South Africa’s unemployment rate is at 30.8% for the third quarter of 2020, reaching the highest rate in 17 years. As a new graduate looking to enter the job market, this type of news can be highly emotional and stressful.
So, it is important for you to have a job-hunting strategy in place. This is a plan that will guide you when compiling your CV or cover letter, preparing for a job interview, and following up with various potential employers or recruiters to ultimately find your dream job that matches your skills and interest.
In today’s digital era, the internet provides a wealth of job postings and job seekers should maximise recruitment platforms to their advantage by tailoring their employment needs. This may initially require the completion of forms, but once done, the opportunities will come to you, allowing you to analyse those suited to your needs.
PPS Foundation, a public benefit organisation that empowers school leavers with the necessary skills, competencies and knowledge to reach their career goals, recommends the following platforms and approaches to use when searching for a job:
According to CareerBuilder, more than half of the employers won’t hire potential candidates without some sort of online presence today. As a graduate looking for an employment opportunity, your first step should be to build your online profile on a professional network site such as LinkedIn.
Ensure that you participate in discussion groups for industries you’re interested in and start building your personal brand and social network to keep in the loop for the latest job offers.
Follow companies in your industry of specialisation and regularly comment on their posts to get noticed. Remember to keep your comments professional and objective.
Build an online presence that reinforces your qualifications – when an employer does an online search, they are looking to see if you have a strong presence with fresh content in your area expertise and any past experiences you may have had such as internships or volunteerism activities.
Finding work through a recruitment agency can be an easy option, especially if you find the whole idea of selling yourself in the job market particularly difficult.
Recruitment agencies regularly and actively search for work on your behalf, so this, of course, can lighten the burden a bit if you’re finding the online job-hunting exhausting.
However, remember to do your research before selecting a recruitment agency to assist with your job search. It’s crucial that the recruiters you work with are highly skilled and experienced in the industry sector you are interested in so that they can match you to the right position, according to the employers’ expectations and corporate culture fit.
Another common method of personal branding is networking, such as talking with friends, family, and business contacts about different employment opportunities that are available in the market. Staff referral is one of the most popular methods used for recruitment by employers, as companies often prefer to hire someone whom their trusted employees can vouch for.
Take advantage of this by interacting with friends and family who work in industries you’d like to explore. This can often result in you finding out about vacancies before your competition does, and instantly puts you at an advantage if someone recommends you.
Due to tough competition in the employment market, you may be tempted to flood recruitment officers with your CV’s, but it’s advisable to be selective in your efforts. Although looking for work can be overwhelming, you can make it easier on yourself by mastering the search and application process by not applying to just any company – choose a position with a company you like or have a desire to work for. Your passion will be noticed.