Presentation is key to job success

Even before meeting you, the job seeker, your prospective employer sees your application letter and CV.

So, it’s crucial that the letter and CV create the right impression.

As a job seeker, you should take these two pieces of paper seriously – they represent you before you can present yourself personally.

As part of their career counselling services, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund’s Youth Advisory Centres help young people to craft CVs and application letters that make a good impression.

Furthermore, staff at these centres provide information as well as counselling support on career development, employment and entrepreneurship.

Young people can visit any of these centres across the country or obtain one of the many free career guides that Umsobomvu has compiled for job seekers.

One of these handbooks, entitled Finding Work: A Guide for Young People, focuses on getting a job and developing a career.

The guide, which is also available on the Internet, touches on why it is so difficult for young people to find jobs, and gives tips on what employers look for when they hire new staff.

It also gives a step-by-step account of the job-seeking process.

It has useful advice on what to do should one not manage to find or secure a job. According to the career guide, prospective employers look for physical appearance and presentation, work history, and confidence.

This is over and above the job seeker’s experience and education.

“Strange as it may seem, employers do look at physical appearance or presentation,” says Umsobomvu CEO Malose Kekana.

“How you look, for instance, can leave a good or bad impression – that is why is important to be neatly dressed and presentable.”

According to the guide, the basic skills needed in the workplace include literacy and communication, and an ability to work with others and solve problems.

It provides a checklist that job seekers can use to assess themselves in terms of these basic skills.

Umsobomvu also offers job-preparedness workshops through its Jobs and Opportunities Seekers’ Database programme.

Information on the workshops is available on Umsobomvu’s youth portal.

To help young people gain some practical experience, Umsobomvu offers them access to learnership and skills projects such as the National Youth Service Programme, whereby young people work as volunteers on projects that benefit their communities.

There are numerous projects to choose from, and job seekers benefit from the range of experiences, which enable them to obtain skills they can use to find employment or start their own businesses.

” Finding Work: A Guide for Young People and other useful information on Umsobomvu Youth Fund products and services can be found on the website Youth Portal, or by calling the Call Centre on 08600-YOUTH (96884).