3 Useful Job Hunting Tips for Matrics
If you’ve just finished matric you have one of three options: you can take a gap year (and go work abroad), you can study at one of South Africa’s tertiary institutions (if you passed matric with exemption) or you can start looking for your first job.
Finding your first job after you’ve completed school can be a challenge. South Africa has an unemployment rate of 25% and there are a lot of people who are in the same situation as you, but you should not get discouraged.
Take note of these three useful job hunting tips to kick-start your career:
1. Start at the bottom
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ve just finished school, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to walk straight into the job of your dreams. You should expect that you will be starting at the bottom of the company structure. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – many senior executives of South African companies started as receptionists or counter clerks and worked their way up the corporate ladder. If you are ambitious, your superiors will notice it.
You should also consider doing voluntary work or offering your services free of charge to the company where you are most interested in working at, it’s an ideal way to build up experience that will help increase your chances to find a job.
Remember: There are many general jobs that you can do without a degree out there. There’s also jobs in the Admin, Building / Construction / Mining, Automotive and IT fields that you don’t need a degree for. Do research. Find out which options are available and go for it.
2. Equip yourself as well as possible
A matric certificate alone doesn’t really give you an advantage, but don’t get discouraged. Do research on what the labour market is looking for and see if and where you could fill the void.
Focus your job applications. Don’t send out generic CVs and applications and cross your fingers that you’ll find a job. Identify companies, businesses and organizations where your skills could be required. Read up about them on the Internet and make sure that you have the required skill-set that they might be looking for. This way you’ll be prepared for an interview with them and you’ll have a chance to make a great first impression.
Do your homework and get to know the names of companies in the sector / field that you want to work in. Check their websites and job portals (like Job Mail) regularly for updated job listings and consider learning a third language to increase your marketability. Also consider doing short courses that will make your CV more appealing to potential employers.
3. Seize opportunities that come your way
Sometimes companies invite entry level job seekers for interviews to determine what their potential is, rather than just focusing on candidates with experience and that fit into a predetermined pattern. If you get an opportunity like this, grab it with both your hands. Go for it for all you’re worth. Don’t send in an application half-heartedly. Show them what you’re made of and you may just get the job.
Well, there you have it, 3 useful job hunting tips for matriculants. If you can think of other useful tips, feel free to comment on this article. If you’ve found these tips useful, feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. You could be the reason that one of your friends finds a job.
Need more useful job hunting tips and advice? Register on Job Mail NOW! Once you’ve registered you can download a free copy of our E-book, The Job Seeker’s Guide to finding a job in South Africa (which has everything you need to know as a first time job seeker and more).
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