Decided that a South African government job would be right for you? Excellent. Now however you have to obtain such a job and like any other that means not only finding the right opportunity and perhaps passing certain tests but also ‘selling yourself’ in the same way as any other job hunter.
This means that a good CV is still a must but as you will discover once you begin applying for South Africa government jobs so is being able to provide good references.
Job Hunters References – Who to List
Deciding just who you should list as a reference when job hunting is an issue that you need to give more thought to than you might realize. You may be able to guarantee that your close friends will always give you a great and glowing reference they are not the right people to list, especially when dealing with a very formal body such as the South African government. Instead, consider:
Former Employers – As long as you left the position on good terms most former employers will normally be happy to serve as a formal job referee if asked. These people often impress prospective employers the most as they can provide insight into your honesty and integrity, reliability, initiative and ability to work with others, even that position was completely unrelated to the one you are seeking now.
Former Colleagues – Former colleagues can also be useful references as they too have experience of working alongside you.
Former Educators – If you are not too long out of college you may not have any former employers to even ask to be references. In this case it would be acceptable to ask former college professors to serve as referees.
Getting Permission From Your References
Just as important as figuring out who to list as a reference is ensuring that you have their permission to do so. It will not create a very good impression if you list a certain person as a reference and then when they do receive a call from a prospective employer they have no idea what they are talking about. If you get the sense that a person is not that keen to serve as a reference do not push the issue. Thank them politely and then think of someone else, as if a person cannot be relied upon to give you a strong reference you really should not use them.
When you do ask, and receive, permission to use a certain person as a reference do them the courtesy of asking what the best contact number and email address is for you to use. You may personally know your references private office line number but they may not be very comfortable with you giving it out to strangers.
Keep Your References Posted
Even once you have received permission to use a person as a reference you should take the time to drop them a courtesy email note to let them know each time you have given their name out as a reference to a potential employer. Doing so is as much for your benefit as theirs as then your reference will be ready when and if they are contacted.
Where to List Your References
Your CV or resume is not the right place to list your references, you should have a separate reference list that you can provide whenever you are requested to do so. Nor do you really need to add the phrase “references available on request” on a resume these days either as most employers just assume that you will be prepared to do so as a matter of course.
When creating your reference list even though it will be rare that you present the two documents to a prospective employer at the same time you should still ensure that your resume and your reference list compliment one another. That means using the same paper, the same typeface and font size. You also need to prepare the reference list with as much care as you do your resume, checking for typos, grammatical errors and most importantly that all of the contact information is 100% correct.