Young people can secure jobs by mastering their interviews and CVs

Young people should not let the job interview process prevent them from getting a job. Picture: File

Young people should not let the job interview process prevent them from getting a job. Picture: File

Published Jun 6, 2024


As Youth Month is celebrated it is clear that one of the major challenges that young people in the country are facing is securing employment.

According to StatsSA, unemployment in South Africa rose to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024 while the unemployment rate with young people (individuals aged 15-34 years) is 45.5%.

While hiring activity in South Africa has slowed down according to the CareerJunction Employment Insights Q1: 2024 report, which showed year-on-year hiring activity dropped by 11% between Q1: 2023 to Q1: 2024.

The high unemployment rate amongst young people and slowed down hiring activity could point to the inability of young people to enter the job market.

The process of entering the job market, starts from creating a CV, followed by applying for jobs and then finally going for a job interview.

For young people navigating the job process can be daunting but all is not lost.

Rajan Naidoo, the managing director of EduPower Skills Academy, shares tips to help young people ace the process of finding a job.

Drawing up a strong but honest CV is a must and make sure to include good references. Previous experience is a great advantage but for certain industries like BPO (business process outsiurcing) inexperienced young people with Grade 12 are accepted.

Job applicants must be neatly dressed when they go for their job interview. Avoid using blingy clothing for the interview and remove excessive jewellery except if the post is in the fashion or beauty industry.

People that are looking for jobs must exude confidence in their body language by being upright that means they should avoid slouching and they need to have a firm handshake

Naidoo said that qualifications or skills will be an advantage while certain entry level industries may not require them.

“It would be good for the candidate to be savvy user of Microsoft packages such as MS word or Excel,“ Naidoo said.

“Young people with little to no experience can supplement this by mentioning volunteer work in their communities or interests in sport or positive recreation activities.”

Job seekers must have clear answers about their transport arrangements including being able to travel easily to and from work.

The applicant must be able to have decent knowledge of the technical aspects of the job they are applying.

“Someone applying for a computer programmer position might be more successful if they can actually demonstrate software, they have developed rather than just a theoretical qualification,” Naidoo said.

Dos and don’ts of job interviews

– Don’t tell untruths in the interview or on your CV.

– Be well prepared by anticipating scenario based question such as your future aspirations, ability to work in teams, ability to manage stress, technical knowledge, etc.

– Listen to the question and provide relevant answers

– Don’t try to over talk in an attempt to fill space when you are not sure of what to say.

– Ask questions about salary, start date, place of work, career opportunities and work times

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