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Prelude to Interviews. Job Search Strategies : By Nicholas O mondi Ouma BEd . (KU) MEd. (Educational Communication & Technology, KU) County Director of Youth Development, Taita Taveta. Presentation Overview. Self-Assessment Job search ‘tool kit’ Research

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prelude to interviews

Prelude to Interviews

Job Search Strategies:


Nicholas OmondiOuma

BEd. (KU) MEd.(Educational Communication & Technology, KU)

County Director of Youth Development, Taita Taveta


Presentation Overview

  • Self-Assessment
  • Job search ‘tool kit’
  • Research
  • Networking and the “hidden” job market
  • Implementing/managing your search
  • Final thoughts

Self Assessment

  • What do you want to do? What are your skills and interests? – what do you find enjoyable? Helps to narrow audience
  • Informational interviews – talk to friends, family, faculty members. Identify likes/dislikes
  • Ask yourself questions - ex. What was your favorite class? To gain insight

Desirable Skills & Qualities

  • Here are the top skills and qualities of the “Perfect Job Candidate,” according to employers of college graduates, polled in 2010:
    • Communication skills - Computer skills
    • Detail-oriented - Initiative
      • Strong work ethic - Analytical skills
      • Interpersonal skills - Leadership skills
    • Problem-solving skills - Teamwork skills
    • Flexibility and adaptability

Draw the connections

  • Examine your profile!
  • Self-analysis exercise
job search tool kit resume cv and cover letters
Job search tool Kit – Resume/CV and Cover letters
  • Are your primary (and mandatory!) marketing tools so be strategic.
  • Must demonstrate your skills and experience
  • Tailor your resume/CV and cover letters for each opportunity (paid or volunteer) that you apply for
  • Focus on the most relevant skills and experience to the employer for that opportunity.
  • An employer looks at your application (resume/cover letter) for approximately 15-30 seconds when deciding if they should invite you for an interview!
job search tool kit calling card business card
Job search tool Kit–Calling Card/Business Card
  • Helpful for situations when distributing a resume is not appropriate or convenient e.g. in:-
  • networking events, association meetings, career fairs, information sessions, or impromptu meetings.
job search tool kit social media
Job search tool Kit – Social Media
  • Includes Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, blogging, personal websites, e-portfolios
  • As opposed to a candidate “finding” their employer of choice, an employer “finds” YOU, the candidate as a result of your involvement. Eg Dennis Itumbi– now working @ OP.
  • Keep it professional: Your screen or profile name, the pictures posted on your profile (or on those of your friends or contacts), the videos uploaded to YouTube, and status updates/posts/tweets should be appropriate.

“clean up your social media footprint”.

research job s ources
Research - Job Sources
  • On Campus Interview Program
  • Internships
  • Career Fairs
  • Employer Information Sessions
  • Online Job Sites
  • Direct Contacts with Employers
  • Networking
  • Professional Associations
  • Newspapers/Professional Journals
  • General Employment Agencies
job search tip
Job Search Tip:
  • More than 80% of students who had full time jobs before graduation connected face-to-face with employers:
    • Employers interviewing on campus (OCI)
    • Speaking with company representatives
    • Attending employer information sessions
    • Attending career fairs
    • Participating in internships
    • Networking
on campus interview
On Campus Interview

Why participate?

  • It’s FREE!
  • Save on transport! Interview on campus
  • Chance to interview for multiple internship and full- time positions
  • Employers chose TTUC and want to interview you! Depends on the profile the college has built over time & nature of its alumni.
  • Get email notifications
  • Greater chance of being hired
  • Secure a job before you graduate
  • Easy online sign-up

Who can participate?

  • All current TTUC students are eligible depending upon employer requirements.
  • TTUC may need to establish a Career Centre under the office of the Dean to organize this.
ttuc career centre

Functions of such a centre could be, among others;

  • Offer career guidance (course/unit choices, job search, CV writing, interviewing skills, etiquette etc)
  • Making Professional Connections
  • Liaising with potential employers for On Campus/college Interviews (OCI)

OCI is used by employers for: full-time entry level positions, management training programs and internship programs.


Research - Employers

  • Employers expect it
  • Displays your seriousness, thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Helps to personalize cover letters and resumes, and answer questions appropriately
  • Helps determine your “fit” with the organization

What to Learn About a Company/Organization

  • Description of job responsibilities
  • Personnel information (NAME, policies, relevant information of executives)
  • Organizational culture, goals, and strategies.
  • Size, age, location, history, ownership
  • Products or services, major competitors, recent development, expected growth

Career Fairs

  • Before the job fair:
  • Obtain a list of participants and research those organizations of interest and prioritize list
  • Develop error-free resume and your 30-second commercial
  • Be prepared with questions to ask employers
  • At the job fair:
  • Greet the employer and present your resume
  • Dress professionally, ask questions and get their business card
  • After the job fair:
  • Follow the instructions from each employer regarding follow-up
  • Send a letter to employer to refresh their memory of your conversation
online job search
Online Job Search
  • National job sites
  • Industry-specific sites
  • Company-specific sites
  • Association sites – professional associations
  • Government sites
  • International sites
  • How can internships be valuable?
  • Test the water, how you fit…
  • Put your theory to practice
  • Applicable experience for your resume
  • Earn extra cash especially if it is paid.
  • Gain industry networking contacts
  • Get your foot in the door and turn your internship into a full-time job


90% of job seekers apply for the 20% of jobs available in this market

10% of job seekers apply for 80% of potential jobs in this market


Why network?

  • Uncover the hidden job market
  • 75-80% of jobs are obtained via personal contacts (Canvassing)
  • Learn more about your chosen career field
  • Get advice through informational interviews to find out how to conduct your job search
  • Do not limit yourself to only top organizations
  • Make contact before an employer knows they need you!

How do you network?

  • Talk to everyone you know!
  • Informational Interview
  • Join the student chapter of a professional association*
  • Pass out your calling card
  • Share how you can be a valuable resource for them
  • Grow your connections
  • Stay connected

Who do you network with?

  • Current students and alumni
  • Family, friends, relatives
  • Faculty, department staff
  • Current supervisors
  • Employers directly

Network through Informational Interviews

  • Make courteous initial contact
  • Ask for information….NOT a job
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Be politely persistent
  • Try to obtain several referrals from each person you contact
  • Follow up and keep them informed of your progress
  • Thank them

Implementing/Managing Your Search

  • Organize yourself with a system
  • Keep records of initial contacts and follow-ups
  • Set reasonable daily/weekly goals for your career search
  • Continue to assess process
  • Update/review resume/CV with a Career Advisor
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Be organized, self-motivated, and assertive
  • Job searching requires time and energy
  • Don’t be discouraged if it takes you a few months to secure a desirable position
  • If you’ve searched for 6 months, you may need to redirect your search or gain experience
    • Take a temporary position or internship
    • Volunteer work
  • Persevere
  • Continue to develop and use new resources to diversify your search

Job search websites