Finding jobs in South Africa: 7 Top tips for job seekers from overseas

South Africa is a great place to work if you want to balance work with some of the best food, wine, and scenery the world offers.

To make it happen, you’ll need a work visa. To get the visa, you’ll need a job offer (unless you can ask for a transfer or are part of a corporate work visa application).

But how do you find jobs in South Africa? We have seven tips for you:

1. Find out if you qualify for a work visa

Before applying for jobs, you must find out if you qualify for a South African work visa.

The reason is two-fold:

  • You can’t legally live and work in South Africa without a work visa.
  • South African employers are more likely to consider your job application if they know you qualify for a work visa. You can make mention of this fact in your cover letter.

2. Make a list of employers for who you’d like to work

You can start by identifying South African companies you’d like to work with.

Once you have a list, keep an eye on their vacancies. Some companies even allow you to upload your CV to their website.

It’s also a good idea to reach out to HR managers if you can find contact details. With the right attitude, you’ll get noticed.

3. Set up a comprehensive LinkedIn profile

Research has found that 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn. You have to be on LinkedIn!

Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet? Set one up! Here is LinkedIn’s advice for a great profile:

  • Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn. In a nutshell, that’s using a recent photo where you’re looking professional yet friendly and approachable.
  • Add a background photo.
  • Make your headline more than just a job title. Use it to describe your role, tell people why you do what you and to share what makes you tick.
  • Turn your summary into your story. LinkedIn’s advice is to use your summary, found at the top of your profile page, to bring to life why your skills matter and explain how these skills can benefit others.
  • Declare war on buzzwords like ‘expert’ and ‘passionate’.
  • Grow your network. In other words, connect with other people on LinkedIn.
  • List your relevant skills.
  • Spotlight the services you offer.
  • Get endorsements. LinkedIn enables members to get endorsements for their skills from their network. An excellent way to get endorsements is to give endorsements!
  • Take a skills assessment. LinkedIn’s skills assessment is an online test that enables you to demonstrate the level of your skills. After taking the assessment, you’ll get to display a Verified Skills badge on your profile.
  • Request recommendations. Think of LinkedIn recommendations as testimonials. You can ask any of your connections you’ve worked with to add a recommendation to your profile. These recommendations will tell future employers more about the type of person, worker and employee you are.
  • Showcase your passion for learning. LinkedIn enables you to add completed courses to your profile.
  • Share media and marketing collateral. Examples are e-books, white papers, and studies on subjects that interest you.
  • Get credit for your thought-leadership with Publications. If you’ve ever been an author on a publication, you can share this using LinkedIn’s Publications.
  • Follow industry influencers, share content and add comments. Engaging on LinkedIn is crucial if you want to get noticed.
  • Publish long-form content – and use it to start conversations.

4. Connect with recruiters

The right recruiter is worth their weight in gold! Recruiters match you with opportunities that suit your profile, and it’s free to use their services.

Here are some South African recruiters you could approach:

PLEASE NOTE: Intergate Immigration is not affiliated with the recruiters on this list. We cannot vouch for or guarantee the service you’ll receive when working with these recruiters.

5. Sign up for job alerts

Your recruiter will never know about every job on the market, so sign up for job alerts on career sites. You can set these alerts by location, industry or job title.

These are four of the most prominent South African career sites:

6. Network!

There are many ways to connect with people who could help you find a job in South Africa:

Don’t be shy to ask for introductions! Most people won’t mind connecting you with someone who could offer advice or job opportunities.

7. Adapt your CV

Getting your CV right is essential, or you risk it landing in the bin before anyone’s read it.

Generally, South African recruiters and employers want to see 2-page CVs.

Your CV must include a short professional statement and your experience, achievements, qualifications, and personal information. You may also add information about your skills, additional knowledge, memberships, and relevant volunteer work to your CV.

While it’s standard in some countries to include a photograph, it isn’t in South Africa. Also, remember that South Africa uses British English, not American.

In summary

Finding a job in South Africa comes down to having an online profile and getting your name and CV out there (and knowing if you qualify for a work visa, of course).

You won’t get a job in South Africa if you sit back and expect the job offers to come to you.

The work will be worth it – you could find yourself living and working in South Africa sooner than you can imagine!