Nine tips to help matrics find work
Congratulations! You’ve completed matric. And good luck! Because now you need to find a job.
With 52.8% of youth unemployed, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has prepared a set of tips for the class of 2018 that may help on the journey towards employment.
Harambee is a not-for-profit social enterprise with experience building solutions and innovations aimed at addressing the youth unemployment challenge, and it does this by partnering with business, government, young people and others.
Harambee uses research to develop insights and drive interventions that can transition young people into jobs and address the global challenge of youth unemployment.
Here are its tips to help you with your journey towards employment:
1. Be confident.
Confident people stand out from the crowd. Here’s a little trick to help you even when you’re feeling nervous: stand up straight with your feet apart, your shoulders back and your fists on your hips. This is called the power pose. While you’re standing like this, remind yourself of every fantastic thing about you. Believe in yourself and your unique gifts. Now go and take the world by storm!
2. Network, network, network
This is one of the most important things you can do when looking for work. Ask EVERYONE you know if they know about any jobs you could apply for, and ask them to introduce you to other people who might know about jobs. Stay confident!
3. Your job is to find yourself a job
Looking for work is a full time job until you find it! So you need to work on this every single day as hard as you can. Read job ads online or in the newspaper and apply for the ones that look right for you. Keep talking to everyone you meet about your job search. Do voluntary work and keep your CV updated. Knock on business doors and hand out your CV. A wise employer will be impressed by your attitude and your confidence.
4. Get your CV and references in order
A. You need a written CV.
If your English is not very good, have someone check your spelling and grammar. Your CV can be short and should include:
• Personal details (date of birth, contact details)
• Any actual work experience you have, including holiday jobs and volunteer work
• Any notable achievements: awards, pass marks, sporting achievements
• Any experience that shows your character such as taking care of others, roles within church, your family or your community
Even if you’ve never worked, you can get references from teachers, church leaders, employers of your parents who know you, etc.
5. Look where the jobs are
Four out of five – 80% – of entry-level jobs are in the service and sales industries like retail, restaurants and hotels. Also look out for small businesses that hire young, enthusiastic people who are willing to learn and grow with the business. Be prepared to start as a junior at entry-level. We all have to go through this valuable time to gain experience and prove ourselves.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience. Offer to help out at your church, community centre or sports club. Any kind of job counts as experience and can be added to your CV. You could also offer to work for free at businesses in your area but be very clear about your reasons for doing this: you want to gain experience or you hope the business will hire you. Only do this while you’re learning – not forever.
7. Make sure you’re always contactable
Use only one cell phone number when you’re looking for a job. Keep your phone on and fully charged and answer calls politely. If your number does change, make sure you change it on your CV. You also need an e-mail address to send your CV out. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to set up a free @gmail account.
8. Go English!
Generally, English is the language of choice for businesses in much of the world and South Africa is no different. The better your English, the better your job opportunities. Watch English TV, listen to English radio stations, read magazines and newspapers and speak to friends and family in English. Practice every day.
9. Beware of social media
Potential employers will look you up on social media before they interview or employ you. Remember this when you’re posting. The rule of social media is that if you don’t want people (especially employers) to know something about you, then don’t put it on social media. Then, last but not least, there is one tip that we specifically suggest and that is to register with Harambee.
For help with job hunting, register on www.harambee.mobi by completing the online application form.
Harambee is a 100% free network that helps young first-time work seekers find work.
They give work-seekers the tools you need to find work, assess your skills and strengths and if you match an opportunity that they currently have available they could also place you in employment.