Five things potential employers look at


Five things potential employers look at

SOUTH Africa has one of the highest unemployment levels in the world.

According to Stats SA, total employment figures dropped by 194 000 from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of last year.

Jobs were lost across various sectors, including community services, construction, business services, manufacturing and mining.

Unemployment data for the first quarter of this year will be released this week, but the reality is that competition for jobs is likely to become more stiff.

If you, or someone you know, is in the job market, it’s worth bearing in mind what a potential employer tends to review.

Here’s a quick checklist:

Credit record – This is particularly important if you are applying for a job in the financial services industry.

If you cannot manage your own finances, then you are unlikely to be able to manage a client’s money responsibly.

Make sure that you maintain a good credit record and check it at least once a year to ensure all the information is correct and up to date.

Criminal record – If you have a criminal record, for whatever reason, be upfront about it.

Don’t let your employer find out from another source.

Failing to disclose it will convince any potential employer that you have ulterior motives and are not trustworthy.

If someone has obtained a protection order against you, it will only go on your record if you violate the order and the complainant then files a criminal case against you.

Employer references – Your references’ contact details may have changed since you last updated your CV.

Make sure your CV is updated with their current job description, if it is different from the position in which they worked with you.

You should also take the time to notify your references that you are job hunting so that they are not caught off guard by a potential employer.

Academic qualifications – This is one of the first things an employer will check for the simple reason that so many people today claim academic qualifications they didn’t earn. Don’t claim to have a degree if you dropped out of college, or an international qualification if you do not have one.

Social media – According to DataReportal, South Africa was home to 26 million social media users in January 2024.

Remember, as many younger entrepreneurs enter the workforce, they are very likely to scan social media platforms such as Facebook, X, Instagram and TikTok, to gauge your personality.

Don’t rant or give in to the impulse to air your private views on volatile topics. Definitely never bad-mouth former employers. This shows immaturity and is not likely to win you any favours with a new employer.

Applying for jobs is about much more than a CV and how you dress.

Take the time to ensure you are the best potential candidate, both in person and on paper.

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