Get your CV ready before the job-hunting season starts in 2020
Prepare yourself for the job-hunting season by updating your CV and your cover letters. It’s essential to spend time developing your CV so that you stand out from the crowd. From doing your research to organising references, there are plenty of steps you can take to increase your chances of success. Upload your CV for free on Job Mail and connect with potential employers across South Africa.
Do your research on the industry and prospective employers
Research your industry and the top companies that you want to work for before you start updating your CV. Find out what skills and qualities they’re looking for when they hire new employees. Your CV should showcase how your capabilities set you apart from the crowd. Read articles that are written about your industry to stay up to date with the latest trends. Be prepared to customise your CV for each job application as this increases your chances of being hired.
Include your work experience
As a general rule, start with the latest experience or your current job and then work your way down to your first job.
If your work experience is limited and you’re looking for an entry-level position, you may need to include all your past employers. While babysitting and waitering may not be relevant to the position you’re applying for, these roles can be used to showcase your reliability and trustworthiness.
If you are a more experienced jobseeker, you can include a summarised version of your work experience to save space and make a note that you can provide more information upon request, unless specified otherwise in the job spec. Although many people say you should only include job experience that is relevant to the position you are applying for, your CV might come across as incomplete since the prospective employer doesn’t have any context of what you’ve included in your CV and what not. You might also be changing careers, which means you don’t have any experience related to the job you are applying for. It’s generally better to include all your work experience in a summarised way and provide more information when asked.
Improve your skills
Compare your capabilities to the skills that employers are looking for. If you notice that you’re missing important skills, look for suitable training opportunities. Completing additional training is an excellent strategy that will help you prepare for your job search. With plenty of online training options, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for before the job-hunting season starts. Once you’ve got the essential skills you need, start developing additional capabilities that will set you apart from your competition.
Remember, soft skills are important. What do we mean by soft skills? Soft skills are the personal attributes that allow a person to interact effectively with other people. Soft skills can include anything from communication skills to emotional intelligence, people skills, attitude, adaptability and many more.
Soft skills are important for prospective employers as most jobs require that you work with other employees, clients or the public.
You can list your soft and hard skills in your CV, but you can also use them as keywords in your cover letter.
Organise your references
Prospective employers will need the contact details of your references so that they can verify the information you provided.
Written references make a great addition to your job application. You can include your reference letters at the end of your CV or, if it is a short paragraph, add it below each reference’s details.
In preparation for job-hunting season, you can also call or email your references and let them know to expect calls. It’s more likely that they’ll recommend you if you have the courtesy to warn them ahead of time.
Check your grammar and spelling
Grammar and spelling mistakes are sure to discourage prospective employers from hiring you. Read your CV carefully to ensure that it’s free from errors. It’s helpful to ask a reliable friend to review your CV in case there are any mistakes you’ve missed. The formatting is also important. Avoid fancy fonts and create a CV that is easy to read.
Prepare your personal documents
Get any personal documents ready so that you have everything you need when the time comes to submit job applications. It’s helpful to have a copy of your ID, and in some instances, you may need to provide a certified copy. Also, check what other documents are required by your industry. Some employers might want to see certified copies of your qualifications.
You can keep a set of printed copies with you when you go for interviews, but also have scanned versions on your computer, tablet or phone to make it easy to submit it when you apply for a job.
Get your work samples ready
Depending on what industry you’re working in, some employers will want to see samples of your work. Take the time to create a high-quality portfolio of your work that’s ready to be reviewed when requested. This will save you from rushing to develop a portfolio when you’re submitting an application during the busy job-hunting season.
Now that you know how to prepare for the job-hunting season, you can look forward to submitting applications with confidence. Browse Job Mail to discover a wide range of exciting employment opportunities.