How do you search for suitable jobs? How do you build a professional network that helps your career and finding a job?

Our HR team and some of our insurance sales team share their top tips with you. (And at the bottom on the this blog, you’ll find helpful weblinks to other FREE media with tips and advice on this topic.)

Networking can help you find job opportunities and develop your career.

 Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is an important tool for networking. You can network on other social media channels, like Facebook or Twitter, but I believe LinkedIn is the best one for professional networking because it was built for this purpose.

Use this platform to start building your professional brand.”

Thato
“Look at how far away the company’s office is from where you live. It helps if you live within a realistic commute, especially if you need to decide between public transport versus a car. If you don’t live within a reasonable commute you’ll find it makes working there much harder and might add more stress to your life, which will affect your career success and increase the likelihood that you’ll end up leaving the job sooner rather than later.

 Also, when assessing the commute, as well as the time it will take, work out the weekly / monthly cost of it to see if it’s affordable with the salary being offered.

 Even now that more people are working remotely since the lockdowns started in March 2020, the office is still an important destination (and hub) for meetings and collaboration. Even if remote working remains long after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, for most people there’ll still be a need to attend the office at least 1 or 2 days a week. This means it being a realistic commute for you remains important!”

Candice

Some Don’ts to consider when thinking of applying for a job:

“It’s best not to apply for every single job advert you see, especially if you don’t meet the minimum criteria (such as the required qualifications or work experience). It’s very unlikely you’ll be successful in your application if you do apply in this circumstance.

 If you apply for every job advert that a company posts, you may get noticed by the Recruitment Team but it probably won’t be in a good way. It might undermine your credibility as a candidate, especially when you do actually apply for a job for which you might be suitable at that company.”

Linda
“Use your network. I advise that you make connections through people you know and talk to them, as well as make new connections.

People you know may be aware of job opportunities or may know people who know people who can connect you with job opportunities. We all know people!

Also, get a LinkedIn account and connect with people on it.

Don’t only try connect with people over the internet or social media, but also connect with people offline who you know too. 

 In social spaces and events, I’ve gotten to know lots of different people. They often ask me what I do for a living and I tell them about my insurance sales job at ooba. If they’re interested in what I do then we can take it from there by me referring them to ooba for employment opportunities.”

Sibongile
“Building your professional brand is a marathon, not a sprint.

Start to follow people and companies who are interesting to you and are in similar work (or in work you aspire to get into someday) and start to connect with them.

 Also, you can get involved with the people you follow and connect with on LinkedIn, including liking or commenting on their posts or sharing them.

For example, if you’re looking at ooba as your next employer, then follow ooba’s (career) social media pages and look at the sort of jobs at ooba – this way you start getting insights into what sort of company ooba is and making connections with people there, so by the time there are vacancies you can apply for you’re already well positioned for it.

As well as following people and companies on LinkedIn, also join the Groups on it that are relevant to your career and professional interests. There are lots of specialist Groups on LinkedIn, with people connecting and discussing topics of professional interest. You can learn a lot in these as well as connect with lots of new people there too!

Make sure you do participate in discussions and post-threads. If you don’t then no one will notice you and you’ll find it harder to make useful connections. Use it now to engage with things that you are interested in for your future career aspirations, as well as the work you do today.”

Thato
“First and foremost, you need to know what you want from life and then set goals for yourself – short term and long term. If you achieve your short term goals you’ll be closer to achieving your long term goals.

It means setting yourself goals every day when it comes to looking for a job and, if you achieve these daily, you’ll find you’re more likely to succeed in finding employment.

This approach works well if you are in sales job too!”

Shaun

“Focus on today. If you have a good day or a bad day, just keep focussed on that day. When the next day comes, it’s a brand new day!

 Never give up and never doubt yourself.

 When you apply for a job, just be yourself and be confident. Always be you and let them see who you are.

 Work hard! I mean put effort into applying in a way that makes you more likely to succeed: look around for the right job and company for you, write a good CV, make sure you complete the application properly, study up about the company before your job interview, and things like that.”

Zoe

“If you’re in the job market and you are struggling to find employment, it might help to review what your CV says about you (especially check if what it says is relevant for the jobs you’re applying for).

Also, check if your reference details are helpful and relevant for the sort of jobs you’re applying for.

Most of all, just be yourself when you apply for a job or attend a job interview! I see people who seem to have ‘studied’ the sort of person they think the company wants them to be and then they aren’t their authentic selves in the interview (and it shows).

As a manager at ooba, when I interview candidates I want to have a conversation with them – so I can get to know who they are and what makes them tick. This helps me make a better hiring decision.

If I don’t feel I got to see the ‘real’ person in the interview then it makes it harder for me to make a decision about hiring them. So always just be yourself.”

Yaasien