This article originally appeared on Red Bull Amaphiko
If you’re a South African on Twitter, you’ve probably seen the #JobSeekersSA hashtag floating around your timeline. The hashtag has become as much of a regular fixture as #WCW and #TBT.
It was started by Johannesburg-based social media specialist Menzi Ngcobo, to help graduates find employers and vice versa – a job portal in 140 characters.
“This is how it works,” says Ngcobo. “Let’s say you’re looking for a job and you use the hashtag, I’ll retweet that. Prospective employers can look through the hashtag and find someone to hire.” Ngcobo also has a network of recruitment agencies who send him vacancies that he posts under the hashtag. Wherever he finds job listings, he posts about them.
Since creating the hashtag, Ngcobo estimates that about 15 people have found jobs using it. It may seem like a small number against the high unemployment rates, but Ngcobo knows the impact it makes to an individual.
Plenty of agencies recruit through LinkedIn. Start a profile, even if you don’t have a job.
He knows what it’s like to look for a job and not find one. After graduating with a degree in social sciences in 2010, he thought he was set for employment. Instead, he spent two years sending out CVs and cover letters, but no one would bite. In 2012, he landed a job with a small PR agency as a social media coordinator and has seen his career grow ever since.
So what tips does he have for discouraged job seekers?
“Well, the first thing is to have a strong presence online. Plenty of agencies recruit through LinkedIn. Start a profile, even if you don’t have a job. You can choose an option that alerts people that you’re looking for a job. LinkedIn is very important.”
Job applicants need to present themselves better online, too. “Two weeks back, a recruiter asked me to share a job. She received a lot of impressive CVs, but complained about email etiquette.” Checking what works helps, says Ngcobo “Google what format to use when you’re applying via email.” To get a job you have to be prepared for everything.
Follow Ngcobo on Twitter: @MrMenziN