How to apply for a position via email.

How to apply for a position via email.

Emails concept illustration

This may or may not be new to you as a job seeker, but I’ve come across this a lot and it will prevent you from missing out on a really awesome opportunity, all because you didn’t “apply with intent”.

What do I mean by “apply with intent”? Well, to apply for a position with intention is to know why you are applying for the position without “needing a job”. This would be a career advancement more rather than a desperate cry for help. When you apply for a specific position, you usually send your application with some form of motivation as to why the company should employ you. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case and I think this is why so many great applicants miss out on such good opportunities.

As Recruiter, we are “people-people”, we love interacting with applicants on a daily basis, we love to help those who need help and we love learning about people beyond what we see on paper, but (and this is a huge but), when job seekers apply for a position, they are missing the whole notion of “introducing themselves or just a simple hello”, When a job seeker only sends an email with their CV attached and without an email body, it already gives us the impression that you don’t know how to introduce yourself. Big no-no!

To help those who may need some guidance this coming year, I have created a short and sweet guide on How To Send An Email When Applying For A Position.

Position and reference codes

  • Every position that is advertised will have a title or reference code. Once you have found the position you wish to apply for, ensure you reference the title exactly as it is or make use of the reference code given. Ensure that you use this as your Subject line in your email.
  • Ensure that there are no spelling errors.
  • Try refrain from using ALL CAPS.

Email address vs. Career portals

  • Most positions advertised will have an email address you can send you application to or a link to a careers portal.
  • Ensure that you follow the instructions.

Some ‘inside’ detail

When preparing your email, ensure that you have attached your most recent CV along with the following information contained in your email body:

  • If a contact person is given on the advert, address the email to that person. An email address can also tell you who you are emailing, for example: shona@bsuretalent.co.za.
  • When applying for a specific position, a Recruiter will be impressed to know that you read the job requirements and mentioned how you match them and how the company can benefit from your skills.
  • Also include things like your notice period, availability, salary expectation, where you live and how far you are willing to travel, a little background information on you and other positions you are interested in, should your application be deemed unsuccessful.
  • Always ensure that your contact details (number and email) are up to date.

Leave a lasting impression

  • Not all Recruiters will discard your application, they’ll keep it on file for when another potential position becomes available, so leave behind a lasting impression.
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Underlying values that mean something.

Underlying values that mean something.

Underlying values, what do we mean by this? To put this into perspective for you, as human beings we have interests, hobbies, activities that give us purpose in our spare time. And as Recruiters, we look at recruitment as a ‘skillset finding mission’ and ‘culture fit’ and sometimes we overlook the candidates’ inner values, morals and passions. Like the interests we mentioned above.

At the end of the day, we are still human. We have interests outside work-life, we have interests that are not related to everyday working world and we have religious values that do not tie in with the ethics of a company, or moral values of a management team. And that’s okay.

Yes, a job is a job. It helps put food on the table. But a job doesn’t just have to be a job. In some way, it has to be a way of life. Like that such as adopting a healthy lifestyle, your job should also be like that. Whether you are career driven, comfortable in your place of work, happy in your working environment, the company should (in somewhat way) provide you with some notion that they value your morals and interests outside of work.

As a recruiter, asking ourselves questions like:

  • Can a candidate who has a passion for cycling be beneficial to the brand?
  • Someone applying for a maintenance position who has a knack for carpentry and woodwork be someone worth considering?
  • Would a candidate who loves decorating their house be a good fit for a sales role within the décor industry?
  • Would someone whose religious beliefs be a good culture fit for a company who recognizes a certain religion and the importance of family?

Taking a candidates’ interests, values and morals into consideration when determining whether the fit between them and the client will be beneficial, is something we should all practice.

Culture fit is also about the candidates underlying values, what they believe in and how they go about their daily life would also be a deciding factor for the candidate. A blog written last year, which pertains quite nicely to what we’re trying to get across, is about value-based recruitment and it explains how many employees and companies need some form of mutual interest in order to have a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties. Check it out: The Ultimate Guide To Value-Based Recruitment .

So, when deciding on your next move, when attending an interview, find out more about the company (vice versa for companies looking for talent) and what their take on certain values are.

Internal vs External Recruiters

Internal vs External Recruiters

Lockdown got me thinking… The entirety of recruitment and its hiring process is going to change, it is going to be altered and the way we think about recruitment is going to change.

Many companies who had a high staff turnover, have restored to not replacing those positions or have halted recruitment completely. The smaller companies who had a business growth plan have now had to put that on hold until our country recovers. How long that may take? Who knows!

Many recruitment processes are being internalized because of the costs involved in using an external agency. Also, many positions are no longer as specialized as they use to be. Businesses are now making use of their current team members’ full potential and ability to keep operations flowing.

Many staff members have learnt to work remotely from their homes or are working on short time to try ease production. Businesses are being urged to trust and encourage their staff as well as accept that the work will be done.

Personally, I think this is a good thing. It allows employees to manage their time, their production and learn discipline (in their own time). This also teaches responsibility, which I think businesses will value when the country enters the “new norm”.

As we head towards the “new norm”, I wanted to find out how Internal and External Recruiters identify themselves and how we may be similar. I approached a few Recruiters, Talent Specialists and Consulting professionals, both internal and external to find out what they thought. One decided to provide me with her input.

Burnedette Jordaan, is a Talent Manager and works for The Capital Hotels and Apartments. She has held this position for almost 20 months. She recruits internally for the entire group.

What are the pros of being an Internal Recruiter?

The pros of being an internal recruiter is that I have a better insight and understanding of what my “client” is looking for and need for the specific hotel/ position. The Capital Hotels and Apartments does things very differently, we look for personality first and skills second. We believe with the right cultural fit for our business we will have more success in the candidate.

What are the cons of being an Internal Recruiter?

Even though I follow a vigorous process in finding the most perfect candidate, unfortunately you do still have candidates that “bombs” out and I think I take it a lot more personally than I did when I was an external recruiter. I feel 100% responsible for the success in each “candidate”.

What do you love about your position?  

Changing people’s lives. There is nothing more rewarding then finding the perfect candidate and seeing them thrive and exceed in their positions and in the company, and in return knowing we have the right staff for our amazing company. I really see that as being the biggest reward.

What value does your position bring to your company?

I believe I add a lot of value to the company as a whole, your staff is your success. What I mean by that is with the right people your business will thrive as you will have satisfied guests/customers who will keep coming back. Humans are very odd creatures, should something go wrong they will tell 20 people, should they have an amazing experience they might only tell 5 to 10 people, however they will keep returning to the establishment they had the amazing experience at.

And, of course, there’s me, Shona Morgan. I am a Talent Specialist (an external recruiter, if you will), I work for B-Sure Talent Solutions and I have been recruiting externally for 5 years and 3 months.

What are the pros of being an External Recruiter?

I like to think that the pros of being an external recruiter allows me access to a multitude of different caliber candidates, recruitment portals, and a much larger network when it comes to providing my client with the best possible talent. I don’t just focus on one industry, sector or function, I am required to be versatile and flexible when in comes to identifying talent in various different environments.

What are the cons of being an External Recruiter?

A con? Hmmm… perhaps service delivery and convincing companies and business to use my services (which comes at a cost). When a company has an internal team, why use external? It doesn’t make sense to, but in the long run it can be beneficial.

What do you love about your position?  

I love the excitement of working on an exciting and interesting position. I, personally, love marketing and I come across many creative marketing professionals who all have this unique outlook to processes and brand awareness. I have also had the opportunity to work with fantastic clients who gave me the opportunity to assist them. It feels great when you are able to help them and build a long term relationship that you know they value in the long run.

What value does your position bring to your company?

Haha! Good question…. The value I bring to my company is that it’s still standing (even through we are going through a little bit of a crisis – covid19). Besides that, I think the value I bring is that I’m always up for the challenge, I’m keen to learn a new industry, I work really hard (some say I should try working smartly, buy hey, this is recruitment), and I think I’ve built up a pretty solid network of talented and awesome people.

Together, we grow.

Tired of receiving regret letters?

Tired of receiving regret letters?

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We get it, looking for a job is hard work. It is frustrating, demotivating and somewhat discouraging so let us break it down and change that feeling into positivity.

There are multiple reasons why your application could have been regretted and it could be that the minimum criteria was not met, the assumption that culture would not be a match, or that the relevant experience was not in line with that the company is looking for. Do not take it personally if your application was regretted, it just means that this particular opportunity was not for you.

There is no absolute formula to prevent you from not receiving a regret letter, but you can avoid receiving multiple regret letters by practicing the following:

  1. First step is to ensure that your CV is correct, clear and a true representation of your career history and skillset.
  2. Next step is to upload your CV onto recruitment platforms like Pnet, CareerJunction, Careers24 and Executive Placements. For more specialized positions, research those platforms and upload your CV.
  3. Then the search begins. Identify your strengths and experience based on the information you have provided in your CV. Remember, your CV is the first impression and if the information is not indicated there, your application will not be considered.
  4. Now, search for positions either in line with your current experience, the next step in your career or a position in a different industry that is in line with your transferable skills.
  5. Once you have found those positions, make sure you read the job requirements. If the requirements list that the company is looking for 5 years’ experience in a particular industry and you only have 2 years’ experience, do not apply for the position. If the company has specifically listed that they require someone with certain industry experience or require someone with certain skills such as sales or software development, and you do not have any experience in that field, do not apply for the position.
  6. **The exception comes in when you submit your application to a company without a position in mind, thus preventing a regret email, but showcasing your skills for a different position within the company, should one arise.
  7. If you have found a position that you almost match or match perfectly, nothing should stop you from sending your application. You just need to make yourself stand out from the other applicants.

So, to put it simply:

Instead of…. Rather….
Submitting an incomplete or not up to date CV Updated your CV and then submit
Sitting around and waiting for an answerUpload your application on multiple recruitment portals to increase your exposure
Just applying for each and every available position Apply for positions that are in line with your expertise
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That feeling when you’re invited for an interview (or got the job!)
Help your children prepare for the workplace.

Help your children prepare for the workplace.

three pupas

This got us thinking. Being in quarantine has allowed us to spend more time with our children (some more than others). Spending this amount of time with your children has probably opened your eyes to their behavior and the effects of boredom.

We did some research and came across a brilliant article written by Johan Rampton who is the VIP contributor to Entrepreneur South Africa. He outlines 12 ways to prepare your kids to lead happy, successful lives.

Being around your children for long has probably got you pulling your hair out, drinking that extra glass of wine or beer, or has you missing a few deadlines because your kids are being “needy”.

difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations desk decor
  1. Move to the best neighborhood you can afford.
  2. Become a happier and less stressed person yourself.
  3. Make them do chores.
  4. Make your kids read daily and learn math at early age.
  5. Set high expectations.
  6. Praise them correctly.
  7. Create family rituals.
  8. Teach them to be “gritty.”
  9. Help them build meaningful relationships.
  10. Teach them to be all-around healthy.
  11. Give them bias-proof names.
  12. Encourage entrepreneurship.

We also came across another article, which we believe is a great contributor to the question – why children should be exposed to the workplace. Whether your child, or children, are in primary school, high school, college graduates or first-time employees, they all need to have (or should have) been exposed to some sort of workplace environment. This article, written by Kate Torii, Policy Analyst at the Mitchell Institute, Victoria University, highlights why school kids need exposure to the world of work.

Another article for assist home-based working parents, a survival guide written by Dawn Rosenberg Mckay, a certified Career Development Facilitator, outlines ways to stay productive even when the kids are home.

Hope this helped!

Don’t let the title intimidate you!

Don’t let the title intimidate you!

Argument, Conflict, Controversy, Dispute, Contention

Intimidate, bully, belittle… a few discouraging words that can affect an individual’s mental health. In this blog, we wanted to alert job seekers or employees to the reality that intimidation can be present in both our personal and professional lives and that they shouldn’t let the title intimidate them. At the end of the day, we are all human and respect is earned.

What does it mean to have an intimidating personality?

“People who have intimidating personalities tend to be overly honest. These types of personalities tend to reject excessively nice manners. They feel that the rawer and direct the delivery, the truer something is. They assume that saying things with tact is the same as falsifying or disguising the truth.”

Now, think about the people that you work with or surround yourself with in your social life. Which of them have an intimidating personality? Do any of them hold a senior management title such as Manager, Senior Executive, Group Manager or CEO? Chances are that many of them don’t and those that do probably aren’t as intimating as their title makes them out to be.

What does it mean to feel intimidated?   

Intimidation is when you try to frighten a weaker person into doing what you want. Intimidation can refer to the act of making someone feel timid or afraid — like what you sometimes do to your brother — or it can also refer to that fearful feeling itself.”

When you are feeling intimidated it is usually because someone either higher up the corporate ladder than you or someone who has a stronger personality than you, are making you feel small, inferior or afraid. In most cases this sense of making others feel smaller than you stem from something deeper, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Suit, Business Man, Business, Man, Male, Person, White

Individuals who have the “title” usually feel entitled meaning that now that they have the title, they have the authority to do what needs to be done no matter how they go about it. Even if it means that they abuse their authority to get what they need.

In situations like this, many lower ranking employees would just obey whether it is right or wrong or goes against company policy or their own ethics. This can sometimes put these employees in very difficult situations which may not even be their fault and the results of this are unfavorable.

Forbes conducted a survey on 10 ways a weaker manager will try to intimidate you, which may prove to be very interesting to those who are expecting this sort of situation currently.

Intimidation does not necessarily come from someone who holds a title, but could also be a friend, a colleague or an acquaintance. Here are 7 steps to take when dealing with highly intimidating people.

Did this blog help?

We hope so!

Who would you have a meal with?

Who would you have a meal with?

Oh, oh, oh! Has to be Nelson Mandela! No, wait! Barack Obama! No, no, no…. I’ve changed my mind! I want to have a meal with Walt Disney!  

Well, let’s think about this, shall we? Everyone has an iconic mentor or idol whom they’d love to meet. Perhaps someone who has changed their life though social media, or an entrepreneur who ‘made it’ or even someone who shares the same values as them.

Every successful businessman or businesswoman has someone they aspire to be, even people we didn’t expect. So, we asked, and they shared!

Huntley Smith (Managing Director: Properties)
Jordan B. Peterson (Dr. Author, speaker, professor of psychology and intellectual Rockstar)
Jordan B. Peterson is an intellectual Rockstar and I love his no-nonsense, straight talking ideology about what is wrong/ right with society and humanity.
Buddha (Prince, Vagabond, traveller, seeker and enlighten one)
Who wouldn’t want to speak to the buddha? “Ommmmmm”
Bill Gates (Tech Billionaire, Nerd Extraordinaire and Philanthropist)
Bill Gates changed the way the world works and plays.
Celeste Surtherland (Executive Manager: Properties)
Richard Branson He is such an influential person. Not afraid of taking risk and just gets things done. I have a few questions that I would ask him…
Marilyn Monroe She just had this natural ability to charm people. Such an iconic woman.
Johnny Depp   I think meeting him would be absolutely spectacular, imagine the stories he could tell.   
Keegan Jordan (Digital Marketer)
Wayne
Rooney
Being a massive football fan for literally my whole life, and also being a Manchester United Fan (otherwise my uncle would probably disown me haha) I would love to have dinner with. He was the player that growing up I idolized and to this day remains my favourite player and a huge reason that I fell in love with the sport.
Bill Gates The next person I would love to have dinner with is probably a bit of a cliché, but it would definitely be Bill Gates. A genius mind and a business visionary like that would be able to impart and pass on un-rivalled knowledge and probably completely change my perspective on many things.
Jack Ma Finally, the last person I would love to have dinner with would be another business mogul in the form of Jack Ma (if he can understand me of course), the founder of the Alibaba Group. He, much like Bill Gates, would be able to share such valuable insights and knowledge that it would be criminal to pass up an opportunity like this.
Bianca May (Recruitment Coordinator)
Ellen DeGeneres Because I think she is really funny, and I’d just love to chat to her.
Lily Collins She is my favourite actress and I think Ellen and her will get along well and we’d have such a great chat.
Dr. Seuss I’d love to just meet him! I think he would be cool.  
Annabella Spangenberg (Recruitment Coordinator)
Leonardo DiCaprio Because he is a major environmentalist and a phenomenal actor.
Emma Watson Because she’s a feminist with a lot of great views on how to improve equality in our society.
Gordan Ramsey Because the dinner would be absolutely amazing if he is cooking. 😉
Tyrone Dallas (Quality Assurance Team lead)
Nelson Mandela Who, as we all should know, was the first president of a democratic South Africa. I would love to have a meal with him and to find out his story and his experiences in person. I would love to learn what he went through, what it took from him, what he learnt. I also feel that his ideas and beliefs on peace and Ubuntu are something that I would love to hear and learn as it would be beneficial to me as a human being.
Ben Shapiro Who is an American conservative public speaker. I really love his take on many of societies beliefs and ways and having a meal with him would be highly educational on a psychological and sociological level and this is the reason I’d love to have meal with him.
Stephen Hawking Who was a brilliant theoretical physicist. I would like to have a meal with him as anyone who is smarter than me (and he was most definitely at least 10 times smarter) makes me strive to learn and grow. His studies and viewpoints on the universe are always so fascinating, and, coupled with his dedication to his passion no matter his circumstances, I feel having a meal with him would probably be the most enlightening conversation one could have.
Zayne Darare (Quality Assurance Team lead)
Roald Dahl He brought a lot of colour to my childhood through his books.
Bob Belcher   I would like the meal to be one of his famous burgers.
Rick Sanchez   I just want to tell him how flippen awesome he is.
Brynn Posthumus (Software Developer)
Elon Musk He is considered one of the most influential people of our time and the advances him and his companies have made in electric vehicles, energy and space exploration would be quite the conversation to have over dinner.
Bill Gates I have always been a massive admirer of Bill Gates and the work he has done. I would say he was a predecessor of Elon.
Hideo Kojima Hideo is the creator of the Metal Gear Solid game series and after playing his latest title ‘Death Stranding’ I have found a new appreciation for his work. I would love to chat with him and get a better understanding how his mind works.
Christopher Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen (Digital Marketer)
Elon Musk I’d like to just know WHATS NEXT?
Neil Patel   I’d like to find out how he managed to learn so much about SEO and see what more he can teach me.
Gary Vaynerchuk I’d like to know from him where he gets his ideas from that he uses in his social media strategies.
Jason de Klerk (Junior Developer) a.k.a Donovan de Klerk
Captain Jack Sparrow   Who wouldn’t want to go out on the town with the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow? A witty and funny character, who hardly ever used a gun and used his own brand of cleverness to talk himself out of a sticky situation. You might end up in a fight or two, and you would probably be left questioning where the rum had gone, but it would absolutely be worth it.
Willy Wonka   Think of all the chocolate! And the Umpa-Lumpas! Yes, the man is insane, but it would be worth it!  
Yondu From Gradians of the galaxy Because Merry Poppins is the *unacceptable word*😉
Thomas Walker (IT Technician) a.k.a Jacques Walker
Narmer Possibly the first pharaoh of Egypt. Dating back to around 2890 – 3150 BC. Would like to truly understand the reason for building the pyramid and all the components around it. Including if the Nile river flowed through the pyramids as this would be a clear indication of egyptians possibly have transmitted electricity wirelessly.
Langston Hughes   Was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance.  
Alexander the Great Was the King of Macedonia around 323 – 356 BC. He established an Empire stretching from Greece to the Himalayas. He was a supreme military commander and helped diffuse Greek culture throughout Asia and northern Africa.
BIG thank you to those who shared some insight on who they’d want to have a meal with!
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