With SA’s high unemployment rate and many candidates competing for limited opportunities, a job search can be a daunting task.

But two education experts say that with the right approach, a search can result in success sooner rather than later.

“There are a number of things you need to consider when launching your job search to ensure that you stand a better chance,” says Sifiso Mnisi, Head of Programme: Faculty of Humanities at the Independent Institute of Education (IIE), South Africa’s largest private higher education provider.

Consideration 1: Change your mindset and get positive

“Looking for a job is a full-time job on its own,” says Mnisi.

“Therefore, to start on a positive note, tell yourself that you already have a job. This step requires you to position yourself socially, chronologically, and professionally so that you can start thinking like an employed person.”

Mnisi advises graduates to be patient, but consistent.

“Create a schedule with a set number of hours a day to search for your dream position, sending out applications and making enquiries about job opportunities.”

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Because the job search – and the inevitable rejections – can be emotionally and psychologically exhausting, it is important that graduates not let it consume them.

“Take nothing at a personal level, and try to enjoy the process, which is also an important opportunity to learn and grow.”

Consideration 2: Update your CV and tailor it to each position

Your first point of departure is your CV and cover letter, says Fathima Razack, IIE’s Head of Programme: Faculty of Commerce.

“These are the first documents that potential employers will see and should show who you are why you are suitable for their vacancy. Employers need to know that you are a good fit for their company, so your focus should be on convincing them that you are the best candidate for the job.”

Razack says CVs must be tailored to the requirements of each position. Additionally, CVs should be relevant to the field of work. A CV for a creative or advertising position will look different to a more traditional CV in the field of finance, for instance.

“At the end of the day it is not just about the employer finding you, but also about you finding the employer and position that are right for you.