LOOKING FOR JOB

Looking for a job is not an easy exercise especially for the youth with very limited working experience and skills. If you have never worked before or you have spent several months without a job, you know what we are talking about here: The frustration, humiliation and hardship of life without a job.

So whether you are looking for your very first job, switching careers, looking for another employer or just re-entering the job market after an extended absence, finding a job you are looking for might be a daunting task. How does one get a job in today’s age of high unemployment? How do you find those companies who are looking for employees like you?  And if you find them, how to you convince them that you are the candidate they were looking for?

Here are a few Ten steps that will guide you to find that job you are looking for, how to ace the interview and how to follow up.

Step 1: Revise your CV

This is probably the most important step when you are looking for a job. 

Before you start any job hunting, make sure that your CV is as complete and up-to-date as possible. Your CV will be the first impression a recruiter or employer has of you. It describes what sets you aside from other applicants and what makes your application special and relevant to that specific job vacancy. You need a very good CV to succeed in securing your interview.

This is the first step to secure your job so spend some good time getting it right, remember your potential employer spends considerable amount of time and resources in the recruitment process and hiring and orientation of new employees is expensive and time consuming. If you put an effort to write a great CV, there is a strong chance that the reader will notice you and invite you for an interview.

You should tailor write your CV for each job you are applying for. Emphasize details of your skills/attributes relevant to each unique job advert. Don’t send the same CV to multiple job vacancies. The more closely your skills match the requirement of that specific position, the more likely you can have a chance to be invited for an interview.

For a detailed article to teach you how to write a great CV for your dream job, read the article: 

How to write a great professional Curriculum Vitae (CV)  

Free Professional CV Templates

Step 2: Create a List of Companies 

You will be surprised to see how many people especially young graduates or High School leavers who don’t even have in mind a few names of companies they would like to work for. Do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? If you do, use the internet to discover information about the company, review open positions, see what they are looking for, maybe they are looking for people with your skills or experience. 

If you don’t have a target list of companies, this will be your first job. Start with Government departments, do a research of companies you would be thrilled to work for or any company that you believe employs people with your skills. If you are wondering where you will get these information, don’t worry as everything is available on the internet, and it’s easy to find detailed information about potential employers online. Just use your friend Google. If for example you are a School leaver with no experience and you are looking for a Call Center job around Johannesburg, a simple Google search of “call center companies in Johannesburg” will give you  a lot of information. This is the time to learn how to Google for a very good cause. Don’t pick-up any company, only company that match what you are looking for. There are web sites with lists of the best companies to work for. Try in Google search “Best companies to work for in South Africa” for example depending on where you are. Student Village for example, will give a Graduate a list of companies to work for in South Africa. Your local Chamber of Commerce, chamber of mine, Yellow page directory, Professional associations or University career pages could help you find local companies in your career field and/or industry.

Step 3: Networking 

75-80% of job vacancies are never advertised to the public for you to know about them. Some are even advertised only internally within the company. So if you don’t know any body you’ll never gonna know about them. This is the time to make friends buddy and swallow your pride if you never ask for assistance. Many people get their jobs through networking and recommendations.

Talk to your relatives, your friends and their families or members of clubs or church you belong to. Talk to them about what they do and where they work. When you meet someone who has similar interests or is working in the type of job you’d like to have, or your former colleagues, take their contact details, make sure you stay in touch with them in the future. If they get a job, they could be also a vacancy for you there. If you stay in touch with the people in your network you’ll be at the top of their mind when work opportunities come up.  

Step 4: Classifieds from local newspapers

Check the classifieds from your local newspapers. If you can not afford a print copy, most of these newspapers have an online edition. A few bucks at an internet cafe or even on your phone if you have a smart device. You’ll get access to their contents online. In South Africa newspapers such as Mail & Guardian South Africa or The Times South Africa and many other newspapers in your area.

Step 5: Recruitment agencies and job websites

Recruitment agencies and job websites have become a major players in today’s job industry. More and more companies are relying on the expertise of a recruitment agency for filling vacant positions and projects.

Recruitment agencies look for suitable candidates for vacant positions with one or more companies. Based on a job  and requirement description they search for suitable candidates through their own website, network, job fairs, job sites and even social media. So next time you must watch what you put on your social media profile as prospective employers are watching you.

When a recruiter has found a potential candidate then he/she will screen the CV and other relevant information about the candidate like academic records and certificates. If there is a potential match between the candidate’s profile and the job description, the recruiter will plan an interview to discuss the skills and needs of the candidate. If this interview is successful, the candidate can be invited to an interview with the company and thus simplifying the process on the company’s side. Meanwhile the recruiter is carefully monitoring the application process. If the client considers the candidate appropriate for the vacant position, then the recruiter will get paid by the company. 

Beware of offers that promise you will make a lot of money working from home or recruitment agencies that demand money upfront for various services. These might include paying to be listed on their candidate databases, paying to be put onto job shortlists and paying to be included in interviews with hiring employers. These scam artists will use your vulnerability and the unfamiliar with the recruitment process to steal your money. At no point ever does a candidate pay a recruitment agency. All recruitment services provided by legitimate agencies to job hunters are free unless you want their assistance to redo your CV, give you some training on interviews or other extra services which they might charge you for.

Here are Some job websites/ recruitment agencies you can begin your search at if you are looking for a job in South Africa or internationally: PNetIol JobsJobs.co.zaFind a job in AfricaEmploysaBest JobsGumtree, Junk Mail or Career Junction just to name a few. 

Step 6: Build Your Online Personal Brand

In today age of social media, not only we can use them to engage with friends but we could get a job as well. Start building your online profile, pay attention to the kind of things that could turn out up when people search for your name online as these could make a bad impression on recruiters or potential employers. Manage well the information that you put online also information that other people put online about you.

As a job seeker, you need to have a professional online presence that can easily be found by companies or recruiters. In your online profile, advertise your skills, experience and your good personality. Create online profiles on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, on job websites or recruitment agencies websites such as PNet or Career Junction

Step 7: Skills in Demand

The truth of the matter it’s very difficult to get a job if you don’t have any skills. What would you apply for? You need skills especially if you are a new entrant into the job market. Learn the skills which are in demand, and remember the demand for these skills can differ from place to place. One area might need skilled hairdressers, while another might have a shortage of doctors so be flexible. If there is one specific requirement that is letting you down like for example a lack of computer skills or a driving licence, it’s better to concentrate to acquire these first before you can move forward.

If you are a recent graduate or an entry level job seeker, read this article: 

Essential skills that Essential Skills for Entry Level Job Seekers

Step 8: Volunteer

Many people especially youngsters don’t like the idea of working for free, but if you are unemployed and you don’t have much working experience, you’ve got nothing really to lose here. By volunteering for an organization that focuses on something you’re passionate about could be very beneficial in the future. You may start out doing boring or easy work, but as you stick around and demonstrate your commitment, you’ll be given more responsibilities. Not only will you be helping others, but you’ll also be gaining references and valuable experience. 

Step 9: Cover letter for your CV

Many people are always wondering whether they should write a cover letter each time they apply for a position and the answer is definitely YES. A cover letter together with your CV is part of the tools you can use to market yourself to the prospective employer. You can’t definitely leave out anything that can work on your favor to secure your dream job. A cover letter introduces you and your CV to the recruiter, they will probably read it first before reading your CV. Your cover letter is your first and best chance to make a good impression.

To learn how to write a great cover letter for you CV, read this article:

How to write a great cover letter for your CV

Step 10: Learn how to answer correctly to job interview questionss

After spending enormous amount of time reading job adverts, writing CVs and sending job applications, now you are one step closer to your dream especially if you were applying for your dream job, you definitely do not want to mess that up at this stage so you always need to prepare for the interview.

While there is no way of predicting exactly what kind of questions you will be asked, there is a couple of standard questions that tend to always come up. Read this article to learn how to answer Job Interview Questions:

Top 20 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers