How to clinch the top job

Have you been hunting for a job throughout this year? The end of the year is just a stone throw away and, maybe, you have not been lucky. At the level of schools, this is the time interviews are held in search for new teachers for the new academic year.

Have you been hunting for a job throughout this year? The end of the year is just a stone throw away and, maybe, you have not been lucky.

At the level of schools, this is the time interviews are held in search for new teachers for the new academic year.

It is amazing how many teachers fail to get appointments because of not satisfying the employers’ needs. This, then, raises the big question; what do employers look for in potential employees?

To begin with, if you want to teach in Rwanda, you have to be fluent in English because all instruction is done in English as will the National examinations.

Secondly, you have to understand the subject matter. This is the so called mastery of content in the education circles. If you have a very impressive resume without solid knowledge of what you are trained to do, then you are out. If you are preparing for an interview in a school, be ready write examinations to test your knowledge of the subject that you want to teach. And if you are going to score 60 percent, when students in the class get 90 percent, then you are doomed.  Teachers must be academically better than their students.

Moreover, if you are the type that walks to a school and borrows a piece of paper from the secretary to draft a resume in a poor handwriting before handing it in, then forget about a job in an organized school. A résumé is a person’s billboard—a reflection of the applicant in the eyes of the reader. Nobody can read a dull billboard. You have to type your résumé nicely and print it on a clean paper if you want it to stand out of a stack and be read.

Some of the several skills that any employer will lookout for include:

Ability to work well with others: It is important because we spend a lot of time at work; there is nothing worse than someone who cannot get along with others. It’s so important and involves being helpful, understanding the unwritten rules, being respectful, reliable and competent.

Relevant work experience. It’s important because experience levels generally allow a person to hit the ground running without a lot of hand-holding. Managers do not have time to mentor and train people as in the past.

Creative problem-solving skills. Employers know that in business, the chessboard changes daily. As soon as we think all is fine, the economy changes or the competition makes a surprise move and the company’s own strategy must change. A person who gets locked into a set way of doing things finds it difficult or impossible to adjust is a drag on the business as opposed to an asset for it.

Multi-taskers who thrive on variety of projects. Business today moves at supersonic speed, and effectively managing a variety of different projects simultaneously is essential. If an individual demonstrates a passion for learning new things and enjoys a variety of work, chances are she/he is also ambitious and inquisitive -- two qualities that are critical to success and advancement.

Therefore, proving to be an asset to an organization is very key toward getting an appointment.

znyamosi@yahoo.com

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