Your CV should be very professional. No spelling mistakes. No grammar mistakes. South African spelling. Good layout. All bullet points and numbers should be in line with each other – not all over the show.
Don’t say: “references available on request.” List your references on the last page.
List the responsibilities of each job you had – not just the company’s names and positions you held.
Don’t misrepresent yourself in your CV – it’s fraud, and when your new employer finds out you may be dismissed.
Email your CV to the appropriate recruiter with a cover message that is well-written. Don’t send a blank email with attachments. It is unprofessional.
Address the person by the name that is advertised on the ad. Don’t call me El or Els or Elsa when my name is clearly stated as Elsabé, and please, never call anyone sweetie or darling! Someone phoned me yesterday and called me darling! NO!
Don’t phone recruiters or potential employers after hours and don’t send your CV via WhatsApp messages. You need to email your CV to the appropriate email address.
Don’t send WhatsApp messages – period.
When invited for an interview, arrive on time.
Dress your best and be clean. Do not wear jeans to an interview.
Ladies, make sure that your nail polish isn’t chipped and that your makeup is tastefully done. Don’t wear low-cut blouses or short dresses.
Men, if you have a beard you need to trim it regularly. An unruly beard gives the impression that you are lazy.
Your hair should be clean and well looked after.
Your shoes should be clean.
Don’t wear too much perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
Switch your cell phone off before entering the building. You shouldn’t use your cell phone at all and it shouldn’t ring.
Stand up when someone greets you. Shake hands – do not use the ‘African handshake.’
Watch your body language. Don’t slouch in the chair. Sit upright.
Don’t leave the interview to use the toilet – use the toilet before the interview.
Don’t badmouth your previous boss or employer.
Use good English and grammar.
Don’t be loud.
Never ask about the salary unless the interviewer brings it up. Money is only discussed if you are offered the position unless they ask what your salary expectation is.
Don’t bombard anyone with phone calls after your interview. They will get back to you. If they don’t phone you after a reasonable time, you may contact them.
Elsabé Manning, Elsabe Manning