Having spent the last 15 years in the recruitment services industry, the questions that I get asked most by career seekers are "How do I find a new job?" and "Why don’t recruiters ever respond?".
The truth about job seeking

The best advice for any career seeker is to be as visible as you possibly can!  Applying with one recruitment agency and hoping that that agency will find you your dream job, is putting your future into the hands of a recruiter who in all honesty probably has a few hundred other applicants that has the same expectations.  The nature of the industry dictates most Recruiters to work on job roles assigned to them and searching for candidates for those specific roles.  Recruiters are not motivated to market specific skills but rather driven to fill roles of the jobs they have been assigned to.

With the insurgence of applicant tracking systems, talent communities, job boards and social media most recruiters, both internal and external, on average deal with at least a few hundred job applications per month. Maintaining direct contact with each applicant is an impossible task.  Systems will screen out unqualified candidates, leaving the recruiter to only focus on the individuals that closely match the requirements of the role.

What does that mean for the career seeker?  It is imperative for the career seeker to have an online presence clearly selling his skills and talent.  Loading your profile on every jobsite available is not the answer; you will be inundated with calls from agencies not always knowing exactly what the job role entails or whether you might be the right fit.  Visibility in the right places is key!

The first step is to identify the companies you would like to work for and approach them directly.  Most companies have their own career portals that can be accessed through their webpages, allowing a candidate to either upload their profile or search for specific roles to apply for.

Social media has become a minefield for recruiters.  Ensure that you have a detailed profile on LinkedIn and Facebook that clearly states your skills, achievements and successes. Recruiters search for profiles based on keywords of skills required for those roles.  You will only be found if those keywords exist on your profile.  A recent survey by American company Jobvite, stated that 76 % of Social Jobseekers found their current job through Facebook.  94 % of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, whereas only 36 % of job seekers are.  While most jobseekers flock to Facebook, recruiters prefer LinkedIn to search for candidates.

Mobile apps are increasing in popularity with both job seekers and recruiters.  43 % of job seekers have used their mobile device in engaging in job seeking activity.  Mobile apps allow the career seeker to search and apply for jobs literally from anywhere – whether you are at work or sipping cocktails on a beach.  It is a constant way of keeping in touch with opportunities available in the market and ensure that you don’t miss out on that perfect role.

SkillsMap is a membership based Talent community, connecting top talent with top brands throughout Africa.  With the launch of SkillsMap Mobile app in February 2014, SkillsMap has made the job seeking process fun and easy for any job seeker, whether you are a recently qualified graduate or an Executive with years of experience.

SkillsMap is offered as a totally free service to all job seekers.  Discerning members are looking for careers that match their ambitions and they are the best and brightest in Africa.  They know what they want out of their careers and prefer dealing with corporate HR direct, eliminating the need for a recruitment middleman.  The app allows for quick & easy registration that will make job hunting painless.  You can now keep up to date with the latest positions right from your pocket and know exactly which company you are applying with.

Features of the app include an easy 2 step registration process;  managing your career profile from the app;  one tap apply with screening questions;  updates on status of your job applications;  basic and advanced search;  job notifications;  social media login; free career guidance assessment;  and exposure to careers throughout Africa.  The app can be downloaded for free at the official Apple App Store or Google Play.

Start changing your future today.  Remember, jobs are becoming less and less important in today’s workplace, while the emphasis has shifted to skills!  Sell your skills in a way that makes it easy for a recruiter to engage with you.

About The Author

Heidi Duvenage is a Serial Entrepreneur and has been die Founder of various ICT & Recruitment companies over the last 10 years. She holds a BComm (law) (industrial Psychology), Targeted Selection Administrator and Registered DDI Facilitator. She has in excess of 14 years’ experience recruiting & managing corporate accounts on infrastructure, service & SAP Projects. She has consulted to various recruitment agencies with emphasis on business analysis, profit improvement projects & company restructuring. She was the recipient of the Creating Leadership & Personal Capacity in Women award. You can follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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