How to find a job

Finding work may be a daunting experience for many individuals, especially if you don’t have any experience in the field or you’re a fresh graduate. For those without a high school diploma (called Matric or Grade 12 in South Africa), the highest level of secondary school education, you will find it even harder to come by available employment. Foreigners looking to pursue a career in South Africa will also need to meet various criteria as well as qualify for the position in which they wish to apply for work. This section of the website aims to shed some light on finding a job in South Africa.

Finding a job in South Africa

Finding a job is easy when you know what you want.

The truth is that while research shows it’s never been easier to find a position that you want to or can apply to, the rest of the process is far more time-consuming and arduous. Especially due to the advent of the Internet making recruitment “more efficient”. Compare twenty years ago when a few newspapers held most of the jobs and the rest were through word of mouth. Interview processes were short, with feedback, and often much shorter than today’s in-depth STAR questioning. Candidates now have to create a new application for each company in a lengthy online form, type out cover letters, only to never hear back from most companies and struggle through three or four rounds of interviews as they slowly progress towards a potential offer.

Knowing what you want

So with finding a job actually being a job itself, how can one ensure success? The answer lies in knowing what you want. Too many job seekers rush into searches and applications, ending up in interviews and getting offers for jobs they aren’t that interested. Some even accept positions based on high salary offers, only to leave within a year, unhappy, because they did not think first about what they really want to do. Spend time researching what jobs are out there, which you like and why, which companies offer the vacancies you like, and so on.

Once you have a good idea of where you’d like to work and on what, you can start setting up alerts on job boards and job aggregators. You can craft a short, clear CV and start to apply. However, the best method to getting hired is to engage the decision makers – those people who are actually doing the hiring in the companies you are interested in. They are usually not working in Human Resources, they’re mostly line managers. If you can’t get in touch with them, so be it, but you should definitely try.

For some applicants, life can feel that extra bit challenging. They are often graduates, people without any qualification, and foreigners. However, for everyone, there is a job waiting for them, hopefully one that they in turn wish to accept.

How can graduates find work?

As a new graduate with your studies under the belt it’s time to level up and gain experience in the work place and here’s how you can go about finding a job in South Africa.
• Create a great Curriculum Vitae (CV) – Writing up a strong CV will work greatly in your favour of landing an interview as well as more potential of getting the job if you meet the requirements. A CV should talk about you, your attributes, and most of all it should express what your achievements are.
Job search – There are many companies that seek new graduates to join their team and these job offers makes a good stepping stone for levelling up on skills and experience at a work place.
• Distribute your CV – Once you’ve found the job you’re interested in, then ensuring that your CV gets to their head office is imperative.
Be prepared for the interview – Ensure that you have done research and have some questions to ask.

Can someone without Grade 12 (Matric) find work in SA?

Finding a job in South Africa without a grade 12 certification can be extremely difficult. People leave school for a number of reasons, but that does not mean that they are lazy by nature or unable to learn and grow within a company. However, these individuals are often the “underdogs” when it comes to competing for employment. There are some jobs that employ individuals without matric, these include but are not limited to security, modelling, hair salons and drivers (logistics) to name a few. Most of these jobs require a hands-on approach to completing tasks. To ensure you’re getting your foot into the work place, you should try studying for a certificate in a certain field. For example, hair and beauty schools in South Africa usually take students with a minimum Grade 9 certificate.

Job hunting as a foreigner

Many foreigners (expatriates, immigrants) choose to secure their space in the workplace by applying for work in their selected field long before taking the bold step of relocating to South Africa, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Applying for a work visa is one of the first steps to take as an expatriate or immigrant looking for work in a foreign country. Rare skills are important as this will count in your favour and the option to do voluntary work is always available.

Finding a job should be easy

It doesn’t matter which category you may find yourself in, what’s important is making sure that you have thought properly about what you want. Do not go shopping unless you have a list – only the mall wins. Once you know where you are going, you can plot a route to get there. Just remember that applying on hundreds of websites and keeping a spreadsheet of application progress is not fun. Rather work out who needs what you have, and take a one-way ticket to your destination by getting in touch directly. After that, having all your paperwork and references in order is the least of your worries. Most importantly, the ability to be able to sell your skills to the potential employer will come naturally and passionately to the fore.