Tips on How to Find Jobs in South Africa

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  • Browse all media for advertisements, i.e. newspapers, journals, internet, databases, websites.
  • Try to get hold of in-house company magazines or newspapers, as well as internal (intranets) postings through your network of friends and acquaintances.
  • Chat with people and listen carefully at all social occasions and meetings. Try to find out if there are any job opportunities that other people know of.
  • Get in touch with a valid and professional recruitment agency. Phone them first to find out if there is any sense in sending them your CV. At this point you can also find out if, at the moment, they have any positions that are perfect for someone like you.
  • Don't be shy. Call up a company for which you'd like to work and find out if they currently have any positions open - speak to the Human Resources Manager, or even the Director, if possible. Find out what kind of qualifications they're looking for. Even if there are no positions currently offered in your field or with your experience, ask them what kind of qualifications or experience they would look for were your dream position open.

Application procedure

  • Send a formal cover letter, with the letterhead matching that of your CV in terms of style and font. Unless specified otherwise this is appropriate. Now you wait a couple of days if they will contact you. Make sure to include information in your cover letter for how to contact you.
  • Ensure your application reaches the right person by phoning the agency/company to check the contact name (if not specified in advertisement).
  • Keep your CV short and clear, with abilities and skills right on the first page.
  • Customise your cover letter, emphasizing your skills that match those specified in the job advertisement. 
  • After a couple of days phone the recruiter to check if they have received your application. Make sure you are in a good mood, it helps to sound friendly and interested. Smile while you're on the phone - believe it or not, you can actually hear it in a person's voice if they're smiling.
  • Have your degree certificates and/or reference letters ready to fax or mail to the recruiter if asked. 
  • A few days after the closing date, you can still phone to inquire about the outcome. Even if they are not interested in hiring you, it helps to ask politely why you weren't hired. If you approach this negative response with a positive attitude and ask what you can do to improve your chances next time, or for the next job, it will ensure that you leave a good impression and will also help you improve. You may also get a call-back should the first person chosen for the position decline the job!

 E-mailed applications

  • Address your e-mail personally to the correct person.
  • Don't attach a separate cover letter as well as your resume - it's an extra document that has to be opened and read and many recruiters don't have the time. 
  • Type your "cover letter" into the body of the e-mail - you can cut and paste to save time.
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