First impressions
It is very important to make a terrific first impression. This is applicable in all contact scenarios including face-to-face interviews, telephonic conversations or via email. You always need to look, speak and act professionally when making contact with recruitment agencies or employers.


Your CV
If you are struggling to find a job, consider reviewing and updating your CV. It is important to update your CV and add recent work experience and skills information. Always proof read your CV carefully and rectify any typos and grammatical errors.
You should also never send the same stale CV to each potential employer. Customise your CV for every new position that you are applying for. Ensure that your skills and experience match that of the advert as this will increase the chances of your CV being shortlisted.


Keep on networking
Employers often prefer interviewing applicants that have been referred to them. You will have a far better chance of landing a job when you network with friends, ex-colleagues and professionals in your field and inform them that you are looking for employment. Provide them with your contact details and always have a CV ready when you meet someone unexpectedly.
Many people also use social media sites such as Facebook to inform friends and previous colleagues that they are job searching. It is also hugely beneficial to use a professional networking website such as LindedIn.com where you create your professional profile online. In this way you can connect with friends, colleagues, employers and recruitment specialists.


Interviews
Always show up early for a job interview rather than run the risk of being late. Dress appropriately for each interview and try to relax. If you are stressed out you might forget things.
Greet the interviewer in a friendly manner and confidently introduce yourself: eg. “Good day, I am Karen Smit and it is a pleasure to meet you, or thank you for seeing me.”


Be confident
Being a person with a disability myself, I am always aware of how I come across in interview situations. I have so often seen that when someone has the right attitude and displays self-confidence although they might lack some experience, they are successful at being shortlisted and even successful at getting a job. It is because persons with self-confidence has an attitude that says I can do it, I know how to do it and I am looking forward to doing it!


Keep track
It is useful to keep track of all your job search efforts on something like Excel. Enter details from job sites that you have joined, as well as info on all the jobs you have searched for, inclusive of dates and responses received from employers. This will enable you to follow up with employers who have not given feedback within agreed timelines.


Never give up
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, it has become very hard to search for a job in this economic climate. I want to encourage you to keep on exploring all avenues until you find a job. Never give up and although it might take time, you will eventually be successful at finding the right job.
Many companies and government organisations are currently advertising positions for persons with disabilities.

ri-dot