How would you like to go for an all expense paid trip to Paris?
How would you like to attend a fully funded conference in London?
How would you like to be sponsored for a workshop in Berlin?
You would love that right?
Then read on for tips to make that happen.
1. Search for the Opportunities
The internet might be a blessing or it might be a curse but one thing it has done is increase access to information.
The first step to getting an opportunity is to find it.
You have to know about opportunities to benefit from them.
So, get on Twitter and follow all the handles tweeting about opportunities you are interested in.
Follow corporate handles like: After School Africa, Opportunity Desk and Youth Hub Africa
Follow personal handles like: Moments with Bren, Ogbeni Dipo, Baba_Omoloro
Follow me: StNaija
And turn on their notifications so you always know when something new is published.
You can also go a step further and follow other key players in your fields of interest.
You an sign-up for newsletters.
You can search the world wide web.
You can keep tabs on opportunities through other social media.
Do what ever you need to do. But recognise that you can only benefit from an opportunity you know about.
2. Don’t Self-reject
When there is a great opportunity, the diest questions that pops into your mind might be:
The question I want tou to ask is:
Why not me?
As long as you are interested and eligible for an opportunity, don’t doubt yourself.
Put your best foot forward.
Fortune favours the brave.
You lose 100 percent of the opportunities you don’t apply for.
You have to be in it to win it.
3. Follow The Instructions
Instructions will make or mar you in the opportunity world. They can make the difference between failure or success. So, read the instructions and follow them.
Check if you are eligible.
Find out the requirements.
Do they want PDFs of .dox?
Should your letter of motivation follow a prompt?
What is the word count?
4. Get Feedback and Support
I know you have written an excellent application with a killer motivation letter, but where ever possible, get a second opinion.
A second pair of eyes can often catch mistakes in grammar and typos.
Sometimes that an help add depth or colour to the submission.
When someone else gets or edits your work, it is that much better for it.
Even if all the help you can get is a cousin, an e-buddie or a close friend, don’t despise it. Get feedback.
5. Make Your Application Outstanding
Most opportunities get hundreds of entries. Some even get thousands. To make your application stand out you have to add something unique.
So, spend sometime thinking of how you are going to do that.
Do you have a compelling personal story to share?
Do you have superior skills or experience you can highlight?
Have you completed projects or mini projects in that area that can showcase your passion?
Be unique, be different, be unforgettable.
But in a good way.
This sounds redundant and generic but it’s real.
Every year thousands of people miss out on opportunitesis that could have changed their lives because they just couldn’t bring themselves to send their application.
Sometimes this happens because they forgot the deadline.
Sometimes it is last minute cold feet.
Don’t do that to your self.
7. Keep Track of Your Applications and Review Them
If you are like most people, you won’t win every contest or make every shortlist. You will have some disappointment alomd the way.
The important thing is to learn from your failures. And you can do this by keeping track of your submissions.
Last year, I won an international scholarship. In the previous year, my application did not even make it to the shortlist.
By reviewing tha ‘failed’ application, I was able to see gaps in my application. I reviewed them, addressed them, reapplied and won.
Keeping tabs of your applications will also help you save time for subsequent applications because they already contain the kernel of ideas you might want to rearrange and highlight.