Many discussions around tertiary education in South Africa take a turn toward the concerning unemployment rate, currently standing at 32.6%.
Boston City Campus CEO, Ari Katz, urges students and graduates to adjust their strategies to adapt to the environment they find themselves in.
Katz sheds some light on a crucial fact: Individuals who study after matric have better prospects. Despite the high unemployment rate, the data reveals that only 2.4% of the unemployed are tertiary education graduates. 7% have a basic tertiary education, 38% have an NSC and 51% did not obtain an NSC.
Job Seeking, as Katz aptly describes it, is both an art and a science. The job market has evolved into a more sophisticated landscape where Human Resources (HR) professionals spend a mere 7 seconds on a CV before deciding on shortlisting for an interview. In addition, organisations increasingly utilise technology and automation to streamline the hiring process.
So, how can job seekers stand out in this competitive environment? The key lies in crafting a CV that aligns with an employer’s needs. Research becomes paramount, and a well-crafted cover letter can make a significant difference.
Here are practical ways to enhance you cover letter:
1) Research the Organisation: Understand the company’s offering, target audience, and goals. Clearly articulate how your role will contribute to their objectives. Be specific and avoid vague statements.
2) Showcase Soft Skills: In a knowledge-based economy, soft skills are as crucial as technical skills. Highlight abilities like time management, effective meeting facilitation, flexibility, and problem-solving.
Katz goes on to broach the employment without experience conundrum, revealing that Boston City Campus aims to assist students with this by including Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) modules in each of their higher education qualifications. These modules enable students to build a portfolio of workplace evidence, demonstrating their ability to apply knowledge in real-world scenarios. Approaching education with a job-search mindset helps in developing a portfolio and soft skills early on, providing a stronger foundation post-graduation.
Given the competitive nature of job application, Katz advises graduates to invest time in training on effective job-seeking strategies. Boston City Campus offers a Graduate Support Services programme at no additional cost, significantly improving success rates in the job market for those who take advantage of it.
Lastly, Katz emphasises the rise of the Gig Economy and encourages job seekers to explore platforms like Upwork for global freelancing opportunities. This not only provides a foreign currency income source but also an avenue to accumulate valuable experience and build an
impressive and diverse portfolio.
In conclusion, job seeking in the post-graduation phase requires a strategic and proactive approach. By combining academic achievements with practical skills, continuous learning, and leveraging available support services, graduates can enhance their employability and succeed
in the dynamic job market.