Why is it so hard to find a job in Tanzania?
The reality is that there are many people applying for the few available positions.
In fact, the average job position receives over 100 applicants. Moreover, data collected by Trading Economics found that unemployment rate is above 10%, and the youth unemployment rate is even higher – averaging 13.7 % in 2014. So, it’s fair to say that looking for a job in Tanzania can be quite discouraging.
But here’s the thing, the people that do land their dream jobs and awesome positions at great companies, have a quality that many job seekers in Tanzania (and the world) haven’t developed – initiative.
These successful people don’t wait to be chosen from a pool of unknown applicants. Instead, they do what it takes to stand out at every step of the job application process, including when looking for a job. Luckily, initiative is a quality and skill we can all develop, especially in the job search process. In addition to the popular method of finding a job:
Going on ZoomTanzania > Seeing what’s available > Applying > Waiting for a response
There are other steps you can take that will help you discover more job openings, and be considered for more positions.
And so, if you are looking for a job here are 3 important job search tips that you should use to help you get employed quickly.
While social media and the Internet in general are great information resources for job seekers, LinkedIn in particular is a critical tool for all professionals seeking employment. However, LinkedIn is still not properly utilized and understood in Tanzania. Too many people use it as another form of Facebook, where they connect with people they think are impressive (on the professional front) and post about their day to day activities.
Instead, professionals should treat LinkedIn as their public resume. They should use the sites search features and groups to find and communicate with other professionals in industries, companies and jobs that they want to be in.
Moreover, more and more companies are using LinkedIn to recruit employees, so making sure your profile is complete and professional will increase the chances of potential employers finding you.
Quick Tips for LinkedIn include:
- Complete your profile
- Have a visible quarter to half body picture of yourself
- When connecting with people you don’t know, always write them a personal introductory message
- Make it a habit to post professional and/or industry related news and updates twice a week and comment on other people’s posts
- If you are trying to build a name for yourself, consider writing and publishing LinkedIn articles at least once a month (they should be relevant to your career, industry and professional life)
2. Improve your skills
When you consistently see job openings for positions that you have 75% of the skills for, what do you do?
Job seekers with initiative will take the time to learn the 25% of the skills that they don’t have.
Most job seekers are so concerned with finding a job, that they forget to make themselves more employable. Following industry blogs, reading online articles and even taking online courses on new trends and techniques will increase your chances of getting a job.
One particular skill that many Tanzanian job seekers can improve is written and verbal English. Investing in English language courses will give you access to jobs you weren’t qualified for beforehand.
And if you get an interview, tell your employers you are self taught – this will show initiative and that you really want the job.
Moreover, in addition to acquiring more knowledge, getting certain certifications will make you stand out as a job candidate. For instance, the AMCAT is an internationally renowned employability assessment that demonstrates your value to potential employers. It tests for:
- Proficient English and communication skills
- Logical and analytical thinking abilities
- Job-related expertise
- Compatible personalities with job demands and company culture
So, doing well on the AMCAT will illustrate to potential employers that you are a qualified candidate.
3. Network not nepotism:
So, how do they get filled? Well through referrals of course!
However, this by no circumstance gives you the right to practice the behavior of nepotism. Nepotism refers to the act of offering jobs to friends and family who may not be qualified candidates. Instead, use your network of family, friends, peers, and online contacts to advocate for yourself, so that when a job opening you are qualified for does come up – you are the person they call.
- Let the peers, college classmates, friends, relevant family members and old employers know that that you are looking for a job, what type of job and your set of qualifications.
- If you know people in certain companies, send them your resume and ask them to let you know if anything comes up.
- Offer to do pro-bono or freelance work, and ask the employer to put in a good word for you in their own networks.
Initiative will take you far in the job search
Once again, many of us know how hard it is to find a job in Tanzania. And while the traditional process works for some, it’s those that take initiative that don’t just land a job but get the job they want.
So take a break from applying to all those jobs, and ask yourself: How can I become more employable? Have I done all that I can to get this job? What can I do to become the best candidate?
Once you’ve thought about it, consider taking the AMCAT and significantly improve your chances of getting a job.