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by Bev Morrison

So, you now have your matric diploma, or other qualification, and you feel like the world is at your feet.  You hit the road running with all the enthusiasm and joy of someone on the start of their adult journey.

You put your CV on the internet and visit some recruitment agencies – and then you wait for all the offers to come in. And you wait and you wait!  What happens then?

When you keep doing the same thing over and over again, can you really expect a different result?  If you’ve sent out your CV and are now just sitting and waiting – and carry on waiting – for job offers to come in, you will probably end up being very disappointed!
So, what should you be doing if you are not getting the results that you want?

Here are 10 Tips for first-time job seekers

  1. Check your CV!
    Have you had your CV checked by someone in the corporate world? It’s not unusual for people to miss their own typing errors (you know the ones that spellcheck doesn’t pick up, like ‘there’ instead of ‘their’) so it’s essential to have a ‘proof reader’. Make sure your contact details are correct!
  1. Target your applications
    Don’t just send your CV out to thousands of people and hope that one of them will get back to you. Target your applications. Do internet research to find out the best place for you to be sending your information to. Find out where other people in your group or circle have had success and try those resources.
  1. Use your contacts!
    This is always quite difficult when you start out, but often it’s not what you know, but who you know in business.
  1. Network
    Use your parents’ or relatives’ network.
  1. References
    Ask your teacher/professor for personal character references.
  1. Face-to-Face
    Try and meet the people who are going to be looking for jobs for you. It is much easier for a recruitment agent to remember someone they have met, and who has made an impression on them – rather than some nameless person on a CV. Remember that recruitment or personnel agencies get thousands of job applications a week, so you need to be the one who makes the effort – and the impression.
  1. Follow up
    Don’t wait for people to get back to you: they are doing you a service; you must do the follow up.
  1. Be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder
    No matter what your qualification is: Remember to be working in a company, in ANY position, is better than not to be working at all. It’s about getting a foot in the door to gain experience.
  1. Good work ethic
    A prospective employer will always look at what you’ve been doing since you qualified, so they would rather hire a person who qualified as an accountant last year, but has worked as a receptionist this year over someone who qualified last year and has not worked since.
  1. Don’t give up!
    No matter what the negative people are saying, there is work out there.  You have to keep trying until you succeed. They say in sales that you have to knock on 20 doors before you make a sale.  These days it may be more like 30 doors before you make that sale – in this case, yourself.  So if you’re not successful at first, remind yourself that it’s ‘one down, 29 to go’. . .

Good luck with your job hunting!

About the author:
Bev Morrison is a development coach based in Johannesburg. She opened her coaching practice in 2008 after an 18-year corporate career.

‘Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.’ – Zig Ziglar

Pic:  Tim Gouw




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