In the last couple of weeks, I have reviewed hundreds of applications for internships and full-time roles. The number of young men and women looking for work is overwhelming. Sadly, the slots available are very few and highly competitive.
As I reflected over the quality of applications, I decided to group them in the following five categories:
She applies for any job or position that is available. The advert clearly states the academic and experience needed and Suzie applies. She will not bother reading or understanding what the role is looking for, she will just apply for the sake of it. The application will be so scanty that after reading it, the hiring manager gets really upset because they wasted valuable time they would have used to give to another applicant. Suzie’s application ends up in the trash.
This is the type of applicant who gets cut off because he does not know how to showcase what they can do or the skills they have. Modest John only mentions what they have done very briefly i.e. worked at the Kenya News Agency and nothing concrete to grab my attention. Others attach links. One link is OK, but 10 links is a no-no. Trust me, no one has time to look through 10 links. Sadly, the hiring manager has nothing much to work with. Depending on the number of applications available, the hiring manager can either keep the application on ice or move on to the next. John will be lucky if his application gets a second look.
Jane simply refuses to think or even make an attempt. She is either afraid to be wrong or are just lazy! You ask her a simple logic question. She will either Google the answer or just give an answer without an explanation. The most hilarious (sadly) is when Jane comes up with a long list of creative excuses citing why it is IMPOSSIBLE to answer the questions or get the task done. As a hiring manager, you know what to expect with Jane. The application is trashed.
This is what I call raw talent. Edward is pleasant, you can smell his ambition from a mile away. The first thing he does when he arrives in the interview room is shaking the hands of his interviewees. His smile and confidence warm the room. Edward has been dreaming of a career in the organisation. He has even brought evidence from his childhood days. You can tell he is very hungry to learn, he just wants a chance. When he subjected to a practical exam, you can see Edward thinks. Pheux!! He thinks out of the box, he challenges the conventional. Although he has little experience, you can spot a diamond in the rough. Even before he exits the room, the interviews all agree Edward is in!!!!
This is the type of person who is so/so. You are not so sure where to place her. While Angela impresses in the practical test, her oral test is not exactly there. Her answers are very brief. When you press her, you can see she gets nervous. When you ask her about general knowledge, she brightens up. You can see what topics excite her. But then there is something missing. You put her on ice as you wait to interview other applicants.
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