A Useful Guide to Job Hunting Success
Finding jobs in South Africa, especially in today’s economic climate, can be difficult. With a high unemployment rate, measured at 24.5% in the last quarter of 2015, job hunting has become a competitive playing field and applying for job opportunities has become somewhat of an art.
Today, the Job Mail team focusses on the job seeking population of South Africa, equipping them with the most awesome job hunting tips. We want to help YOU get the job, starting you on the path of a vibrant career full of potential and growth.
Job Hunting 101
The first thing to focus on when starting the job search is getting your ‘image’ ready. This image includes everything from CV to your Facebook profile.
The All Important Curriculum Vitae
Starting with your CV, make sure that it is up to date and shows off all your knowledge. It is very important to ensure that your relevant skills are highlighted for the job opportunity you are interested in. If you are applying for a sales vacancy for example, let your skills and experiences in this field take top priority, followed by your other skills and work experience.
Top Tip: Always have CV Templates ready to edit according to the vacancy you are applying for. Having a standard CV that you send to all potential employers are, in some cases, not enough anymore. You will have to put in more effort to be able to compete with the other applicants.
Another great idea when it comes to your CV is taking a small step away from what is traditional and adding a unique touch. If you are a graphic design artist, show it off with the layout and look of your CV. If you are a web developer, create a site for your CV, each page highlighting a different skill. The main point here is to use you skills to create a CV that is uniquely you.
Top Tip: Did you know that Job Mail allows you to upload a Video CV?
Social Networks and Online Profiles
One of the best job hunting tips we can give you regarding career advice, regards your Social Network profiles. Make sure that your Facebook and Twitter profiles look professional in every sense of the word. Remember, when potential employers consider a candidate, they will look at your social activity. Why? It will give them a sense of the type of person you are.
Is this always accurate? No, but keep in mind that this is the only thing potential employers have to go on. What many people do not realise is that your Social Media accounts is your ‘public face’. Nothing is hidden from the prying eye of the public, so always ensure that you conduct yourself in an appropriate manner on all online platforms. We live in a digital age where the lines of privacy can get a little blurry.
When looking for jobs in South Africa, remember that your ‘public face’ will need to adjust to our times, so make sure that your Facebook and Twitter profiles reflects a professional you.
DON’T forget about LinkedIn. I like to call it the Facebook for careers and job opportunities and, in a sense, it cannot be truer. This is your professional online profile, so keep it up to date and in line with your CV.
LinkedIn allows you to add all your qualifications, projects, interest and skills – the perfect place where a potential employer can learn more about your professional career, and where you can start building on the perfect job seeking profile.
Social Networks and platforms can also be great tools for showing off your talents. Platforms like Deviant Art for example is great for Artists, while YouTube can be a great tool for 3D Animation Artist. Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr – tons of platforms can be leveraged to show off your skills.
NOTE: Reading various career advice and tip articles and blogs, your CV will never be 100% perfect. There will always be something to improve, something to add and something to remove. Our advice here is to create a CV that is honest, reflects who you are and what you can do.
Job Hunting Websites
Job hunting is without a doubt a difficult – and sometimes long – process. After your CV and public, online image has been optimised, it is time to start looking for job opportunities. A great place to start is always Job hunting websites (like Job Mail).
Browsing through these types of sites will allow you to not only see what type of opportunities are out there, but explore the different (and maybe even more specialised areas) within the industry.
Make use of reliable websites where serious employers looking for professional employees advertise their vacancies. South Africa offers a number of these reliable websites that advertises jobs in South Africa, one of them being Job Mail.
Top Tip: Job Mail features over 48 000 registered employers, featuring more than 11 000 active job adverts at any given time.
Also remember to check out job hunting websites that are relevant to your industry as well as the websites of companies you want to work for.
But is it what you want?
Looking for employment involves a lot of research. Blindly applying for vacancies is definitely something you should not be doing. When job hunting, do as much research about the company offering the position as possible.
Because your job is something that will take up most of your time, it is important that you find a company where you will be happy in an industry that interests you.
Applying for Job Opportunities
Your career search will eventually lead you to identifying the opportunities you are interested in. But, before you send off that CV, you will need to do some editing (and some writing).
Mentioned earlier, you will need to (honestly) edit your CV to show off the relevant skills for each position you apply for. Another VERY important aspect of job hunting is creating a cover letter for your CV.
This cover letter should be unique for every CV you submit. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself, tell the potential employer what you have to offer and leave a lasting impression.
Top Tip: Errors, especially grammatical errors, should be avoided at all costs.
Keep in mind that, because of various factors including South Africa’s current economic climate, you might not necessarily find the perfect job with the perfect pay and the perfect benefits. If you are an already employed job seeking professional, this might not be such a big deal, but for those of us that are unemployed, this might become a lot more difficult.
Though it might not be the opportunity that gives you everything you want, you might still be able to get something out of it. Taking a job that might be at a lower level, or offers a lower salary, is not always such a bad thing. Some of the best career advice I ever received is that jobs allow you to build up your skills and work experiences – a great addition to your CV.
Jobs allow for growth – both within the company you work for as well as personal growth – so keep an open mind when job hunting. Look for opportunities where you can learn and build on your skills.
Job Hunting Tips Summarised
To bring all these tips together and give you an easy list to refer back to, here are some of the most important job hunting tips summarised:
- A unique, up to date CV that highlights your skills.
- A kick-ass cover letter.
- A CV and Cover Letter that are tailored to the specific vacancy.
- Avoid errors on your CV and Cover Letter.
- Leverage your Social Media profiles to reflect a professional person.
- Use reliable job hunting websites (like Job Mail of course) and industry specific websites.
- Do your research about the company offering the vacancy.
- Don’t dismiss job opportunities because it is not 100% what you are looking for.
- Don’t be scared to apply for a vacancy.
Don’t forget to download the FREE Job Seeker’s Guide to finding a job in South Africa for more amazing job hunting tips!
Jobs in South Africa and the 2016 Budget Speech
South Africa’s 2016 Budget Speech took place less than a month ago and, with this speech, South Africans could see only a slight improvement in the unemployment rate. This rate of unemployment fell to 24.5% in the last quarter of 2015 (compared to the 25.5% unemployment rate recorded in the previous quarter).
Announced in the 2016 Budget Speech by South African Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, our government will be undertaking various measures in order to promote the creation of jobs. In South Africa’s National Development Plan, the creation of employment does play a role, as it is necessary for growth.
South Africa has experienced an economic growth of just under 1% – a rate that falls short of what is required in order to create employment and reduce both inequality and poverty. The South African Treasury further only predicts an economic growth of 0.9% for the coming year.
Discussed in the 2016 Budget Speech, Minister Gordhan further highlighted the government’s plan for the coming three years. Outlined by the South African President, it highlighted the initiatives in progress aimed at addressing the coordination as well as the implementation. In terms of jobs and employment, the Budget Speech noted the prioritisation (for support by the Industrial Development Corporation) of employment-intensive sectors and special economic zones which exhibited export potential.
South Africa’s environmental employment programmes are also continuing to earn recognition on an international level.
The Community Work Programme is expanding its reach and Jobs Fund partnership projects of R12bn have been approved.
Furthermore, the Department of Small Business Development will receive R 475 million towards helping small and medium enterprises.
There is no doubt that unemployment is a problem in South Africa, those most affected being the youth as well as the part of the South African community with lower skill levels.