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Monday, October 2, 2023

Navigating the peculiar unemployment terain: CV writing problem, or job shortage? A South African Expert shared perspective


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No doubt, the demand for CV review has been rising in recent time that many industries have emerged in response and offer many valuable insight. But the issue that continues to general interest is whether it CV review was the problem or the Labour Market. A Nigerian based South African expert, Ayo Oladejo shared his perspectives and offered suggestion on way forward, reports Isqil Najim.

I see some people dragging the CV writing industry. Arguments on both sides of the divide. But we need to ask ourselves the right question. Do we have a CV writing problem or is it a job scarcity problem? Might it be a candidate quality problem?

It is not news that there is a job scarcity problem. But again, we can segment job scarcity. Sadly in Nigeria, there is job scarcity in every layer of the society from entry level to senior positions. Why are jobs scarce? The economy has tanked and other reasons.

There is a shift in the kind of jobs available due to ongoing digitization across many industries. Software helping us to change ways of working will keep destroying traditional jobs. But then, it creates new kinds of jobs. Sadly, in Africa, we are behind in developing skills.

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This problem is truly affecting the entry level positions more than others. I recall when I first moved to South Africa, tellers in banks were high school cert holders. Unlike Nigeria where tellers had degrees. CV writing was also not a thing back then in South Africa.

Today, university graduates are fighting for the same jobs school cert holders easily got about 13 years ago in South Africa. And there are now many CV writing businesses in South Africa. Why? Jobs became scarce and more competitive. Also, blue-collar jobs have been reduced quite a lot.

But there is something that I have noticed. Jobs like software development, solution architecture, enterprise architecture, business analysis, project management, data science and analysis etc are available for highly skilled people. But the roles are not easily filled.

Today, university graduates are fighting for the same jobs school cert holders easily got about 13 years ago

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Simply because people either don’t have the skills or are not experienced enough. And so, the more traditional careers have insane competitions and this is where CV writers make a killing. Think about it, many developers get jobs with GitHub profiles and referrals, not great CVs.

In Nigeria, it is even worse. But with great skills, remote job opportunities have opened up. The local market still needs certain skills too. And that brings me to a more focused look at the quality of candidate issues amongst entry levels.

I am bold to say that instead of concentrating on helping entry levels with killer CVs, why not help them improve their storytelling abilities? This way, they will be able to write their CV and when they get the jobs, they can tell a great story with PowerPoint and write emails.

Have you seen how people can’t write great emails? Have you seen how they cannot present ideas? This is where sustainable business resides. Just putting cvs together is not a systemic solution. There is much more needed. I saw Suraj Oyewole @Jarushub thread about the CV writings.

He talked about Victor Cheng and his CV writing business. But we must mention that he provides much more than that. I doubt you will go through McKinsey, Bain etc interviews without using his consulting interview prep materials. He teaches case interviews, a complex thing.

the more traditional careers have insane competitions and this is where CV writers make a killing

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His CV service is just a part of the bigger picture. Even if you don’t get a consulting role, you will understand case problem-solving. So, my challenge to CV writers is to dig deeper and repackage their services to truly help new graduates.

For more senior roles. These jobs are mostly gotten via referrals. And if you cannot tell your stories properly at that level, I am a bit worried for you. Every senior person must do better in this case. Pay someone to structure the CV but you will still provide the story.

As I am concluding this piece, The number of jobs available will not increase by writing great CVs. If people also don’t have the right skills, they will still perform woefully in the role. I believe CV writing company also offer personal development courses, great.

My challenge to every mid-senior level professionals in Nigeria, South Africa etc is that we have to develop new graduates to help them with relevant skills. We owe it to the next generation. I have done similar in the past with Databreed.io. I hope to pick it up again.

Databreed – Building Data Analyst Scientists Databreed – Building Data Analyst Scientistshttp://Databreed.io

I also want to do something in practical enterprise architecture, project management, digital transformation etc. And I also feel we can even start with foundational things like problem-solving, communication etc. When I have a breather, this will be done.

Ayobami Oladejo tweet from @ayooladejo

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