Public Service Announcement – To Unemployed South Africans…


Recently I have had the misfortune of having to look for new staff to fill a position in our company.  I say misfortune because I am seriously going to miss the one that’s leaving, but also because I have been subjected to the most ridiculous and disappointing CV’s ever created in the history of mankind.  Seriously, I think caveman paintings may be more effective at this point.  Due to this terrible epidemic that seems to have swept the unemployed people of South Africa, I decided that I should give them a heads up on what’s acceptable and what’s not.

  • Are you wearing… Jeans?

Now I am aware that everyone has their own sense of style, but showing it off at an interview may not be the best idea.  If you don’t know what the company is like, play it on the safe side and cover up – tights, strappy tops and takkies are all part of the no go zone!

  • Photo etiquette…

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You’d think this one would be a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many people take these kind of photo’s and put it on their CV!  In fact I can promise you that these are recreations of real photo’s that I have seen…  OK, maybe the last one has been distorted a bit.  I would have taken more, but that would have involved putting on clothing that’s too small for me, putting on crazy make up and posing awkwardly in dirty rooms.  I know you should’n’t necessarily judge a book by its cover, but when it’s cover is all glammed up in their dirty bedroom about to go out to party (or even worse – already at the party) and they think it’s the best picture they could put on a CV, I start to worry.  If you have to resort to going through your matric dance photo’s maybe just give the picture a miss.

  • Proof read the thing!

You will not believe the amount of spelling errors that I have seen.  Yeah, I am aware that we all make mistakes – but not in your CV people!  Come on!

  • High school is over…

You were a prefect in school, a member of the hockey team and an award winning member of the debate team – I get it…  It was a great time of your life, but it’s over now.  How does being a cheerleader in primary school help you get a job 10 years after you’ve left school?!  Fill your CV with things that actually matter, you know, like work experience…

  • What?!  Clipart still exists?!

Who knew that having funny circles, roses or cartoon pictures of men at work would get your CV noticed…  This tells me that you have been taught to use MS Word by your grandfather or that you are actually still living in the 90’s.

  • Thinking out the box…

You want to be different…  You want to stand out…  So you start thinking about hearts and flowers and combine the two and make a multicoloured heart shaped petal flower…  Of course this will work – because actually, there shouldn’t be a box!

  • Other general (more serious) tips…
    • Put your latest work experience first.
    • Put the reason for leaving each of the positions.
    • If you actually make it to the interview stage, try and show up for the interview…  Like seriously…  I can’t believe I am even writing this one down but apparently lots of people need to see it!

Now go out there and go and get hired!

You’re welcome South Africa.  You. Are. Welcome!

(Disclaimer:  I am not an HR person – thank goodness.  Although I try to painfully make a joke about it, this is very serious to some unemployed people, so I hope it helps a little bit at least.)

9 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement – To Unemployed South Africans…

  1. I still remember a certain CV that had a rose on… And I told you guys NOT to hire that one… 😉 lol… But those photos… No words… Really no words.

  2. LOL Cindy. I think the photo’s are the worst too. My favourite if when they send pics of themselves in the Matric Dance dresses.

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