Q & A with IT recruiters from ITS ABOUT PEOPLE

We had an interview with Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela from Its About People and the session was opened to INNOvatorz.IT members to ask them any questions related to recruitment, CV’s, preparing for interviews and also to get tips. Here is the full interview for those who missed it. Do share with others so we can all be better prepared for interviews. You will notice that the interview session hasn’t been edited and polished that much. I wanted to keep it as raw and as original as possible


Mixo: So can you guys tell us a bit about yourself. What is it that you
actually do and where do you work?

Vanessa Raath: OK – we are half of the ITS ABOUT PEOPLE Team. I am the
General Manager and Lebo is my Resourcer. We focus on IT Recruitment,
mainly in Gauteng but also in the Cape. Check us out on
www.itsaboutpeople.co.za. I will start with a Question: How many of you attach a
Skills Matrix when you submit your CV either to a client; an agency or
onto a Career Portal?

My name is Estelle Emako. I am a computer systems
student. And it has not been easy for me to get an internship. Therefore i
would like to improve my CV to that it could be more professional

Vanessa Raath: Hello Estelloise Emako – You need to include the
following information for your CV to be professional. For each job that
you have had: Name of the company; your position; was it permanent or
contract; what dates were you there for; what is the industry and why
did you leave them?

Mixo Fortune: So Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela if one is still a
student what kind of information do they include in the “Skills

Lebogang Mojela: Qualification, experience and skills matrix

Aviwe Vellem: Hi guys. Adding on what Estelloise said, I have seen a lot of different CV
templates, but what are the key things your CV should have or the main
interest of recruiters when looking in a CV?


Vanessa Raath: You need to include your Skill Set on your CV – so
things like the programming languages; Infrastructure components;
networking tools etc.

Estelloise Emako: Do you also deal with international students? I can see
on your website that personal information needs ID Number.

Vanessa Raath: ‎Estelloise Emako – International Students are slightly
more difficult as Internships and Learnerships are normally only for
South African citizens

Aviwe Vellem: So do you really trust the information you see on a
Skills Matrix? Is it something that works for recruiters? Because
applying for a job involves many people and of course you wanna be
selected for an interview, what if someone lies? I know all will be
proven during the interview but it could be waste of company time and
maybe miss the right candidates

Vanessa Raath: ‎Aviwe Vellem – All IT candidates are thoroughly tested
so we will know if they have lied on their Skills Matrix. Most
companies will not even schedule an interview until we send them the
test results. A Skills Matrix makes on IT candidate stand out from the
others as it takes more time and effort to complete.

Mudzuli Sivhidzho:
what key points to be mention if am ask during the
interview “tell us about yourself?”

Mudzuli Sivhidzho: what key points to be mention if am ask during the
interview “Why should we hire you?”

Mudzuli Sivhidzho: should i put technologies that i have learn from
school but never apply them on industry level on the skills Matrix?

Lebogang Mojela: ‎Mudzuli Sivhidzho you need to mention your hobbies
and always good to know about your IT activities during your spare
time like building apps etc…

Vanessa Raath: ‎Mudzuli Sivhidzho – When asked why they should hire
you, you need to show your hard work ethic; how you plan on making a
difference and completing work to the best of your ability with little
fuss. You need to show that you are not a political player – you are
going to keep ‘your nose clean and get the job done!

Aviwe Vellem: Thanks Vanessa… How does one get assistance from Its
About People in finding a job?

Vanessa Raath: ‎Aviwe Vellem – you would need to register on our website
and follow us on Twitter at @its_about_peopl and on our
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/itsaboutpeople as we often post
jobs there too

Rudzani Nemukondeni: Is it necessary to list grade 12 and all my
academic subjects i have done in the cv

Lebogang Mojela: ‎Rudzani Nemukondeni, yes for junior candidates (less
than 5yrs experience) it is important to show your subjects and
grades. Clients always like to see this.

Mixo Fortune: There is a huge debate going on about Cover Letters. How
important is a cover letter? And should one still send it even if they
haven’t requested it?

Vanessa Raath: Cover Letters are no longer needed and
are just adding to the demise of trees for the waste of paper! Rather
send a personalised message in the body of the email to the Recruiter

Mixo Fortune: Thanks Vanessa. We shall save the trees

Mixo Fortune: What are some of the big mistakes that people make when
they apply and what will make you guys as Recruiters to not even pay
attention to a specific candidate?

Vanessa Raath: The worst things that I always see on CVs are spelling
and grammatical errors. I think this is a very poor reflection on the
candidate and shows disrespect to the clients. Also your setting out
needs to be clear and easy to follow.

Mudzuli Sivhidzho: What is key aspects that need to be in place for
student (No work exp.) CV? What makes student not receive interview
calls from employer even he/she is sending CV to many places?

Vanessa Raath: Prospective clients like to see that you have had part
time work and have not sat back and did nothing with all that free
time you have as a student. This shows a good work ethic and a desire
to do better in life. You also should show some kind of community
involvement like through Church Activities or committees you’ve sat on
at University etc. Any Leadership roles should also be mentioned

Mixo Fortune: Most of us are on many social networks and use them for a
variety of things. How can Social networks help us land the job or even
make us not get that job?

Vanessa Raath: Social Networks can really assist you or you can
eliminate yourself from the running very quickly! All good recruiters
do back ground checks on people and that includes checking candidate’s
Internet Footprints. If you are seen to be a Thought Leader in a
certain area – like if I check your Twitter Feed and you are posting
good articles and making good comments it puts you in a positive
light. However if you have the drunk photos from the weekend on your
facebook page. I may think twice before referring your CV to one of my

Mixo Fortune: Any particular social networks that you guys do recommend
for us to use to connect with potential employers

Lebogang Mojela: ‎Mixo Fortune LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook try to
make sure your profile is clean

Mixo Fortune: I see our time is almost up. Thank you Vanessa Raath and
Lebogang Mojela for your time. I hope this isn’t the last time we do

Vanessa Raath: Pleasure – thank you very much! We would love to help
you out again! 🙂

Lebogang Mojela: Pleasure 🙂

Mudzuli Sivhidzho: Thanks Mixo Fortune, Vanessa Raath, Lebogang Mojela
your time I learned a lot today and I think this session must come


Hire ME!!!!

I recently received some t-shirts from Microsoft written “Hire Me”. I love that t-shirt but sadly my body couldn’t fit into it. Eventually it did fit after a few months of sweating hard at the gym although it feels like I’m wearing a muscle shirt. Don’t worry, I don’t intend stealing your next 10min talking about my weight and about a t-shirt. It’s just that the t-shirt has given me a few ideas to play with.

I wrote a blog a few months ago called “I’m unemployed…” and it focused on the challenges the youth face with regards to getting jobs and getting hired.  I also spoke about how we the youth shouldn’t just sit down and do nothing with our lives. You can read about it here http://bit.ly/yXHyEJ

So many of the youth still remain unemployed, it’s like the requirements for getting a job just keep going an extra level the moment one reaches the previous required level. First they want you to have at least Matric (Grade 12) qualification. Once you get that they want tertiary qualification. You go sweat it out for 3years and complete your studies but can’t graduate because you first need to do 6 months (1 year in certain fields) of experiential learning. Majority are not that lucky in obtaining that experiential learning. Those that do and manage to graduate are told that they either need to improve the qualification or must gain more work experience. Question is where must they get this work experience if nobody is taking them? Jobs don’t fall from the sky

One has to feel for all those guys who have graduated yet are staying at home doing nothing. Sadly time waits for no man and some are forced to venture into areas where they didn’t study for. It might not be the ideal situation but sometimes one has to take a different route to reach their destination .It’s worse if you are in a field like Information Technology because it’s constantly changing every few months and a qualification that is two years or more is pretty much quite old

I am saddened by those students who have never done any experiential learning but when the opportunity arises their first question is “How much are do they pay? Yes money is important but let’s face it opportunities are very rare so one should cling to those that come because you never know how long it will take for the next one if ever.

I am no hiring expect nor am I a recruiter but I have been lucky to talk to a few recruiters and learned a lot from them. Some of us don’t get hired because we just are not hirable. We don’t follow instructions on job post; we have outdated CV’s, we are very picky, we wait until the closing day to go certify our CV’s and apply. If you are not sure about your CV then pass it to someone. I constantly do that just to get feedback. One lady once told me that if she was hiring she would have thrown my CV away because of the cover letter. If you’re not serious about getting a job nobody will be serious about hiring you

Sometimes your CV alone won’t get you that job. We are social beings and must learn to network with others. It’s interesting how much information one can get from a stranger. We spend most of our time on social networks but fail to create strong networks. At times one can’t do it alone. I am not afraid of approaching anyone, even if it’s a CEO because I rather have them tell me that they don’t have time for me instead of me walking away with regrets. I don’t do it to get hired but to learn and connect with them. We also shouldn’t focus on just the “Top Brass” but connect with people from different levels. My network is always expanding because of this approach.

Recruiters will advise you that while you continue to look for that specific job you can try volunteering positions. It’s actually not really such a bad option. You gain that required WORKING EXPERIENCE and give your CV extra weight. I know of a few guys who went the volunteering route and have managed to secure permanent positions or got hired somewhere else because of that bit of work experience. It’s way better than sitting and doing nothing

Not everything works for all of us. Some have jobs waiting for them; some just keep getting interviews while others keep moving from job to job. The rest will just need to continue knocking on those doors, filling in those application forms, checking for posts and praying that someone will eventually call you for that interview.

Plenty of posts floating on social media just keep an open eye. Have a look at a group on Facebook called YDIDI. It’s a nice group with plenty of post that covers different fields.

The HOT seat

Information is all around us, we just need to find a way to access it and use it to our advantage. Sometimes you just need to ask around, especially people who are always working with the information you need. We had an opportunity to conduct interviews on Facebook, with recruiters and people who specialize in certain areas like mobile development,so that we could gain more knowledge and guidance from them. All this was done in an amazing group on Facebook called INNOvatorz.IT http://www.facebook.com/groups/innovatorz/

The interviews ranged from Job recruitment, role of a Business Analyst and also focused on a few guys who managed to develop apps for the Windows Phone mobile device. So what I will do is just have a quick recap on those interviews so that people can be able to have access to the discussions that took place. I will also put up some extracts from those interview. The feedback and response were amazing and has motivated us to have more of this kind of interviews in the future. We intend to make them a whole lot better, more interactive and will focus on a wider range of topics and issues. Conducting them on Facebook was just the beginning. In the long run we will use different platforms like video to conduct this interviews. We are still Brainstorming4Success….Watch this space

Interview with an IT Recruiter

“My short-term goal is to bluff my way through this job interview. My long-term goal is to invent a time machine so that I can come back and change everything I’ve said so far

We started of with two interviews with an IT Recruiter.They took place on the following days,
Friday, August 12, 2011 http://www.facebook.com/events/233651926679811/

and Friday, October 21, 2011 http://www.facebook.com/events/277464892285423/. It focused on members of INNOvatorz.IT asking a the recruiter questions about CV’s, the do’s and that don’t s of job hunting and many more job interview related questions. Below is an extraction from the Interview session that took place.

“We will first look at you results and when we are satisfied we will call you in for an Assessment and Interview. We do not require you to have much knowledge of testing but from your last project we expect you to have gained some knowledge. We will also look at how you present yourself during the interview. We want to see your passion shinning through when you talk or respond in an interview”

Interview with the BRILLIANT Dr Nkqubela Ruxwana on Business Informatics

This interview was mostly for those interested in  Business Analysis (BA), Business Intelligence, Enterprise Architecture,Project Management, Testing and IT management?

It was a very informative interview that helped us understand the role of a BA, the different areas that a BA can venture into and the challenges that a BA is faced with.

“It is also important to note that BA is not an easy job; though one can easily be hired as a BA strat from varsity; it needs some exp in other domains. I always pity those who think that jst after varsity they only wana b BA’s….I suggest u take any IT role that has people involvement, grow on it then move to BA. its always easier from development or testing to be a BA or PM. Do not rush as this is a very strong role u play n ur failures are easily visible to everyone!”  Dr N Ruxwana . The rest of the interview can be found here http://www.facebook.com/events/131429276967738/

Windows Phone App Interviews

The following interviews focused on two guys Monde Mbatha and Ernest James Loveland, both Microsoft Student Partners(MSP) who developed their own personal apps for the Windows Phone that can be downloaded from the Windows Phone Marketplace http://www.windowsphone.com/en-ZA/marketplace.

Monde developed an app “that shows you how to pronounce our national anthem word for word” while Ernest James Loveland created a game called Galactic Jump. Sadly I cant seem to be able to create proper links to the interviews but they took place on the following dates. 1 December 2011 for Monde and Ernest interview took place the following day.

“I have reached 400 downloads basically, and my Advert revenue is currently at a few US Cents a month, not a high turnover, but I will be happy to hit 500 downloads” Ernest James Loveland