Below is a summary of our Live Twitter Q & A session with Ethel Cofie of Edel Technology Consulting on using “unconventional means to secure that job”, or get jobs in Ghana. Using the hashtag #jobbermangh4jobs, we were able to create a meaningful conversation around the topic . Questions from participants and answers from our Resource Person are compiled into this blog post for easy reference.
Q1. What will you define as unconventional in the job market?
Answer: The typical way to find a job is to scout through job listings and apply. Unconventional way is to find a way to meet a need for that company and go to speak to them about solving their problem.
Q2. Take us through some of these unconventional job search strategies, any examples?
Answer: 1. Do a little research about the company. Find a need in the area you can solve & approach CEO and make your pitch. This works well in SME’s 2. Create your online brand so when someone is looking to hire people with your skills , you are easy to find via google. 3. Become a thought leader in your space; Write articles, share unique opinions on social media. In applying for a job, don’t just send a CV. Send a tangible product of your work e.g if you are an artist, you can send a 3D Model of your work. Use your network ( friends, relatives to scout out roles). Most SME’s will ask from their networks.
Q3. Are these unconventional job search strategies ethical?
Answer: Of course they are ethical. However use tact and wisdom so you don’t end up annoying hiring managers. For example, someone found my number and called me at 8pm on Sat to pitch to me. Of course it annoyed me immensely.
Q4. How do these unconventional job search strategies stack up against conventional employees?
Answer: Well, being unconventional just means that you are more proactive, as against waiting for a role to come up. You would be amazed an employer might carve out a role just for you if you can pitch your worth to them.
Q5. Do you think we have to rewrite the rules of engagement when it comes to deciding on job search strategies?
Answer: I think both strategies work hand in hand. You need to be proactive
Q6. Please share with us an exciting experience in the use of unconventional job search strategies.
Answer: I had this experience where I had already hired for a role when someone approached me with example of work done exactly meeting my need. I ended up inviting her for an interview and figuring out how to bring her in even though she had not even applied for the job.
Q7. Will you advise jobseekers to disregard traditional job seeking strategies altogether?
Answer: No. Blend them , it’s a quicker way to find your dream job.
Q8. Do you think fresh graduates are exploring the full prospect of unconventional job search strategies?
Answer: I doubt it. I think creativity is needed. I have seen a social media person who created a successful #getmehired online campaign. The campaign was to ensure their dream company noticed them and they did.
Q9. How do we get fresh graduates to explore the full potential of their unconventional job search strategy?
Answer: Well I supposed just sharing examples of what can be done is important
Q10. What do you think about the current situation where people create videos spelling out their experiences?
Answer: It is fantastic. Yes do it, as long as it is done well
Q11. Are GH companies open to allowing students help solve their challenges through their project/research works?
Answer: Not everyone is .But there are some. Again, you have to pitch it well.
Q12. Most company heads are low tech baby boomers. Don’t u think using these unconventional strategies could mean disaster?
Answer: Not at all. Understand that unconventional is not only digital
Q13. In this day of Linkedin, FB, snapchat etc which contain our life details, isn’t the CV an outdated piece of paper?
Answer: A CV has become more than a Paper. Yes, you have to use all tools available to stand out.
Q14. Is it okay then to walk to a company, introduce yourself with your qualifications & ask if they have challenges you could help with?
Answer: Yes, but it most likely you will be ignored so you have to do the digging yourself, find out their pain point and present the solutions to them. Check out their website, Check out Linkedin to see if there are any company executives you can connect to.
Q16. What would you term as the right internship for a student in university?
Answer: Find internship that gives you responsibility. You are most likely to find one in a smaller company than a big one.
Q17. Any final words for job seekers?
Answer: Be creative. Getting a job is not about getting lucky. It is about proving competency and potential.
ABOUT ETHEL COFIE:
Ethel Cofie is CEO and Founder of EDEL Technology Consulting (An IT Consulting and Digital Products Company in West Africa and Europe) and Founder of Women in Tech Africa , Africa’s largest women in tech group with members in over 30 Africa countries and physical chapter in Ghana ,Kenya and London and growing .
She is Mandela Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders initiative (YALI) and a High caliber IT Professional with a wealth of technical and commercial skills acquired across a wide range of demanding roles and Over 12 years’ experience working in the UK ,Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone on projects for organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Mobile Technology for Health project, , the Ford Foundation’s Election Monitoring project for Nigeria and as Head of Commercial Solutions for Vodafone conceptualizing, executing and working with teams to align Corporate strategy to IT strategy and to develop and manage creative technology solutions,
She has been featured in BBC and CNN for work in technology and women leadership
She also sits on numerous boards of numerous companies in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa and has ambitions to grow EDEL Technology Consulting to the whole of Africa .