How to find a Job

Finding a job is a top priority for many people, but some are not sure how to go about getting that job. The job application process takes time. People who approach this process in an organised, systematic fashion experience more success and less stress than those who do not. To find a job in South Africa, consider personal interests and strengths first, then begin searching for and applying to positions.

The Job Search

The first step in a job search is to determine an area of interest. Students looking for temporary work while in school may prefer a job in the restaurant industry or something else with a flexible schedule that allows them the time to go to classes. Professionals often want to find jobs with security and the potential for upward mobility. Begin a job search by checking local listings in the field that interests you. Speak to friends and fellow students to find out about the places they work, or whether they know of any job opportunities. For first-time job seekers, using a recruitment agency to help you find jobs may streamline the process.

Play to Your Strengths

It is best to apply for jobs in areas you are most comfortable with. Outgoing, friendly people work well in retail, restaurants, and other service jobs where their primary purpose is interacting with others. Those who love children enjoy jobs like working in schools or child care facilities. People who are highly organised and like to work with other adults may prefer office jobs or working in banks, management or security. If you love the outdoors, consider a job in landscaping or the farming industry. Think about the things you enjoy doing most and look for jobs that appeal to that area.

Prepare Your CV

Your CV is the first impression you make on a potential employer. A high quality CV can make the difference between getting or not getting an interview. Be sure to take your time preparing your CV and periodically update it with new information. If you haven’t written a CV before, search for sample documents online or consider using a professional CV service to create one for you. Your CV should list your school and work experience, as well as include information about your Matric and other degrees or certifications you may hold. Many jobs require potential employees to list references. Choose people you can trust, that know you well and can speak about your work ethic and experience level.

Begin the Application Process

After finding a job you would like to apply for, contact the company’s human resources department to find out what steps to take. Some companies have an online application process, while others require applicants to come in and fill out a physical application. Be sure to inquire about any extra required papers before turning in your application. In addition to a CV, some jobs may require a copy of certifications or photographs. Organise all of your information neatly and turn it into the human resources department. If you have never applied for a job before, ask a trusted friend or family member to look over your paperwork before you turn it in. Students can turn to professors for guidance on filling out the appropriate papers and preparing them in a professional manner.

Follow Up and Interview

After turning in your application, wait several days to see if you receive a call from the company for an interview. If you do not, call the human resources department to confirm that your application was received and inquire as to when interviews are being scheduled. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude even if you do not get an interview, because you will still make a good impression which could lead to something in the future. If you do receive an invitation to interview, arrive early and dress appropriately. Answer questions in a calm and precise manner and be prepared to give further information about your experience, goals and school career. It is always a good idea to do some research on the company you are interviewing with, so you come prepared with questions of your own. This shows initiative and lets the employer know you take the job seriously. After the interview, thank the employers for their time, even if you do not get offered the position. Always follow up the next day with a handwritten thank you note or personal email.

Have patience during your job search and look at each application as an opportunity to learn. If you do not get hired, it is okay to politely inquire as to why you were not chosen, so you can gain information that may help you in the future. Continue to check classified listings daily, as new jobs are posted all the time. Not everyone automatically knows how to go about finding a job, but with some careful preparation the process becomes simple.

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