Jobseekers: How to apply for a job in-person

The Jobseekers Series is a series of articles The Daily Vox team has put together to help prospective jobseekers. Job Seeking is a costly and difficult process. This series seeks to make it a little easier with tips and advice. 

In today’s digital world, most vacancies are posted on a company’s website or a popular job search website. But there are jobs, especially in retail and hospitality, where candidates can still apply in-person. Here’s what you need to know. 


The List: Popular job search websites in South Africa

Before you apply for a job in-person, it’s important to be prepared. It’s about knowing what to bring for the application, what to wear, what to say and prepare for an on-the-spot interview. 

First things first. Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Before walking around the CBD or the mall to see which stores and businesses are hiring, it’s important to stay safe. This can be done by adhering to precautions like social distancing, sanitising and wearing a mask. If you are feeling ill, rather stay at home and leave the job seeking for when you are recovered. 

What to bring to apply for jobs in-person

When you apply for a job in-person, bring several copies of your CV to distribute upon request. Keep a copy for yourself, as it will assist you in filling out the job application. Your CV should include your personal information, work experience, education and skills. If you don’t have work experience and/or voluntary experience, don’t panic. Recruiters are looking for more than just work experience, so it’s important to use your CV to showcase who you are and why you are a great fit for.


Help for jobseekers: Here’s how to write a CV

Bring your ID or another form of identification such as your ID driver’s license with you. Also make sure to bring a notepad and pen so you can write down information that may come up during the application process.

What to wear to apply for jobs in-person

Dress appropriately for the company and job you’re interested in. For most retail and hospitality jobs, smart casual attire is usually appropriate. It is always important to be neat, tidy, and well-groomed. Wear moderate shoes and make sure your hair and fingernails are well groomed. 


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What to say when you walk in

Firstly, ask to speak to the manager, or ask who’s in charge of hiring. Other employees may not know if there are openings or won’t have the time to answer questions, and you may get turned away. A manager, however, can tell you how many openings there are and how the hiring process works. You may even get an on-the-spot interview right away.

Secondly, introduce yourself. Tell them your first and last name and, if applicable to the position you’re applying for, tell them your occupation.

Be prepared for an on-the-spot interview

When you are applying for jobs in-person, it’s important to be prepared for an on-the-spot interview. Be prepared to answer interview questions about your work experience, education and skills. Also know when you’re available to work in case you’re offered the position, and the hiring manager wants to know when you can start.

Follow up after applying for a job in-person

Wait two weeks after submitting your CV before following up on your application. When following up with a potential employer, keep your communications as short and concise as possible. End your follow-up by thanking the hiring manager for their time and attention.  

The Job Seekers Series:

Help for jobseekers: Here’s how to write a CV – The Daily Vox 

Jobseekers: How to apply for a job in-person – The Daily Vox

Jobseekers: How to write a cover letter – The Daily Vox 

The List: Popular job search websites in South Africa 

Jobseekers: 7 common interview questions – The Daily Vox 

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