Hunting Down Internships & Jobs
- Don’t delay, get job-ready today! Employers look at: education; work/volunteering references; interview skills.
- Great ways to earn while you learn: micro-tasks, content-writing, data-analytics, sales/marketing and more. Get jobs like these with: gomintor.com; m4jam.com; rent-a-student.co.za
- Jobsites are good to find jobs, but meeting face to face with a business person works much better. Attend career fairs, visit company open days, knock on our ideal employer’s door (email / phone / go there) until you get to meet – and then let your personality shine.
- Academic qualifications is good, but employers love proof of skills. Work references double your chance to get a job. Ask your previous supervisor / teacher / leader today! or ask firstname.lastname@example.org to do it on your behalf. No work experience? Volunteer and get a skill reference to stand out among the rest!
- Don’t stress if you don’t know which career. Just start where you’d love what you do and you’ll grow from there. Ever thought of working for a small business? It’s fantastic to gain a variety of skills and get promoted quickly.
Crafting an Impressive CV & Job Application
- CV’s that impress look professional and are complete with all relevant info. If you don’t know how, build your professional CV on Mintor and print a pdf to send to any employer.
- Cover letters make a big different, BUT keep it sharp and to the point. In one to three sentences only, say why you want the job so badly and why your skills and ambitions are more suited than anyone else’s.
- Big no no! Make very sure that your CV and cover letter has NO spelling or grammar mistakes. Ask at least two other people to review it for you.
- Add achievements to your CV: anything that you are proud of – academics, sport, cultural, community projects or family related. This makes you unique from others.
Sharpening your Soft Skills
- 5 out of 250 job applicants are interviewed. Only 1 get the job. Soft Skills is most often the deciding factor of employers.
- Most desirable Soft Skills: good communications, reliability, on-time, friendliness, willing to help, enthusiasm, positivity, perseverance. And what is best, you don’t have to pay to acquire these, you can practice and hone it for free.
- Did you know for every technical skill learnt, you probably have 5 transferable skills associated? eg BA Politics = research; content marketing; analytics; HR administration; junior management.
- Don’t know your transferable skills? Ask email@example.com
Killing the Interview
- Kill the Interview: know the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the company and yourself.
- Research on the company from their website. Know what they do, and what is important to them.
- Know the requirements for the role, and be prepared to explain why you have the knowledge and skills required, using examples from your past studies and experience.
- Through your answers, show that you are motivated to learn and deliver, and that you are sincerely interested in the company and job.
- Interviews are not just interrogation of yourself – it’s a mutual ‘date’. Ask them questions too! Just keep it relevant to demonstrating your sincere interest in the company. eg what is the company’s growth plans and how does the role fit into that? What is most important to them when selecting someone for the role?
- Ask feedback after the interview. By simply asking the interviewer how you could improve your interview skills, or whether they have tips for you on how to improve your change to land a job, you could save months in getting that job!
- Job salary offer too little? Find out what market rates are and motivate your case. Or negotiate an increase after performance targets are met.
- Without saying, be on time and look neat – aim to be there 15min’s before the interview time. If for any reason you are running late, or can no longer make it, phone them to let them know. This is very important. Even if you are uncertain about the job, still attend the interview. This is the best way to find out whether you want it – after all, you have nothing to lose and if you stay home, you already lost.
- Interviews can be nerve-wrecking. Do a practice interview with a friend. The more you do it, the easier it gets
Acing your First Day on The Job
- Be prepared – if you will need to use any of your technical skills on the job, make sure that you refresh those beforehand so that you can put your best foot forward on the first day. And be well rested by getting enough sleep the two days before!
- Be early – plan your travel journey very well and allow sufficient time for unforeseen delays. Try to be about 15min early. In the event of the unavoidable, have the office phone number at hand to let them know you are running late.
- Dress appropriately – if in doubt, dress rather more conservative and professional on the first day. Create an impression of being
- Listen and observe – on your first day, listen, listen, and listen. It’s not time yet to have a strong opinion. Be friendly, meet people, smile, and listen.
- Ask questions – make sure that you are very clear on your assigned tasks. Rather be a bit annoying by asking a lot of questions, than delivering an annoyingly off-the-mark job. Again, ask if you don’t know, don’t understand or can’t remember. Not asking is the most common mistake among new workers, leading to poor results. Don’t fall in the trap!
- Take notes – take a small notebook and pen with so dot down task details (and people’s names!)
- Put your cell phone on silent – you need to be 100% present at work, especially on the first day.
- Body language – first impressions matter. Smile when you meet new people, and shake their hands. Make eye contact when you speak to someone. Stand tall.
- Show interest – you’ll likely be introduced to many people, and while they may make the first attempt to learn a little about you, make an effort to find out about them.
- Relax and enjoy – your enthusiastic approach to tasks, no matter how easy or how hard, will carry a far way to impress your employer!
- And remember … while the first day at a new job is very important, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t go flawlessly.
Up-skill for Free!
Here are our top 5 picks of free online courses to help you improve your employable skills, whether currently on the job hunt or aiming for that promotion on the job.
- Excel – good excel skills is expected and highly valued by employers
- Analytics – having a detail-orientated analytical mindset is pertinent to any job
- Customer Support – understanding consumer behaviour is fundamental to any role in a business to ensure happy customers
- Project Management / Administration – being organised and knowing tools to help you plan and execute on tasks is vital to any role
- Digital Marketing – engaging an online audience is a very sought after skill in businesses
Self-learning through Online Sites
Fortunately there are many ways to learn and prove your skills – going to University or College is not the only way. Explore these sites to learn skills that will help you become more employable.