Job Seekers Most Common Mistakes


We understand that searching for a position can be frustrating and disheartening. Your goal is to present yourself professionally and to attract interest of the recruiter.

Here are some tips to guide you:

Don’t make these Common Mistakes

  • Not reading job adverts to ensure that your skill set matches the job requirements before applying.
  • Applying for multiple different positions with very different requirements.
  • CV not reflecting what is required for a specific role.
  • Incorrect dates on CV.
  • Emailing a CV directly (as in not via a portal) with no information in subject line or personalisation of what application is about.
  • Not keeping a track of what positions you have applied for and with which companies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I never receive a response to jobs I apply for?
  • Your CV doesn’t match the requirements of the job applied you have applied for.
  • Elaborate on what skills you have relating to the position you have applied for.
  • Emailing your CV directly with no subject line or email body content (your CV will probably just get deleted)
What should my CV reflect?
  • Basic personal details (Name, ID, Contact details, location) and qualifications
  • Dates of qualifications obtained, employment dates for all roles, reasons for leaving
  • Previous work experience should reflect an overview of the projects you have worked on, the role you performed and tools/methodology used to complete tasks.
  • Availability and willingness to relocate if required.
  • Current salary (including all benefits and displaying nett), as well as your salary expectations
  • Reason why you are seeking alternative employment
  • Notice period
How do I make my CV stand out when applying for a position?
  • Brief introductory page which reflects how your skill set matches the role you are applying for
  • Qualifications, years’ experience and skills to support the requirements of role, location and availability.
  • Keep your CV simple and professional, avoid lots of graphics, pictures and large fonts. Keep your font type and sizes consistent.
  • Note: Remember, if you have captured the attention of the recruiter, they will engage with you and ask for more information if necessary.
How many pages should my CV be?
  • There is no set rule, as long as your CV is precise and reflects key information/relevant projects
  • Most CV’s 6 – 8 pages, depending on the number of years and variety of work experience
  • Avoid CV’s that are long and don’t cut and paste your job description across jobs. Each job description must be unique to the job.
  • Note: If required, you can supply further information on request
How important is accuracy on CV’s?
  • Extremely, it is a reflection on your integrity which is a core value of companies
  • Incorrect information can lead to a charge of fraud
  • Qualifications, criminal and credit records are verified if and when required by the Client
  • Ensure accuracy of dates, as confirmation of employment with previous companies are also completed.
What documents should I supply with my CV?
  • If you are a Graduate, Matric results and academic transcripts
  • If you are a skilled jobseeker, supporting documentation is usually requested if the Recruiter feels you meet requirements for role.
  • References from pervious employers, these will also be verified
Why are dates important on CV’s?

Clients expect a full date timeline reflecting your working experience. This develops an understanding of how your career has developed.

Why is it important to indicate Reason for Leaving on CV?

Clients require this as it is an indicator of a person’s drivers in the workplace

If I have a credit problem how could this impact on my job opportunities?
  • If the role is within financial services and requires direct contact with finances, a poor credit record may prevent you from securing a role
  • If you are aware you have a credit issue, declare this up-front to your Recruiter.
  • Seek debt counselling and present this information to your Recruiter as it indicates a sense of responsibility with regards to your circumstances.
  • Each situation is considered on merit
If I have a criminal record will this impact on my job application?
  • Some companies have a policy which does not permit them to employ a person with a criminal record
  • If you are aware that you have a criminal record declare this up-front to your Recruiter who can then advise you how to proceed.
How are criminal records recorded?
  • If you have been involved in an incident with the police and have had your finger prints taken, this will be recorded and reflect as illicit behaviour. A detailed report of the activity will be provided, this is a manual process with the SAPS and can take 6 to 8 weeks
  • Criminal records are retained on the SAPS database
How are criminal checks done?
  • Your fingerprints will be captured using a bio-metric machine at the HLR offices which is then downloaded to a service provider for checking with the SAPS
  • All persons are required to give written permission by completing an indemnity form
What rights do I have as a job seeker?
  • Recruitment agencies are not permitted to charge fees to candidates
  • Before your CV is submitted for a role, the Recruiter must interview you face-to-face or where this is not possible, telephonically/skype
  • You should be fully aware of the requirements of the role your CV will be submitted for
  • You must give permission to a recruiter to submit your CV to a specific company
  • You should know exactly where your CV is being sent and for what role
  • You may withdraw your CV from a Recruiter at any time if you are not comfortable with the process followed
  • Post-interview feedback
What is the purpose of a recruiter?
  • A professional Recruiter is an extension of a company’s HR team, they are engaged by a company to assist them with identifying skills that they require
  • A Recruiter should interview you to identify your key strengths and suitability for a role
  • The Recruiter represents you at the Client and informs you about the company and the specific role your application is being sent to
  • A Recruiter should guide you on interview processes and provide and advice on how best to build your career
How do I prepare for an interview with a recruiter?
  • This is a trial run for a potential interview with a Client. The Recruiter should provide you with tips and areas where you can improve on your interview skills
  • Ensure your CV reflects all your skills and experience, openly discuss this with the recruiter.
  • Develop your own clear objectives of what you want in a new role and how you want your career to develop. Share this with the Recruiter to ensure that you are only put through to companies where your ambitions can be met
  • Familiarise yourself with your dates of your studies and periods of employment at previous companies
  • Be able to articulate your experience to the recruiter in detail
  • Accuracy and integrity are always key
How do I prepare for a Client interview?
  • Ensure you are aware of the Client your CV has been sent to and the position you are being interviewed for
  • The Recruiter should advise you on the company culture and appropriate dress code. Remember first impressions are important.
  • Research the Client on the web and develop an understanding of the nature of their business. This will assist you when the Client asks you if you have any questions
  • Ensure you know the time, address and who you are to ask for at reception
  • Establish whether you will be required to complete any assessments at the interview and ensure you have sufficient time
  • Ensure you understand if it will be a technical or general interview with HR
  • Research how to get to the interview location and time that it will take you to get there depending on the time of day and expected traffic.
  • If there are any issues that occur that may make you late, let your recruiter know as soon as possible so Client can be advised accordingly
  • Arrive at the interview around 10 minutes early. Allow enough time to go through possible security booms and to find parking
  • Act respectfully towards everyone you encounter from the time you enter the Client’s premises. You will be observed from the time you arrive so how you carry, sit and conduct yourself is important. Look around to see if there is a book on the company in reception that you can review.
  • Turn off your cell phone before you enter reception
  • Greet those interviewing you
  • If you do not understand a question, paraphrase the question back to them to see if you have understood it or ask them to clarify.
  • If you are asked a question and you do not know the answer, say you do not know
  • Always be positive and enthusiastic, a good attitude carries a lot of weight
  • Thank the Client for the interview and the opportunity to meet with them. Basic manners are always impressive.