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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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If you have a question for our Career Coach, e-mail Helen at careers@ReConnectAfrica.com

ImageDear Helen

I am a 24 year old civil engineering graduate from Ghana. I finished in 2005. I have been reading your column and I have some questions I would like you to answer for me.

1.    I realised all the people who ask for help are all holding their Masters degree, is it a pre-requisite that you have before you qualify for help?

2.    I would like to either work in the engineering profession or switch to the financial sector. As I have no experience in the latter one, how do I go about it?

3.    My CV seems so dry. How do l make attractive to any prospective employer?

4.    Can I please get any employers I can apply to?

Hoping to hear from you.

Yaa, Ghana

Hi Yaa

Holding a Master’s degree is certainly not a prerequisite for asking our advice – as I hope this reply proves!

You make no mention of why you are considering making a switch to the financial sector.  In some cases, the financial services sector attracts graduates who are looking for a high level of remuneration.  Whether or not that is your primary motivation, you should make sure that you do your research about the kind of job roles within banking and finance. 

Many national and international banks provide a lot of information about career opportunities on their websites.  This will include profiles of different jobs, testimonials from employees and clear criteria about the kind of people they want to recruit.  Do your homework and identify the skills and experience which you have developed that would be relevant to employers in banking or other areas of finance.  For example, your background in engineering would suggest that you have good analytical and numeric skills, which are highly sought after in the banking sector.

If you are not currently working, you should also consider investing in work experience or an unpaid internship within a bank.  This will give you the chance to learn about the work that takes place in this sector and to see if you are really suited to the environment.  It will also give you a chance to start building on your network of contacts in the industry and can sometimes lead to a permanent job.

The key to making your CV more attractive to prospective employers is to focus on identifying the skills and competencies that they are looking for.  Once you have done your research and have a clearer picture of what these are, you should tailor your CV to reflect this.

The website of the central bank, Bank of Ghana, (www.bog.gov.gh) carries a Register of Licensed banks and non-banking financial institutions in the country. This will give you a good starting point to identify employers in this sector.

Don’t forget that we can help you improve your CV and provide you with other areas of support to help you get the job you want.

All the best!


Voted Candace Business Woman of the Year 1997, Helen Dupigny is a Director and co-founder of Working Plus, (www.working-plus.com) a Careers Management and Diversity consultancy and creator of the award-winning ‘Six Steps Career and Personal Development Programme’. A Sierra Leonean based in London, Helen is also the author of ‘Vicissitude’, a guide to making life and career changes.

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