How to find a job after you graduate

By Faeza
26 July 2016

FEW events are as exciting as wearing a graduation gown and walking across the stage to receive your degree, diploma or certificate. The moment is a testament of how hard you have worked to finally earn a qualification. However, graduating can also be daunting. This is the time when you also have to search for a job. But as Kim Elliott, Student Affairs Manager at IQ Academy, says job applicants who stand out from the rest have a better chance of getting a job.


Your curriculum vitae (CV) is the best tool you have. Sell yourself effectively, highlighting your studies, skills and any work experience that you have. Kim warns that you should not make your CV longer than necessary. “Many candidates make the mistake of thinking that longer is better. I would advise that you keep it to two pages,” Kim says, adding that you must also write a strong cover letter. Also, you cannot have one CV that you send out for every job you apply for. For instance, when applying for a job as an office manager, it's not necessary to send a portfolio of your work as a graphic designer. Move Tip: Keep your CV short, honest and professional.


Life and business coach, Shoni Khangala, founder of Potential Exponents, says you need to have a well thought-out plan when you start searching for a job. This plan should consist of searching for advertised vacancies in newspapers, trade journals, graduate publications, the internet, company publications and websites. You should also consult recruitment agencies to help you in searching for a job.


Once you have been called for an interview, you have to show that you are professional; from the way you look to how you sound. Senior recruiter at Ditabataba HR Consulting, Rose Maphosa, says making a list of potential questions and answers will serve you well at the interview. “Give the interview panel the impression that you are really interested in the job,” she advises. Move Tip: Typical questions include why you want to work for that company, why you think you are the best candidate and your strengths and weaknesses.


Kim says it's rare to secure a dream job straight from tertiary. Therefore, your first priority should be getting any job that gives you some muchneeded experience, skills and income. This will bring you closer to getting your dream job. “If you have studied Travel and Tourism, you do not have to target jobs that start with the word “tour” or “travel” because this approach could be quite limiting. Look for jobs in hotels, for example,” Shoni says. Move Tip: Sector of Education and Training Authorities , government departments and non-profit organisations offer learnerships.


Networking is a very important part of getting a job. Develop a networking plan that will support the types of opportunities you are after. “Networking should also not be limited to online because every person you meet is an opportunity to find out about a potential job,” says Kim. Move Tip: Volunteering is a great way to develop skills and network.


¦ IQ Academy: 086 111 5054

¦ Potential Exponents 083 628 3428

¦ Ditabataba HR Consulting 079 599 2970