Job search in Nigeria: Dos and Don’ts

Whether you are new to the world of job hunting, or you are a experienced job seeker, job searching can be extremely daunting and frustrating. In order to stay on top of your game, there are a few rules. They are not really rules that you must follow, but if you want an easy experience and you want to snag that dream job as soon as possible, then you have no choice but to follow these rules.

These rules are divided into Do’s and Don’ts. What should you do and you should not do, during job search.


  1. Stay inspired:

If you have been searching for a job for a long time, you could be tempted to become frazzled and disheartened. In the long run, this will show in your applications, and further hinder you from getting your dream job. Before you get to the point where you apply for job s as a routine, with no enthusiasm or effort, use these tips to stay inspired.

  • Going for events that are related to your industry.
  • Don’t just attend these events, network with people and start up intelligent conversations.
  • Do a lot of reading related to job search and career building.
  • See websites for job opportunties

  1. Build your AfricaLinked profile:

In Nigeria where getting a job is 90% of the time who you know, it pays to put yourself out there and make corporate connections. The best shot at this is building your AfricaLinked profile to reflect your work experiences and your career expectations. What industries have you worked for, and where are you headed in your career plans? This should be reflected in your AfricaLinked profile, such that head hunters can easily see what a great prospect you are.


  1.  Keep learning:

In Nigeria, employers look at the span of years you were inactive, so even though you have been job searching for five years, how have you used these five years of unemployment? If you have been doing nothing than job searching, then you might end up searching for a long time.

In your time of unemployment, keep learning; register for courses, get diplomas and certification, and join professional bodies. The best way to increase your value while job searching, is to keep learning.

  1.  Think outside the box:

When job searching in Nigeria, you have to be creative, and in essence, think outside the box. If you have not been getting interview invites, perhaps it is time to review your CV. Is there a better way to present your expertise?

Also, if you are searching online, and you seem not to be getting the jobs you are best fitted for, you should refine your keywords. You can say something differently and still mean the same thing.

When it comes to job searching, you should not be rigid about your approach, but change in the positive direction, by thinking outside the box.

  1.  Cast your search net outside your industry:

You might have experience in a particular industry, but have transferrable skills that can work in other industries. It is advisable to look in other industries, because in Nigeria, most employers offer on-the-job training or a preliminary training before you join their workforce. So do not restrict yourself to a particular, or else you might miss great opportunities outside your industry.


  1.  Make a great first statement in your application:

Most Nigerian recruiters are impatient. That is the bitter truth you must get used to. The unemployment rate in the country also means that millions of candidates apply for a position that needs only 5 or less people. What this means is that recruiters must weed out a lot, and at the end, they do not read past the first paragraph of your application letter. If you must stand a chance, you must make your first paragraph grabbing enough to be considered.



These are the things you should not do when actively searching for a job in Nigeria.

  1. Do not pay money to any agent or any person claiming to stand in for a company. Many have been scammed because someone promised them the job, if they pay money. Do not pay money!


  1. Don’t have a three page CV, as this will end up in the trash can. Nigerian recruiters have many candidates to consider and so little time, so don’t attach a three page or more CV, as it will not get read. Make your CV concise and only add the most relevant things.


  1. Don’t apply to every job you see. While it is advisable to look outside your industry, still make sure that the industry you are applying for is relevant to your abilities. As a sales executive, do not apply for the post of a rig operator, as no amount of pre-training will enable you do this job.


Now you have the rules, apply them and see your job search turn around for positive results.