10 tips to help you succeed at finding a job after matric

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Here’s a little trick to help you even when you’re feeling nervous: Stand up straight with your feet apart, your shoulders back and your fists on your hips. This is called the power pose. Now remind yourself of every fantastic thing about you.
Here’s a little trick to help you even when you’re feeling nervous: Stand up straight with your feet apart, your shoulders back and your fists on your hips. This is called the power pose. Now remind yourself of every fantastic thing about you.

Matrics, you’re pretty much in holiday mode right now, and we totally get it – after the year you’ve had, you deserve a break – several weeks of soaking up the sun, at the very least. But when results are released come 4 January 2019 (5 January for learners in the Western Cape) the reality of being completely done with school, with your whole life ahead of you, will truly start to sink in.

Whether you’re taking a gap year, studying or jumping right in, we’ve got a few tips that may help you in 2019, or in the long run, to get the job of your dreams.

Here are 10 important tips to help you succeed, courtesy of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator 


Do you have any tips to add to the list? How did you go about finding and getting your first job? Tell us by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments?

1. Be confident

Confident people stand out from the crowd.

Here’s a little trick to help you even when you’re feeling nervous: Stand up straight with your feet apart, your shoulders back and your fists on your hips. This is called the power pose.

Now remind yourself of every fantastic thing about you.

Believe in yourself and your unique gifts.

Now go and take the world by storm.

2. Network, network, network

This is one of the most important things you can do when looking for work. Ask everyone you know if they know about any jobs you could apply for, and ask them to introduce you to other people who might know of a few good positions.

3. Your job is to find yourself a job

Looking for work is a full-time job until you find it! Read job ads online, even in the newspaper, and apply for the ones that look right for you.

Don't apply for only one or two – apply for everything you can possibly do, and ensure you tailor your cover letter to each one and explain why you want that job specifically. These applications really stand out in a sea of generic ones.

Keep talking to everyone you meet about your job search.

Do voluntary work and keep your CV updated, before knocking on business doors and to hand it out.

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

4. Get your CV and references in order

You need a written CV. If your English is not very good, have someone check your spelling and grammar. Your CV can be short and should include:

  • Personal details (date of birth, contact details)
  • Education
  • Any actual work experience you have, including holiday jobs and volunteer work
  • Any notable 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 get references from teachers, church leaders, employers of your parents who know you and can speak to your character, etc.)

5. Look where the jobs are

80% of entry-level jobs are in the service and sales industries like retail, restaurants and hotels. Also look out for small businesses that hire young, enthusiastic people who are willing to learn and grow with the business.

But 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. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience. 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. Tell them you want to gain experience or you hope the business will hire you in future.

7. Make sure you’re always contactable

Use only one cell phone number when you’re looking for a job. Keep your phone on and fully charged and answer calls politely. If your number does change, make sure you change it on your CV too. 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 using your name and surname.

We’d suggest this actually, because your badboi@gmail.com email has got to go.

8. Go English

Generally, English is the language of choice for businesses in much of the world, and South Africa is no different. The better your English, the better your job opportunities. So again, a spell and grammar check will go a long way before sending out your CV.

9. Beware of social media

Potential employers will look you up on social media before they interview or employ you. Remember this when you’re posting at 2am.

The rule of social media is that if you don’t want people (especially employers) to know something about you, then don’t put it out there for them to see. It’s that simple.

10. Register with an online recruitment agency

For help with job hunting, register with an online recruitment agency. They’ll have you list your skills and strengths, and match you with employment opportunities. Similarly, they’ll match employers with you.

Do you have any tips to add to the list? How did you go about finding and getting your first job? Tell us by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments?

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