May 4th, 2021


Before Covid rocked our world, the unemployment rate in Kenya stood at 2.64% and this became worse after covid to 2.65% in 2020.

Higher unemployment rate means for every job vacancy announced by a company the number of applications expected are way higher than normal to the tune of thousands. This leaves the hiring team overwhelmed by this number and usually have less time to read through your cv to determine if you are the right candidate for the job.

As a matter of fact, research shows that the hiring team would spend at most 6 seconds with your cv to decide if or not to invite you for an interview. Think of it like the first impression, you never get the opportunity twice.

So, how can you increase your chances of getting that call for an interview?

Apply Early, as soon as you get the call for applications.

Some organizations would start screening applications on a rolling bases. This means they don’t wait for the due date to start screening all the applications. If your application is screened early on, chances are they will spend more time with your cv and that could increase your chances of getting that interview. Other positions require filling urgently which means the hiring organization has time constraints and is desperate to fill the position.

Be Brief

As much as this is your time to shine and show how cool you are, keep in mind the recruiter has more than 1000 candidates to screen. They are human and will get tired and will look for the slightest excuse to skip your cv and throw it in the recycle bin. Be brief, precise and relevant. That way within the 6 sec they have your strengths that are relevant to the job position will be noticed.

Include Your Skills

All your competitors have same or even higher qualifications than you have so the only thing that can differentiate you is your key skills that are relevant to the job. Tweak this to suit every job you apply.  Show off!

Beat the System to your advantage

The end game of the recruiter is to fill the vacant position and probably save himself/herself time and resources that comes with the demands of the hiring process. It would be very interesting to see candidates who are clever to break the norm to get the attention.  EG

Getting my third job required me to be smart, instead of applying through the indicated channel, I googled the company and happened to get the email of the hiring manager. I wrote an application directly to her. Guess what, I got an interview invitation the same day.  

Please note this method does not apply to all companies. Don’t try this with established organizations such as banks. It would work well with SMES.


All the best in your job hunting. Remember to be smart!

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