There are a number of ways to find jobs, from recruitment agencies to your local newspaper. Some methods of looking for a job are more successful than others, depending on the type of job you are looking for. Try to spread your search as far and as wide as you can. Be proactive and experiment with a mixture of methods rather than focusing on one method. Recent statistics suggests only 22% of vacancies are advertised through the jobcentre. Here are a few options to consider;
There are still plenty of jobs being advertised in newspapers although this form of advertisement is declining rapidly. You will find ads in both national and local newspapers. Most papers have certain days for recruitment ads and some have certain days for certain types of jobs. You can also try looking on newspaper websites i.e. The Guardian/The Times to see if there are any suitable vacancies. If you want to avoid buying them-go to your local library, they usually have a selection of papers which you can look at for free. Remember, national newspapers e.g. The Times, The Guardian & The Daily Telegraph will carry job ads for the whole of the UK whereas your local paper will usually carry ads for local jobs e.g. Birmingham Mail and The Birmingham Post.
The good thing about advertising in newspapers is that they usually have a section called ‘Work Wanted’. This section is very useful for advertising your skills, achievements, qualifications, experiences and the kind of work you are looking for. I’m not sure about prices but you can usually check by contacting the help desk or the marketing department.
A variety of jobs are advertised through the job centre which is the UK’s largest online database. Remember, it’s free to browse the site for local and national vacancies but to apply for them; you will have to register first. You can also call jobseeker direct where you can get details of job vacancies; request application forms and arrange interviews. You can walk into your local job centre and use the Job points which are interactive touch screen stations. Once you have identified a suitable vacancy, you can call jobseeker direct free from the telephones provided. Help is also readily available from jobcentre staff if you have any job related questions or queries.
Magazines & Specialist Journals
Most job industries i.e. Hospitality & Catering have a magazine. If there is a particular industry you are keen to get into, then signing up for that industry’s magazine could help you get a feel for the industry and the issues surrounding it. Most of these industry specific magazines have job adverts and information about companies which you might want to work for. Also, they are a useful resource for getting information on companies that are either expanding or have been awarded a major contract. This may lead to an abundance of employment opportunities in the future so stay vigilant.
Internet & Jobsites
Looking for job vacancies online is becoming increasingly common these days. Most companies have websites and will use them to advertise vacancies. The company website will also contain online application forms and assessments. Sometimes, it’s not always obvious that there are vacancies on these sites so it’s worth checking out the Personnel/Corporate/Company Info or About Us sections on them.
There are lots of jobsites advertising different kinds of jobs. Some of these websites are industry-specific or are just for one specific area i.e. Caterer.com. Jobcentre Plus has a free Universal Jobmatch service to help find suitable jobs in your area. Alternatively, jobcentre vacancies can be viewed online at: Direct Gov. You can browse the Direct Gov site for free but if you want to apply for a job than you would have to register. Remember to keep your login details and your password safe. There are many other jobsites, such as reed.co.uk, fish4jobs.co.uk and indeed.co.uk.
Gumtree has a very useful job section where you can advertise your skills, achievements qualifications and experience in the ‘Work Wanted’ section. It’s totally free so give it a go and see what kind of response you get. As with the Direct Gov site, you will have to create an account with Gumtree before you can browse jobs or put an advert in. I’ve used it several times and it’s been quite fruitful.
There are lots of recruitment agencies dealing with lots of different areas of recruitment. Recruitment agencies work with a variety of different companies to fill specific vacancies and will put you forward for any jobs they think you might be suitable for. Often these agencies specialize in recruitment for certain types of work e.g. office work, construction, factory work, retail & distribution, nannies and au pairs, agriculture and seasonal work. Agency work is fine but sometimes the vacancies they have are often temporary. However, depending on the type of work you are looking for some temporary roles can lead to permanent positions. You can register with an agency giving them details of your key skills, experience and qualifications and they will then put you in touch with firms if suitable vacancies arise.
The majority of recruitment agencies these days have their own website. You can search on Google or Yell.com to find recruitment agencies near you. Once you have found one, you can register with them online by uploading your CV and personal details. Some of these agencies also allow you to upload a covering letter so you can attach it to your CV when you apply for a job. The other important thing about registering with an agency online is that you can set up daily, weekly and monthly email alerts. These job alerts will go straight into your inbox for you to browse at your leisure.
Networking & Contacts
This will be the single most important area for job hunting particularly if you are looking for work in the creative industries. I’ve always been a firm believer in that the best way to find a job is through those people you know. Talk to people working in jobs that interest you and ask them to let you know if there are any jobs going. Networking simply means what it says; setting up a network where you can meet people working in your area of interest. Look for job fairs in your local area or any networking events specific to your industry. There is always potential to meet new people and perhaps even, find your next opportunity.
Sometimes, it’s not about how much you know, but who you know. How many times have you heard that line before? Yes, it’s an age old cliché but it’s true. Use your contacts to find out about any jobs or opportunities. Ask any friends and relatives if they know of any job vacancies where they work. The key thing here is to be proactive and organized in your networking. Make a list of all your contacts and what areas they might know about. Use social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Friends on your Facebook could potentially know someone who has a job for you. The key thing to remember here is that only around 30% of jobs are advertised, the rest are filled by word of mouth and networking.
You can use Facebook to ask friends or acquaintances if they know about any vacancies in your area. You can find out about a job through a friend of a friend. Follow organizations that you are interested in on Twitter; they will most likely post any new vacancies straight away. Many recruiters and agencies also have Twitter accounts to tell people about current job opportunities. LinkedIn is also useful when looking for jobs, setting up a professional profile with your skills, experience and ambitions. It provides the opportunity to network with potential employers and perhaps get headhunted. There are also jobs advertised on this site.
Using social media to network
Speculating & Cold Calling
From my personal experience, speculative approaches to employers do work. If you turn up on a company’s door step, with a CV and are prepared to wait to speak to the manager who is responsible for recruitment, this could be rewarded if you make a good impression. You may have reservations about applying in person or by telephone, you can write a speculative letter or email to that company. Even if they cannot offer you a job, they might let you come in for work experience or let you know when a vacancy arises.
Many people get jobs from directly contacting employers either in person, by phone or email. Remember, you need to have a ‘mixture’ of approaches to jobsearch i.e. looking in newspapers, asking friends etc. The speculative approach does work well if it is executed properly. The best way to implement this approach is to be selective and target specific employers. In this way you can keep costs down and at the same time keep a record of who you have approached, who turned you down and who said that they would keep your details on file. It’s no point using this approach with hundreds of different employers simply because you won’t be able to keep a track of your activities. It can also be time consuming and costly. Always remember, if one approach doesn’t work, don’t get disheartened, try another approach.
Who to approach
Shop Windows & Notice Boards
Funnily enough the first job I ever got was from an advert I spotted in a shop window. I won’t tell you what it was because it’s a job that I’d rather forget. As the cost of advertising is high, businesses sometimes place adverts in windows and on notice boards. Shops, supermarkets, pubs, hairdressers etc, often do this. So keep your eyes open. It’s also worth checking the window in your local newsagents for ads. You never know what you might find.
Supermarkets usually have noticeboards where they advertise events and upcoming vacancies. Next time you’re out shopping in your local supermarket, have a look on their notice board and see what’s available. Sometimes supermarkets hold big opening days for new stores. Details of these opportunities are often displayed on their notice boards.
With so many changes to the labour market in recent times, it is important to be flexible in your jobsearch and realistic in with your expectations. Many employers will be reluctant to take on permanent full time staff. Consider temporary and part time posts. Build a portfolio of part time jobs that meet your requirements. It may be that you will be well placed to apply for any permanent positions when they arise within your employment. Finally, be positive and persistent with your job search. Remember, everyone gets knocked back at some point in their lives. Get up, dust yourself off, adjust your approach and try again.