Job hunting advice thread

newjourno

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We are in really bad times. Some of us have nothing and need to find something to sustain ourselves whilst others are unhappy (like myself) and are trying to find something better.

I just wanted to create a thread where we can share advice and tips on how to boost our chances of getting employment in these hard times.

Also, with regards to finding work abroad, are there any other routes other than TEFL if you are not connected?
 

Kornhole

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Not sure. Do you hold another citizenship? If you are willing to fight against infidels you might have a few options.
 

newjourno

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Tips I can share.

1. Contact people on LinkedIn but try and limit your messaging to leaders within the field and people who will have decision-making influence within the company/organization. Contacting ordinary and junior staff is likely to lead nowhere as they won't really have much of a say in the company anyway.

2. Check the common portals like LinkedIn, Indeed Pnet etc everyday.

3. If you have less than 5 years experience, keep your CV down to one page. Too many youngsters seem to think that having long CV's with irrelevant info will be impressive.

4. Consider downloading your LinkedIn profile as a CV. It often looks more impressive than the CV's people create.

5. Make sure that the people you list as references say that they will give you a good review. Many people don't ask and end up actually getting bad reviews.

6. It seems like LinkedIn profiles are slowly replacing CVs so add this where possible and make it look impressive because chances are that interested parties will look at it. Get former co-workers and team leaders to write reviews on your profile. Try to get about three reviews on your profile.
 
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Tribs

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We are in really bad times. Some of us have nothing and need to find something to sustain ourselves whilst others are unhappy (like myself) and are trying to find something better.

I just wanted to create a thread where we can share advice and tips on how to boost our chances of getting employment in these hard times.

Also, with regards to finding work abroad, are there any other routes other than TEFL if you are not connected?
You are a writer. Ever thought of contacting the publishers to see if they have openings for proof writers or other positions?
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newjourno

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You are a writer. Ever thought of contacting the publishers to see if they have openings for proof writers or other positions?

I'm more in the sports niche. I have something now but am looking for a new challenge and yes, I've been contacting people for the last four years.
 

newjourno

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Ok, I hired an experienced LinkedIn profile optimizer from UpWork. I put in a lot of effort into designing my LinkedIn profile but realized that I was getting very few organic views (the only people viewing my profile were the people that I added and it was not getting viewed by recruiters at all).

I filled out all the fields thoroughly and even got a few colleagues to write reviews of me.

It could be because I am doing something wrong or because I am in a difficult and over-saturated field, media, and communications with a focus on sport though I am also open to the NGO sector. From reading online, it seems to be mostly people in very specialized fields like software development and engineering that have a lot of luck through LinkedIn.

I will see what happens. It was a chance but I thought I may as well take it rather than wonder "what if" in the future.
 

biometrics

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Ok, I hired an experienced LinkedIn profile optimizer from UpWork. I put in a lot of effort into designing my LinkedIn profile but realized that I was getting very few organic views (the only people viewing my profile were the people that I added and it was not getting viewed by recruiters at all).

I filled out all the fields thoroughly and even got a few colleagues to write reviews of me.

It could be because I am doing something wrong or because I am in a difficult and over-saturated field, media, and communications with a focus on sport though I am also open to the NGO sector. From reading online, it seems to be mostly people in very specialized fields like software development and engineering that have a lot of luck through LinkedIn.

I will see what happens. It was a chance but I thought I may as well take it rather than wonder "what if" in the future.
A few years ago when I advertised writing apps I got jobs easily. I've been advertising the past two months and have yet to get a solid lead (there has been several inquiries).
 

newjourno

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A few years ago when I advertised writing apps I got jobs easily.

Perhaps the economy has something to do with that (COVID and all)?

But you are in tech, I assume (based on your previous posts) which is a good field to be in. I heard of former school-mates and University friends who are getting salaries like 30k and 40k at entry-level i.e with less than five years experience. That is a salary a mid-career and senior journalist can anticipate.

My latest salary for the full-time job excluding cuts and freelance work was 20k (about 15k in reality with pandemic cuts and tax etc). I hard to work hard to get there as just two years ago, I was earning 4.5k working as a community reporter (some would consider that exploitation as I am a University degree holder but I had to do it as the market is extremely bad).

It's heartbreaking to see Journalism graduates (some even experienced) having to take to Facebook groups to post asking for job leads. I've thought about applying for one of those TEFL programs with the South Korean or Japanese embassy if I get retrenched (its a reality with so many newspapers and media publications downsizing and retrenching). Maybe I can potentially get a job there and then job hunt. Some South Africans do get hired in the English media outlets there.

I'm also looking for something not only for money but where I can find happiness. Being at home for the past year is starting to get to me mentally as our company still has a work from home policy and most sports events are still closed of to journalists.
 
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newjourno

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I've been cold contacting people on LinkedIn for the past four years and whilst I made some good contacts, scored interviews, and even got a long-term freelance gig by doing this, the effort it has taken has been massive to the extent that I've sometimes wondered whether it's worth it as most messages are ghosted. I usually strategically target people in decision-making positions.

I've figured that the industry in SA is very closed off and it depends on your fair share of luck or contacts to get in. I did have a bit of luck to get a foot in the door but there's a chance I may remain in a similar position for the long-term which is frustrating so I've also now set my filters for jobs in the UAE (hoping for a bit of luck).
 

biometrics

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I've been cold contacting people on LinkedIn for the past four years and whilst I made some good contacts, scored interviews, and even got a long-term freelance gig by doing this, the effort it has taken has been massive to the extent that I've sometimes wondered whether it's worth it as most messages are ghosted. I usually strategically target people in decision-making positions.

I've figured that the industry in SA is very closed off and it depends on your fair share of luck or contacts to get in. I did have a bit of luck to get a foot in the door but there's a chance I may remain in a similar position for the long-term which is frustrating so I've also now set my filters for jobs in the UAE (hoping for a bit of luck).
I've never done the Linkedin thing.
 

newjourno

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I've never done the Linkedin thing.

It might actually be something you can consider. I've exhaustively searched the platform for four years (there is still a lot for me to learn) and I've seen tons of tech recruiters actually. I glossed over your profile last time and you seem very experienced which will mean you are bound to attract offers and even turn down several (which I'm sure you are doing as is).
 

biometrics

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It might actually be something you can consider. I've exhaustively searched the platform for four years (there is still a lot for me to learn) and I've seen tons of tech recruiters actually. I glossed over your profile last time and you seem very experienced which will mean you are bound to attract offers and even turn down several (which I'm sure you are doing as is).
So, if I'm looking for clients to write apps for, how would I go about it?
 

newjourno

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So, if I'm looking for clients to write apps for, how would I go about it?

Search for people from companies which you are interested in working with. Find a recruiter or HR person and send them a short message indicating your experience and desire to work with them.

Search the tag "We're hiring" and see if any profiles come up from people who belong to companies you are interested in working for.

Edit: Maybe Upwork can also help you. I've been active there for five years and whilst there are some people looking for a cheap hire from India or Pakistan, there are others who pay decently.
 

newjourno

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If anyone is looking for additional work to earn some side-hustle, I strongly suggest you input the words Freelance in an Indeedor LinkedIn search. There are many jobs available, especially with the pandemic.

Its also becoming popular to teach English to Asian kids via video link, but put simply you have to be able to act like a clown and be high-energy. Kids will respond to energy more than anything and do not have high attention spans.
 

Johnatan56

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It might actually be something you can consider. I've exhaustively searched the platform for four years (there is still a lot for me to learn) and I've seen tons of tech recruiters actually. I glossed over your profile last time and you seem very experienced which will mean you are bound to attract offers and even turn down several (which I'm sure you are doing as is).
One thing you need to take into account with those tech recruiters is that most of them spam that same job posting to everyone.

It's actually quite annoying as I keep getting PHP job offers recently when my linkedIn history shows I moved to C# two years ago, because they found the PHP keyword. Most of those job offers are "meh", as in either lower salary than I earn now or worse work, with very rare cases of earning more and better work, just because I already earn above average for experience, so they're pretty useless.

Most devs earn an okay salary, 30-40k within 5 years is nothing to write home about if e.g. Cape Town with degree in Software, you should earn that in <2 years as a dev if you're doing back-end or full-stack work. Note that's 20-30k net or so. That said, most of the time to hit that, you're doing quite a bit of overtime and are valued by the company. I know quite a few cases with devs earning 15-25k in their 5 years because they basically never left the first company they worked for and it's a cushy job since nothing expected of you in those (e.g. one person working for a car sales place, only dev, I earned more than he did after 3 years with just my starting salary, think he swapped jobs now or was in the process of doing so).

In order to earn that 30-40k+, most devs work quite a bit more than they should, most of us take all the problems home and are still thinking about work even outside of work hours, since we like our work. You also have to put in a lot of time to learn whatever tech stack and process the company has and try to stay up to date, it's a field that is constantly moving, with often having higher requirements in terms of logical thought process than most other jobs, so that salary again is not the greatest for what it is, and moving to e.g. Europe or US just jumps up your pay grade as South Africa basically never kept up with inflation for a good 10 years on dev job costs.

Most LinkedIn recruiters are garbage, they're trying to play the shotgun game of trying to get as many tech people to reply as possible and then get that month salary commission for them staying somewhere a year, since most devs cannot move in <2-3 years if over junior as looks really bad on CV, most larger projects for a lot of companies take 2-3 years just to get off the ground.
 

newjourno

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If anyone will be willing to review my LinkedIn profile, I will be happy to send you a link and would appreciate the feedback. I just do not like to post my links publically, lol.

One of the things I've noticed is that LinkedIn often tells you when a company downloads or views your CV when you apply for jobs via their portal. I've noticed that a fair share of the South African companies I am applying to are at least viewing my CV though only like two ever wrote back to me and that interest eventually fizzled out.

However, the international applications I'm sending (mostly to the UAE) don't seem to be getting viewed at all. Is there perhaps a filter that it has that is removing me?
 

newjourno

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One thing you need to take into account with those tech recruiters is that most of them spam that same job posting to everyone.

It's actually quite annoying as I keep getting PHP job offers recently when my linkedIn history shows I moved to C# two years ago, because they found the PHP keyword. Most of those job offers are "meh", as in either lower salary than I earn now or worse work, with very rare cases of earning more and better work, just because I already earn above average for experience, so they're pretty useless.

Most devs earn an okay salary, 30-40k within 5 years is nothing to write home about if e.g. Cape Town with degree in Software, you should earn that in <2 years as a dev if you're doing back-end or full-stack work. Note that's 20-30k net or so. That said, most of the time to hit that, you're doing quite a bit of overtime and are valued by the company. I know quite a few cases with devs earning 15-25k in their 5 years because they basically never left the first company they worked for and it's a cushy job since nothing expected of you in those (e.g. one person working for a car sales place, only dev, I earned more than he did after 3 years with just my starting salary, think he swapped jobs now or was in the process of doing so).

In order to earn that 30-40k+, most devs work quite a bit more than they should, most of us take all the problems home and are still thinking about work even outside of work hours, since we like our work. You also have to put in a lot of time to learn whatever tech stack and process the company has and try to stay up to date, it's a field that is constantly moving, with often having higher requirements in terms of logical thought process than most other jobs, so that salary again is not the greatest for what it is, and moving to e.g. Europe or US just jumps up your pay grade as South Africa basically never kept up with inflation for a good 10 years on dev job costs.

Most LinkedIn recruiters are garbage, they're trying to play the shotgun game of trying to get as many tech people to reply as possible and then get that month salary commission for them staying somewhere a year, since most devs cannot move in <2-3 years if over junior as looks really bad on CV, most larger projects for a lot of companies take 2-3 years just to get off the ground.

Thanks for this. I guess I may think that things are rosy because there seem to be a lot of job opportunities in tech. My one good friend changed jobs about three times in the last year and he never really waited long before another one came around. On the other hand, if I had to leave my job now, I would probably have to freelance which is an unstable market and would not be sure that I would be able to find another offer similar. I'd probably be able to get a Tabloid job but they pay minimum wage and so are not worth it, at least now that I'm not exactly a newbie to the field.

But yes, tech does seem like a very competitive field as well.
 
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