Job Advice SA: online network uses Twitter to help job seekers

If you’re looking for work, Job Advice SA is willing to guide you. All you have to do is contact them on social media for tips.

job advice sa online twitter
Tim Barry, Vanessa Raath and Wesley Madziva, founders of the online network, Job Advice SA allows job seekers to seek advice on job hunting, applying for jobs, going to interviews, and even personal branding. (Image: supplied)

Melissa Javan
Three individuals who wanted to connect recruiters and job seekers in an informal environment host a Twitter chat called #JobAdviceSA every Monday at 16:00 for an hour.

The topics of this chat range from job hunting, to applying for jobs and going to interviews. The Job Advice SA team has also hosted chats on seasonal themes such as job seeker horror stories during October, the month in which Halloween falls.

Vanessa Raath, Tim Barry and Wesley Madziva started Job Advice SA in June 2014, not having met in person. “We all chatted regularly via social media and realised that we shared a common goal – to help people find jobs,” Raath says.

Other than Twitter, job seekers can also contact Job Advice SA on the Facebook page or Google+ account.

See few Tweets from the chat on Monday, 20 February 2017:

The beginning
Initially they launched their Twitter chat as #JobRecChatSA. After they met in person at a human resources conference in Johannesburg in May 2016, they decided to change the Twitter chat’s name.

It relaunched to #JobAdviceSA because they realised that more job seekers engaged in their weekly chats. “We found that there was more interest from job seekers as opposed to recruiters,” explains Raath.

“There were far more people looking for advice as opposed to recruiters looking to join in the chat and give advice. The focus shifted slightly to help people looking for jobs and not in connecting job seekers with recruiters as we had done previously.

“This was a good move and I know we have added great value to many job seekers,” she says. “We give good advice but then people must find their own jobs, using what we have taught them.”

How the Twitter chat works
Raath says they choose a suitable theme and four questions to answer during the course of the chat. “(We) write and publish a framing post incorporating the questions and expanding on the theme, then promote the chat leading up to 16:00 on Monday.

“We ask a new question every 15 minutes, starting at 16:00. One of us acts as the main host tweeting the questions from @JobAdviceSA,” she explains. “We answer the questions as well others on the topic or even other topics posed by participants during the hour slot, more often than not going on well past 17:00.”

Most Mondays, #JobAdviceSA becomes a trending topic on Twitter.

The team
Madziva is a social media expert, consulting and speaking about the topic. His work experience also includes specialising in human resources (HR) and recruitment.

Barry is a business development consultant. Barry’s work experience also includes speaking about employer branding, HR and recruitment technology, and social media marketing.

Raath has had 10 years experience in the recruitment industry – both internal and external recruitment. She now specialises in information technology recruitment, mainly on the Microsoft platform.

Advice
The one thing you should never do is pay a recruiter to register with them, warns Raath. “You should not pay them if they find you a job.

“The recruiter will have an agreement in place with the client (your new employer) who will pay them for securing you as the candidate’s services. Recruitment agencies who want to charge people for registering with them are scams.”

Raath says that there are recruiters who look for work for people in specific industries or career paths. For example, she is a recruiter for seniors in the information technology industry. “If you are more senior it is best to find a recruiter who specialises in that industry – they will be more connected and will have a better variety of clients and opportunities.”

According to Raath, it’s troubling that most job seekers do not put the required effort into the job hunt. “They must have an excellent, well presented curriculum vitae; make sure they prepare for their interviews and be constantly up-skilling themselves,” she says.

“We also touch a lot on personal branding and how this is important to stand out from your peers. We give advice every week so people would need to join our chat to learn more – every week there are new things on how to improve (your brand).”

Follow the #JobAdviceSA discussion:

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