting your CV, you can seek the help of a CV service for a well-formatted CV.

7. Having too many typos in your CV

One of the poorest job search mistakes is presenting a CV with so many typing errors. Having too many typos shows that you are unorganized, careless, and that you don’t pay attention to details. To help you eliminate typographical errors on your CV, you should re-read your CV several times to make sure there are no errors.

8. Cover letter mistakes

Repeating your CV/Resume, your cover letter should not be another copy of your CV. Your cover letter is an opportunity for you to show that you are the best person for the job. So don’t repeat what you have on your CV in your cover letter.

9. Failure to prepare for the interview at all

When you have an interview invite, the next thing is not for you to jump at it, you should take the time to prepare your mind to land your dream job. Job interviews can be intimidating if you have no experience going in. But that’s no excuse for getting tripped up on the spot repeatedly. To avoid blowing your chances of getting a job, spend some time honing your interview skills. Also, study the location of the venue, rehearse your elevation pitch, etc.
See this: The worst interview mistakes made by job applicants

10. Failure to network extensively

While online boards are a great place to look for work, don’t just limit yourself to job-hunting sites. Rather, reach out to the people you know who are already employed, and put it out there that you’re looking for work. This includes neighbors, family friends, and even your former college professors. It’s estimated that up to 80% of new jobs are either filled internally or via networking, so if you stick to the internet alone, you might miss out on key opportunities.

11. Failure to read job descriptions

When you’re eager to find a job, it’s natural not to be too selective. But if you continue applying to the wrong jobs, you’re only going to waste your time – especially if you’re tweaking your resume and the cover letter as you go. Before moving forward with an application, read the job description carefully, and make sure you reasonably meet the associated criteria. If there’s a posting that lists eight distinct requirements, and you’re solid on six of them, by all means, apply. But if you’re missing at least half of the qualifications the employer wants, you’re generally better off focusing your efforts elsewhere.

How Do I Prepare For A Fresh Graduate Interview

You’re fresh out of the higher institution. This is your first job ever. It’s your first professional interview and yes, the stakes are high. Failure to prepare for your interview is one of the job search mistakes you don’t want to make. Getting this job will set you on your career path and will be the stepping stone to your success. You’re nervous, your heart is pounding, you’re finding it hard to concentrate especially with so many other candidates with similar goals as yours.

Gladly, you happen to be reading this post before your interview, just breathe. Here are a few tips for fresh graduates’ interview preparation.

1. Research about the company before you go

A big mistake most fresh graduates make is they fail to research the company they are applying to. A key rule is to research the company and prepare your own set of questions to ask your interviewers. Not only will this show you as an eager candidate but also someone who actually spent time in getting to know about their prospective future employers. This goes a long way in setting you higher than the rest of the candidates.

2. Do your homework and be prepared.

Preparation is the key to success in an interview. But most fresh graduates don’t prepare enough, which is why they fail. If you want to get the job, then you need to prove it that you’ve done your research.

3. Have examples and draft stories.

Your interviewer wants to see how your current skills complement the requirements of the job. The best way to prove them is to share stories about your previous achievements. Why? Because interviewers like to see examples of your behaviors and how you handled certain situations…stories are by far more convincing than factual data.

4. Avoid fake or generic answers

There is no standard, ‘right,’ answer to any question. Remember, the interviewer sitting across you has full experience, knowledge and the perspective to decide what kind of candidate they want on their team. You should avoid rehearsing lines and giving generic answers to seemingly common questions. This is your time to talk about your strengths, how you are the right fit for the job, and what you can give them if they hire you. Be original, humble, and confident.

5. Tackling competency based interview questions

Competency-based questions are designed to check your knowledge, skills, and attitude. You may have to face questions like how you can handle stress or a high-pressure work pace. You may need to give examples of how you handle such situations and what components (attitude, knowledge, and skills ) you used to resolve the problem/challenge.

6. Identify your unique strengths

There are plenty of other candidates out there probably with the same qualifications as you. They might even be from your own college or school. What is it that makes you different from them and why should this employer employ you and not them? Identify your strengths; Is it resilience? Do you have courage? Is it the ability to think beyond the ordinary? Or is it creativity? Nail it down and be prepared to give examples.

7. Avoid overselling yourself

The art of a successful interview is knowing where to strike the balance. Be confident, but not arrogant. Be vocal but not annoying. Finally, be smart. Sell your potential and your talent, but don’t overdo it. You may not have the experience as you’re a fresh graduate but part of your key advantage should be your unique attributes.

The best way to practice would be to write down things you know about yourself, including your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Think about stories, experiences, or situations where you were able to utilize the best of your skills and changed the situation for the better. The more you know yourself, the better you will score the interview!

What Is The Best Job For Fresh Graduate

Looking for that first “real” job now out of the higher institution will present its own challenges and questions. How do you position yourself as a solid candidate when you are competing against professionals with several years of work experience? Are you open to relocating for your job? How much travel is optimal? much money do you need to make to support your lifestyle needs, start a savings plan, and pay back those student loans?

When pondering on those questions, many new graduates find it helpful to look at what others in their position are doing. This recent study from LinkedIn is a great start. LinkedIn has analyzed its data on user-profiles and has provided a guide on how to get hired, among other things, the list of the most popular jobs for new graduates.

The top 10 best entry-level jobs for higher institution graduates!

1. Software Engineer

Technology roles are among the top growing roles as the industry pushes to improve diversity. In 2019, software engineering roles attract new graduates from a wide range of backgrounds.

2. Registered Nurse

The healthcare industry has many opportunities for various skill levels — and hires lots of recent graduates.

3. Salesperson

Salesperson positions can be a fantastic way to build critical skills that will be a plus no matter what you choose to do next. There’s no better place to get over the fear of talking to new people, learn how to deal with rejection, find the balance between persuasive and pushy, and practice deep listening. Sales jobs are incredibly varied, and virtually every company has a need for professionals in sales roles.

4. Teacher

Teaching position comes with many challenges but they can also be incredibly rewarding. As more public and private schools reassess their approach to education, implement new technologies, and adapt classrooms to prepare students for the ever-changing world, young graduates are positioned to make a real difference.

5. Accountant

It’s not just about pocket protectors! Accounting is a dynamic field, and specialists can truly choose their own path across all industries. As a fresh graduate in the field of business management, this would be a good starter.

6. Project Manager

A position in project management is a crash course in risk management, stress resistance, and diplomacy. These are dynamic positions that can often be done remotely, so new graduates who are looking for the flexibility of working from anywhere should take note. You may need to start as an assistant and then take a couple of years to earn your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

7. Administrative Assistant

This can be a phenomenal first step on your way to building your resume and exploring an industry you are curious about to get insight into how the company works. The best administrative assistants are natural organizers and strong communicators, cool under pressure, and quick to solve (or prevent) unexpected problems.

8. Account Executive

An account executive is a type of a sales role, although it often places a greater emphasis on managing existing client relationships as opposed to bringing in new clients. An account executive’s job is to balance the needs and wants of each client against real-world constraints imposed by contract terms, resource availability, and practical requirements of the company.

9. Financial Analyst

Banks, insurance, financial services, consulting agencies, healthcare: The list of companies that are looking to hire financial analysts is long and varied. Your day-to-day responsibilities will depend on the needs of your employer, but most financial analysts start out building mathematical models, analyzing data, preparing reports, and learning about the needs of those who use the results of their work.

10. Account Manager

Depending on the company, an account manager might work in a corporate office, visit clients, or travel around to conferences. Great account managers are skilled at uncovering unmet needs and creating new business opportunities by deepening relationships with existing clients. It’s a great job for entry-level graduates.


The job market can be seemingly difficult when you’re new to it. Follow these tips, avoid job search mistakes, and land that perfect entry-level role before you know it. Good luck!

Written by Samuel James

I hope this was helpful? Do you have comments or questions? Please let us know in the comment section below. To get more job search tips, visit blog.fasthire.com.ng regularly.

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