2016 might have been a roller coaster for some; twist and turns, ups and downs but for one Kevin Okerio, Fuzu happened to be part of those up moments. We caught up with him and this is what he had to say.
How did you come to develop the love for Information Technology for you to pursue it as a career having studied Web Design?
I got admission to the Technical University of Kenya, to pursue a Bachelor of Technology (Civil Engineering Technology). The first week in college is a time most students are confused about what to pursue. An uncle had earlier told me, Business and Technology will be the next forces to reckon with, and I wanted to be part of the revolution. So I changed my course and then developed an intense liking for Technology. Every techie will tell you that they died numerous times learning how to code. You are going to write a piece of script and watch it do stuff.
How did you come to learn about Fuzu?
I learned about Fuzu from Facebook. I created an account and forgot about it but subscribed for alerts. On a lazy evening, I was going through my emails and came across an email with the Microsoft 4Africa skills advert and I rushed to their website. On applying, I was redirected to Fuzu where I had to build my Fuzu profile.
What stood out about Fuzu from other career platforms that made you sign up for it?
Fuzu has numerous features that stand out. There are tests and great lessons anyone can learn on their website. Their blog and comments sections are heartening. I had problems applying for the much-coveted opportunity and made multiple mistakes finding the right skills, but their Facebook customer support team was very supportive.
What benefits did you seek to gain from Fuzu apart from your job search?
A lot. I took a few tests that challenged me rationally. This literally guided me through the kind of profile I wanted to build and the career path that I’d take. There is incredible support on how to build a selling CV and cover letter. I am fresh from college and literally it’s on this website that I learned how to build a CV.
Are there particular features within our solution that you find most attractive?
In my first application, I used Instant feedback. I wanted serious feedback on the position I was applying for. That is an incredible feature. I had procedural notifications through mail on the proceedings concerning the particular application and was notified when the employer viewed my CV and what could be next.
Which feature do you use the most apart from the instant feedback?
Premium CV. This is a great feature. You can get a detailed and well-organized CV. There is career coaching on the platform, which cannot be underestimated. I have not used the feature but it is worth trying.
What’s your take on hiring in the digital age?
Gone are the days that people moved from office to office with loads of certificates and CVs that don’t even get to the hiring manager’s desk. People should embrace modern technology. With the present-day Job portals like Fuzu that are going to get you a job at the click of a button, things are much easier and cost-effective.
How serious should a job seeker take CV writing and selection of skills on the platform?
Your CV and cover letter are everything. This is where you tell the employer who you are and why you are the perfect match. Anyone seeking a job should take those seriously. Everyone should sell out, and make sure that they are the best so that the employer can choose them.
How was the application process and how is life at Microsoft so far?
I saw the opportunity and with a friend, we made the single application all night. Literally studying every letter and word of our CVs and cover letters. Even then, we both knew this was just an application that couldn’t go far. Given the qualifications, we just tried. We didn’t expect any response from anyone but we did and here I am today. There is a lot of learning and growth. Training is intense: Mondays and Tuesdays are entirely set aside for training.
Advice to job seekers?
You are fit for your dream job and you can work in any organization that you want to as long as they have a verified opening, and you meet the minimum requirements. Sharpen your CV and cover letter. Start low and work your way up. Have a realistic salary expectation, and most importantly, do not give up after a few applications. Keep applying until you secure yourself an interview. Research! Research! Research! And don’t shy away from opportunities. You are fit. Above all, pray!