Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Here are some tips to stand out in a crowded market.
Get comfortable with working online. Up your Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams skills. If you’re invited to a virtual interview, find a quiet room in the house with a plain background and good lighting. Attend virtual events, post relevant articles on your social platforms, and engage in conversations that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
Build your personal brand. Brush up your LinkedIn profile, CV, cover letter, and portfolio so that you can quickly apply for jobs. Create a personal branding statement that defines the unique skills and characteristics that you bring to the workplace.
Unemployed? Use the time to build your skills. Find a job advert for your ideal position and highlight every listed skill. Identify the skills that you don’t have, or need to brush up on, and find an online course. There are hundreds of reputable sites that offer free courses and even issue a certificate or certification on completion. Try Wits, the University of Johannesburg, and Google Digital Skills for Africa. Read, listen to podcasts, watch TED Talks – we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to information. Your future employer will be interested to know how you used your time when you weren’t employed.
Leverage and build your network. Candidates that continue to build relationships with prospective employers and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start hiring again.
Join the gig economy. Market your skills, join freelancing platforms, and take on ad hoc or temporary assignments until you find a job. You could even approach your ideal employer and ask how you can offer your skills to help.
Register with Recruitment Agencies that specialise in your field.
Be negotiable South Africa's current recession has impacted companies’ hiring strategy and the salaries on offer. This means you may need to settle for a slightly junior position, or lower pay, to get your foot in the door and build experience.
Build resilience. You may face a lot of rejection during this time. Don’t let it get you down. Keep networking, keep putting yourself out there – you only need one ‘yes’ and it could be the one that changes your life.
DLK group provides recruitment and project resourcing services, and has more than 200 consultants currently working in the field. If you have IT, SAP, Oracle or Change Management skills and accreditation, check out out available positions here.