May 29
Do's and don'ts when applying for a job


Now that you have graduated, you are most likely very busy sending out your CV and looking for a job. While looking for 

employment can be super stressful, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of securing your dream career.


Read the job advert carefully

Make sure that you qualify for the job you are applying for. There is no point in applying for a senior level position if you don't

have any work experience. Look for the job that is best suited for your qualifications and experience to increase your chances 

of success.

Create an easy to read CV

If your CV doesn't stand out, then your employer is less likely to read it. Make sure that your CV is easy to read, include dates 

of your experience and education in chronological order, and always spell check to make sure there are no grammar or spelling 


Keep it short and to the point

Employers often have several CV's to read through in a day. Increase your chances of being remembered by keeping your CV 

short and in line with the job advertisement requirements. No recruiter wants to read 10 or more pages of one person's CV.

Be prepared for your interview

When preparing for your interview, make sure you do lots of research about the company and the person who will be interviewing

you. The more you know, the better your chances of securing the job you want.

Use bullet points on your cover letter

Recruiters complain of long cover letters than add no value. Keep it short, about 100 words at most and use bullet points instead of 

sentences to make your important points.

Be descriptive

Give as much detail as possible in your CV to get your points across. Rather use many descriptive words to explain your experience

than not. You don't want your employer guessing what you are trying to say.

A great attitude is gold

No matter how you are feeling or what you are going through, remember to never bring any negative vibes to your interview.  Rather put

on a smile and be friendly. You may not be the best candidate but you may be the better one to work with. Remember a good attitude is gold.

Include contactable references

Make sure your references are okay with you listing them as contactable on your CV. Also make sure that you can trust them to represent

you well with your future employer.



Don't lie about your experience and previous salary. Employers do credit and background checks and if they find 

that you haven't been honest, they will not employ you.

Add fluff to your CV

Keep your CV suited for the particular job that you are applying for. Edit your CV with each application to make 

sure it's tailored for that particular job. Also stay away from including information such as your religion and other

personal information unless otherwise asked to do so.

Dress inappropriately

First impressions count, make an effort to put your best self forward. Do your hair, cut your nails and make

sure you look professional. Oh and make sure you smell good too.

Forget to breathe

Getting nervous is expected and nerves are not necessarily a bad thing. Just get your breathing under control 

with deep breathing exercises to calm yourself down.

Be unreachable

You've sent out your CV, now make sure that you always have your phone near, and are always checking 

your emails in case a potential employer is trying to get a hold of you. If they call you more than once and 

you don't answer your phone, they may just move on to the next candidate.

Leave a bad taste

At your interview make sure you speak positively about your previous employer and highlight the positive 

aspects of your former boss. No matter if it's true or not, employers don't take positively to negative talk about

past employers.

Forget to follow up

Despite what you may think, employers don't mind if you follow up on your application if they have not 

done so already with you. Just make sure that you follow up after the date they mentioned to offer feedback.

You don't want to rush them to respond, but you also deserve to know whether you were successful or not if

they promised feedback but never offered any. 


About IIE Rosebank College

The IIE Rosebank College is dedicated to providing students with a solid foundation, creating future thinkers to build 

successful careers. Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) which

is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution. The IIE quality,

accredited courses enable you to thrive in today's working world. Whether you study at 

our Braamfontein, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria CBD, Pretoria Sunnyside or Durban campuses, and enrol for a degree, 

diploma or higher certificate.  We are a worthy higher education partner for all students who entrust us with their career development.

For more information please visit

Follow us on Twitter @RosebankRC

Written by Karabo Keepile