Resources on this site

Here’s some of what you can find on this website.

1) Individual posts of career and academic opportunities: jobs, grants, awards, networking & knowledge events, trainings, academic programmes, etc. (Many opportunities are annual or otherwise recurring. It can be strategic to look at old posts.)

2) A somewhat comprehensive list of Job Boards & Resources, including Kama Kazi, DumaWorks, Brighter Monday, Career Point, Generation Kenya, Shortlist, iHub, social enterprise, UN jobs, and Devex. Programmes like Generation Kenya and Digital Divide Data offer training or academic qualifications AND employment! Also included: newsletters with other aggregated resources, which you can subscribe to directly, such as Arterial Network (continent art opportunities & news) and MoveMeBack (all sorts of continent-wide job listings).

3) Good information on the job-getting process: 

 

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Job listings & resources

Getting a job is never just a matter of submitting many job applications. But job listings are still a key part of finding open positions that meet your skills and interest. It can also help you identify potential employers who are hiring right now; even if the position that is listed isn’t a good fit for you, perhaps they have others available. And some platforms offer articles, tips, and resources to help apply properly and effectively.

General job boards: Most people know about Brighter Monday, perhaps the most established website for job listings in Kenya, with a good search function and updates available by email. But now there are some newer resources and services available for jobseekers. They include DumaWorks and Kama Kazi. You can read more about them in various online pieces. Both were featured in BBC piece “Getting Africa’s jobseekers online and into employment” in May of 2015, for example.

More specific sector job boards: Other job boards are created for certain kinds of work: technology (not just techies but support staff), United Nations, nonprofits, social enterprises, etc.

Here’s a list of online platforms with general Kenyan job resources.

Here are some more specific by sector. (But desired skills can vary, so do look through!)

  • iHub Jobs Board – job listings for techies & others who support tech companies
  • Social Enterprise Jobs – job listings – global but has many jobs based in Kenya
  • UN jobs – jobs with the United Nations, filter by those based in Nairobi
  • Devex.com – add your profile and resume/CV so that recruiters searching can find you, listings of jobs in international development, filter by location Kenya — only jobs from Devex member organisations are visible without paid membership, but you can still see many of them & otherwise put yourself into the database, which hundreds of recruiters search daily

Great advice: applying to jobs on KamaKazi

Great advice from KamaKazi.co.ke, whose website has hundreds of jobs to apply to…

We wanted to give you some pointers as to our application process to help you out:

  • Always read the Job Description (JD) carefully and make sure you understand what skills and experience you have for this job. When we call you for interview and you say ‘I can do it!’ that is not enough! Simply not enough. We want to hear what experience you have in the past that shows us you have done something similar. And we want to see that you understand the skills required and can show you have those skills from past experiences.
  • Application – we ask that you apply for every job you want to – one application is not enough. Why? Similarly to the above we want to know that you have read the JD and understood it for each job rather than simply applying for multiple jobs.
  • Skills – We ask that you fill in a section for skills. These are NOT your generic skills. They are skills SPECIFIC to this job description. If you do not demonstrate here that you have the specific skills that the job is looking for we may not even consider your application.
  • IT Skills – again we want to see if you have read the JD and understood what IT skills are imperative to this job.

Then you must attach your CV and any documentation that is RELEVANT to the job. Qualifications, certificates and recommendation letters are good.

 

Social enterprise job board

Loads of really interesting innovative Nairobi- and Kenya-based jobs here!

While clearly this job board is global, and the postings often seem geared towards foreigners, it would be great to see strong eligible Kenyan candidates apply and get these jobs. To follow the job board, sign up for the Google group with any email address:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/social-enterprise-jobs

Here’s a direct, more specific link to all posted opportunities that mention Kenya — so are either based here or with an organisation that works here — and are most recent:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/social-enterprise-jobs/kenya%7Csort:date

 

Crucial tip: Customise your CV (KamaKazi)

So you found a job you want to apply to. Here’s advice from Kama Kazi:

Time to read the ‘Customizing your CV to the Job Description’ blog that we have posted. We really recommend that you read this carefully and follow the instructions.

Customizing your resume to the Job Description

Here at Kama Kazi we are in the business of getting people jobs, so believe us when we say we know the job seeking process and more than that the huge mistakes that job seekers make when applying for jobs.

And one of the biggest mistakes BY FAR is that very few people customize their CV or Resume to the Job Description…

Continue reading

No degree? No worries…

Great general tips, especially if your work experience is informal or particularly unusual… career advice from Monster.com, a HUGE job site in the US. A little bit is American in format, you can get the idea.

Emphasize Your Strongest Credentials

Think about why an employer should hire you out of all the applicants for the job. What do you offer that they don’t? Perhaps you have practical work experience and skills that are relevant to the job. If your experience is stronger than your education, place your work history before education on your resume, and write about your career achievements, track record of results and industry knowledge…

Include a detailed listing of your accomplishments throughout your career. Prove that your work performance has been outstanding and you would be an asset to your future employer’s operation. By the time hiring managers read your resume’s Education section, they should be so impressed by the value you offer that educational shortcomings could be overlooked.

It’s true that some employers will not be interested in you because you lack the job opening’s educational requirement, but you will find other employers that welcome your experience, skills and expertise.

Highlight Alternative Education and Training

Maybe you lack a formal degree, but you’ve participated in ongoing training throughout your career. You can emphasize all of your continuing education by creating a Professional Development section within the Education section. Think about job-related training, certifications, conferences, in-service training, seminars, online learning and even self-directed study. For some professionals, this section can be quite impressive, and showing recent, up-to-date training can be more valuable than a dated degree.

Show In-Progress Education

Include partially completed or in-progress education.

Examples:

  • If you are currently enrolled in a program:

ABC COLLEGE (City, ST)
Enrolled in Bachelor of Arts program, major in [ … ], degree expected 5/11

  • If you partially completed a program and don’t intend to complete:DEF COLLEGE (City, ST)
    Earned XX credits toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, 9/99 to 5/02

Apply Even If You Lack the Educational Credential

If you see a job opening that requires a certain level of education and feel you can do the job based on your experience or skills, send your resume anyway. The hiring manager might prefer to hire someone with the stated level of education, but your resume could stand out because of your other qualifications.

Whenever possible, follow up on resumes that you submit. Many employers using electronic resume-tracking systems automatically screen out applicants who don’t meet the educational requirements. You will have a much better chance of convincing an employer that you are a strong candidate if you make a personal connection with a hiring manager.

More tips, especially for jobs with ‘international’ orgs (Devex)

Just passing along some helpful info. Having worked with many, many recruiters, I would also attest to the accuracy of these tips. The below article is designed for people working with international organisations, but the advice is generally sound.

Devex provides career resources for international development professionals. They publish lots of info all the time, like this guide to salaries (though some info is only available to paying subscribers).

CAREER ADVICE: Top resume mistakes local professionals make

A crumpled piece of paper. A poorly written resume can make or break your application, no matter how qualified you are…

By Kelli Rogers on 09 September 2013

https://www.devex.com/en/news/top-resume-mistakes-local-professionals-make/81763

Recruiters, not surprisingly, are most interested in experience, and they’d rather not have to guess at it. Even if an applicant is completely qualified for the job in question, a poorly-written or disorganized resume will have the recruiter looking to the next applicant in no time.

“You’re moving quickly, you want to be able to look and determine — Is this person qualified, is it someone I want to interview?” shared Jackie Oddoye, a recruiting consultant for Creative Associates.

Recruiters are on tight schedules during field recruiting visits and want to set up as many appropriate interviews as they can for the few days they have in-country. This often means scanning resumes before they arrive to decide on who will be invited for a personal interview.

Burying your experience, not including details of your responsibilities and forgetting to use keywords are common mistakes that can take your resume out of the running before a recruiter even sets foot in a country.

“You see the resume, it has potential and you want to know more, but if the candidate hasn’t given it the attention it deserves, you might have to move on to one that has,” said Amanda Schwartz, Deloitte’s senior recruiter for emerging markets.

Though resume writing norms differ from country to country, recruiters explained there are several common mistakes local professionals make. With a few tweaks, it’s possible to better stand out and sell yourself and your experience better.

Burying your experience

As a general rule, it’s important to tailor your resume to the position and opportunity you are looking for. In doing so, experience most relevant to the desired job should rise to the top.

“Often experience comes last, behind education and various training programs, but I just scroll down until I get to your experience,” said Kathryn Erskine, talent acquisition manager for Creative Associates.

Make sure you highlight most relevant experience first, then follow with your other experience. If it’s a management position, highlight management skills, including the number of people supervised and size of the project, noted Oddoye. And don’t forget to highlight your accomplishments along with your responsibilities, specifically accomplishments that relate to the job you are applying for.

“It’s not only the title, it’s what are your daily job responsibilities,” Erskine said. “Listing those out is really important.”

Hands-on field experience in a technical field is usually more marketable than general management experience, Oddoye suggested. So, if the applicant started in a technical field but eventually became a manager, he/she should be sure to cite technical skills and accomplishments in addition to his or her management accomplishments.

Recruiters agree that it’s also important for applicants to include the names of all the countries in which he/she has worked and lived, as well as all the technical and programming sectors.

Leaving out donor work

Start simple: Make sure to include the name of the project you worked on.

For example, if it’s a malaria prevention project, applicants sometimes fail to include the correct name for the project itself, shared Inga Feldi, who recruits in Africa for DAI.

“As a recruiter you can look up a project, but if the name is incorrect, you have to try to figure it out matching what they’re saying they did with projects that happened at that time,” she said. “And that’s a lot of work.”

Lisa Robinson, a talent acquisition consultant based in Indonesia, recommended indicating who the donor was and in what countries or parts of the country you worked. And while including details of the actual project, remember that it’s your experience on that particular project that the recruiter will be interested in learning.

“Please don’t give us a long paragraph from the project website that just tells us what the project did, but tell us specifically what you did on the project,” she said.

To eliminate questions, make sure you highlight donor work and size of the projects you worked on. And the dollar value of the project is just as important, so include it when it’s compelling, Oddoye suggested.

Those are the details that really matter, Feldi added.

“If someone says that they were managing a regional office of a project, but managing a $2 million project with five regional offices is completely different than being regional manager on a $40 million project with two regional offices. Details like that matter,” she said.

If you have good technical experience but you’re not clear about where this experience belongs or indicate which donor you were working for, the importance can be lost.

Not providing enough (or including too much irrelevant) detail

It’s crucial to provide detailed coverage of your full career. Longer resumes with detail on your work experience are more compelling than shorter resumes summarizing your experience, Oddoye said.

The detail of your work and your accomplishments will demonstrate the depth and breadth of your technical expertise, while showing senior management experience. The resume should “brand” you with specific areas of expertise.

“After quickly skimming the resume the reader should have formed an impression of you as a professional and the breadth of your expertise,” explained Oddoye.

But Robinson pointed out there is always the flip side of providing too much information. She isn’t interested in your hobbies or whether you are married with children.

“I don’t need to know where you went to elementary school,” she said. “And if your GPA at school was bad, don’t include it.”

Relevant experience, keywords

Tailor your resume construction to your level of experience.

Education, training, volunteer experience, certifications and international development associations — if you already have significant experience in the field, push this extra experience to the end. But this experience is important and should be leveraged on the first page of your resume if you are trying to break into the field, Oddoye said.

“Remember the most important and relevant information should be on the front page and it should be what is important and relevant to the job you are applying for and the employer of that job, not what is important and relevant to your life history,” Oddoye said.

Also, don’t forget to write your resume using the same language as the job advertisement.

If keywords aren’t strategically included throughout the resume, it most likely won’t surface when a recruiter searches the company database for those keywords.

Your resume should be written in the same language as the advertisement unless the posting itself states that you should write it in a specific language. For example, if the advert is in English and the requirement is for someone with strong English language skills to work with foreigners, don’t send your CV in another language, even the local language.

Remember that the recruiter or HR professional spends no more than five minutes with the CV when doing the first cut, so if you don’t use the wording from the advert you will most likely not make the shortlist.

“Don’t make the reviewer guess if you actually did work similar to that in the advertisement,” Robinson said.

Using a confusing format

Use a clear format that shows position, duration of employment, project, employer and donor where applicable.

“Don’t use funky margins, colored background or lots of graphics,” Robinson recommended.

The use of tables and other graphics makes it confusing and harder to read, so use a clear font that’s easy to read and bold and italicize where needed to highlight positions.

Getting the job is a combination of having the right skill set and successfully translating it to paper. Still unsure of how to organize your resume? Schwartz recommends applicants spend time looking at other resumes or profiles on LinkedIn to get an idea of what looks good and follow suit.