Get your CV up to date

Unemployed graduates need to get their CVs up to date – and not sit around and wait for their ‘uncle’ in government to provide them with jobs, said Prof Steven Worth from UKZN’s Agricultural Extension & Rural Resource Management unit at the summit for unemployed agricultural graduates.

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“A university degree or diploma does not guarantee a job. There are ways to gain experience. Have you thought about volunteering to gain work experience? Are you prepared to work from the bottom up? If you are serious about working, I dare you to take action,” said Worth.

“Your CV must include your name and surname, an easy-to-use email address, and no fancy decorations or pictures. Include your cellphone number. Don’t change your cellphone number and don’t have music answer your phone.”

Next, write a covering letter to introduce yourself. “Explain that you are looking for work, either for pay or as a volunteer. Include your contact details and ask someone to review the letter. When it is ready, print several copies and sign each one. Print an equal number of your CV and letter.

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“Dig into your community and NGOs working in agricultural and rural development; and register for additional training or a higher qualification.”

A good place to start looking for work is on a website like, which lists agencies desperate for volunteers in areas of agriculture and food security, land, rural development, economic development, environment and poverty.

“Get the contact details of the agencies off and email or post your letter and CV to each of them. If you receive a reply, follow it up. If you have not received a reply after a week or two, contact them again,” said Worth.

“Don’t worry if you are not paid or have to wake up at 4am to milk cows. You might send out hundreds of letters, but eventually you will find somewhere to serve. Because if I have learned one thing in life, it is this: The best way to gain employment is to attract it. The worst way is to wait for a job.”