Lesson 1: Do These Things When You’re Looking for a Job
You might live in a part of the country where competition for jobs is fierce. There’s a large number of people in some areas of South Africa who are looking for jobs at all times because they might live in transient urban locations (this means that people are always moving into the areas and attempting to join the local workforce).
This is the classic case of urban migration. People go where the work is. You often find many individuals leaving the small towns from where they were raised, to find work in bigger cities like Johannesburg. This is where the fierce competition comes into play. If hundreds of people have the same plan and are applying for the same jobs, then your chances of getting that dream job obviously diminishes.
So the real question is what are you doing to sell yourself as the best of the best?
Job Mail wants you to get your dream job so we are going to giving you a few tips that could increase the likelihood of you getting you that job:
1. Basic Job Stuff: The first thing that you need to do is to make sure you’ve covered all of the basics that should be common sense in terms of getting a job but which sometimes get overlooked. This means that you have updated your CV (and yes – this means having a colleague or friend take a look at it, give you feedback, point out the spelling errors, typos and any other errors). It also means preparing a fresh cover letter and buying stationary to print it out. It also means setting up a professional e-mail name (if you don’t already have one) because it’s not appropriate to contact potential employers from your email@example.com account. It also means that you should have at least one professional outfit to wear to interviews. First impressions count, so make sure you are freshly showered and have a clean cut haircut. Arrive to the interview on time. Your future employers will almost all consider these things to be basic, obvious, common sense things that you should be doing so your failure to do them could be what’s preventing you from getting a job. If you don’t arrive for an interview you can’t blame the world for not having a job as it is your responsibility to arrive or you will not be shortlisted as a potential candidate for the position.
2. Actively Looking For Work: This should technically fall under the first category but it is ignored a surprising amount of the time, so it belongs on its own to give it the attention it needs. You cannot get a job if you aren’t looking. This means that you are not merely browsing the latest newspaper / online classifieds ads every few days. You are online, looking up available jobs on every classified site available. You are identifying places that you would like to work and actually going to take your CV and cover letter to them, even if they aren’t advertising that they are hiring. You are putting out the word among all of your friends that you are seeking work and letting them know that they should tip you off to anything that sounds like it might be right for you. And then you’re going back online and seeing what else is available. You’d be surprised how many people put in a minimum amount of effort to get work and then complain that they don’t have a job. Don’t be a whiner: Look for the jobs and you’ll probably get them.
3. Make Yourself Memorable: You don’t have to pull any crazy stunts, but you should make sure that you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. If you have a particular skill or part job experience that really applies to a particular job, make a special note of it in your cover letter. If you have a website that’s particularly visually appealing, a witty way of presenting yourself in e-mail or a business card that usually captures attention, make use of this to get the eye of the person you are trying to have hire you. People hire those that they remember after the first introduction is complete. Figure out what “your thing” is and use it.
If you think your CV needs some more work? Why not download the Job Mail CV template posted on our previous post.
Remember to get a friend to read over your CV and motivational letter because if you can’t convince them to hire you, then it may be time to relook your approach.