Top South African Companies Share What They're Looking for When Hiring

Here is how you can have the edge over other candidates

Being memorable and a killer candidate during the interview process can be an intimidating and hard task to crack. The job market is saturated with eager people looking to secure the job. The important thing is to ensure that you are an excellent candidate who offers 360 skills and thinking for the business hiring in the first place.

According to the expertise of the Head of Talent at King James, Tabatha King; Managing Director at Ogilvy Cape Town, Vicki Buys; Founder and Chief Creative Officer at King James Digital, Matthew Ross; Content Director at VML Johannesburg, Nondu Petlele; and Freelance Art Director/Creative Director, Larissa Elliot. Anette Muller, Founder of Flexyforce.com, these are some of the most important things to remember when trying out for that killer gig.

Make your CV memorable

According to Tabatha King, ‘your CV needs to reflect you – sending something you have copied and pasted from the internet is not going to cut it.’ ‘But,’ adds Vicki Buys ‘for the love of all things good, do not refer to yourself as a unicorn, or a wizard.’  King adds that when circulating your CV, it is important to be persistent, but not… creepy. ‘It is easy for a great candidate to slip through the cracks – always follow up, but definitely, don’t send personal gifts.’

Clean up your social media

Remember, recruiters are professional stalkers – they will almost always look you up on social media. So be careful what you post on the interwebs because once you post something – the internet will never forget. Nondu Petlele adds that ‘this doesn’t mean you need to hide who you are, but whatever you post, you need to stand by it.’


You got the job, now kill it with these tips

  • Self-evaluate. Larissa Elliot explains that it is important to continuously take an audit of yourself and then share it. ‘Don’t hold it close to your heart or let it manifest – if you don’t ask you don’t get.’
  • Show up and show off on the promises you have made to yourself and/or your company. No matter what.
  • Don’t get comfortable. ‘Keep learning and be hungry,’ says Petlele. If you want to future-proof your career, you need to be tough to replace. By knowing more about the company you work for and what various departments do, you are able to add more value.
  • Speak up. Many individuals struggle in the environments they are in. But the experts says that if you need help (especially when dealing with mental illness), don’t quit, be part of the conversation to improve your work life with your manager and set clear boundaries.
  • Build a network and references. ‘And then keep building,’ says Matt Ross.
  • Know your worth. Talking about your salary is a universally awkward thing to do. King advises that before asking for a raise, individuals need to do their research and gather all the necessary facts, then be ballsy. ‘Consider the industry norm when thinking about your salary expectation, as well as how long you have been in your current position, and what you have added to the business.’

SheSays, the world’s largest creative network for women, opened its Cape Town chapter – the first in Africa – in April 2018. It focuses on the engagement, education and advancement of women creatives, and provides them with the thought leadership and connections to fast-track their careers.

These tips were presented at the third-ever event on Thursday, 15th of November, at Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront.

For more information find them here.


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