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How to find a job using the internet in South Africa

How to find a job using the internet as a South African

It is extremely difficult to effectively job hunt in this technological age without having access to the internet. The internet gives us tools to network and connect with others online, visit job boards and forums, research companies, apply online or simple to send out CV's and cover letters to apply for potential jobs. If you do not have access to the internet, the local library may be a good option. You can also ask for assistance from friends and family, schools, colleges and even at the unemployment office. Searching for a job online also takes work and motivation to find a suitable role. Sending your CV to two or three companies or posting on one or two recruitment forums is unlikely to bring you the success you hope for. Around 70% of jobs are filled, in the process of being filled or cancelled before being advertised. This leaves around 30% of available jobs being posted on the internet for you to apply to. You can access some of the balance (the other 70%) through networking, social media and the various companies' recruitment forums.

Define your preferred position

Finding a particular job on the internet means that you need to have a basic structure of what you are looking for before you start your search. Look at your qualifications, experience, area of residence, where you would prefer to work, what you are interested in doing as well as what you are good at (although the last two questions may be conflicting).

Research salary scales

Before you start applying for jobs, do some industry research and see what you can reasonably be expected to earn in the role. There are various sites that can give you some idea of salaries in various fields in South Africa, related to the different Provinces. Where you want to work can also have a big impact on the salary you can expect.

Prepare your CV

Prepare a CV related directly to the positions you are hoping to apply for. Use the guidelines from the above notes to set out a CV which suits your ideal position. You can adjust your CV to specific positions as you apply, but you should not have to completely re-write it if you are looking for a particular role. Find some CV writing assistance here. Remember to tailor your cover letters to suit each position applied for.

Finding job adverts and responding

There are many sites you can use to find suitable positions such as: LinkedIn, CareerJunction, Careerjet.com, Allsouthafricajobs.com, Jobmail.co.za, Bestjobs.co.za, Jobspace.co.za, Career24.co.za, Pnet.co.za, Recruitmentdirect.co.za, Indeed.co.za and Gumtree.co.za among many others. Make sure you approach recruiters offline as well. Network with people and let contacts know that you are looking for a new career opportunity. Word of mouth is often a good way to land a prime position that might never have been listed online. Social media can be helpful as well but there are risks involved. You can also look at joining up on various forums and professional websites where people may advise of job openings. If you are part of a professional organisation, their web page or forums might be a good place to find an employment opportunity as well.

Target employers directly

Search for companies that fall in the right area and industry that you are interested in. Send well written, professional emails to the hiring managers or recruiters where possible, detailing how you found the company and why you are interested in working for them. Sometimes you can find the information of the HR manager or potential hiring manager on their website, or you could contact them via a phone call to get the information so you can send your CV to someone who may actually look at it. If the company has job boards on their web page, make sure you get your CV in via that portal as well.

Networking and social media

You can use social media to inform your contacts that you are looking for a new opportunity, but do not spam people or pages and do not post desperate-sounding pleas. Do this professionally and make sure your social media is not full of things that could be detrimental if a potential employer should happen to connect with you on these platforms. Employers do prefer to hire someone recommended by current employees as opposed to total strangers. You have to ensure your online reputation is professional and clean if you decide to use these platforms (and you should) to job search. Some companies use social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to post actual job openings as well, so stay connected.

Just remember, the internet is not a one-stop shop when it comes to job hunting. You need to spread your options as far as possible if you are looking for that dream job. It takes time, motivation and effort to do the research, find the potential jobs or companies and apply for the positions, but you should not give up. Make sure that you don't throw all your eggs in one basket though, you can still look in newspapers, approach recruitment companies and drop your CV off with companies that you are interested in being employed by. If you do get an opportunity to interview, make sure you respond promptly and professionally! There are also many job scams out there, so do be careful and do not pay anyone for a potential job as you are more than likely going to lose your money.

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