Your Jobsearch Backpack – A Succinct Guide For Recent Graduates/Jobseekers

Your Jobsearch Backpack – A Succinct Guide For Recent Graduates/Jobseekers

According to popular LinkedIn Job Search Specialist Kirsty Bonner, a young graduate’s first “volunteer 9-5 job” is SEARCHING for a job”.

There is nothing strange in being the guy who is so busy searching for a job. It is a phase in Life. Along the line in reaching for success, comes a time of transition and that is where you have just arrived. You could be a creative, an ordinary recent graduate or a person who is in search of a different career opportunity, the jobsearch adventure just provides that period of transition to a job of your dreams and a life of fulfilment. So it is all just perfectly normal to set out on a very good day in search of any job of interest which will in turn put food on your table.

This article is intended to introduce a jobseeker to the necessary papers, documents and approaches needed to excel in a typical job search scenario. These points were carefully made for modern day job search most of which are electronic. Although not exhaustive, these bullet points will be very much handy for recent graduates and NYSC members whose next target will be landing a job and becoming self-reliant or at least something similar. Modern day jobsearch is mostly Electronic and in some cases manual except in a typical documentation process where most of the processes are basically manual. There are certain practices and documents which a jobseeker must be conversant with in order to excel in the quest of jobsearch.

This writeup depicts job search as a process similar to hiking. In a typical hiking adventure, a ‘hiker’ will most likely carry a backpack. This backpack will contain all he needs to succeed in his quest. So as a jobseeker, what should be contained in your backpack?

Here we go, “The jobseekers backpack.


Your CV(curriculum vitae) is your ticket to reach a company. It is your “image” portrayed in your absence. A record of who you are, what you can do, what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved. These might be arranged in no particular order but most safely arranged as follows:

  • 1. Name, contact details
  • 2. Personal Information(optional)
  • 3. Personal Statement
  • 4. Experience
  • 5. Educational Background/Achievements
  • 6. Hobbies
  • 7. References

Although, these could be rearranged depending on the level of employment or achievement but for “Entry Level” jobs, the arrangement above is the basic.

Your CV should be well organised and in multiple according to your career interests. Take care of ATS (Applicant Tracking System) concerns by eliminating unnecessary lines and including major keywords.

NYSC Discharge/Exemption certificate

Every HND/BSC entry level job requires an NYSC certificate either during the job registration process or during the interview. Other jobs like those in the public sector will always require the tendering of an NYSC discharge/exemption certificate so this is a very important document that must never miss a jobseekers backpack at least for those in Nigeria.

An Editable Sample of a Cover Letter

There is usually a conflict amongst recent graduates and jobseekers as to the difference between a ‘Cover Letter’ and an ‘Application Letter’. A cover letter is basically an application letter. It is a formal letter just like every other formal letter. A cover letter is accompanied by a CV. It is intended to introduce a prospective employer to your CV. The cover letter in its closing paragraph should draw the attention of your prospective employer to any other document that is part of your application with a statement that could the form below:

“Attached within, are copies of my CV, BSc Certificate, NYSC certificate…”

In simple words a cover letter is intended for you to “sell yourself to the company. Give them a reason to employ you”

With an Editable Cover letter sample handy, one can quickly make adjustments in applying for multiple jobs.

Recent Passport Photograph

Your passport photo is also a part of your jobsearch backpack. Red or white background is mostly the acceptable format that is generally acceptable.

No one wants to see your primary school passport. Your passport should most probably portray your current facial look.

 Certificate/Statement of Result

A very important document which shows that you have been to the four walls of a higher institution or any qualification to be presented. Your certificate should be guided with pride as it is your foremost qualification.

Clear Bag/Office flat file

A clear bag is very much needed and should not be discarded. Never fold any document!

Normally, your documents are fitted into an office flat file and inserted into a clear bag. The clear bag is waterproof and it ensures that water does not get into your papers during movement from one interview center to another.

National ID or equivalent

This is necessary for you to identify yourself anywhere you go. A typical “government” ID ensures that you are a citizen or that you have a local identification that ensures you are captured as a person within the country and perhaps permitted to work in Nigeria.

Scan all relevant documents and save in your Email/Google drive

All the documents mentioned above except the ones that are already in electronic form should be scanned and sent to your personal email. God forbid if your documents go missing but if it does, it will not stop you from having access to them in case of any job opening that you wish to apply for.

There is no need running to a “cyber cafe” every time there is a job opening, just open your email and export the documents into your application as required.

Worthy of note is the fact that a lot of our people do not understand that their mobile smart phone is a mini computer. With a smartphone, you can scan, upload and save any document provided the phone has a good camera resolution.

Subscribe to an Online job vacancy newsletter for regular vacancy updates

There are tens of job websites out on the internet for your easy navigation., etc.

Create a LinkedIn profile

Unfortunately, there is not much publicity about LinkedIn in our clime. People will rather log in to facebook, twitter and Instagram, neglecting LinkedIn. LinkedIn presents job seekers and teeming career driven minds with the opportunity to mix with industry like minds. Connect with #recruiters from around the world, be active and learn from them.

Last but not least, kindly Keep all of your Social media accounts free of “weird” posts because as we all know, “the internet never forgets”

You will succeed!

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