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Most important will be your CV! Its also a good idea to have the below items/documents and information ready before applying for a job:
• A cell phone so that companies can contact you
• An email address (or someone’s email address that you can access daily)
• Copies of any certificates
• Photo of you
• Cover ‘letter’ I prefer to call it a ‘Cover Paragraph as this can be as part of your cv’
• Copy of ID book or Passport with SA visa stamped (If you aren’t from SA)
• Reference letters (Note: these are not certificates of service but reference letters from employers)
• Food portfolio if applying for a Chefs position
• It would also be beneficial to have what’s app, zoom and skype as many employers will want to do interviews via one of these means and they all have different preferences as to which one
Ideally 2 pages but no more than 3 (this doesn’t include certificates or reference letters)
What information should my CV have on it and in what order?
• Personal information
: Full name and name you prefer to go by
: Photo of you
: Brief cover letter/paragraph
: ID number or passport number
: Nationality, if you aren’t South African, state your visa status
: Marital status and dependents – Put single if you are not married but if you are in a long term relationship you can put the words ‘In a committed relationship’
: Health – Here put Excellent and not just Good if you are fit and healthy.
: License – only put this if you do have a license and state what code (if you have a PDP this must be stated here) If you have your own vehicle you can also put ‘own transport’
: Address – Postal not required only Residential and state Province
: Contact number, email and Skype details
: School attended, and grade passed and what year you passed NO NEED TO PUT SUBJECTS
: Information on Higher education and courses attended – include the institution as well as the course subject and year completed
• Work Experience:
: This should go in order with your CURRENT OR MOST RECENT EMPLOYER FIRST
: It must state your employer/company name, your position at the company, your start to end date or state ‘current’ if you are still currently employed – NO NEED TO LIST EXACT DUTIES
: Reason for leaving – keep it brief
: Next company same as above
: Keep adding employment information until the last one is your first job
: List any achievements that are relevant such as you obtained 100% in an exam, you were rewarded an achievement award at school or higher education, you were made employee of the month at a company, you contributed in some way to the company that you feel is a huge achievement
: keep achievements brief, to the point and relevant
: List your contactable references in order of your most recent employer, IF your current employer should not be contacted DO NOT put their details here
: Give the persons name, position in the company, phone number and email address
: References can only be made by Owners/managers or HOD’s not friends, colleagues or family members
• Do not put a fancy border on your CV or a background this is distracting
• No different colours, again this is distracting and can come across as a bit unprofessional
• The font must be all the same and a font that can be read easily like the following font’s available on WORD: Calibri, Bell MT, Arial, Times New Roman.
• No random clip-art photo stuck on the CV
• Do keep it short and to the point
• If you left a place of employment due to a negative reason such as : you didn’t get on with a colleague do not put this on your CV as even if it was the colleague who was the problem it may not come across like this on paper and it is better to explain this to an employer in person if the information is required
• Do make sure your CV is up to date
• Do make sure your CV is truthful and put on all places of employment are listed even if they were contract roles or you weren’t at the place for long
What if I haven’t worked yet? What reference can I list?
You can put someone as a character references such as your priest, educator, teacher (not a family member)
What should my photo be like?
: Your photo should be as smart and ‘professional' looking as possible
: It should be in colour; black and white copies don’t look very good
: It should be head and shoulders, not full body
: You should be wearing smart clothing
: You should be smiling and looking happy in the photo
: No drinks, cigarettes in the photo
: No other people in the photo, only you
: No sunglasses or caps
: Hair should be neat and tidy
: Make up should be applied well
: Not a selfie
: Ask someone you know with a camera to take a photo of you and email it to you if you don’t have a camera, photos taken with cameras are better quality than phones or use a good quality phone
If I’m applying for a Chef’s position what is a food portfolio?
A food portfolio is photos of dishes you have cooked and plated, these should be dishes you are very proud off and most importantly look amazing as they are photos showing your skills. You should try to include at least 2 x starters, 2 x main courses and 2 x desserts to showcase your range of talent for cooking and presenting dishes. If you would like to send more photo’s you can but this is the minimum amount you should be submitting.
What is a written reference?
Before leaving any employer, you should request a written reference from your supervisor/manager, this letter should be on the company letter headed paper, with the person who is writing the references name and position and include all contact details and be signed by them. Remember the more reference letters you get the better so ask from every employer
What is a cover letter and what should it include?
A cover letter is basically motivation as to why a company should consider employing you but this needs to be kept very brief, sometimes people will do this as a separate letter to their Cv however the less paperwork the better so I suggest you do the cover paragraph as part of your Cv, this would be at the beginning of the Cv and include your experience/passion/enthusiasm for employment. I prefer to call this a ‘Cover Paragraph’
Here is an example of your ‘cover paragraph’:
I John Smith, am a highly experienced waiter, barman and butler. I have 5 Star experience looking after international guests from all over the world. I was promoted from a sculler position to a waiter and then also given the responsibility to offer a high-end butler service at a private villa. I feel my experience combined with my passion for the Hospitality industry will be an asset to any company and look forward to broadening my skills at a new company.