Knowing how to look for a job is a key skill in today’s job market. While there is a wide array of available jobs in South Africa, it can be tough out there for jobseekers especially if you are applying for a job for the first time and you don’t have any work experience.
There are many millions of people out there who are spending hours crafting resumes that don’t even get them a first interview! But don’t despair. With the right attitude and a bit of legwork, your CV will be top of the pile in no time.
Get your CV looking on point!
If you last updated your CV five years ago and it still includes everything from your favourite colour to where you like to go on holiday, it’s time for a CV overhaul! Today’s recruiters are looking at hundreds if not thousands of CV’s for one job application so you need to have a CV that is easy to read and stands out from the crowd.
If you can spare the extra money, get a professional CV writer to make you look like a business rockstar! Otherwise get online and google CV examples for some great ideas.
Network, Network, Network!
Don’t be shy to let people know that you are looking for a job. Get creative and write a short, interesting post that lists your skills on Facebook or Instagram. Ask your friends to share your post on their timelines. And don’t just do it once – do it once a month if you have to.
Connecting with people who have similar interests can really help in the job search too. Look for online job resources that will allow you to connect with potential employers.
Find out everything there is to know about the job you want and find out where people in this field congregate online and in the real world. Think about why your chosen profession is important to you and build your network accordingly.
Maintain a Professional Online Presence
In today’s age of communication, you need to keep your online presence professional. Be sure to keep your social media profiles open, presentable and easy to find. It will help you stand out in a crowd and will give employers a good feel for who you are and what your skills are.
But be careful what you post on social media – if you make it past the first round of job interviews, recruiters will check your online presence. So make sure you don’t post anything publicly that would make them think twice about calling you back. Keep those party pics in your bikini for close friends and family only!
Taking the first step towards finding your job can be daunting, especially if you are yet to take action. Instead of setting huge deadlines, set small, reasonable goals for yourself, and work towards reaching them. Make a ‘To-Do List’ every Monday that includes all the actions you are going to take for the week and tick them off as you complete them.
This will help you to stay motivated and will help you to keep moving forward. Set your course and do not waiver or become distracted. Even if you do take a job as a data capturer while you wait for your dream job working with animals, keep looking and don’t give up.
There are many different paths to get to where you want to go. The only people who never realise their dreams are the ones that gave up on them.
Create Your Own Opportunities
Few companies would say no to an intern or trainee volunteering their services for a set period of time. This is a great way to get your foot in the door. Let the company know that you are looking for an internship for a few months and you would be happy to work for free to gain valuable experience.
Be prepared to start at the bottom and do whatever it takes to earn a great reference and possibly a job offer when you prove yourself to be indispensable to the boss.
Once you’re in the market it becomes so much easier to get referred by colleagues for other jobs in the same industry.
Don’t give up! The perfect job for you is out there. You just need to find each other. Remember: If you don’t have a job, your job until you do – is finding one. Get up in the morning, get dressed and get to it. Whether you are applying online or you need to pound some pavements, the harder you work at it, the luckier you’ll get. Good luck!