Vacancy Announcement: Examinations Officer – Schools (Maternity Cover)

British Council is recruiting an Examinations Officer – Schools (Maternity Cover) to support Examination Services in Nigeria in delivering exams and tests and to maintain them at the highest professional standards as set out in the British Council’s EQCA (Examination Quality & Compliance Standards), examinations boards and partner standards.

See the role profile for the role accountabilities and responsibilities.

Applicants must have experience

Providing and monitoring service within quality standards.
Working quickly and accurately to tight deadlines.
Handling and reporting on payments from customers.
Training and managing a team to deliver to quality standards.

Relevant skills needed to be successful in the role includes:

English Language proficiency to IELTS band 7.0, CEF C2 in all areas (or equivalent).
Strong Attention to Detail.
Customer Service Focus.
Strong Organisation Skills.
Teamwork & ability to deal with conflict.

Vacancy Announcement Date: 15th April, 2016
Closing date:23:59 UK time 22nd April, 2016

To apply, please visit:


Invitation to UK Boarding Schools Information Session

UK Boarding Schools Event

UK Boarding Schools

On behalf of the British Council, I would like to invite you to our premiere boutique UK Boarding Schools event.

The UK is a top study destination for students considering international education. UK boarding schools offer outstanding education and work with their pupils/students to develop their skills and progress to university. All UK boarding schools have to meet strict UK government standards on the quality of teaching, available facilities and student care.

The UK Boarding Schools event will provide opportunities for parents/guardians to meet and speak with representatives of UK boarding schools to receive advice and guidance on making the best choice of boarding school for each child/ward.

The UK Boarding Schools event will hold as follows:

Date: Monday, 29th February 2016

Time: 12pm – 5pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1 & 2, Sheraton Hotel, 1, Ladi Kwali Street, Maitama, Abuja









12pm – 2pm Parents Information Session

(open to parents/guardians/school heads/principals)

At this session, UK Boarding School representatives will cover key topics  to aid parents/guardians decision making:

–       Choosing the right UK Boarding School for my child

–       The UK Boarding school system and quality standards

–       The benefits of sending your child/ward to study at a UK boarding school

–       Life at a UK boarding school and support systems for children

–       Applying to UK Boarding school, Questions to ask and things to consider e.g. costs, location, etc.

2pm – 4pm Mini – Exhibition

(open to parents/guardians/school heads/principals)

The exhibition provides an opportunity for parents/guardians/school heads/principals to have one on one discussions with UK representatives to ask questions and get first-hand information, etc.
4pm – 5pm Networking Meeting over lunch

(open to only UK Boarding School representatives and school heads/principals)

The networking meeting is an opportunity for school heads/principals in Abuja to network with representatives of the UK Boarding Schools over a late lunch.

Please note that there are limited spaces available for parents and guardians who wish to attend this event. To reserve a seat at the event, registration is required on this website –

Does your cover letter take on a life of its own?

Cover letters are fast becoming very normal and necessary. They serve as a summary of all the accomplishments the job seeker has on their CV and helps job seekers sell themselves even more than the CV does.

However, a cover letter is not in anyway meant to replace your CV. It is meant to support/enhance you CV. Your cover letter is meant to make the recruiter eager to read your CV rather than make the recruiter immediately give you a call.

Moreso, your cover letter is meant to be in-sync with your CV. This means that there should be no surprises when a recruiter, who has read your cover letter, goes on to read your CV – Or vice versa. But this seldom the case.

It is becoming increasingly common for people to focus a lot more on their cover letters and totally ignore their CVs.

What you get is: An updated cover letter that sells this amazing social media manager and a CV that only shows that he/she is a Mechanical Engineer with 2 years experience in Marketing.

This is normally very disheartening to the recruiter who was already very excited by the cover letter. 

So what’s the solution? Quite simply, you should do the following:

1. Update your CV with all relevant information.

2. Draft your Cover letter based on information on your CV.

3. As you gain new skills and experiences, make updates on both you cover letter and your CV.

4. Tailor each cover letter to fit each job position applied for (But that’s a story for another day)

Does your cover letter reflect what is on your CV or does it have a life of its own? Do you have a different opinion about cover letters? Please share below.

Ann Ayinde is a Human Resource Generalist. She has over 4 years experience spanning between the Financial Services Sector and Consulting with expertise in Customer Relationship Management, Customer Services and Human Resources. She believes a lot in the strategic function of Human Resources and is a strong proponent of Human Capital Development and Intrapreneurship. She wants to see mindsets change regarding jobs, careers and people management.

His Legacy Yields More….’Kunle Olaifa Lives On

‎John 12:24 NLT

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.

While grieving Kunle Olaifa the day after he passed, this passage of scripture dropped in my heart and consoled me.
Let’s talk about seeds for a while. Let’s use the orange seed. If you have seen it before, you know it is very small and most people throw it away when they see them in their oranges.
But if you take that one seed and plant it in the soil, it germinates, with water and sunlight. In the process of germination, that seed dies. And then it opens up and starts to grow. The plant sprouts and grows bigger. Leaves start to come out and so do the orange fruits. That one tree continues to produce fruits year in, year out. And those fruits would have an average of about 6-7 seeds which can in turn be planted to yield more.
And more and more and more.
We started from that one seed planted and we have arrived at infinity.
Kunle was a grain of wheat. He was a catalyst for change. He had great dreams. He was a big dreamer!
Now, like a grain of wheat or a seed of orange, he has died.
And out of his death, this great yield begins.
A geometric progression that never ends.
So who are the seeds of Kunle Olaifa?
You and I.
Everyone who heard him speak and those who heard him dream out loud.
But you can decide to be an unproductive fruit or seed. But remember that there are other fruits and other seeds from this same person.
You decide if you want to throw away the seeds or replant them.
Whatever you decide, does not matter much to me.
I will bear fruit and be a part of this great yield.
'Kunle Olaifa
‘Kunle Olaifa

Thin blog line between career and motherhood

Hello People,

Trust your day is going great.

So I erroneously posted something here yesterday and I am certain that a lot of people would have been wondering what happened to the link.

The post was meant for one of my other blogs and so as soon as I realised what I had done, I deleted the post.

So for those who read the opening lines and were wondering what it was all about, you can view the complete post here:


These are blogs written for my two daughters. Kinda like memoirs that they should hopefully enjoy when they grow up.


Apologies for the mix-up though I cannot promise that it would not happen again.


Applicants gone wild: Top 10 blunders by interviewees

Hi people,

I found the following article while surfing the web and I found it very interesting. Some were downright hilarious.

Please read on and afterwards you can also add to the list in the comments box below. Let us share stories on interviewee blunders…Someone may learn and do better.

Read on:

  1. You tell ’em, Mom!
    “Nothing’s more fun than a two-for-one! I’ve had candidates show up for interviews with their significant others wondering if we’d hire them, too! Another fun interview is when candidates bring a parent along. It’s especially disconcerting when the candidate is clearly an adult in their mid-20s!”— Cindy

    2. Candidate, phone home
    “I interviewed a woman who showed up to the interview with a Bluetooth attached to her ear. After a few minutes into the interview, she said, ‘Oh, just a minute. I have a call.’” — J.J.

    3. The late stripper 
    “I once had a candidate show up late and apologize because she had been busy stripping … and not wood either. Who admits that in a job interview?” — Mary Anne    

    4. The fashion police
    “I had a candidate arrive to the interview an hour late, she blamed it on ‘traffic.’ Then, she looked at me and said, ‘Wow, I clearly overdressed for this.’” — J.S.

    5. Bring me a man!
    “A gentleman from the Middle East told me that he refused to be interviewed by a woman and then refused to talk further until I presented a man to him … ah, no thanks. 

    “But the worst was an applicant who tried to explain why his credit report was bad. He said his car had been repossessed because a family member had shot himself in the head in it and they couldn’t get the smell of blood out of the car so they couldn’t sell it. Yuck!” — Jo

    6. And the résumé stunk, too
    “We had an applicant whose bodily essence left a trail from the front door to the interview room and lingered so bad that the applicant’s chair needed to be replaced!”— Fran 

    7. Matchmaker, matchmaker
    “One candidate (about 23 or 24 years old) proceeded to ask me about the hiring manager’s extremely handsome son and asked me to find out if he had a girlfriend.” — D.M. 

    8. No means no … usually

    “I interviewed a young lady and she was not picked. I sent her a ‘no’ letter, but she continued to call almost every day to explain why she should be hired. She would swear and yell at me over the phone. This went on for two months. Finally, we had to send her a certified letter from the labor attorney to stop contacting us or we were going to pursue legal action.

    “I had another guy interview once who kept telling me after the interview that he would report on Monday for work, but he was never offered the job and I reminded him of that.  He showed up that Monday and I told him to leave.” — Janelle 

    9. Sweaty palms
    “A candidate who was perspiring profusely reached into his shirt under his armpits and then wiped his hands on his pants. As the interview wrapped up, I prayed he wouldn’t offer a handshake … he did! Gross!!” — Kellie

    10. Beer … the ultimate motivator!
    “When I asked a candidate for a customer service supervisor position how he motivates his staff, he told me that he takes them out for happy hour and gets them drunk.” — Suzanne 

Click here to view original article and don’t forget to share blunders below.

Manage Yourself

In the workplace, employees are always charged to manage their bosses. But has anyone ever asked the employees if they have been able to manage themselves?

Chances are, that question has seldom been asked.

What does it mean to manage oneself?

Let’s do some dictionary research together, shall we?



  1. Be in charge of (a business, organization, or undertaking); run.
  1. Succeed in surviving or in achieving something despite difficult circumstances; cope.

I actually like both meanings and so we are going to explore both, a bit more.

Manage – Be in charge of. Run.

An example would be: The young man managed his business properly.

Other synonyms that can replace managed in this sentence include: Ran, Directed, Administered, Supervised, Governed, Operated.

This young man took charge of his business. He oversaw all that pertained to it. He ensured that the business survived and blossomed. He nurtured his business, making certain that he took the right decisions to ensure success.

Now let’s interchange the word business for person.

Now we have:

The young man managed his person (himself) properly.

What does this mean?

He took charge of his life. He oversaw all that concerned him. He took responsibility for his actions (Wow…a big one). He didn’t blame society, his employers or his parents. He ensured that his career blossomed. He nurtured his ideas, making certain that he took the right decisions to ensure success.

I think we are beginning to get the picture. (Remember that I am also learning as I type, so I am getting the picture too 😉 )

Manage – Succeed in surviving. Cope

An example here would be:

The young lady managed the little money she had on her, quite well.

We could replace managed here with: Coped with. Fared on, Survived on. Got by on. Made do with.

This young lady coped with what she had. She didn’t complain but tried her best to get by on the little funds she had. She must have calculated to figure out how she will survive and she stuck to her calculations and budget. She remained resilient in the face of her current challenges and we see that she never gave up.

Interchanging once again, we have:

The young lady managed herself quite well.

She got on by. She survived. She didn’t cave in or give in to despair. She struggled and achieved her aim. She found and implemented a coping strategy that worked well for her. She was resilient in the face of challenges.

What does this mean to employees?

Whatever your current situation or challenge may be, the first thing you have to do, before you try to manage anyone else, is to manage yourself. Take charge. Take responsibility. Nurture your dreams and ideas. Make better decisions. Endure. Persist. Be resilient. Do not cave in. Struggle to rise above your challenges.

Today I urge you to be a better manager. Not just of others, but of yourself.

Be a better you!

10 ways to help employees feel less overwhelmed……By JoAnn Corley

No matter where your organization is located, which field it specializes in, or what its product or service is, your employees are feeling overwhelmed.

Employees who survived the downturn have absorbed work left behind by laid-off co-workers. Most employers are still riding the brakes on hiring. Job descriptions have ex­­panded to the breaking point. “Overwhelmed” is here to stay.

As an HR pro, you might not be able to help employees embrace that sad fact, but you definitely can help them manage it. Here’s how:

1. Look inward. Before you can help employees cope, deal with your own feelings. Most of the HR pros I know are overwhelmed themselves. Especially if you work for a small company, your HR department might be woefully understaffed. Maybe it’s just you! That makes it hard to keep up in the best of times.

2. Don’t deny the fact that employees are overwhelmed. Admit it. Acknowledge it with respect. Tell them: “I know you’re swamped. We’ve got a lot going on.”

3. Express appreciation. A simple “thank you” for going the extra mile can defuse a lot of the feelings that work is overwhelming. Someone who feels appreciated might be less resentful, and more willing to make personal sacrifices to help the company get through a hard time.

4. Build a more collaborative environment. Nudge managers to talk about working together to get stuff done. Encourage offers to help one another. Build a “we’re all in this together” culture.

Example: Walmart employees often huddle for a few minutes at the beginning of a shift to talk about their plans and goals for the day. They even clap and sing together. At a company where I once worked, we had a similar stand-up meeting to share what was on our plates for the day and the outcomes we expected. We also asked for our peers’ support and encouragement. Those activities help employees under­­stand that all of the pressure for the work isn’t on one person. It helps them feel less alienated and more supported.

5. Be consistently clear about priorities. Employees have so much to do that they can’t figure out what to do first. Encourage regular instructions from managers to staff.

6. Know the priorities. Perhaps employees can’t prioritize because their overwhelmed managers don’t know what’s most important, either. Coach bosses to divide department-wide to-do lists into “A,” “B” and “C” tasks. Train employees the basic time-management skill of plugging the “A” tasks into their calendars with a reasonable time estimate. That way, everyone will be clear about how much they can get done.

Tip: To determine which are “A” tasks, ask: What are the consequences if it does not get done? Is someone waiting for it? How important is that person? Who gave it to me to do? How important is that person?

7. Lighten the load. Teasing out the “A” tasks also forces managers to examine whether the “B” and “C” tasks are im­­portant enough to devote staff time to at all. Those chores will either percolate to the top and become “A” tasks, or they won’t. If they’re not priorities, why are they on your list?

 8. Watch for the breaking point. The recession showed us that people can be way more productive than we thought. Still, everyone has a breaking point. At some time, you’ll need to hire more staff.

9. Make time management a core competency for all employees. Incorporate time-management instruction and coaching into employee orientation. Every employee needs it, yet too many organizations leave it to the wind.

10. Listen and coach. Allow employees to honestly ex­­press their feelings. Give them time to vent, and then help them develop a plan. That will go a long way to defusing hard feelings and low productivity caused by feeling overwhelmed. It will help employees gain control of their own work.

Managers can help by setting priorities. Employees will feel less like it’s all up to them—and less guilty when they can’t get it all done by themselves. Honor and respect the fact that people are feeling overwhelmed, and those employees will more likely accept it as the new normal—and acknowledge that they can get important work done.

See link to original post here


JoAnn Corley is an Atlanta-based speaker, management and career coach, and author of the book Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed. Contact her at (630) 926-5323 or via her website:

The Hidden job market

So what is this hidden job market?

Research has it that 7 out of 10 jobs are not advertised but arise and are filled through the hidden job market.

So how do you become visible in such an invisible world? Networks and Connections are the players in this game.

A lady connected with me on LinkedIn recently and told me she needed a job. I told her to send in her CV and I had a look. I did not have a job for her at the time but kept the CV. About a month afterwards, she sent me a reminder message which I acknowledged. Two weeks or more after that, I heard about a vacancy and immediately thought of her. I fished out her CV and forwarded on her behalf. She was called for an interview and got the job.

That seemed easy but I bet you it was not. She understood that to get a job, she could not rely on the existing job vacancies posted daily on job boards and newspapers. She had to access the hidden jobs. The point is, if you want to get called for job vacancies in the hidden job market, you have to do some or all of the following:

  • Contact and connect with experts in the field you are interested in.
  • Volunteer at organizations you are interested in working.
  • Keep up with news and information in the relevant sector.
  • Show that you are committed to your career by becoming a thought leader.
  • Post relevant articles and information about your field online.
  • Look out for the sector the government is investing in
  • Make contributions to peoples posts and articles that shows your interests.

Follow these easy tips and enter in the world of the hidden job market!



Please do not clog my inbox with CVs just because of what I wrote above. Remember that you do not want to get lost in a world of several emails/CVs. 😉


Dear Applicant, I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Unemployment is everywhere, they say.

Jobs are not available, they cry.

People only hire people they know, they lament.

We didn’t stand a chance, they chorus.

Well here’s my reply to you, dear applicant.

Dear Applicant,

You applied for a job and I called you for a phone interview but you never picked up your phone and you never called back. Did you think I was a stalker or your little nephew asking for money again?

I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Dear Applicant,

I advertised a vacancy and requested that people send in CVs. Your email arrived with a cover letter in the body of the mail. I was really impressed and could not wait to view your CV. There was only one problem. You forgot to attach the CV.

I did the unthinkable… I replied your email asking you to attach your CV and you did not reply me until the next day, without an apology. In any case, it was already too late.

I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Dear Applicant,

I advertised a vacancy and requested that people send in CVs. Your email arrived with an attachment but no subject nor message. All I saw in the body of the email was

‘Sent from my Blackberry Smartphone’

I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Dear Applicant,

I advertised a vacancy and requested that people send in CVs. Your email arrived forwarded from the last place you sent it to. And PS, there was no attachment.

I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Dear Applicant,

I advertised for a vacancy and requested that people send in CVs. Your email came in with a short cover letter telling me how qualified you were for the role. You said your CV would convince me beyond all reasonable doubt that you were the one for the position. I opened your CV expecting soo much…. and I didn’t find one word that qualified you as right for the position. I even used Ctrl F to search for the keyword in the role and came up blank.

I don’t think you really wanted that job!

Dear Applicant,

You were invited for an interview and you arrived slightly late but in good time. I interviewed you and to be frank, you were OK. The only problem was…. You were dressed in a micro mini skirt and had huge false eyelashes.

In my humble opinion, I don’t think you really wanted that job!


I really would love to take a stab at reducing unemployment but job seekers make it so difficult for anyone to help them. And so this is me venting and pleading…..

Prove to me that you really want that job!



Hiring Manager.