As the world’s largest platform for providing global opportunities, we ensure to also help our users learn better ways of maximizing opportunities they come across. We have observed that very few people get selected for different opportunities they applied for. What could be their magic? What did they do right? What must you avoid while applying for opportunities? We have put together several pitfalls to avoid and methods to adopt below:
- Understand the opportunity: It is very important to have a fair understanding of the opportunity you are applying for. An understanding of the opportunity gives you a better idea of the organizer’s expectations, as such you will be able to fine tune your application to fit that expectation. Don’t just run off applying by reading only the title of the opportunity. Just because you are into youth development and the opportunity title says Youth Development Summit you jump on and begin application. You need to know the aspect of youth development they are interested in.
- Timing: Most people rush off to submit applications. Don’t be in a hurry to be the first to submit your application. You are likely to make mistakes and not have time to review your work properly. In the same vein, leaving your application to the last minute is not ideal. Anything can happen and you may find your self under intense pressure and anxiety. In This mood, you’re likely to make mistakes and not have time to review properly as well. We received quite a number of early applications for the OD Impact Challenge 2016 and OD Internship Program for Africans and Asians 2017– barely up to an hour after publishing – and most of them had an issue or two. This takes me to the next point!
- CV/Resume: Most opportunities require that applicants submit a CV/resume, sometime as an attachment to an email or uploaded as a file in a particular format. Let me say at this point that your CV is not a baseball hat where one size fits all. One CV does not fit all opportunities even if they are similar opportunities/programs. Your CV should be designed to suit the opportunity you are applying for. Certain details that have nothing to do with the opportunity should be removed from your CV. What is the use including your proficiency in driving or certificate from chef school in an opportunity like a journalism fellowship? Your CV should be properly tailored to the satisfaction of the organizers. Also ensure to submit it in the required format, either in MS Word or PDF as the case may be.
- Your expectation/motivation: Many people who apply for opportunities do not have expectation other than site seeing and tourism. Ugly Truth! They just want to add up to the list of countries they have visited or to also stand when they request for people who have international travel experience. Having international travel experience is good but when asked for your motivation and expectation you have to give something more. Share what you hope to achieve. You must be purposeful and deliberate. You should be able to tell how the program would be of immense benefit to the future of your work, for you personally and professionally.
- Be real: Don’t bloat stuffs. It’s not a do-or-die affair!
- Be cautious with words, stay formal even if you are acquainted with the organizers