#JobsMatter (Part 3)

__Help make hiring you easier!

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. . .

by 13 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

13 thoughts on “#JobsMatter (Part 3)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 5.
    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.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 6.
    Just before I left Zimbabwe (nearly 18 years ago), I gathered together many of the young people (at the time!) and I told them two things:

    #1. I want you to go back to school. I will pay for anyone who can get themselves a degree (if you don’t have one) and an MBA, if you have a degree.

    #2. I want you to try and learn to speak another language, preferably from a country other than our own.

    If you do these two things, I will come back for you, to help me build a global enterprise.

    I told them competition will be very tough, because you will not be given preference, but an opportunity. Some believed me, and they went on to join the executive corps we have today.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Petronilla Ndanu writes,

    I left my cousin to manage my business while I was in maternity leave, she reduced my business to almost zero,I thought she could gain skills but all she was after most was to steal from me

    My reply,
    Sister you made some big mistakes, and it had nothing to do with the fact that you hired a cousin!
    In your own words:
    “I thought she could gain skills”!
    So you put someone over your business who had “no skills”!
    Look at my comment on “so called loyalty”. You put your need for “loyalty” over your need for “competence and integrity” and you paid the price!

    Unless you focus your attention on understanding #Process in a business you will make the same mistake over and over again.
    I suggest that you get together with some friends and watch episodes of The Profit on Kwese Inc and Kwese Know.
    This is not a show you watch for entertainment!
    Watch how other entrepreneurs just like you face this type of problem, and how it is actually fixed.
    There is nothing wrong with employing relatives, there are global businesses that are run by relatives, but you have to understand the principles around #People, and #Process.

    I ran businesses with people I have never even met, and they don’t steal from me. This should show you that it is possible, and is being done all over the world.
    So don’t feel sorry for yourself, learn from your mistakes, and build a bigger more successful business.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    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).

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Samuel writes,

    Back then as a fresh graduate I was in shock about the disparity of what we were taught in school and the real world. I then came across a quote that said “school only teaches us how to learn’. ….

    My reply,
    This is true, and it will never change.
    Every generation talks about it, but no one can change it. At best we try to close the gap.
    What is important is this:
    “School teaches you how to learn”.

    During one of my many job interviews after leaving university, someone asked me a question which I could not answer at all:
    “How can you call yourself an engineer if you do not know this answer”, the guy said almost mocking.

    “Sir, I can tell you in one hour, if you give me the chance to come back to you. I learnt to learn anything in engineering.”

    The chairman of the interview panel said it was the best answer he had ever heard.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Free tickets to watch NBA All Stars Game in the US!

    #For Kwese Tv viewers who wish to join my wife on her trip to the US NBA All Stars game in February remember there are only a few days left for this amazing opportunity.
    She will teach you all about a game she played at national level. And you also get to meet some of the top players, and celebrities that will no doubt be there!

    If you are interested click on the banner photo (with the basketball players on my Facebook page).
    Make sure you have a passport, but we will help you with your visa applications!
    Please don’t complain here if you did not get to know on time.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    You are such an enthusiastic supporter. Guess what? I will give you a ticket myself.
    I only had one ticket and it is yours!

    Contact Shingi (on my staff), and he will ensure you get to travel to the US!
    I love you man….keep selling those decoders!

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Faith Takure writes,

    BR masiiwa in my parents passed on wen l was 8 and my sister who was the eldest she was 16 look after us all of my sisters were brilliant at school.l was not ,l always struggle with education l tried but ummm.pple thought am intelligent . l come across respected pple becoz of my attitude and character even high ranks in gorvment .l give them ideas pastors leaders .but wen the want credentials l don’t have . l don’t know most pple will be shocked about this .help .the bible say the truth shall set us free

    My reply,
    Your story is very sad.

    Faith, your oldest sister is an amazing woman. She is my hero:
    There are many children today across Africa that are heading households.
    When we started Higher Life Foundation we were also trying to help young people like your sister to cope.

    You are 27 years old now. You may not have been brilliant at school but that does not mean you cannot learn things.
    Sir Richard Branson the great entrepreneur [a billionaire] openly admits that he had a learning disability at school.
    There are many successful people who had disadvantages in life.
    You can overcome this and any adversity.

    The most important thing for you right now, is not to feel sorry for your unfortunate start. The rest of your life starts today!
    You are an adult now and you can make decisions and take actions starting today that will make you great.
    I pray for you and others in your situation right now…always.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Yaw writes,

    Wow, total trust for the one in charge. Glad to know about this.

    My reply,
    Trust based on the other person’s competence and integrity rather than their loyalty to you, is the most profitable form of trust.

    If I want loyalty I look for relatives, but if I want to run a successful venture, I look for the most competent person with integrity that I can find.

    Never put your need for loyalty ahead of your need for competence and integrity.

    I have never hired anyone or promoted anyone on the basis of their loyalty towards me. If ever you see a relative of mine in a position [very rare],it
    is because I consider them as being highly competent, and have demonstrated integrity.


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