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BizCareers Column news

[BizCareers] The job application rut

What can you do differently to stand out? This week we look at finding different ways to get into the industry in which you really want to be.
© thinglass –
© thinglass –
I am a recent graduate and fortunately have an internship in advertising. Unfortunately, this is not where I would like to be. I am grateful for the experience but I would really like to get my career in publishing started. I have an honours qualification in journalism and I apply, daily, to various job opportunities in the industry but I can't seem to catch a break. What should I be doing and, most importantly, what am I doing wrong? Thank you. - N

Hi N,

Thanks for your question. My first question to you is how much experience is needed in the jobs that you apply to, and how relevant are they to your degree? Unfortunately, often times the person at the other end of the job ad literally merely looks for one particular keyword that they need and eject any CVs that don't specifically have this. So in order to counteract this, you need to read each and every job advert you apply to very carefully and formulate a cover letter that specifically matches this, so that relevant keywords stand out. A blanket cover letter won't work in this case.

Once you have the cover letter sorted, you will now need to make your CV really pop, so think carefully about how you could do this. Perhaps have a copy of an excellent article of yours that was recently published as your front page? Or perhaps you could try hand delivering your CV to various publishing agencies with a portfolio of work you have written attached? Find out who the owners of the businesses are through LinkedIn and address the envelope to them specifically. No one can turn a blind eye to a personally addressed hand delivered envelope!

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, keep trying and be creative!

Best of luck and let me know how it goes.

Getting into the world of literature

I need some advice. I graduated with a Diploma in Fashion Design and Textile in 2009 from Damelin, but because I had no funds and could not get employment in the fashion industry, I ended up working in a call centre.

I am currently doing my first year studies with Unisa towards a BA in Literature and Languages. My aim is to be a content producer for both television and radio or a writer.

I would like advice on the following:

  • How can I make my CV more suited for job-seeking?
  • Which short courses can I take in the meantime that will assist me in qualifying for a junior job in the world of literature?
  • How can I look for a job besides the normal applying online because it is not working for me?

Thank you - Anonymous

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for contacting me.

To answer your question, I would first need to see your CV to make recommendations, so please send this through to me.

Secondly, with regards to courses you could do in line with production, try AFDA, they offer a one-year Higher Certificate course in film, TV and entertainment production and are a leading institution in the industry. If you would like to focus more on writing, then try The Learning Group (Part of College SA) that offer a 12-month Scriptwriting course.

Colleges will often have more access to available jobs as companies will approach them when in need of fresh talent, so hopefully by doing these courses more opportunities will open for you.

I hope the above helps.

Best of luck and let me know how it goes.

Remember to always love what you do!

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  • The answers provided to questions submitted by readers will be based on the content of questions themselves, current recruitment practices and current legislation in force at the time of writing, and are intended as advisory only and such advice is provided in good faith.
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About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is currently head of marketing and operations at Recruitgroup, a Level Three BEE contributor which was awarded the Best Recruitment Agency of the Year at the CareerJunction Awards in 2010 and 2012, as well as other industry honours. She holds a BCom in Industrial Psychology and Honours in Marketing Management. Juliette is also the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column.
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