Corpers' Lodge

How to Use NYSC to Boost Your Employability

Y’all should read this. Adesegun Damazio has some real good advice:
“Remember the post I made some weeks ago about how LinkedIn networking/connections could land you a good job?
Well, it turns out Nicky Ojiulor applied the methods I listed in the post by first setting up a linkedin account and getting a job two weeks afterwards. Boy! I was really excited to read her revelation and might have probably missed the amazing news if she hadn’t tagged me in the post.
Now, I’d like to share more tips for those who might be interested and this time, I intend introduce a hands-on approach, one for corpers and the other for general use..
First of all, if you (a corper) have been posted to what many will consider to be a non-beneficial PPA, then you have every reason to restrategise. It’s true that NYSC is the year you mandatorily go through the travails of what has become a largely decadent labour force but how about you spend that period acquiring industrial skills that would be of huge benefit to your personal and professional development?
If you have been posted to an irrelevant PPA in any of the industrialized or economically viable states, then you owe it to yourself to try out the following:
– scout for credible organizations in your locality or nearest local government. It doesn’t have to be a big company. As long as their activities remotely or significantly align with your career goals, then they might be your best option for the NYSC year.
– Introduce yourself to them and let them know you would like to spend your NYSC year working and learning at their organization. Depending on your manner of approach, you might be asked to resume almost immediately or “wait till they get back to you”. But in most cases, organizations readily accept corpers, especially when they know you’re willing to work for free. If I plan to venture into the corporate sector but have been posted to teach at a primary school, you can rest assured I’ll dump that school (and the meagre salary) and take up a position at a more career-relevant organization FREE OF CHARGE. Your opinion might be different from mine but trust me, relevant experience has become gold for Nigerian graduates.
– Ask to be given an acceptance letter. Collect it and say a profound THANK YOU.
– Then go to your original PPA and explain why you intend to forge ahead to a place where you will be better suited and motivated to work. Once that is done, they will give you or you will have to ask them for a rejection letter. Be nice about it. Then say THANK YOU again.
– Take the rejection letter from the old PPA and acceptance letter from the new PPA to the NYSC secretariat and ask them to issue you a new posting letter to the new PPA. Without the new posting letter, it’ll be officially recorded that you served at the old PPA, a notion which could scuttle your professional records in future.
– Once you get the new posting letter, say THANK YOU again and go ahead to prosper at the new PPA. At the end of your service years, either of two things will happen; the new PPA could decide to retain you by offering you full employment, or the experience garnered therefrom could place you in a more employable position than your peers who spent the entire service year doing absolutely nothing relevant at their own PPAs.
– if however you’re unable to leave your current PPA, invest your free time in learning professional skills. Take online courses or register for certified courses in your locality. For more ideas on this, open the link in the first comment on this post.
Another purposeful approach to boosting one’s employability is by developing a personal brand marketing pitch which could consequently be forwarded to potential/preferred recruiters. What this simply means is that though you know the company isn’t hiring, your brand presentation could endear you to them and subsequently prompt them to eke out a position for you.
Please follow these steps;
– kindly read the post I referenced at the beginning of this article to learn a little about LinkedIn networking as applicable to the Nigerian clime.
– When that has been done, pen down the names of HR managers and other top execs of companies you’d like to work at. Then visit their company websites to see the email addresses listed up there. If they have a career page, it makes it easier.
– Send them a pitch deck (via LinkedIn inbox or company email address) stating your value proposition to their company. People send CVs/resumes all the time but have you ever imagined how many CVs those people peruse everyday? So, the last thing you want to do is send them another CV, especially when they’re not hiring. Hence, it’ll be nice if they saw something new – like a short and attractive powerpointpresentation for example.
– To make this easier, I have compiled a short deck using advanced Microsoft powerpoint tools. This deck contains editable texts and images/icons that can be used freely by you. In addition, you can delete, drag, crop and edit the images and texts therein. Just click on anything you see in the PPT and do whatever you want to it. I would have made it more comprehensive but fear some people will overdo it by sending a laboriously long presentation to innocent HR Managers and top execs. So, make do with what I’ve developed. Just edit the necessary parts, proof-read it extensively (you have the weekend for that).
– Send it to the specific contacts starting from next Monday. Remember to send it to as many companies/contacts as possible but have a disciplined strategy. You are to send it to 3 – 5 locations every week until you get a positive response. SEND THE DOCUMENT IN PDF to prevent auto-format errors common to MS Office tools. For example, if the recipient views the document on a different MS Office version, it could distort the arrangement and falsely present you as an untidy candidate. But with PDF, there’s almost zero risk incurred.
– Most importantly, tell them THANK YOU for granting you the audience. I don’t care what it is, just say THANK YOU.
– Also, I’ve drafted a CV sample for those who might be needing it.
So, if you’re interested in having these sent to you, kindly comment your email addresses or if you don’t feel comfortable putting it out here, send it as a DM. I’ll send the two files in batches and at two or three-hour intervals just so I can cover many email addresses at once. Don’t worry, I’ll blind-copy everybody. That way, nobody gets to see another recipient’s email. That’s a reminder that you also need to learn email techniques.
And try not to ask me too many questions in the DM please, consider other people who might be needing my attention too.
The aforementioned points may not directly land you a job but it boosts of chances of getting the attention of the right people. If you get invited to an interview as a result, then the rest is up to you.
That’s all I have for now. I just hope it works for you guys somehow. I pray it does.
God willing, it will.
Your time will come.”

I am a Nigerian graduate documenting the perks and pains of being a graduate without long leg in Nigeria; while also contributing her quota to make the world a better place. Lets be friends on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You'll find me there as Naijafreshgraduate.

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