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Giving Back When People Feel Like They Are Giving in

Late one evening a few weeks ago, Synthesis was tagged in a Twitter thread that discussed what people need money for and how much. We were tagged in the post as someone wanted to develop their app with us. When we read this thread, we saw the profound impact that COVID-19 has had on people. We asked what we could do to help and then we realised there were many people who were suddenly out of a job or new to the market, who were struggling to find employment.

As a result, we tapped into our team to share job finding skills and we partnered with Afrika Tikkun Services. The Kickstart Your Career event was borne.

But how do you get your foot (back) in the door?

There are many facets that come into play. It is about your CV, who to approach and how you conduct yourself in the interview. Some of these aspects are misunderstood by many jobseekers.

The starting point of this should be your CV. It is your first impression. ‘You have a limited time to make an impact amongst the hundreds of others applying for your dream job,’ says Deborah Miller, Synthesis Talent Acquisition Specialist.

‘Your CV is your most powerful marketing tool. It is a completely unique document outlining who you are, what makes you unique, why you are the best in the business,’ explains Miller.

‘Recruiters spend just 75 seconds reading your CV. CVs may be easily rejected due to bad grammar, spelling or visual layout,’ explains Miller. It is important to be clear and concise.

Lerato Ramatseba, Afrika Tikkun Services Project Manager – Talent Hub, mentioned that, there are free courses online that you can utilise to enhance a skillset and build your CV. Opportunities can be found by creating partnerships, networking, improving your CV and skills, as well as expanding your job search to social media, websites and approaching companies directly. ‘Whatever you put on your social media will determine your tomorrow,’ explains Ramatseba.

According to Ramatseba, ensure you have a search plan and to put aside time to search for jobs. ‘Spend 70% of your time on networking, 30% should be applying for jobs online.’  Do not expect to be called in after applying for one job.

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, Ramatseba encouraged the attendees that they can also create their own opportunities: ‘In crises there are always new needs, and they change the rules. The rules that change can create opportunities for other individuals.’

In an interview, you have a short space of time to sell yourself. Elmarie Grant, Synthesis Head of Academy, provided ideas how you can put your best foot forward and kickstart your personal impact.

Grant provides three tips you must think about to stand out:


  1. Your personal brand. ‘Our personal brand is the set of associations that people could make around us. You as a brand are bigger than just who you are right now.’ According to Grant, a brand is establishing and promoting what you stand for. Your brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you, you. Combining everything that you are: your skills, experience, personality, strengths, weaknesses and quirks. It will differentiate you from other professionals in your field. It is important to remember to be honest. Employers want to know what you can bring to their organisation.


  1. The dreaded question that all interviewers ask, ‘so tell me about yourself.’ Instead of the general answer of who you are and how old you are, Grant displayed how you can get creative and confident in your answer in crafting a brand statement. Grant showed that if you take the most compelling piece out of your brand statement, you can give an interviewer a good sense of who you are and what you are all about in a unique and memorable way. This will assist you in your thinking of what you want to deliver.


  1. Projecting confidence is quietly knowing who you are and she provided two tips for this:

Tip 1: Embodied or enclosed cognition is a school of psychology that says what happens to bodies influences the mind. In a piece of psychology, the term enclosed cognition explains the effect which clothing has on a person’s mental process. If you dress like you are confident and successful, your mind will assume that, and you will in turn project that.

Tip 2: Fake it ‘till you make it. Standing properly can make a person feel more confident. This will give your body a sense of confidence that your mind will follow. Believe in yourself!

Synthesis Howard Feldman advises: ‘Be authentic. The one thing it is okay to fake is confidence. The more you project confidence, the more you feel confident.’

Feldman summed it up succinctly: ‘We live in a country where there are real challenges, but we also live in a county of tremendous opportunity,’ he concluded.


Article by Belinda Unterslak, Synthesis Events and Marketing Coordinator


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