Tips for searching, networking and applying for a job
21 November 2018
As Grade 12 Matric learners finish off their exams and look towards starting to work, their first step is finding a job, which is one of the biggest challenges that recent graduates are facing. Graduates usually do not have any work experience and therefore end up being rejected from most of the jobs that they apply for. They struggle with how to properly search for jobs and use their networking skills to find and secure potential opportunities. As a result, they are unable to find the job they want and are suitable for.
To find and secure that dream job, learners must have a strategy in place that includes searching for potential jobs, building their own network and applying for suitable jobs. We understand that it is hard to develop and implement a job searching strategy without the proper guidelines. To help you get going and out there, we have developed step-by-step guidelines on how to use your searching and networking skills to get that dream job.
Searching for a job
You will be surprised to know that there are many people who do not know how to search for jobs. According to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018, the total number of unemployed people globally exceeds 192 million persons, of which, 6.21 million are South Africa unemployed people.
Therefore, with millions of people looking for jobs, it is important to consider using various platforms and services to find a job. Below are some job searching guidelines.
One of the first places that you should look is in local and national newspapers. Many companies list their vacancies in various newspapers. This means that you will be able to collect particular information about the company, the job, the requirements of the job, as well as the salary package. Many newspapers even dedicate a complete page to job listings.
Ensure that you always check multiple newspaper publications to collect all the information you need. However, it can be a time-consuming process, as jobs from all different fields are advertised.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to find information about jobs is by searching online. There are various online platforms available where you can find reliable jobs.
- There are various listing websites where companies have shared information about the vacancies available.
- You can start sharing through social media. Most companies also post information about an available position on social media.
- LinkedIn is a great platform where you can easily find companies, get in touch with HR managers and find a job that is suitable for your lifestyle.
It is important to check as many platforms as possible.
Networking for a job
The biggest misconception most people have is that they do not know many individuals who can help them find a job. Once you start talking to people, you will realise that you know more people than you think. Networking is the cheapest and easiest way to discover available jobs that suit your skills.
Build your network
If you are new in the business world, there are some people you may already know, but at the same time, you should always be working on building a stronger network. Linked to this, you should have your profile on all available listing and networking websites, particularly LinkedIn. You will then be able to share your information related to your educational background, skills and experience. Networking websites will help you to connect with different types of people and therefore expand your network. Make sure that you join, as well as follow, different groups of companies, to find people who could help you in getting a job. In the business world networking is your key to success!
Go for referrals
Once you have noticed that your network is rapidly growing, you must start asking your contacts for referrals. With this in mind, remember that it is a give and take situation. This means that if someone is referring you for the position in their office, it is often expected that one day you will do the same for them when they need it. By doing this, you can ensure that your network will stay strong and you will not have to deal with too many issues. If a company is giving you a referral, try and return the favour by helping them with word-of-mouth marketing to help them gain more clients.
Applying for a job
Your networks and referrals are unworkable unless you take the next step and correctly apply for the job. When applying for the job, bear in mind that your application will be the first impression that the company will have of you. To ensure that you do not make any mistakes when applying for the job, here are a few things that you should consider:
- First, it is important that you properly study the requirements for the available job. You must ensure that you have the desired skills, while remaining open minded that you might still need to learn more.
- Spend time working on your resume. Instead of only mentioning the skills that you have, provide more information, and if possible, provide examples of how your skills will help contribute towards increasing the productivity and profitability of the company that you are applying to.
- In your resume, remember to mention any internships, volunteer work or any other activities that you have done. It will show the potential employer that you are a focused and hardworking professional person.
- Once you have prepared what you want in your resume, it is important that you work on the template and format. Make sure that your resume is clear, concise and easy to read, with no grammatical or spelling errors.
If you follow these tips, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to find your dream job. If you are struggling to grow your network, consider going out into the market on your own. Show people your skills and consider doing an internship or some volunteer work to gain work experience. This will contribute towards making your resume stronger, which in turn will be helpful for you in the future.
To gain these vital job searching skills, register for the short online Work Essentials course through Learnalot.