We’ve all heard about South Africa’s unemployment rate, and it’s discouraging. The jobs outlook in South Africa is the worst it’s been in five years. Unemployment rose to 29.1 %, or 6.7-million people, from 27.6% – the highest since 2008.
And that just as an estimated 500,000 matriculants are entering the job market this year, increasing the competition for scarce jobs even more.
What can you do to beat the odds?
1. Treat job-hunting like a job.
If you are unemployed, finding a job is your job. This means spending time researching the vacancies you would like to apply for and keeping all of the contact information in a single spreadsheet or file.
2. Get your CV – and social media – basics right.
Organisations today are as interested in your CV as they are in your internet activity, so make sure your CV looks good and is perfectly spell-checked – but also update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that your online footprint projects the image you’d like future employers to see.
3. If you don’t have experience, work at it.
If you have recently finished your education with little or no experience, you are at a disadvantage. Even if you aren’t entirely new to the job market, life-long learning is non-negotiable for employers. That doesn’t have to be academic or formal learning which costs money; the internet has numerous free opportunities to expand your knowledge.
4. Dress up
Always dress one level up from the organisation you’re interviewing with. Watch out for too many accessories, avoid hats and sunglasses, and err on the side of conservative.
5. Prepare for interviews – and be early.
Review the job requirements, research the company, practice the answers to possible interview questions, and prepare questions you may have for the interviewer. Also think about your strengths and weaknesses, a question often asked in interviews.
Think about logistics when you apply for a job. For example, people should determine beforehand how much daily transport will cost to get to the job, and determine if the salary will be worth it.
Then arrive 15 minutes before an interview, to show how serious you are.