Step by step guide to assist in job hunting:

Finding a job is like selling a product, if you do not put in hard work to promote the product the chances are highly unlikely that the product will be sold. Just like a product you need to sell yourself to as many possible companies as possible. The current job market in South Africa is oversaturated, thus there are more people looking for work than there are vacancies available. This is why effectively marketing your CV is very important. The following routes have to be seen as tools to be used to assist you in becoming gainfully employed. The more you use these tools, the higher your chances are in being successfully employed.

Tools (in no specific order):

• Recruitment Agencies

• Job Portals

• Self-Marketing to specific companies

• LinkedIn & social media

Where to register your CV and upload your professional profile

Upload your CV onto as many job portals, agencies and companies’ websites as possible and create a comprehensive LinkedIn Profile (Your profile should reflect your CV i.e duties and qualifications). Upload your CV specifically on to the agencies and companies’ websites in your immediate area. Companies do not like to relocate candidates; if you apply for positions far from your residence you decrease your chances of employment.

How you should apply for a position:

Firstly, it is crucial to ensure that you are applying for a position that you do fit the criteria (Qualifications, Experience and Duties) of the specification as Agencies and HRs cannot compromise with regards to the specification they have received, especially agencies, as companies pay agencies to find a candidate that match the specification received. As much as agencies would like to take a chance and submit your CV if it matches 65% or even below, it could compromise the relationship the agency has with their client. Reason being, is that companies need candidates with prior experience so that they do not have to rely on training as this is costly. If a company wanted to train someone for a role the position would have been advertised in that manner.

What to do after you have uploaded your CV

You need to check the websites/ Job portals daily and apply for as many positions that match your skillset as possible. Just by uploading / applying for a position does not mean that your CV will automatically get you an interview. After applying for a position follow-up with a phone call and an email and build a relationship with the various recruiters and HR Officers, market your skills and experience and ensure your CV is received in good order. Also keep an eye out for the reference number of the vacancy applied for and use that when following up, this will assist you in being transferred to the correct individual. Agencies and companies receive thousands of CV’s a week if you don’t make yourself stand out, your CV is likely to drown in the volume of CVs they receive.

Remember to always be patient, professional and cordial with a positive and a willing attitude. Recruiters and HRs deal with hundreds of people daily and if you don’t act professionally, you might cost yourself an opportunity. Professional behaviour and a good attitude are essential for agencies because you represent their brand when they put your CV forward to a client. That is why it is important to treat all forms of communication (telephonic and email) as an interview.

Agencies are not paid to find people work; companies pay agencies to find a specific candidate according to the job specification received by their client (which cannot be compromised). If you gain the trust of a recruiter/HR your chances will be greater in being put forward for a vacancy as a professional relationship is in place, and your experience and qualifications would then be verified. Do not get discouraged you will most probably have to apply for many, many jobs before you find employment, unfortunately this is the nature of the South African job market.

Self-Marketing to specific companies

What you need to do here is choose 5 companies in your area that you would like to work for. After you have found 5 companies do research on the following:

• Who are the Owners, Branch Managers or HR Managers, HR Officer or Internal Recruiters?

• The background of the company ( i.e check the “About Us” on the website, research!)

• Products and or Services offered and the industry the company operates in

• Read about the company culture and their norms and values

You have to make yourself knowledgeable about the company before contacting them. First impressions are lasting ones. When you market yourself, you need to be able to articulate why you want to work there and why you will be an asset to the company. When you are ready, give the company a call and try to schedule a meeting to introduce and market yourself to them.

Remember to not get discouraged, this is not an easy process and you will most probably have to contact many companies before you are invited for the interview.

Should you be unsuccessful in obtaining an interview or position with the first 5 companies that you have selected, move on to the next 5 and so forth. Eventually you will find a company that will see your skills and invest in you. Remember you are marketing yourself. The more companies you approach and leave a good impression on, the more companies will have your CV on file and they will remember your good attitude and positive energy. This will also improve future possibilities of employment by those companies.

LinkedIn & Social Media

Ensure you create a profile on LinkedIn, list your full CV on your profile with all your skills and connect with people at companies you would like to work for.

As for your CV

We would recommend to create your CV in a Word document, a digital pdf copy that has been converted from a Word document is also acceptable. Don’t use a scanned CV as recruiters and HR’s use keywords to identify your CV and unfortunately scanned documents are not searchable. Try not to use fancy fonts or tables or fancy boarders they contain software coding that could influence how searchable your CV is on a website or portal in a very negative way. It is also important to keep your CV updated, do not apply for positions with an outdated CV.

Structure you cv as follow:

• Add a proper professional head and shoulders picture to the top.

• Name, Surname, Telephone Number yourself and alternative, email, driver license etc.

• Courses, qualification or certificates

• Software programs you can work on or specific or specialised tools you can use or machines you can operate

• Start with your last job and work back to your first

• List as many duties as possibly the more the better, do this in bullet format (long gone is the day of a 2-page CV)

• Start date and end date

• Reasons for leaving

• Notice period

• References

In closing if you do not network and market yourself to agencies and employers, they will not get to know you and will not be able to see your potential, you will just be a name on a database with literally millions of others looking for work. Looking for work is a full-time job, until you find some work, DO NOT GIVE UP!!! It is not easy, but with persistence and the right attitude you will succeed!

We believe this information can assist you greatly in moving your career forward and to the next level! Please continue to read should you require assistance with interviews!

For more information about our vacancies or to contact us, use the provided pages.

We thought it might also be valuable to include a few tips for jobseekers who plan to attend interviews in the new year, covering topics like what questions to expect, what the appropriate responses are, how to dress (both male and female), notes on what type of makeup to use, and so forth.

Go prepared: When you’ve been invited for an interview make sure you do your homework! Find the company’s website and do as much research as possible. Also make sure you know where they are and who to report to before the time! Brush up on your knowledge that you know is vital for the position you’re being interviewed for!

But what should I wear? Always be neat. Its not always necessary to be formal, but don’t ever go in your shorts and flops!! Find out about a company’s dress code before-hand, and go dressed accordingly. Piercings, tattoos, make up or outrageous outfits are best kept to a minimum in an interview!

I never know how to answer the questions properly! When answering a question, ask yourself “does the company need this information I’m providing to assess my ability to perform in their job?” If your answer is “no”, then you need to adjust your answers! Also remember to listen to a question, and make sure you’ve answered it…don’t get lost in a convoluted answer!

Confidence is key.. Being confident in your abilities makes others feel more confident in you.. which is important when you’re sitting in front of strangers that need to be able to trust what you’re saying!

Ask questions! Show you’re interested in the company and what they do. But avoid the pitfalls of questions where you only show interest in what you could gain from them, such as “what are my benefits” and “when do I get leave”…

Smile… We’re often so nervous that we forget to smile and be friendly!

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