Recently, we discussed under this column how recruitment panels struggle to shortlist best candidates for interviews because many applicants have similar qualifications. Since this is a known issue, it should not be a problem to a clever candidate.
This reminds me of a friend, Charles Chivundu, who is a natural philosopher and now lecturer at the University of Malawi. When we were at the Polytechnic, he caused so much controversy when in 2001, he hypothesised that HIV and Aids was no longer a problem. His theory was that people know enough facts about the pandemic to be able to handle and manage the matter. He went on to say that when you have enough knowledge about any issue then it is no longer a problem. Many people were outraged with Chivundu at the time, but he kept to his theory. I agreed with Chivundu at the time and I still support his principle that when you know enough about an issue, it is no longer a real problem as you can prevent the issue. And when it occurs, you can manage its effects.
Similarly, since we know that many recruiters struggle with shortlisting and that we know the reasons why they struggle, then for those seeking employment, it is no longer a problem to know how to get themselves shortlisted for interviews. All you need to do is to find a solution for the problem that recruiters have, then you will be home and dry and you will have won your ticket to the interview room.
As we discussed recently, recruiters want to shortlist the most outstanding candidates, but they find that the majority of candidates have similar if not the same qualifications and qualities. This, therefore, means that if you want to be guaranteed the chance on the short list, all you need to do is record things that are distinctly different from what is done and achieved by your peers.
The problem is that few people desire and design special things that can set them apart from the crowd. Set yourself apart from the rest. If you are in Form II at secondary school, ask yourself the question: How different am I from the rest of my classmates? Ask yourself: What should I do to continue to be ahead or to begin to be ahead of my peers? Only if you start asking yourself such questions, and especially if you can practically answer the questions and implement those answers would you begin to stand out from the crowd. Similarly, those in employed jobs need to continuously measure where they stand against their peers.
Never aim for the average, typical or usual standards. Your pitch should be for the outstanding, special and distinguished positions. This is the secret to special success. If you do this on a daily basis, it means that you will be writing your CV every day. Remember that in the CV, we only record outstanding actions and achievements. And so, if you aim and successfully manage to produce outstanding actions and achievements, you will be on the true path to special recognitions, including shortlisting for big jobs. Never aim for average, but work to improve your CV every day. Ensure that every day, you deliver outstanding output and products. This way, you will surely rise and shine! Good luck!