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Entering the job market

by Media Xpose

Recently finished high school, university, or college or unemployed? Entering the job market can be a daunting experience but is also key to helping you start your journey towards financial freedom.


Research is a key component of applying for a job. You want to be armed with knowledge about the company, culture and always keep in mind growth opportunities.

Job portals

We all know about LinkedIn, but there are various other online portals to peruse for job opportunities such as PNet, Career Junction, etc. Most of these sites would require you to do an online CV so when you see something that excites you or matches your skillset you can just apply.

Your CV

A CV is a crucial necessity when applying for a job. We all should have one. Something that is important to note is that applicants should ideally edit their CV according to the job spec. For example, if the job spec has a requirement that the candidate must have good communication skills – highlight this in your CV.

For people who have no prior formal job experience, you can include something in your CV that speaks to this such as volunteer work you have done that required you to engage with a variety of stakeholders.

Cover letter or motivational letter?

Often used interchangeably, there is, however, a difference between the two.

A cover letter is an introduction letter that highlights competencies of the applicant to the hiring organisation for a particular position. An example of a simple cover letter would be as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to convey my interest in the advertised position of designer at Window Group (Pty) Ltd.

I have two years’ experience in 2D, and 3D design while volunteering at Speak NGO, and also have a diploma in Design Elements from EDUCATE College, which I believe makes me a good candidate for the above-mentioned position.

During my education and work experience I had successfully displayed creativity and managed a variety of design projects in a timely manner.

Thank you for taking this application into consideration.


John Ross

A motivational letter or a letter of interest is also an introductory letter – but is often used by applicants for when a job is not necessarily available, or they might not meet the necessary requirements of the job spec. An example of a motivational letter would be as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to convey my interest in working at Window Group (Pty) Ltd as an intern starting February 2023.

At present, I am pursuing my diploma in Design Elements from EDUCATE College. My area of interest includes 2D and 3D design, and I have a talent for creativity, which I believe could be further developed while working at your organisation.

I would also be interested in knowing if you have a Junior Designer position available currently or in the future.

It would be very excited to join your organisation, as I believe I will be able to make a positive impact within the organisation while developing further skills.

Thank you for taking this application into consideration.


John Ross


Should your application be successful, and you are invited to interview, be sure to ensure you have done sufficient research on the company. Also think of scenario-based questions that you could potentially be asked. Questions according to positions and industries are easily available online to give you some insight.

Most importantly, while this is an interview, remember to be yourself. Yes, you must be professional, but let positive aspects of your personality shine. Also come up with some potential questions to ask the interviewer as this can show further interest in the role/company. Dress accordingly – smart casual or formal depending on the industry.

The offer and contract

Congratulations! Your interview was successful, and you have been made an offer. If you are agreeable to the offer, you will be then given a contract to go through and sign. An offer letter is almost like a teaser – it does not give the full picture, whereas a contract, which has legal standing is very specific about the job such as employment conditions, salary, benefits, leave, etc.

While you are excited about this, it is important to go through these documents very carefully before signing on the dotted line.

The first week

Dress the part and bring your A-game. Be on time – it is advised to leave a bit earlier from home to avoid any hiccups such as traffic that could make you late.

Generally, in the first week you will be given an induction about processes and systems, the company etc. You will also be meeting colleagues, who will be part of the team you are in and can help smooth your work journey.

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