You may describe yourself as the ideal employee, one that no employer can not afford to let go. You come to work early, you are resourceful, industrious and you take initiative at every turn. You believe you have your job on lockdown, your employer cannot afford to let you go. One day however you find yourself out of a job, maybe your company made a lot more losses than profits, and even with your unique dispositions, your employer is forced to let you go. Now you are back on the job market, not only are you back on the economy, but your country is currently facing a downturn therefore the unemployment levels are high. The last thing you want is to go for months unemployed, but this may happen and you need to guard against this before it does.
According to statistics released by Global Economy in 2019, the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world was South Africa, with an unemployment rate of 27.86 %. Now if you are part of this 27.86 %, or if you are part of the population that is making up the unemployment statistics of your country, you are always left wondering how you are going to find yourself being counted among the employed. Statistics can be misleading, they may lead one to think that since the unemployment rate is so high, they are not the only ones suffering, therefore it’s a universal struggle, however, this is not the case, your struggle is your own.
You are going to put yourself back on the job market, you need that salary to survive, don’t you? Now you don’t want to spend a considerable amount of time unemployed, as job hunting can get frustrating. When you are looking for a job you need to make sure you do it right so that you don’t end up unemployed for indefinite periods of time, especially when the majority of people are unemployed. By following these tips, you are assured of not only attracting employment but the right kind of employment. Furthermore, this job hunt Q & A can help you figure out problems faced by other job seekers.
Clean up your social media
Before you even think of fielding out your application, you want to eliminate any factors that may reduce your chances of being hired. According to studies, potential employers will do a background check on an individual before calling them for an interview, and this includes looking at your online presence. Your social media may seem like a harmless tool however, imagine not getting a job because of a single controversial post you may have made a few years back? One of the most important factors of your job search is to ensure that your online presence is up to date and professional. Clean out your social media profiles, or even create new professional ones which will show how you use social media for the right reasons. These are bound to impress whoever will do that background check before considering you for employment. Check out these things you should never do on social media if you want to land your dream job.
Have you been using the shotgun approach? – Stop!
First of all, the shotgun approach does not work in finding a job, especially when there is competition for those few scarce jobs. However, you still find people going through several jobs a day, and submitting the same non-customized CV to all the jobs, in the hopes of finding a job. By the end of the day, a person is left with a sense of achievement for applying for all those jobs, and they sit back and wait for a response that never comes. To a lesser degree the shotgun approach may work, you may apply for twenty jobs and maybe get nine responses, of those nine probably four will offer you the job.
In a country with high unemployment rates however employers have a myriad of options, and they are likely to have tough selection criteria. When you use the same CV for every job posting you see, you fail to set yourself apart from other applicants. The employer will see nothing special about hiring you for the job. You need to customize your CV to suit the requirements of each and every job and give the employer a reason to actually hire you. Highlight your key strength areas and what value you will bring to the company. The prospective employer will get an insight into how much of a valuable asset you are before they even meet you and this will increase your chances of getting the job.
Go where the jobs are
This may not be advice that a lot of people want to hear, however, when there are no jobs available, your next best option is to go where the jobs are. You need to be flexible enough to work in different industries and succeed there. Do your research on the thriving industries, and apply yourself there. Part of this flexibility may include moving to a different city. This may not seem ideal initially, but when the employment odds are against you, a little compromise may be necessary.
Take a Temporary Position
If the job market has not been particularly friendly, you might want to consider taking up temporary positions. This may be in the form of filling up positions of staff who are away on leave. In this case, you may want to consider taking up positions in work that absolutely needs to be done in spite of factors like a bad economy for example. You could also approach companies that interest you, and opt to work on a voluntary basis initially, some of these companies may consider hiring you should a vacancy come up in the future. It may not be ideal at first, however, it will pay your bills until something more permanent comes up.
Open yourself up to flexibility
In addition to opening yourself up to temporary positions, you may need to be more flexible in order to impress a prospective employer. You may, for example, offer to work on a part-time basis, at half the rate for maybe six months, on a contract-for-hire basis. This will not be a permanent arrangement however, it will be a way to get your foot in the door, while you use the time to strengthen your position in the organisation. By the time you finish your trial period, your employer will be impressed with your work ethic, and may even opt to hire you on a full-time basis. By lowering your rate and starting out on a contract, you would have shown your willingness to mitigate the risk of losses to your prospective employer, and also proven to be an asset. This, however, would not be advisable unless you are really desperate for a job, as some employers may take advantage of you.
By following the steps outlined above, you are assured of securing employment, at the same time escaping the high unemployment rates that may be affecting your country.
Lindah Mavengere is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
Phone: +263 242 481946-48/481950
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