Navigating the job market after matric: 10 practical tips for success in the world of work

Choosing a career path is about finding the place where your passions, your abilities and the needs of the job market meet up. File picture: Pixabay

Choosing a career path is about finding the place where your passions, your abilities and the needs of the job market meet up. File picture: Pixabay

Published Jan 28, 2024


As matriculants take on new ventures towards building their future, Boitumelo Motsoatsoe, communications manager at Harambe Youth Employment Accelerator, has shared guidelines to assist them through the process.

Register on SA Youth

She advises that young people register on and use its free resources. It’s a zero-rated, 100% free platform dedicated to helping young people aged 18 to 34 years access job opportunities, learning materials, and valuable resources.

“Over a million South Africans have already been supported by Almost 1 000 employer partners spanning public and private sector organisations source their entry-level employees from the platform.”

Get your resume and references in order

Most businesses still need a written CV, even though SA Youth has your information. Create a strong resume that is reminiscent of your SA Youth profile. Make sure it is devoid of errors and accurately conveys your abilities and potential.


Motsoatsoe emphasises the importance of networking in job hunting.

While SA Youth is a wonderful network, she says broadening your reach is essential. Active networking will help you reach people beyond SA youth. Reach out to friends, relatives, and acquaintances for career leads and ask for introductions to people who may know about open openings.

Know what employers are looking for

Confidence and a positive first impression are essential to standing out to potential employers.

“Our research shows that businesses also highly value competencies like effective communication, grit, and resilience,” she says.

Start looking at where the jobs are

Focus on sectors with a high demand for entry-level talent, such as the service and sales industries, digital jobs, and the care economy. Consider small businesses for junior roles, gaining essential experience to showcase your potential to future employers.

Consider volunteering and the National Youth Service programme.

Volunteering and community service are great ways to gain experience and improve your skills base. Participating in activities at local churches, community centres, or sports clubs enhances your CV and contributes to your professional development.

Make sure you are always contactable

When job hunting, it is important to use a single cell phone number and keep your phone charged and accessible. Ensure that your CV and SA Youth profile have your correct contact number. Always answer calls politely and promptly; you never know who is calling.

Use social media with caution

Be mindful of your online presence, as potential employers may review your social media profiles. Avoid sharing content that could be perceived as unprofessional, and consider social media as a tool to enhance your professional image.

Create your own opportunities

Explore side hustles or freelance work aligned with your skills and interests to make money during your job search. Acknowledge the growing relevance of the informal sector and gig work for their potential to become your primary income source.

Be proactive

Do not just sit and wait for opportunities to come your way. Take initiative by completing free online courses on SA Youth to enhance your skill set.

“Staying active and utilising these resources can significantly enhance your job search efforts.

“In conclusion, navigating the job market after matriculation requires a proactive and strategic approach. By leveraging the resources available to SA youth, networking effectively, and showcasing your unique skills and experiences, you can enhance your chances of finding meaningful employment in today's job market. Good luck on your journey towards economic independence,” said Motsoatsoe.

Saturday Star

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