10 realistic tips to help matriculants succeed at finding a job

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator have shared ten realistic tips to help youth with finding employment opportunities.
Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator have shared ten realistic tips to help youth with finding employment opportunities.

As matric learners have learned their fate with the release of their results, the reality is not all of them will go on to study.

Some of them will be entering the world of work almost immediately, but with the current levels of youth unemployment in South Africa the job hunting journey is often not very easy.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator have shared ten realistic tips to help youth with finding employment opportunities.

1. Your job is to find yourself a job

Job hunting is a time consuming task, but it is important to invest as much time as you can in it.

Read job advertisements online or in the newspaper and apply for the ones that appeal to you.

Keep talking to everyone you meet about your job search.

Knock on business doors and hand out your CV.

A wise employer will be impressed by your attitude and your confidence.

2. Network, network, network

One of the most important things you can do when you are looking for a job is to network.

Speak to EVERYONE you know if they are aware of any jobs you could apply for and ask them to introduce you to other people who might know about job opportunities.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience which is something that most employers look for in a new hire.

Offer to help out at your church, community centre or sports club.

Any kind of job counts as experience and can be added to your CV.

You could also offer to work for free at businesses in your area but be very clear about your reasons for doing this: you want to gain experience or you hope the business will hire you.

Only do this while you’re learning – not forever.

4. Get your CV and references in order

Write up a CV and ask someone to check your spelling, grammar and formatting. 

It can be a short CV that should include the following:
•    Personal details (date of birth, ID number)
•    Contact information. Make sure it is the cellphone number you are actively using

Keep your phone on and fully charged and answer calls politely.

Make sure you change your number on your CV should it change.

You also need an email address to send your CV out. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to set up a free @gmail account.

Also add the following information on your CV:

•    Highest level of education you've completed.
•    Any work experience you have, including holiday jobs and volunteer work.
•    Any achievements: awards, pass marks, sporting achievements.
•    Any experience that shows your character such as taking care of others, roles within church, your family or your community.
•    References. Even if you’ve never worked, you can ask teachers, church leaders or even an employer of your parents who knows you to provide a testimony of your strengths and capabilities.

5. Look where the jobs are

Many entry-level jobs are in the service and sales industries like retail, restaurants and hotels.

Try looking at small businesses that are hiring young, enthusiastic people who are willing to learn and grow with the business.

Be prepared to start as a junior at entry-level. We all have to go through this valuable time to gain experience and prove ourselves.

6. Look for work close to where you live

If you have to travel further than one taxi, bus or train ride to get to your place of work you will be spending too much of your salary on transport, so try start the job search as close to home as possible.

7. Learn how to “package yourself”

Most of us have got tons of life experience – even if it’s not formal work experience.

However, we often don’t know how to sell it to potential employers.

Think about your responsibilities in your home and community and talk about these skills when selling yourself.

After all, employers value candidates with courage and resilience.

8. Speak clearly and confidently

Employers value good spoken English – it’s recognised as confidence and can really help in the job hunting process.

So be clear and confident in who you are, look your interviewer in the eye and communicate clearly about your abilities and the benefits you will bring to any job.

9. Beware of social media

Potential employers may look you up on social media before they interview or employ you, so always keep this in mind before posting.

The rule of social media is that if you don’t want people (especially employers) to know something about you, don’t put it on social media.

10. The final tip, register with Harambee

For help with job hunting, register on www.harambee.mobi by completing the online application form.

Harambee is a free network that helps young first-time work seekers find work.

They provide tools you can use to find job opportunities, assess your skills and strengths and help you fill any gaps you may have.

Compiled by Anneline Hlangani for Parent24.

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Read more:

How giving young people basic financial skills helps them find jobs

20 tips for crushing your first holiday job!

How you can help your matriculant find a job

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