Where can I look for a job?

Are you unemployed? Do you have to look for a job, but don’t know where to start? There are lots of avenues that you can use. Here are some ideas.

Labour Centres of the Department of Labour

Phone or visit an employment services officer at your nearest office of the Department of Labour. The Labour Centres have a computerized job-matching system called the Employment Services system of South Africa (ESSA), which makes job-searching much easier. Your personal details, skills, qualifications and work experience will be captured on the ESSA. Employers also register work and learning opportunities on the ESSA. If you meet the requirements of the opportunities, the employment services officer will gladly refer you to employers where vacant opportunities exist. This service is free of charge. You can also receive career advice if you need more clarity about a future career path, free of charge.

Private employment agencies

You can also contact private employment offices to help you find a job. (The names, telephone numbers and addresses of private employment agencies can be found in the Yellow Pages under the heading ‘Personnel Consultants’). Send them a copy of your CV so that they can find the right job. A private employment agency may only charge a fee to an employer and NOT a job-seeker for employment services provided.


Many vacant posts are advertised in the various newspapers. Consult the daily and Sunday newspapers as well as “Jobmail” for these advertisements. Newspapers are available at all libraries for consultation.

Computer or internet

You can find information on available jobs on the internet-go to www.google.com, or www.yahoo.com, for example, and type in “jobsearch” into the search engine. You will then get many sites to explore job opportunities. Also ask the Career Counsellors at the Labour Centres to assist you with internet sites.

Notice boards

Be on the lookout for notice boards on which advertisements for vacant posts appear. Such notice boards can usually be found at large shopping centres.

Yellow Pages

The Yellow pages, a special telephone directory available at post offices and libraries, can be very useful in identifying employers. This is how it works: At the back of the Yellow Pages there is an alphabetical index of various services. If, for example, you wish to become a gardener, page through the alphabetical index till you find the letter ‘G’. Under the letter ‘G’ you will find the heading ‘Garden service and layout’. Next to this heading is a page number. Turn to this page. On this page, again under the heading ‘Garden service and layout’, you will find the names, addresses and telephone numbers of companies that you can contact for a possible job as a gardener. If you have problems using the Yellow Pages, ask someone to help you.


Visit employers and employer’s organizations in your career field and ask if they have any vacant posts available. You can also contact them by telephone or letter.

Family and friends

Ask your family and friends to help you look for a job and whether they know of any companies with available vacant posts.

Social Networking

Part of the job-hunting process requires that you mix with people. Meeting people can only happen if you make yourself available. Get involved in an organization and learn new skills, develop new contacts that might provide you with a new opportunity or ask people about jobs they do and what they can recommend for you. Networking can happen anywhere for instance at social occasions, youth groups, religious organizations, choirs or societies.


Volunteering means working free of charge at a company, maybe an animal shelter or in community service. Volunteering is an excellent way to get to know people. It is also a way of gaining knowledge and experience and building up your self-confidence.

Remember, don’t give up – keep on looking!

Source: Department of Labour

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