Help make hiring you easier! - By Strive Masiyiwa

#JobsMatter (Part 3)

I always appreciate reading your comments, and one of my favorite quotes from last time (by Steve Jobs shared by Desmond) was: "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do."

Entrepreneurs need to find and hire lots of smart people, as their business(es) grow. Nearly no one is an entrepreneur his or her whole career. Most of us start by someone first taking a chance and hiring us, as an untested, unknown employee with a very, very short CV. (Maybe the only thing on it is our education, including what we did at school other than study, volunteer activities or sports, plus our contact details!)

That's okay. Like I wrote a few weeks ago: Every single lion in the history of the world starts out as a cub... and with a CV with very little meat on it!

Now I'm not going to write at length about how to do a CV. There are lots of materials you can Google. Here are just a few observations:

__Your CV is part of your personal branding!

The format, length and content will vary, depending on your country, industry, and where you are in your career so far. It's your job to check out the industry standard. One basic thing I will say which should go without saying: Make sure your CV looks nice and does not have typos. You really don't want to send your job opportunities to the dustbin before someone even thinks about meeting you!

If you can't market yourself with attention to detail on your own CV, why in the world would someone entrust any part of their business operations to you?

Also make sure you take the time to tailor the CV for the job you're hoping to secure. Read the job description and help them see that you have exactly (or nearly) what it takes. Don't just send the identical CV to everyone. To do that is just lazy! Do you research. Don't waste their time, or your own. And always be honest. You are who you are. Don't make up things.

Your cover letter: by now you know this one-pager must set you apart from the crowd, no matter where you are in your career. Short and to the point is best, but also be unique. Why you?

__Going through 1000s of CVs, why should someone be excited about, and remember, yours?

If you're early in your career, take heart that Experience plus Skills and Knowledge, are not the whole package people shop for... Even if you're straight out of the starting gate, you could have a lot more to offer than you know, from your sport or other non-work experiences:

# Honesty/ethics
# Punctuality
# Enthusiasm
# Communications skills
# Organizational skills
# Persistence
# Focus 
# Flexibility
# Good team player and/or leader
# Creative problem solving
# Attention to detail

Wow, you say? Yes, it's a long list. And as I mentioned in my Town Halls a few weeks ago, you must know how to learn, or learn how to learn... By now I don't need to tell you why.

As someone always on the lookout for talent, it's wonderful when I discover someone new, even occasionally with only a short track record. Sometimes you just sense confidence, creativity and smarts and you know that person is going somewhere!

Whether an employer or (aspiring) employee, what do YOU look for? What's the best advice you've given or heard from others?

To be continued. . .

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User's Comments:

Strive masiyiwa

Reflection: When the Patriarch Abraham approached a man who owned a piece of land on which he wanted to bury his beloved wife Sarah, the man offered the land to him as a free gift. Abraham politely declined and implored the man to accept money for it. Have you ever wondered “why”? [this is not a religious question; it’s an eternal life lesson question.] Be careful what you rush to accept as a “free” gift. Of a truth a wise person is one who (amongst other things) does not always want to get things for free, particularly if they are the most valuable things in life. When did you last insist on paying for something that had been offered to you for free? If you cannot remember, perhaps there is a something you need to fix... (just a little advice for you to reflect on from an old friend).

Dec. 8, 2017, 10:01 a.m. Reply
Strive masiyiwa

An interesting two weeks ahead! I just got back to London from Morocco, and Dubai. On Tuesday I head to SF for a board meeting which will also include a Town Hall at Stanford University which we will broadcast live on FB, and also show footage on Kwese Inc. Then I turn around and head to China, South Korea, Egypt, and Ethiopia... Even though the elephant does not complain about the weight of its tusks, I will need some rest when I get back, so we have moved the Town Halls to complete the selection of the two Interns to sometime in January.

Dec. 8, 2017, 10:02 a.m. Reply
Strive masiyiwa

Afterthought . Looking back at our businesses over the last 30 years, what always astounds me is just how smart the young people joining us (today) are! Let me tell you, we have some smart young people in our organizations. What excites me even more is how entrepreneurial they all are. This did not happen by accident; it's because long ago I came to the realization that this is what makes companies like Microsoft, Apple, and IBM the great companies they are.

Dec. 8, 2017, 10:03 a.m. Reply
Strive masiyiwa

Afterthought . Here's an article where they list what they think will be the 10 most sought-after job sectors in Africa in the near future. Do you think they are missing any important ones?

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