Essential Tips for School Leavers Entering the Workforce

19 Jan Essential Tips for School Leavers Entering the Workforce

Essential Tips for School Leavers Entering the Workforce


Now that the Matric 2023 results have been released, and some of your friends head off to study full-time, it’s time to start looking for a job if that’s your plan for 2024. Finding your first job can be a challenging but rewarding experience. To help you navigate this transitional period, we’ve compiled a list of essential tips for school leavers entering the workforce.


Create a Standout CV

Your CV is your first impression of potential employers. Ensure it highlights your education, skills, and any relevant experiences. When you are starting out, any work experience and relevant final-year projects should be listed on your CV.  Every bit counts when you don’t have a lot of experience!


Build an Online Presence:

Create a professional LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills and connect with industry professionals. Many employers now look online to learn more about candidates, so having a strong digital presence can set you apart.  Remember that if you don’t want to be judged on your Instagram and TikTok posts, to set your privacy settings!


Network, Network, Network:

If no one knows that you are looking for a job, you will never get one!  Every situation you find yourself in is an opportunity to ask questions and learn about different jobs.  Don’t be embarrassed to tell people you are job-seeking.

Develop a Strong Cover Letter:

Your cover letter is an opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the position and showcase your personality. Tailor each cover letter to the specific job, addressing how your skills and experiences align with the company’s needs.  Keep it brief and professional, and rather don’t send one, if you are going to send a generic one, “I have always dreamt of working for your esteemed company….”


Be Prepared for Interviews:

Research common interview questions, research the position you are applying for, and the company you are going to.  Think about what you will wear to the interview (you might need to borrow something), and make sure you know where you are going.


Use Job Search Platforms:

Explore online job boards and platforms like PNet, CareerJunction, and LinkedIn Jobs. Set up job alerts to receive notifications for relevant positions, and don’t hesitate to apply even if you don’t meet every qualification.  Check your emails daily, and keep a diary of what positions you are applying for.


Seek Internship Opportunities:

Internships provide valuable real-world experience and can be a stepping stone to a full-time job. Look for internships related to your field of study to gain practical skills and enhance your resume.

Stay Positive and Persistent:

The job search process can be challenging, and rejection is a part of the journey. Stay positive, learn from each experience, and use feedback to improve. Persistence pays off in the long run.


Embarking on your first job search is an exciting chapter filled with opportunities for growth and learning. By implementing these tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the job market and land that coveted first job. Remember, it’s a journey, and every step brings you closer to your career goals.