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Jan Badenhorst
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How to find a job - the plan that actually works

29 July 2016, 08:15

You have been looking for a job, or for a better job... and you are stuck.

You bought all the Job Newspapers. You read the jobs section of the newspapers every day. You went online and loaded your CV on some job sites. You sent applications letters and CVs to the jobs you found.

And... nothing. They are just ignoring you.

They are ignoring you because nobody find jobs by doing what you are doing. Twenty years ago, maybe, your plan worked. But today nobody gets an actual interview and an real job by applying to lots of jobs they find online or in the newspapers.

So, how do you find a job? Or at least get invited to an Interview?

1. Use your contacts. Use ALL your contacts. Those 210 Facebook friends, ask them if they know about anyone with a job opening. Ask you priest. Ask you old School Principal. Ask your family members. Get all these people to ask all their contacts. Your mother's employer. Your uncle's boss. The manager at the place where that old school friend now works.

2. Look wider than just current jobs. If you are actively talking to people about what you can do, then they might consider you for a job that they have not even advertised yet.

3. Offer to work for free. Yes, I know that is painful. But once you got your foot in the door, your chances of getting a job is much bigger. What you want is the opportunity to show them your positiveness, your work ethic. Once they see what a good worker you are, chances are they will find a job for you. Or even create a job for you. Chances are they will at least offer to pay your transport and meals when they see how committed you are. This includes mentorships, job shadowing, internships...

4. Always ask for a meeting. Sending out your CV is a waste of time. You want a meeting. Even just a ten minute meeting. So you can hand over your CV yourself. So that you can make sure you make a good impression.

5. Write a great CV. No more than 2 pages. This is lots of hard work. By showing the prospective employer how much effort you put into giving them a simple, clear, short CV, you are already creating a good impression. If you are not sure whether you know how to write a great CV, then get help. Let me assure you that one spelling mistake means you don't get the interview.

6. Write an application letter that relates to the job you want. So write about your skills and experience, and how that links to the job you want. If you can't link your experience, skills and qualifications directly to the job you are applying for... then you won't get the job. Not a good writer? Get help. 

7. Read the instructions. If you apply for a job that was advertised, read carefully what they want you to do. Are they asking for a CV, or a covering letter? Or both. If you can't follow the instructions in the advert, you are showing that you will also not follow instructions if they give you the job. This counts even more when you get a meeting. Did the person you are meeting tell you what they want from the meeting? Did they ask for a CV? Make sure you have it, nicely printed.

8. Prepare for the meeting or interview. Do you know what they expect you to bring to the interview? Do they want a copy of your ID? Make sure you know exactly what they expect. ASK. Before the meeting. Do mock interviews with your friends.

9. Looking for a job, IS your job. So get up every morning early. Get dressed as if you are going to work. Shave. Comb your hair. Clean your shoes. Create a list of job-seeking tasks for every day. Do those tasks. Every Day. Every.... Day.

10. The people who get the jobs, are the ones who follow some good advice and then REFUSE TO GIVE UP.

11. You can do it.

Yes, any work experience, short course, job shadowing, qualification or seminar you attended, makes your CV better, and makes you more employable.

I work for , so I deal with people studying to improve their chances every day.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


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