1. Take pride in your CV
When applying for a job, you are one of many applicants applying for the same job, says Gadija Abdulla, Human Resources Support Officer for CANSA.
"It is important that you market and sell yourself well and the first step in doing so is to submit a comprehensive yet not overly bombarded cover letter and Curriculum Vitae," she says.
Abdulla gives the following tips:
"First impressions really do last. It's vital to submit a CV that is presentable, displays good grammar and spelling as well as any relevant information for the job you are applying for."
Read more: The pettiest office email responses
As for your cover letter – it should be a quality one, Abdulla says, and should summarise your part-time jobs, volunteer roles and achievements – both personal and academic.
Another interesting tip by Joblife.co.za is to email your CV in a PDF format, as CVs in MsWord often gets formatted and changed due to different fonts in the document. This is a great website to convert MsWord documents to PDF, for free.
We also like these tips by Twitter users.
2. Be prepared
If you've accomplished an interview, well done! Abdulla advises that the next step is to research the company – an applicant who is well-informed about the company really shows that they went the extra mile and does not go unnoticed by the interview panel.
Most important is exuding confidence. While it is normal to be nervous for an interview, Abdulla adds that you can decrease your level of nervousness by ensuring that you prepare thoroughly by thinking of possible questions that you may be asked.
If you have recently graduated and have experience as an intern, focus on how those skills are transferable and will fit in with the job you're interviewing for.
While it may seem pointless to mention, note that you should ALWAYS read up on the company's vision, achievements and objectives prior to the interview.
There's nothing worse than being asked by the interview panel to discuss why you'd like to work for their company and you respond with something that doesn't reflect the company's values itself.
Finally, dress presentably, says Abdulla.
"Interviewers won't have much time to get to know you. Creating a good impression, including dressing presentably shows that you're taking your application seriously, and be polite – always thank the interview panel for their time."
3. Keep an eye out for new posts on Mondays
According to Careers24 recruiters tend to be a bit more predictable. Their research that is based on data from usage patterns of both recruiters sourcing candidates and candidates who applied for positions on the platform, shows that most jobs were posted on Mondays in 2016 and 2017.
The next best days to look for a job are Wednesdays and Thursdays, notes the career portal. And the most jobs posted in a single day in 2017, was a Thursday in June, totaling just under 7,00 new jobs.
So if, for some reason, you're prone to checking for jobs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, know that you should keep your eye out on the other three days of the week too.
4. Don't forget to network
There is nothing more frustrating than the truth behind potentially having doors opened for your career if you network correctly, but it doesn't have to be a stressful task.
In our recent article we tell you the importance of networking and how to get it right. To summarise: Never pass an opportunity to network, put away your phone if you're in a networking space and never make the conversation all about you.
In the words of Dovas Zakas, "Networking is no longer optional. Opportunities arise through interaction and not through a transcript."
And if you find someone that is willing to become your mentor, that's great!
Make the most of your mentor by asking the right questions but don't pressure them into being 100% dedicated to helping you out.
5. Google yourself
Virtually all recruiters and employers will do a Google search or a search on LinkedIn to check out potential candidates, says operation director and digital marketing specialist at WSI, Marelise da Silva.
"Google yourself to see what comes up and tweak your online presence if you can (if there are unprofessional videos of yourself on your YouTube channel, for example, either delete the videos or change your privacy settings).
"It’s also a good idea to double check your Facebook privacy settings if there is personal content that you wouldn’t want to share with strangers."
6. Power your job search with social media
Following from the above point, there is social media behaviour that can easily cost you a job or help you to land one.
Show employers that you're digitally literate by being active on at least two social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Da Silva agrees that social media platforms can help you build your online presence.
"Websites like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest all rank very high in Google search results, so demonstrate your creativity and share your interests on these platforms. You control the content so make sure that it is the type of content that would appeal to a potential employer."
LinkedIn is also an important and popular social network for professionals and has more than 259 million users across the globe.
If used strategically, it can impress potential employers who are searching for any information about you online.
Da Silva suggests that you update your LinkedIn profile with a professional photo – preferably a head shot with good lighting – and ensure you have a complete and comprehensive profile on the site. More than that, she suggests that you join a few LinkedIn groups that are relevant to the industry that you want to work in.
You could also ask a few of your connections to endorse your skills or to write a recommendation of your work that will be displayed on your profile.
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