- How to look for a job
- Build your CV
- Make Your CV Stand Out
- Customise your CV for the job you are applying for
- A standard CV should be no longer than a double-sided A4.
- Search for different CV templates online to find one that suits you
- Search for jobs in your field
- Research hiring companies
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
This is an online system used by many recruiters to help companies organise candidates for hiring and recruitment purposes. These systems allow businesses to collect information, organise prospects based on experience and skill set, and filter applicants.
Here are a few tips for the best chances when applying online:
- Ensure you have the correct keywords related to the position or industry.
- Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Microsoft Word is insufficient to correct all your mistakes; send it to a friend or professional for review.
- Send your resume in a .doc or .docx file.
Applying for jobs
To search for jobs online, type keywords into an online search engine.
- Search directly on the companies’ websites for open positions.
- Keep an eye out for notice boards in shops or the library
- Search for jobs on government department websites like the Department of Public Services and Administration (DPSA)
- Network. Talk to people. Attend career fairs and seminars
- Companies will also post opportunities on Twitter and Facebook, so if you have specific companies in mind, follow them on social media.
Preparing for a job interview
Research the company before the interview.
- Who owns the company? Private or public?
- Who are their main competitors?
- Look at their website.
- What services or products do they offer?
- Confirm the exact location, the time of your interview, who you are seeing, their position within the company and how you pronounce their name.
DO’s during the interview
- Be punctual.
- Introduce yourself. Give a firm handshake.
- Dress professionally.
- Listen to the question carefully before answering.
- Have good posture, body language, and eye contact.
- Present a cheerful outlook. Show confidence, maintain poise and smile.
- Be assertive.
- Market yourself, and demonstrate your worth.
- Show how your experience would benefit the company.
DON’Ts during the interview
- Do not bad-mouth previous employers.
- Do not arrive unprepared for the interview.
- Do not make excuses for failings.
- Do not give vague responses to questions.
- Do not express strong prejudices or any personal intolerance.
- Do not show any reservations about the company or position. You can always refuse a second interview after consideration.
- Do not over-emphasise money. Salary discussion is secondary. Your goal is to sell yourself.
- Do not chew gum.
Questions you can ask at an interview
- What will my responsibilities be?
- Why is this position available?
- How does this position fit into the rest of the company?
- Who will I report to, and who will report to me?
- Does your company encourage further study?
- Where will I be based?
- Will the position entail travel?
- How soon will you decide on the appointment?
- What is the next step? Where do we go from here?
Questions you can expect to be asked
Tell me about yourself (what the interviewer is saying: “I want to hear you talk”)
Describe your qualifications, work history and your acquired skills, emphasising the skills required for the position on offer.
- What are your strengths? (Straightforward answering is needed here, what are you good at, and how can you add value to the company?)
- What are your weaknesses? (Your self-awareness and self-perception are being questioned here)
Do not say: “none.” You can use a professional weakness such as lack of experience (not ability) or turn a weakness into a positive and how you are trying to work at it.
- What have been your achievements? (What is being asked here is, “Are you an achiever?”
Choose a recent achievement that is relevant to the job. What skills were used, and how it benefited the company?
- What do you enjoy about your present job? (The interviewer wants to discover that the job on offer will have aspects of what you enjoy.)
Describe your likes, linking them to the skills required.
- What is your most demanding situation, and how did you tackle it? (What is “difficult” for you, and are you logical in problem-solving?)
- What kind of decision do you find the most difficult to make? (What is being said here is: ” I need someone strong and decisive and yet has empathy”)
- Why do you want to leave? (Your motives are being evaluated, and the interviewer is trying to understand your reason for wanting to leave)
NEVER give negative reasons for leaving, and NEVER state salary as the primary motivator.
- What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
- How do you cope when your work has been criticised? Give an example.
- What is the worst situation you have coped with outside of work? Give an example as well as the outcome.
- How do you respond to working under pressure? Can you? Give an example
- How have you coped when feeling angry at work? Give an example, but still showing that this did not affect your ability to get on with the job
- How have you coped when facing a conflict of interest at work? Does this evaluate your interpersonal skills, team, and leadership skills
- What kind of people do you find challenging to work with? As you do not know anything about the staff of the company at which you are being interviewed, be careful how you answer this question
What to do in your first week at work
Do: Be a Sponge
Get to know your company’s culture, the working and communication styles of your teammates, the problem projects, office politics, and department.
Do not overcommit yourself
Balance your schedule. You want plenty of time to learn the ropes and not be overwhelmed.
Do: Ask Questions
Do not be afraid to ask questions about new processes, projects, and people. The new person on the team will be expected to get up to speed. Make detailed notes about everything you learn. Writing everything down will ensure you don’t ask the same question twice this week.
Do not be afraid to speak up
Show that you are the right person for the job by contributing and adding value! You won’t know everything (and shouldn’t act as you do! ), but you can make suggestions in team meetings. Share the knowledge and skills you have been hired to bring to the team. Read your audience carefully. Don’t come on too strong or step on someone’s toes.
Offer to Help
Volunteer to help your colleagues on a project. You will show initiative, build rapport with your boss and co-workers, and learn about expectations, procedures, and how things are done.
Do not turn down Help or Advice
If your boss or co-workers give you advice or offer to help you with a task or project, take them up on it—yes, even if you can handle things yourself. It is a great way to bond with your office mates. You may get valuable insight into the company’s expectations.
Find a Mentor
Find an experienced, knowledgeable, successful professional to bounce ideas off and be groomed.
Do not compare everything to your last job
Give yourself every opportunity to shine, and that means keeping your initial first-week impressions to yourself. You are in a new place, and this is a new opportunity, so embrace it and move forward!