JOB-HUNTING may not be an official career, but it is probably the most important job you will have to do towards a successful career. The Port Elizabeth branch of the Business Woman’s Association (BWA) regional achievers’ finalist and managing director of Head Hunters Recruitment, Shara Cape, advises graduates and job seekers on how to put their best foot forward when searching for employment.
Cape also was named one of the Nelson Mandela Business Chamber’s Top 40 Under 40 young achievers last year.
Cape’s advice begins at a point so often over-looked but will be your most valuable as it speaks for you to your prospective employers.
“Your Curriculum Vitae gives the employer their first reflection of who you are,” Cape said.
Your CV is an important tool which should indicate that you have your drivers’ licence, computer literacy and academic successes.
“Include your academic transcripts – subject choice is very important. Also demonstrate experience, even if it’s a little bit. All vacation work and internships are important,” she said.
Prospective employers and recruitment agencies have also looked to the internet to grab the attention of prospective employees.
“So making yourself visible online should be a priority.
“You need to have a strong online presence. E-recruitment is the first point-of-call for recruiters and hiring managers to search for prospective employees.”
Be sure that when you make use of search engines like Google, your search is as specific as possible so that the results can be close as possible to your needs.
Spend about 45 minutes a day “googgling” different job boards and titles, for example, “BCom PE Job or BCom Job”.
Register on as many online job portals – Career Junction, Pnet, LinkedIn, etc – as possible. They allow you to create specific profiles which ensure you are alerted when jobs that match your criteria list.
Cape advises that until you find employment, make it your job to find a job.
“Don’t give up before you get started. Come-up with a formal job-hunt strategy. It takes time, but the fact is that the person who mostly gets the job is not the most qualified, but the person that knows how to market themselves.”
University students and graduates also need to keep an eye on the different graduate placement programmes that universities offer.
“All institutions provide graduate placements, but people don’t apply through them. Agencies often network with the graduate placement divisions.”
Cape stresses that a graduate’s safest bets are graduate placement programmes as they may offer you more, where a recruitment agency may be limited by their administrative backlog.
“We receive close to 700 CVs per day. This as you can imagine, is a major administrative task.
“Agencies find people for jobs and not jobs for people. We are paid by the client to find suitable candidates to fill vacancies within their companies, and not by the potential employees.
“Because of this, generally recruitment agencies will not accept a CV without a job available, so make sure you’ve read their website,” she said.
Always remember that attitude is key, have a positive and willing-to-learn attitude.