The lockdown restrictions in South Africa have led to many uncertainties, especially for young job seekers.
The prospects of employment seem even bleaker, considering that many companies have either closed or are working remotely for this period with no certainty of when they will go back to normal.
With no clear indication of what will happen next, job seekers are wondering if they should pause their quest for employment or worse, give up entirely and continue living without any hope.
While the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has disrupted our lives and added more strain to our economy, people can be productive during this time.
Jake Willis, CEO of Lulaway, a youth employment hub says: “It is important for job seekers to understand that these are unprecedented times in the job market. The best thing to do right now is to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills that are necessary for you to break into whatever industry you want.”
The trick for job seekers is to stay motivated, focused and to explore the various virtual options at their disposal. Willis highlights four critical things that job seekers can do during this lockdown to ensure that they improve their employment prospects:
. Register on job portals
It is incredibly important for job seekers to continue applying for jobs even under the current circumstances. Lulaway, which has 750 000 registered job seekers, is a great platform for positioning job seekers as they try to find employment.
Young people looking to be absorbed into the job market need to utilise the resources that such portals have made available. An unemployed person can register with Lulaway on WhatsApp to be able to apply for available jobs and increase their chances of being employed.
This is a good opportunity for young people to learn new skills, brush up on their knowledge and to become better communicators. With the dawn of digitisation, people have now become accustomed to doing many important things digitally – from conducting business online to enrolling for free online courses to upskill.
– Writing courses;
– Administration courses;
– Management courses;
– Digital strategist/coordinator courses;
– Social media management courses; and
– Communications courses.
These are just some of the courses offered online that can make you more employable. Most online courses are free, which makes it easier for those that are financially at a disadvantage.
. Fix your CV and brush up on your interview skills
Employment expert Willis says many young people don’t know how to formulate a good CV. “Helping young people create professional CVs to ensure that prospective employers consider hiring them is one key area on which Lulaway is focused. This helps a great deal in making sure that we are able to place as many people as possible.”
Learning how to conduct yourself during an interview and how to articulate yourself with confidence, is important and thus should be something that job seekers brush up on during the lockdown.
. Use data wisely
Having basic internet access is crucial. Use your data to register on job portals, to apply for jobs and to upskill through online courses. It is also important to read books, keep mentally and physically fit by doing home exercises. If possible, learn a new language as will help you a lot as employers want diverse individuals.
“The lockdown has set a lot of us back but things will stabilise at some point. As job seekers, you want to be ready for the world of work once a sense of normalcy is re-established,” says Willis.