Find a Job in Accra


How to look for work in Accra


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English Job Market

When looking for a job in Ghana as a foreigner, you will need to clearly demonstrate that you have a unique skill set that is not found in a local individual. This is required for a work visa.

It is easiest for expats to find work in higher level positions with local or international companies. The emerging gas industry, as an example, needs skilled professionals that can help manage overall operations. Humanitarian organizations will also often have roles for expats in Ghana, though they may be on more of a rotational basis. Otherwise, possible sectors to consider include academia/research, healthcare or education.

Resume / CV

How you apply to a job will in part depend on where the company you are applying to is based. If it is a Ghanaian company, it is likely they will expect a CV. Western based countries may expect either a CV or resume. In either event, if the job posting does not clearly indicate a preference, it might be wise to clarify expectations before submitting. 

  • Resume- brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
  • CV (curriculum vitae)- more in depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Typically two or more pages.

For more information on the distinction between resumes and CVs, check out the CV versus Resume EasyExpat article

Layout

A standard CV should contain the following items. Again, it is important to crosscheck your application with the norms of the country in which the company you are applying to is based.

  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, fax number, address, and email address.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with: your title the name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that job
  • Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career.
  • Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Note if you received any special honors.
  • Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English and it is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.
  • Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.

Be aware that in some instances, the potential employer may expect you to submit a picture or other additional information as well.

Tips

  • Style should be straightforward. Use standard paper and a simple font.
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Don't use abbreviations. Emphasize sections and things that are important with underlines or bold type.
  • Make sure your CV is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.

Cover Letter

A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent. Also known as a cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, or letter of motivation.

As with the resume, it is important to crosscheck your application with the norms of the country in which the company you are applying to is based.

Format

  • Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
  • Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
  • Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer; although many favor the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation "ENCL" may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.

Job Search

Search Engines

When searching for jobs in Ghana, you will first want to narrow your field of interest. With that, you can then begin to search for organizations that are hiring employees to work in Ghana on either a temporary or full time basis.

Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.

Forums

Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Easy Expat's Ghana forum are a great resource. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.

Career Fairs

Sector-specific career fairs are another way to learn about job opportunities in Ghana. You can typically find these fairs outside of Ghana. Major cities and universities often host job fairs that cover a handful of sectors with an international focus at least annually.

Networking

Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work.

Expat events can also be a great way to find out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings. Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedln or expat forums.

Teaching English

Paid English teaching opportunities are fairly limited in Ghana since English is the country’s first language. Most volunteer organizations will offer English teaching positions, but these are voluntary and based in more rural schools.

There are a handful of privately run schools in Accra that look for foreign teachers, but these opportunities tend to be few and far between. Where they do exist, it is common for language schools usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. You must have adequate visa clearance and registration. Most schools will supply you the intent to employ so you can secure a visa.

Interview

Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you. Again, you will want to confirm where the company you are applying to is based, so that you can adhere to their national standards and norms. In general, the following tips will serve you well.

  • Research the company before the interview.
  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of the certificates.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

Different organizations will follow different formats for interviews. Some will be 30 minutes, others a couple of hours. Some organizations will employ multiple rounds, while others will be ready to make a decision on the spot.

Work Visas & Permits

In Ghana, foreigners are eligible to apply for either a general tourist visa (30 days, single/multiple entry) or a work visa. The latter is required for anyone who will formally work in the country. Virtually all nationalities are required to secure the appropriate visa in advance of arriving.

Refer to "Passport & Visa" section of the guide for full details.


Update 8/05/2015

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