Looking for a new job? Or perhaps your first job ever? There are certain practices to consider when applying for jobs that can help you stand out from other candidates with similar educational or professional experiences.
In the past decade, a boom in technology has influenced the economy, including the largest growth and adoption of internet usage since the late 1990s.
The types of jobs available have shifted as a result, as well as the ways we search for them in the digital age. These days, many people turn to Google for advice on their job search, and LinkedIn and other job sites to find job openings.
It’s a good time to apply for jobs and to build the skills you’ll need in your dream career. This article offers effective tips and best practices for getting a job.
How to get a job
There are many ways to get a job. Approaches vary depending on the type of job you’re after, and the industry and competitiveness of the job.
Some may find networking and personal connections effective in their job search, but many people rely on the traditional approach of applying to and interviewing for a job.
The process can be daunting, but these strategies can help you gain clarity and confidence as you embark on your journey.
The 10 steps…
1. Create an excel sheet and fill it up with at least 200 companies, links to their career page, and also their LinkedIn.
2. For each job you apply to, the best practice is to customize your resume to the job description. Recruiters and hiring managers like to see that you’ve understood their ethos, tone, and overall language and can speak it, too—meaning that your resume reflects their specific jargon (“creative briefs,” rather than “creative requests”).
Your experiences should match the role’s requirements, and sometimes you’ll need to highlight or even omit certain skills and experiences. Always double-check your resume for spelling and grammar errors.
3. Identify your transferable skills. If you are seeking your first job, your transferable skills might come from extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or daily life (for example, taking care of children or siblings).
For those switching jobs or changing careers, you can mine previous work experiences for technical skills like data analytics or data entry, and workplace skills like leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
4. Know that it’s normal to get rejection letters, you’re not the only one looking for a job. Yours is coming.
5. It’s normal to apply for more than 100 roles before getting a job. You’re not bad, it’s normal.
6. Apply to at least 50 a day- Looking for a job is a job on its own. Go to https://scholarlyafrica.com/ and find the latest on-demand and entry-level jobs, internships and learnerships in South Africa.
7. I know people say if you meet about 50% of the criteria, you should apply, I won’t tell you that. But please apply to roles you qualify for so as not to waste your time for interviews… you want to go into any interview with your confidence.
8. Go to LinkedIn and look for the HR of the company, the employee section of the company page is useful. Pitch yourself to them or the founder.
Your LinkedIn profile should reflect your current resume, along with links to projects, videos, and content you worked on. A professional, friendly profile photo helps recruiters put a face to the name, while a bulleted list of accomplishments using keywords can boost your credibility.
9. Reflect on your career aspirations. While you might try to sit down and apply for any job that you’re qualified for, taking the time to assess your career hopes and dreams can be a more satisfying and productive way to start a job search.
Thinking about what makes you come alive can help you narrow down your search to target specific roles and careers.
10. When you tell people around you that you’re looking for a job and they ask you what type. DONT SAY ANY TYPE. Be specific. You went to school for a reason, act like an adult.
Final word: Write a customized cover letter.
This might sound like a lot of extra work, but you don’t necessarily have to write an entirely new cover letter for each job application.
However, each cover letter you submit should definitely reflect your enthusiasm for the specific job you’re applying for. You can create a basic cover letter template for each type of job, and mark the places where you’ll tailor information to fit each job.
For example, if you are applying to three types of jobs, such as communications consultant, social media specialist, and marketing analyst, you can create three separate cover letter templates. In each template, list out specific skills and experiences relevant to each job type.
Then, when you’re customizing your cover letter for the job, swap out your interest in one company for another, and tweak your language to fit.
- Adapted from source: @hackSultan
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Bongani Parker has 4 years experience writing and curating verified entry-level jobs, internships, bursaries and career resources for South African youth. Every month, Scholarly Africa reaches at least 1 million job-seekers in South Africa alone.