Here is session 2 of our Q&A with IT Recruiters from Its About People. Plenty of interesting and useful questiions were asked by the INNOvatorz.IT community members. Have a look at the interview and you might pick up something that you can also apply in your job search. Good luck and LETS GET HIRED
Mixo Fortune: Nice let’s do this. Thank you again for your time to help us out. We won’t be doing any intro but will just get down to the questions so guys you can start asking
Maite Letsoalo: Hi Vanessa Raath
my Question is why is it that Technikon Graduates are given less priority by companies on most Junior IT Jobs than University Graduates?
Vanessa Raath: Hello Maite – there shouldn’t be any discrimination between a BTech and a Degree. The BTech is just more practical and some companies are looking for this. They both score the same NQF level so you shouldn’t be experiencing this in your search for work
Maite Letsoalo: Vanessa Raath so basically we can say ND (NATIONAL DIPLOMAS) is no longer considered in the market?
Vanessa Raath: Maite Letsoalo I don’t think that any qualification is ever a waste of time! They are still acknowledged and will still place you above candidates who only have a Matric Certificate.
Maite Letsoalo: Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela why is it that companies overlook WOMEN in terms of development jobs.
Lebogang Mojela: Maite Letsoalo Totaly not true, a lot of companies are looking for female developers as they have so many men on their staff. Also females count more towards BBEE ratings.
Maite Letsoalo: OK, Thank you Lebogang Mojela
Mixo Fortune: Vanessa Raath did you get people from this group forwarding you their CV’s and if so what area would you say they still need to polish?
Vanessa Raath Mixo Fortune – The guys need to make sure that their spelling and grammar is PERFECT in their CVs to start with. Try and get someone to proof read your CV for you?
Mixo Fortune: do you actually sit down with potential candidates and interview them?
Lebogang Mojela: Mixo Fortune absolutely yes.
Xoliswa Ngonzi: hello Vanessa, thank you for giving us your time….say you are into programming how important is it to acquire other certifications like your A+, N+ and what chances does 1 stand if they have those?
Vanessa Raath: Hello Xoliswa Ngonzi, it’s a pleasure. If you are into Programming you will probably follow a Developer’s Career path so you won’t need hardware or networking qualifications. I would advise that you choose a career in Development OR Infrastructure and become as skilled as you can in these areas
Lefa Lloyd Biya: We know every IT company wants some sort of experience and qualification. In this case let’s say I never finished my diploma cause of some other problems but have the necessary skills in terms of the job requirements, what position or state does this put an individual of this nature on getting the job? If there are things that one should do what are they?
Vanessa Raath: Hey Lefa Lloyd Biya, a lot of people that we meet with have not completed their qualifications due to financial or personal issues. I always advise people to be honest about this. Employees will understand if they know the circumstances. As long as you are still registered and show that you INTEND on finishing your studies, once you are employed, it makes life easier. At the end of the day, Life Happens and people need to understand this!
Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath what kind of questions do you ask potential candidates as recruiters? You have already seen their CV’s so what else are you looking for in them
Lebogang Mojela: We looking for good communications skills and the desire to do well. as grades do not have a lot of experince they are hired more on their soft skills, these are things like good manners, a passion for IT and a cheery attitude.
Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela if im a shy person will that make my chances slim?
Lebogang Mojela: Lot of people working in the IT industry are not that outgoing and confident. You need to come across as a genuine and solid character who people know can trust
Mixo Fortune: “Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What’s your opinion?”….how does one handle this question?
Lebogang Mojela: Mixo Fortune with IT being such a fast paced industry you constantly need to keep up with the lasted technologies. The best way to answer this is to say that you are building the foundations of your career and you want to consolidate on what you already know
OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa. In the case of a student studying financial information systems (part finance and part I.T (development)), why is it that companies over look us in terms of development jobs.
Vanessa Raath: OMinz Minnie Let me start by saying what you are studying is a very very rare skill and you should be in GREAT demand in a few years’ time. They shouldn’t be overlooking you at all! Maybe you need to request an assessment from them and prove to them that you can develop too?
OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa, Thanks a lot, I’ll do that from now onwards.
Mixo Fortune: Many people in IT are constantly changing jobs, it appears as the norm but does it have some negative effect?
Lebogang Mojela: Mixo Fortune Yes it has a negative effect unless you are contracting and that is why you moved around a lot. Clients do not like job hoppers
Batha Bile: So basically candidates with degrees are given 1st preference than national diplomas or it depends on the company?
Vanessa Raath: Batha Bile Degrees have a higher NQF Rating so they do get preferences over National Diplomas during the screening process. Again, this does differ from company to company
Batha Bile: Ok, thanks
Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi Vanessa, in your opinion, what’s the most suitable qualification without any experience that will get you a job without being either under/over qualified?
Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane that’s a tough question as it is all down to the Client’s needs! I would say that a BSc Information/Computer Science and a Btech Information Technology are the best to have. Engineering Qualifications are also very common in the IT Industry
Mokate White Moreki: Hi guys thanks again for this opportunity to mingle with you. What is the case of people who has done internships at companies where they were not given the training at all, where their so called mentors were non existent? Some of us used that opportunities to teach ourselves some techniques and skills. But this came to bite us cause it seems one can’t get the jnr level jobs because they have some sort of experience even though we are eager to learn more
Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki Unfortunately that happens a lot. You see the Government pays companies to have Internship programmes and they are often badly run and do more damage than good. You should still be able to get junior level jobs though. Maybe explain to the people hiring you that you received no training during your internship so it is almost like you are a Grad again?
Mokate White Moreki: Some of us at tertiary did computer systems of which is the mixture of all the courses ranging from electrical to engineering, and we failed most of the courses dismally but eventually we overcame the challenges we passed and graduated. But now if we try to apply for Systems analysis jobs we are over looked by the requirements stating that it want university students only not N.Dip students. @Vanessa if we talk like about our previous companies doesn’t that mean we are bad talking our previous our employees?
Vanessa Raath: It’s the way you talk about your previous Employers that matters here. I wouldn’t write it on my CV but I would definitely chat to the person interviewing me about it. Or maybe put it diplomatically on a Covering letter?
Mokate White Moreki: thanks Vanessa for that advice
Vanessa Raath: As for the System Analysis positions, it does depend on the Companies Base Qualification requirements. Some companies want candidates with Degrees ONLY, where some are happy to look at people with any 3 year qualification
Mokate White Moreki: For some of us don’t want to do Programming for the rest of our lives, hence i chose a course that has Systems Analysis and Software engineering. I believe that maybe if we can be given at least six months contract jobs so that we can prove our performance and understanding to business principles we can show that we can make it
Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki I agree with you. Why don’t you say to the client that you are willing to work on a 3/6 month contract to prove yourself?
Mokate White Moreki Vanessa Raath the problem arise from the Job posts available, none of them accommodate that suggestion, i even send out cover letters with no luck. Even for the junior roles for Programming with suggestions of why i need junior roles, i might have 3 years development experience but that does not mean i can apply for senior post because i believe that i need some sort of guidance and mentoring so that i can reach my potential
Vanessa Raath: As discussed on our page, you need to come and see me so we can assess your skills!
Mokate White Moreki: ok then it means i have to schedule a meeting/interview with you guys and give my side of the story hopefully we can be on the same page, you’ll be able to help me nail that illusive job I’ve been looking for since 2005
Mokate White Moreki: In-case of the referees on the CV what happens if the one you have is deceased and he/she was you boss and was the only senior who knew you? Do you keep that job or you remove it from the CV?
Lebogang Mojela: You mustn’t have any gaps on your CV, you must include every job. As for your Reference try to use someone else as a character reference.
Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi again, Do people with disabilities also count on a company’s “BBEE” score card more than females or what? Why I ask this is because it seems companies want to spend the as least as possible to get a skilled employee and in most cases, people with disabilities need custom equipment for examples sake which lead to expenses on the company’s side. . . .
Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane People with Disabilities are the highest scoring people on a BEE Rating. Unfortunately I do not make the make the rules but I do agree with you!
Thembelihle Neo Sithole: Hi,
1. I have a natioal diploma, 2 certificates that i obtained overseas and in ITIL qualification. I always emphasize that these can pad the Bsc degree requirement but it seems recruiters don’t think so. How can one get these to be acknowledged
2.What is the best way to write up a CV?
Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole Have you taken your qualifications to be SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) and then you will be approve what it is equivalent to?
Thembelihle Neo Sithole That is in progress, however I do believe that each qualification will achieve at least an NQF level 3 rating. What I also have done is put myself in a good position for a BA career by combining I.T, Business IT and Project Management which I have qualifications for, i also have exposure to some consulting, project coordination and management, systems analysis, BI, web development and design, CRM customization a range of collaboration platforms. I feel this is great and rare for a graduate. I do not seem to be getting buy in from companies and recruiters…how do i sell it right?
Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole you just sold yourself to me in one paragraph very easily. You also have good communication skills which help! Please email your CV directly to me at email@example.com
Mixo Fortune: Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela here is a question posted on our twitter account by Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: @INNOv8torzIT why do we get it hard to be employed or preferred or get learnership by IT companies if we are students from UNISA in IT side?”
Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali – whether you studied at Unisa or a University should not make any difference at all. Maybe you need to ask the people running the internships? I cannot see the difference?
Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: I am left with one module that I will write on May /June next year so do I qualify to apply for job with following description: internship programme for graduate 2013?
Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes you do
Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Ow wow I missed so many opportunities not knowing I qualify to do so. Thanks Ms Vanessa
Fisto Wka Mabena: Firstly I’d like to appreciate this MOMENT OPPORTUNITY , Mixo Fortune uBosso ma man. And not forgetting Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath ! God Bless.
Question: I’m a Software Development student and loving it. But when it comes to applying I’m a bit discouraged because of the fact that You not sure how much you are expected TO NOW (as Programming is very very dynamic).
So as developers, what is really expected of us? How much knowledge of that specific language they are requiring…
Vanessa Raath: Fisto Wka Mabena that is almost – How long is a Piece of String? You would need to know enough about Programming in order to complete basic entry level tasks. A good bit of advice is to make sure that skills are current and as developed as you can make them!
Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: If you have small growing company, having franchise and running NGOs.. Do u have to mention them in your CV when applying for job? Are they not going to hire you because they see you are kind of busy person involved in many things?
Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes – you need to add in all of these outside jobs as it shows what sort of a person you are. If I see a CV and the person has done volunteer work I want to meet with them immediately as they will be kind and have a good charact…See More
Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Oh mmmm Ms Vanessa I get you though still have more questions on that question ,but will continue next time you available.
thanx to Mixo that’s all your Job boss you shaping us in all ways ..
Secondly thanks Mis Vanessa and Ms lebohang for your availabilty your time and your helpfull information , we love and still need you more n more thank you very much..
WE nOw HireD !! Mixo the star*
Mixo Fortune: Alright, once again thanks a lot Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela for your time and I hope the next person you will be interviewing will be from INNOvatorz.IT
Fisto Wka Mabena: hmm wow… Ms Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela please do bless us with your time during the course of the weekend, if possible. This is very helpful so much
Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Thank you Vanessa Raath
Fisto Wka Mabena: Thanks Mixo Fortune… Thanks Bra. Be blessed all the way
Maite Letsoalo: THANK YOU SOO MUCH Vanessa Raath
Mokate White Moreki: Innovative Stuff great thanks GUYS
OMinz Minnie: Thanks a lot guys, this session was very informant.
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