Tuesday, October 31, 2017


The first point of contact between many employees and employers is the Curriculum Vitae. It is the single most important tool job seekers have while job hunting. Often times, it is the only resource most employers have to form a certain judgement about your skills, whether you are able to handle the job.

However, 90% of all CVs are thrown out the window after six seconds of reading them.  It goes without saying that the CV needs to make the right impression from the beginning. Most job-seekers do not know how to make their resumes stand out amongst the others!

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  Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bicycles and Roads to Opportunity

Duma Works expands to Dar es Salaam to connect companies in Tanzania to the best talent for their job openings.

Imagine. A simple question:

Can You Draw a Bicycle?

…Led to an incredible, epic conversation about how people can approach life in order to open their hands to more opportunity.

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  Friday, April 8, 2016

How to Fail at Writing a Personal Statement

When giving advice about how to write an awesome Personal Statement on your CV, it is actually better to begin with what NOT to do.

How to write a winning personal statement from Duma Works, leading digital recruiting platform in East Africa

Photo credit: thestudentroom.co.uk

Here are some ways you can absolutely ruin your personal statement without even trying.

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  Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What It Takes to Be a Human Resource Manager

Photo credit: Zafarani Mansurali

Photo credit: Zafarani Mansurali

This week for Duma Works’ What It Takes blog series, we interview Beryl Opar, the HR Manager at Kopo Kopo.

This interview is particularly interesting because as HR, Beryl not only gives advice about pursuing a career in HR. She also has general advice for applying to jobs in general! #job #gatekeeper

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  Friday, April 24, 2015

What it Takes to Become a Community Manager

Mugethi at her workplace, in the iHub. Photo credit: Abu Okari

Mugethi at her workplace, in the iHub. Photo credit: Abu Okari

Mugethi Gitau is the Community Manager of the iHub. I had a chat with Mugethi this week to get a better picture of what it means to be a Community Manager. Hopefully this will help you decide if it’s the right job for you, and if you would be a good fit. If this article perfectly describes you, maybe you should be applying to Community Manager job openings…

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  Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Pitch Yourself in 1 Minute

How to pitch yourself in one minute

To all the new job seekers out there who don’t know how to respond when an employers asks you at an interview: “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” This blog post is for you.

Duma Works was invited to the iHub 5th year anniversary party the other week to give a brief presentation about how to pitch yourself to an employer. It was interesting, because that topic gave us the opportunity to think about how pitching a startup idea to a customer/user/investor could be applied to pitching yourself as a job seeker.

I can’t tell you how many people I have interviewed that when asked about themselves have responded:

My name is _____, I am from _______ county, I went to school at _______, where I studied ________. I am a good team player and can do a very good job at my assignments.

All this is well and good, but doesn’t answer the question the employer has – how will you add value to my company?

Pitch yourself to an employer

When you think about it, pitching a startup is the same – the customer/user/investor just wants to know – how you will add value to my company/fund/life?

So to break it down, if you are a job seeker and are asked this question, here is how you should think about your response:

1- Why is the employer looking to hire someone for this position? What gap exists in the company now?

–> This is helpful because you can then think about why you are the best suited person to fill this gap

2- What type of person would the employer want to hire?

–> This is helpful because you can understand the type of formality, dress code, body language, and language you should be using.

And lastly, remember that all employers want to hire someone that is truly passionate about what they are doing. This could mean that you are passionate about the specific tasks you will be doing and your role at the company, and/or the vision and mission of the company.

If you can stand out as the type of person who is so interested in their field, excited to learn, and grow this department at the company, you are golden.

how to pitch yourself in one minute to an employer

I’ll give you an example for a “tell me more about yourself” pitch for a sales representative:

“I’m Angela, and I heard about the amazing things you are doing at your company, Duma Works, with matching job seekers to opportunities in Kenya. I heard that you are hiring for a sales representative and I was so excited. Selling is just my thing. Even in college, I was working with a club to sell our services to other students. When I got my first job as a sales representative at another startup company, I was able to work with a team to exceed our quotas by 50% every month. I am really quick at fitting in to new teams and know I can start adding value to your sales team immediately. I even know a few potential clients I want to talk to already.”

See why a prospective employer would like this?

This shows them that you are interested in their company and not just sending your CV everywhere. It shows them that you not only love sales but are good at it. It also shows initiative from your side that you have already thought about potential clients.

I can guarantee you that this approach will work better than the classic mini-autobiography that most people stick to.

Try it out and tell us what happens!


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  Tuesday, July 8, 2014

“Soft Skills?” More Like Strong Skills

How to Impress Employers with your Soft Skills on Your CV
By Angela Wairimu


Employers these days seem to value so called “soft skills” above all else. I’ve looked at a lot of CVs in the last few years, and it’s always a challenge to understand a job seeker’s soft skills based on a piece of paper. These are the elements I look for and effective ways I’ve seen that job seekers communicate these strengths.

1. Leadership Skills. A person with leadership skills shows responsibility, independence & critical thinking. A self-confessed team player without any leadership is often looked at as a “follower” or “hanger-on” by managers because he/she may lack initiative.

Quick Fix – Emphasize leadership roles in courses, volunteer activities, community service, and make sure you include the positive outcome of your leadership.

2. Project Management Skills. A person with project management skills means that they understand how to delegate, keep an eye on the big picture, and manage a team. Someone without these skills might blindly follow orders without understanding why and fail to make improvements when needed.

Quick Fix – Emphasize your experience managing a project (even on campus!) and the positive outcomes. If you don’t have experience, show courses you have taken in project management.

3. People Skills. People like other people with people skills! People lacking people skills have trouble communicating clearly with others, networking, and generally being liked.

Quick Fix – Emphasize how you relate to people through various activities, conferences and relevant events that you have been part of. For customer-interaction-focused jobs show how you have pulled teams together, managed customers, & managed vendors.

4. Communication Skills. Writing and public speaking are critical skills whether one is representing a company, talking to an authority, or managing conflicts. People who can’t communicate in a clear manner are easily misunderstood leading them to blame others for miscommunications.

Quick Fix – Understand your communication skills are reflected by how you write the email in which you send your CV, write & format your resume/CV, talk on the phone, & interview. The employer will look at all these factors.

5. Sales Skills. People with sales skills bring business to the company. These days, many employers expect basic sales skills from all employees. New business is the lifeblood of every business.

Quick Fix – Understand that “sales skills can be conveyed by how effectively you sell yourself to the job – by really demonstrating an interest and expertise, and also your past sales accomplishments ie. “Overperformed sales targets by 20% consecutively a Company X.”

Looking for other ways to make your CV stand out? Check out our post on “10 Quick CV Fixes” here.

Feel free to contact us with any questions at [email protected] or visit www.dumaworks.com to build your professional job network and learn more about our career building opportunities. Also feel free to subscribe to this blog to get relevant career advice delivered to you. Good luck! 🙂

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