Career and education specialist, Patience Mahlaba, Branch Manager of Boston City Campus & Business College, Braamfontein shares her strategic insights for conducting an effective job search.
1. Customise your CV & Covering letter for each job application
Tailor your CV by matching your skills, previous work experience and responsibilities with the job criteria, using keywords and phrases described in the job description.
“Differentiate yourself further by using a highlighted version of these keywords in your covering letter,” says Patience. “Additionally, getting an internship while job searching can assist in providing valuable experience to new jobseekers who can then add these acquired skills and experience to their CV.”
2. Your personal brand
Your online status matters a lot. Recruiters research your online presence to find out more about you beyond your CV. Googling your name allows you to see what information there is about you on the web.
“When updating your status on Facebook and other social media platforms, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. Your online activity leaves footprints and creates your personal brand. Use it to create a path which reflects well on you and supports your future career success,” says Patience.
Be strategic such as using LinkedIn for networking, searching job advertisements and as a platform for your virtual CV listing your strengths, experience and even endorsements of your core competencies and skills. Including articles, press releases or your portfolio helps to establish credibility and demonstrates your expertise to prospective employers.
3. Make a job search schedule
Create a strategy detailing the companies to research and contact one each day. Make a specific time to call and set up potential interviews.
“Get to work on your plan early in the day and make it a habit to finish scheduled calls and actions,” says Patience. “Keeping actively engaged helps you push through the inevitable challenging moments. Action creates action.”
4. Where to look
Google the search term “recruitment agencies.” Also include search terms describing your industry, skills, specializations and your location to find the relevant recruitment sites and companies. Visit websites of specific companies in your field to see if they have any career openings. BizCommunity or Careers24 are good resources for industry-specific employment and recruitment agencies.
Make a list of all the people you know both personally and professionally who you can ask to introduce you to their key contacts who match your particular job search.
6. Evaluate feedback
Keep tabs of your success rate when searching or applying for a job. If you don’t get the interview or job, very politely try to find out why and use this information to improve so that you’re in a stronger position for the next job opportunity.