Many of us look at social media as a means of entertainment, and sometimes as an escape from the real world. However, social media is more than that! It is now considered the first source of breaking news and is fast becoming an ideal place for job seekers.
An individual who is taking full advantage of the power that social media platforms hold, by not only using it for his furtherance but also of those around him, is Siphesihle Allen Kunene.
Born in KwesakwaMthethwa (which is a small area in the town of Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal) the 28-year-old describes himself as an enterprising individual who pushes towards the development of youth.
Kunene believes in being resourceful and doing thorough research, and therefore regards himself as a ‘self-made researcher’; more so as he continually stays abreast of any new developments and information in the job market.
With the sole aim of getting as many of his peers into the working world as possible, the Public Relations Management graduate uses his social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp) as a platform to help his peers secure internships, jobs or learnerships. In addition to this, he educates students and graduates on the various ways in which they can build their profiles, develop their skills, as well as how to conduct themselves in the workplace or during interviews.
The passion of selflessly assisting young people got fueled when Kunene was a student at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in 2014. Having struggled to secure an internship in record time, which unfortunately resulted in a delay in his graduation, he resolved to use the internet to promote the skills he possesses, with the idea of grabbing attention of potential recruiters and employers. Because of this setback, he vowed to assist every student he comes across (in similar or varying circumstances) to secure an internship.
Speaking about the usefulness of social media for career growth, Kunene says: “I know that students and graduates don’t usually read newspapers where job adverts are sometimes advertised. Social media and the internet then become the alternative since that provides information on their fingertips”.
While social media is a great platform for finding and sharing these opportunities, some of the information being shared can be misleading. When asked how he ensures authenticity of the information he shares, Kunene says that he verifies on the companies’ website or social media pages. He also adds that when necessary, he communicates with the company in question to double check if the company is indeed hiring.
When he is not sharing information, Kunene is personally assisting job seekers to write CVs, compelling cover letters and also gives them interview tips.
His heart melts as soon as he begins talking about how he has positively impacted lives.
“Knowing that the little that I do changes someone’s life is enough for me to carry on doing what I am doing, no matter how little I think it is,” he says.
Now a graduate trainee at the eThekwini Municipality, Kunene’s ambitions include traveling to disadvantaged communities; with the aim of educating the youth about the importance of self-development. He says that he would also like to partner with organisations that seek to develop and empower the youth.
Connect with him on Facebook & LinkedIn: Siphesihle Allen Kunene; Twitter: @Usiphesihle
~ Thabile Shange