5 tips for applying to a tech company, having reviewed over 1000 CVs in the past month

by | Sep 21, 2018

During a recent recruitment exercise for Techpoint.africa, I had a major challenge on my hands. We advertised for job openings and over 1000 candidates applied for 2 slots!

The CVs were staring me in the face and here I was, armed with my first criteria for elimination — applicants must live close to the office.

I was bent on not looking at CVs from far away applicants. I was not ready to make a colleague suffer the traffic situation of this city plus in the long run, this would bounce back on me when said employee starts coming late and management starts pulling my skirt in turn.

Now to the 1000 + CVs, I found a way to start looking through and trust me elimination was not as difficult as I envisaged.

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Some already disqualified themselves just by virtue of the email they sent which will lead us to 5 things you should never do when applying for a job in a tech company, or anywhere else.

1. Never disqualify yourself

One of the very first requirements was to stay close to the office and I wanted to follow this to the letter by filtering candidates based on this criteria. But lo and behold, I gave some exceptions to outstanding CVs. Regardless of this, I still got wounded as these same people did not respond to my email within the stipulated time; some are yet to respond till today.

For every job role you are qualified for, do not get discouraged to apply, fate can smile on you regardless, be confident and give it a shot.

2. E-mail etiquette is important

email marketing

Hello, this is a job application not a mail to your paddy paddy!

I got emails that were forwarded over and over with the thread of previous emails eyeing me from the corner. I could almost not believe my eyes.

If candidates do not know better, how do you employ such who will send in-house email threads to third parties?

Another trend was forwarded CVs without a word in the body of the email. This tells me this person is just too lazy to type and I also become too lazy to open your CV. Pass!

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3. Do not edit your CV per role!

I can not over stress this point as a lot of people are guilty of this. I got those kind of CVs and they came with telltale signs right in the body of the email.

What I basically mean is that do not edit your CV to become qualified for every single role advertised, particularly when some of the ‘experience’ is even fabricated. For example, when your CV is titled for a different unrelated role and all the experience is tailored to the job you are applying to, this shows something is not adding up.

Your experience remains yours, do not, rearrange or tweak titles just because you want to look good to the hiring manager.

The antidote is to have a clear career path and not just apply for any type of job you see. Once you know what you want, build experience and your CV along this path which gives you better chances.

4. No tales of woes at the interview

Please do not base all your answers on only the last work experience, it’s like channelling every conversation with your potential lover to everything that went wrong, or even right, with your ex.

Get creative during the interview and you can be the one drilling your interviewer, rather than getting boxed in a corner where the only thing to talk about is the former job.

5. Do not be ignorant

Confused Black Woman

Do your due diligence before showing up at the interview. You can not be caught off guard as regards questions about the company. Read about them online, make your findings and if there is any grey area, just turn the tables around and start questioning your interviewer.

Be tech savvy, how do you intend to get a job in a technology-driven company if you can not use basic online tools appropriately?

The gap

On a final note, I never believed the gist going round about Nigerian graduates being unemployable. However this past month definitely modified my thinking and I can boldly say that a sizeable chunk of Nigerian graduates are unemployable.

Beyond getting jobs, there is a huge responsibility on every graduate to step up their game and explore several means to educate themselves, particularly using online resources.

HR companies and training facilities should also step into the gap and meet a need to educate and train graduates on the right things and perspective towards getting employed. If all players can play their part, then getting the right hire will not be such an herculean task.

Oluwabunmi Akinyemi
Oluwabunmi Akinyemi

Optimist – I believe in possibilities . Travel enthusiast. Interested in building global brands

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

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