How to Get the Job: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to get the job

Getting a job is hard. There are so many things you need to do, and it can be overwhelming. You don’t know where to start, what to do first or how long it will take. And even if you get an interview, how can you make sure that you stand out from the crowd? 

You might be feeling down about your chances or lack of experience in the industry when it comes to getting hired for that perfect position. But don’t worry; there are things you can do to increase the odds that you will get the job. Like any other professional, you need good resume writing skills, excellent qualifications, and confidence when talking with employers – but what else? Well, here are some insider tips on how to get the job.

Make a list of job openings

It is hard to get a job in a competitive job market, but that is expected. On average, it takes about 7 months to find the job you want. If you get a head start and know what kind of position you want, it can be easier to get hired for that specific job.

Begin by compiling a list of people to contact about job hunting. You can browse the many job search engines to find companies online and also look through local business listings to find potential employers. You can also use a professional network like Umwuga or LinkedIn to create profiles and search for leads.

Woman looking for jobs in the newspaper

Once you have the correct information, you can start researching job openings in your field. You may find many job openings in one company or similar job openings in several companies. You should thoroughly research the job description to see if it is something you are interested in. Determine what experience and skills would make a person the best fit for the job and what would set them apart from other candidates. 

After you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, it’s time to draft your resume and application letter before reaching out to hiring managers directly with inquiries about their current openings. Never be afraid to contact someone by phone or email. 

Landing a job requires hard work and dedication. This is why you should make sure the position that you are offered matches your requirements. This is not a job but a career. Be prepared to work hard while also having fun! 

Make a great first impression

A CV or resume is an excellent tool for connecting with potential employers. If you want to be noticed by employers, make your application stand out by including a cover letter that highlights why you’re the right person for the job. 

Employers only spend an average of six seconds reading each document. Make sure that each sentence counts. This isn’t much time, and employers only read each cover letter once. 

Woman getting a job interview

You should aim for your letter to be four paragraphs long. You want someone to be intrigued enough by what they’ve read to contact you and set up a job interview. It should also include specific information such as why you want the job and what relevant skills you have for the job. Include any work experience that can help you stand out from other applicants with similar qualifications.

While preparing these documents, try to imagine yourself speaking directly with the hiring manager. This is good for when you need to say things that are clear and understandable.

According to studies, being professional in the first few minutes of a job interview is critical. Sixty per cent (60%) of managers believe that how you dress can affect your employability. Thirty-three per cent (33%) of bosses say they can tell if they will hire someone within 90 seconds.

Highlight your transferable skills

One of the most effective ways to stand out in today’s competitive job market is to highlight your transferable skills. Employers are searching for these skills in all sectors. Communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking are three examples of abilities.

A resume should not be more than one page long, with plenty of white space. Include no unnecessary information that could jeopardise your ability to sell yourself as a potential candidate. Your resume mustn’t have too many sections. As previously stated, hiring managers only have six seconds to review each resume and decide whether or not to invite you to an interview. 

If you don’t enjoy writing, consider hiring an expert in this field to assist you. Make sure your resume stands out among the other things on a hiring manager’s desk by emphasising the most essential information. 

A solid alternative to a resume is an online professional profile or a portfolio – basically a digital version of your resume. This is an excellent option for job seekers who want to get their experience and skillset out there but don’t have the time or knowledge necessary to create a fantastic resume. Social networks like Umwuga can help you make an outstanding profile in minutes.

Tell an interesting story

Don’t be afraid to be creative when writing cover letters or attending interviews. The stories you tell should emphasise why you’re the best candidate for the job. 

A compelling story can be an excellent way to accomplish this. It will pique their interest and make them want more, just like a good novel. For example, if you’re applying for a hairstylist job, tell them how you became interested in beautiful hairstyles. Telling an engaging story is an excellent way to leave a lasting impression on the employer or hiring manager. 

Cheerful women having conversation during an interview

Your professional profile is typically the first impression potential employers have of you. In contrast, your second impression may be much more powerful – your interview.

Use great stories to tell the interviewer something interesting about yourself and why you enjoy what you do. Although it is important not to tell too many stories, a single good one can sometimes suffice. 

Consider how your previous job experiences have helped you. This will help you to think about the influence they have on you now. You might discuss the principles they taught you or how they affected your life.

This may appear to be merely decorative, but it will work much better in catching the attention of hiring managers. They will be interested in what your cover letter has to say, and if they are, they will want to learn more.

Clean up your social media profiles

In today’s highly connected world, social networks are increasingly important. In fact, a significant number of employers now use them to get the information they need about potential candidates.

If you have anything on your profile that is not suitable for work or doesn’t portray you in a positive light – take it down immediately. This may be as simple as removing the photos of you drinking at a party or as severe as deleting your entire account. You should remove all inappropriate and unprofessional posts, images, tweets, and other content. You may consider your personal life to be none of anybody else’s business. Still, in the eyes of potential employers, this can jeopardise your chances of landing a great job. 

Cleaning up your social media profiles will set you apart from other candidates by removing any public information that may get you into trouble. So, before applying for a new job, spin everything in a good light.

For job seekers, a professional Umwuga or LinkedIn profile is essential. Check whether your profile is up to date and that any relevant work experience has been included. The following section is vital for your professional profiles.

Collect as many references as you can

Hiring managers will notice you if you have recommendations from previous employers. Make sure you have as many as possible to demonstrate your abilities and make you a great candidate. 

Performance reviews and recommendations can elevate your profile; they vouch for you and give the hiring manager reasons why you should get the job instead of other candidates. Having good referees on your side may help get that interview off the ground quickly.

Yellow star shaped plastic toys representing a five star rating

It’s easy to request referrals by sending a quick message through Umwuga or email. This is a great way to gain positive feedback without putting people on the spot. Not only is this the best way to pique employers’ interests, but it may also provide insight into who you are from someone else’s perspective. So be sure everything that is said about you is beneficial.

Before you get an interview, prepare for it

Before you go to the interview, do your homework. Prepare by researching what to expect. This is especially true if you are interviewing for your first job with a more formal application process at a large corporation. Keep in mind that each position has its own set of requirements. Also, keep in mind that each role has different criteria, so don’t waste time thinking about improving your productivity in other areas.

This is especially crucial if your age or career history is lacking; employers will want to know why you should get the job over other candidates. That being said, don’t be discouraged by these things; there are always ways to compensate for what you lack in credentials.

Here are a few examples of questions you should ask yourself and prepare answers for: 

  • Experience: What experiences do I have that distinguish me? 
  • Skills: What abilities do I have? What are my most marketable skills? 
  • Industry: What is the culture in my industry? What makes it different from other industries?
  • Role: What qualifications do I have for this position? What qualifications and experience are required for this position? 
  • Networking: Who can I contact for job leads, references, and tips on how to ace the job interview? 
  • Career path: What does this mean for my future career? How will this assist me in advancing in my career? Stand out in the interview.

Hiring managers get a lot of applications for the same role, which is why it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd. Here are some ideas to help you stand out during the interview process.


This will give you all the information you need to interview for the job. You’ll also learn about the company’s culture, current needs, and long-term goals. You’ll find out if you are a good match and any weaknesses. Research your interviewers online or through their profiles on social networks.


If you are interviewing via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or Teams, don’t be afraid to look professional. Smart clothes show that you are serious about the job and are interested in the position. There will likely be intense competition for every job. Therefore, it is important to not rule yourself out before you say hello.

Man in black dress shirt sitting beside man in black suit jacket

Body language

Make eye contact with your interviewer, even if it is more difficult in a virtual setting. You should maintain a level posture, and your back should be straight. Do not scribble notes or scroll through the paperwork. It may be distracting even if you are trying to stay engaged and cross the details. 


It is critical to pay attention when interviewed. When you are speaking too much during an interview, a lot of potential employers get put off. Listen to what the employer is saying and reply when they have questions for you. You should think about what the interviewer asks you when you’re given a question. Interviewers get irritated when they feel a candidate is just feeding them ‘good’ answers that they found online.

Interviewers also get annoyed when they don’t get enough information for specific questions, or it seems you put little thought into the answer. For example, suppose they ask about a gap in your work history. In that case, it’s essential to be truthful and forthcoming with what you did during that period and, perhaps, how the experience added to your story.

Sell yourself

This is an essential aspect of job interviews. So you don’t get caught off guard, plan out how you would answer the question “Tell me about yourself”. The point of selling yourself is to convince the employer of why they should select you and what makes you different from everyone else applying for the same role.

Another common question is, “What are you passionate about?” This is an opportunity to talk about yourself in ways that will get them interested in hiring you. You don’t want it to come across as the typical “I am passionate about learning new things”. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, so make sure you do it well.

End your interview with a well-crafted statement that summarises who you are, what makes you stand out from the crowd, and why your abilities make you perfect for this role.


Be confident but sincere in your responses. Take the time to think through your answers and make sure they align with the company’s culture. Use examples to show how you have helped clients and coworkers in the past and how you can help the employer you are interviewing with.

Focus on listening to the interviewer’s questions and answering them in detail. Be specific about why you are qualified for this position, or the employer may get put off. Don’t get nervous if you get to the end of your interview and have not answered all their questions. You can follow up with a thank-you email or letter, but avoid calling them unless they specifically request that you do so.

Don’t negotiate money (yet)

It’s all too easy to get carried away with a new job and start fantasising about your new life. Sometimes, when you look a bit closer, it might not be as much money or as many perks as you expect. 

Businesswomen sipping coffee and using a smartphone at a table

Don’t make the mistake of attempting to bargain before you’ve been offered the job. You make it easy for employers to say no and choose someone else if you show your cards now. 

Of course, it can be beneficial in some cases, so use your best judgment when determining what will work best. Remember why you’re applying for the job in the first place – was it for the company or for the money? 

Follow up after the interview

Send an email thanking the interviewer the day after the interview and letting them know you appreciate the opportunity. You can remind them why you are interested in working for the company and clarify questions you don’t feel you answered well. This will let them know that you are excited about the opportunity and keep you on their radar.

It’s critical to keep your expectations in check. This can lead to both disappointment and success. If you don’t get the job, inquire as to why. This ensures that your feedback is not solely one-sided. What happened can still teach you something. 

Ask for feedback from your network

Once you hear back from them, hopefully, it will be with good news. At that point, you need to decide whether to accept the offer or not. You want to gather as much information as possible about the job and the offer before you choose. People often ask their networks if they know of anyone who might be able to help.

Businesswoman speaking on smartphone on street

Be careful not to get carried away. There might be things you can’t tell your family or friends. Always check with them first. Asking around on social networks to learn more about the company’s activities is a great way to learn.

You may have to consider relocating

In some cases, you will be offered a job in a distant location. This can be an exciting change of scenery. Still, there are costs of relocating that you’ll have to take into consideration.

There’s more to it than just packing your stuff and moving them around town. You might have to take on higher living expenses, as well as other costs like daily travel from A-B or childcare.

Consider how your current house would be affected if you moved. Would it be purchased by someone else? Is it likely that they will require permission to stay there?

You should also think about asking your new employer for help with moving to your new home. Some employers may be able to provide you with a resettlement package for at least a few months. This could lower the overall cost of the project.

Be prepared to do some unpaid work before you get the job

Some job interviews may also include activities for you to complete. These are used to test whether or not you’d be a good fit at the company. These tests are also used to evaluate your social abilities and how well you get along with others. 

Prepare to get your hands dirty and to work in the trenches. This is a great way to demonstrate your interest in working for them and allows the interviewer to learn more about you as a person, not just as an applicant for their position. You will gain insight into their company culture, which will help you decide if it is a good fit for you. 

Now, you can negotiate

After you’ve been offered the job, you’ll need to figure out how much you’ll be paid. Before negotiating your starting salary, you should conduct extensive research on a variety of topics. Many people accept the first wage offered to them by their employers without first researching a fair salary. Worse, they simply accept it out of fear of asking for more. 

Employers are aware of this and will use it to get you onboard for a lower salary. When they feel negotiations moving in their favour, they may even offer you a lower wage than they had planned. You’re not the first person to experience this, so seek advice from friends who have gone through the process before deciding on a starting wage. 

Here are some pointers on how to negotiate a job offer: 

  • The first step is to get a clear picture of what you will be working on. 
  • Check to see if there is a salary range. To get an idea of the salary range for the industry, look for a comparable position that pays more. 
  • Do your research and gather evidence that you are worth more. 
  • Do not negotiate until you have received the offer in writing; if they do not provide this, you should decline it anyway. 
  • Attempt to get at least 5% more than their initial offer. 

It takes a significant amount of effort to get to the point of making an offer. Once you’ve received an offer, the employer will do everything in their power to keep you. This means there’s room for negotiation if you believe in yourself and your worth is recognised. 

The keyword here is information because knowledge is power when it comes to salary negotiations. If you are unsure whether or not the company is considering other candidates during negotiations, try asking them directly without sounding too interested in working elsewhere at this time. 

Two people shaking hands

To understand your worth, here are some starter questions to get you going:

  • What is the typical first-year salary?
  • How does it stack up against the competition?
  • What are the regular pay rates for people in my position?
  • Is there a performance-based option or bonus, such as stock equity or commission programs?  

In conclusion

Finding a job is challenging, but you can take some simple steps to make it much more manageable. First and foremost, create a list of jobs that interest you and then apply for them. Make sure your resume includes all the skills transferable from one industry to another, so recruiters don’t have to go back and forth with questions about what experience you have in their specific field. The more references on hand, the better because employers want reassurance they’re hiring someone who’s qualified before investing time into an interview process. Social media profiles should also be kept up-to-date or removed altogether if possible; don’t risk allowing something on Facebook or Twitter to come back later as reasons you did not get the job.

Remember, don’t make rash decisions when it comes to negotiating salary or benefits until you’ve had an in-person interview, and always follow up. If there are any questions we didn’t answer here, feel free to reach out anytime. We’re happy to help connect you with all of the resources and people that will get you closer than ever before to achieving your goals.

This is not a job; it’s an adventure. If you’re ready to begin your next job adventure, sign up to Umwuga for free today.

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