Where Can I Find A Job

This site contains all of the resources you need to help answer the question "where can I find a job?"  It covers every step of the process from preparing to search, where and how to search, getting through an interview and then finally some hints and tips for once you've got a job.

Following these steps will help you to find a job.  I've personally been out of work a couple of times now and I know how scary that can be when there is a mortgage and bills to pay.  Today I work for a large company and am part of the hiring process.  Hopefully my view from both sides of the fence,  both looking for work and now as an active member of the hiring team, will help you to find a job.  Good luck and don't give up; persistence, hard work and a great attitude are key to finding a job.

Preparing to Find a Job

The first thing to do is to get your CV in order.  Employers today have to sort through potentially 100s of CVs just to select a handful of candidates that will be invited on-site for an interview.  You can help your potential employer (and hence improve the chances of getting your CV picked) by following some simple advice.
  • Keep it short.  No more than 2 sides of A4.  Remember that employers have to read 100s of these things.
  • Get the most relevant information on the first page, preferably as close to the start as possible.  You want to make an impression as fast as possible so get the dynamite information up front, that includes your most recent experience.
  • Make it easy to find key skills that are required for the job by highlighting them in bold.  Employers will tend to scan your CV looking for keywords.  Don't go too mad with this. 
  • Examples are good.  Employers want to see you've actually delivered something useful.  Back up your examples with facts and figures if you can.
  • Give your CV a clear and uncluttered structure.  Don't just make it a wall of tiny text.  Don't go mad with the formatting, one simple font with titles and keywords in bold will suffice.
  • Spell check! Spelling mistakes are unforgivable and just scream that you are a sloppy careless worker.
  • Don't lie.  A good interviewer will likely find out and if they do then you'll of blown your chances.  Nobody wants dishonest employees.
  • Speak to your audience.  Place yourself in your employers shoes, what information do they need to hire you?
Take the time to turn yourself into a CV writing expert.  Research the topic on the internet, read books about it.  There are plenty of templates out there for you to download and use as a starting point for your own CV; just type "cv template" into Google and you will find plenty of examples. 

Having a good CV is essential for getting that interview.  If your CV isn't any good then nothing else happens, it's that simple. So take the time to craft a CV that really sells you.  A lot of employment agencies offer "CV clinics" where you can take your CV along and get helpful advice on how to improve it, they can be good if you want an expert to cast their eye over it.

Where to Find a Job

OK, so you have your CV prepared, next up you need to get it out there.  Here are some ideas on where to find a job.

Upload you CV to all of the job search websites.  Once you've done this they will then start searching for you which obviously increases your chances.  Type "job search" into Google and that will list them all e.g. monster.co.uk, jobsite.co.uk etc.  The more sites you sign up with and upload your CV to the better.

Get yourself to the Jobcentre (or Jobcentre Plus as it's now called).  Here you can browse the job listings and apply for any you find.  You'll also want to register with them as it will then allow you to claim financial support in the form of Job Seekers Allowance whilst you are trying to find a job.

Visit all of the physical job agencies in your local area and register with them as well as the online ones mentioned earlier (make sure you take plenty of copies of your CV to hand out).  Get the Yellow Pages (or visit yell.co.uk) and get a list of them.  Work your way through the list and go sign up either over the phone or in person.

Reach out to the people you already know.  Let friends, family, ex-colleagues, ex-school friends (everyone you can think of) know you are looking for a job. Ask them to notify you if they hear of anything.

Check the phone book/internet and find companies in your local area you'd like to work for.  Make your self look smart grab a copy of your CV and then go visit them in person.  Ask at reception to talk with a member of HR or whoever is responsible for hiring.  Be polite, explain that you don't have a meeting setup already (although you'd be happy to come back again later if that's what they'd like) explain your position and enquire about any jobs available.  Even if there are non-available now, ask to leave a copy of your CV with them and request they contact you if anything does become available.  Showing this kind of initiative by turning up in person can really win you some brownie points.  Make sure you research the company ahead of time however and make it clear what positions you are interested in and why.  If you don't want to/can't visit in person then the next best thing to do is write and apply via mail/email.  It takes guts to turn up unannounced, but prepare carefully, have confidence in yourself and this approach can work well.

Check the job section in the local newspapers.  Also keep an eye out for job fairs as they can be a great opportunity to talk with number of employers at the same time. 

Consider different ways of working.  Perhaps you could apply for an apprenticeship as a way to get into a new job (search the papers/internet/local colleges for opportunities) even if that involves a career change maybe it will be good in the long run.  Could you offer to work for free/charity/reduced rate in order to gain experience or prove your ability to a prospective employer?  Could you start your own business and become self employed (go door to door and offer to wash cars/windows maybe)?  There is help out there in the form of advice and grants if you are considering becoming your own boss.  Being self-employed has it's pros and cons so make sure you do your research first before committing time and money.  Could you go back to school/study online to gain new skills?  If you find there are jobs out there that require skills you don't have right now then maybe investing the time to acquire them will be good in the long run.

Be flexible.  It's easier to find a job once you are already in one.  So if something comes up, but it's not perfect, don't turn it down too quickly.  Give it a try, you might even enjoy it, if it's really not for you then you can always look to move later whilst having the security of a job.

During Your Search

The time during your search can be mentally tough.  Friends and family may not be about for company as they are out at work and without structure to your day the time can become a depressing drag (the evenings and weekends matter less as it all blends into one).  Don't give up  though, stay positive, this time is brimming with opportunity!  Here are some ideas.

One of the first things you should do is get yourself to the Jobcentre and apply for Job Seekers Allowance.  It's not a lot, but it all counts when you are out of work.  Ask about any other benefits you may be entitled to depending on your age/family/disability/location status etc, you might be entitled to more than Job Seekers Allowance.  Also check whether you have insurance against being out of work, you need to start that claim as soon as possible.  This insurance might be associated with your mortgage or you may have taken it out long ago an forgotten about it.  Check your mortgage if you are worried about money.  Ring the bank and see if you can agree a payment holiday for some period of time, that will help to ease financial burden.  Review your finances, can you cut back on anything whilst you are out of work?

Make finding a job a job in it's own right.  Start your search at 9AM everyday just like going for work.  Build a routine, a checklist you should work through daily, take coffee and lunch breaks.  You do need to try hard when searching for a job, but you don't need to feel guilty about your downtime when you do take it (work 9-5, Monday to Friday just like a real job).

Everyday you should scan the job search websites/newspapers and apply for jobs you find.  Review the 'Where to Find a Job' section above and add other tasks to your daily todo list as well.

Weekly you should ring around the agencies and enquire about work.  Building up that personal rapport with the agencies will keep you fresh in their mind when new jobs do become available.  Better still, go in a see them to really build that relationship.  Make sure to follow up on any leads you have, contact anyone that may have even hinted there could be a job available.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil when it comes to finding a job, so make sure you are squeaking regularly.

Once you've handled your regular job search commitments as outlined above everyday then the rest of the time is your own.  Don't feel guilty about enjoying it, there is literally nothing else you can do now.  Take up a hobby e.g. Set yourself the goal of getting fit (go running) or learn to cook.  The associated sense of achievement is all part of the mental battle when being out of work.  Improve your skills, read books, articles on the internet, go to the library and study, take free courses online, sign up for a college course.  Improving your skills can pay for itself many times over in the long term.  Seize this opportunity, it's not often you have this kind of time available.

Focus on your daily routine, build a structure, Monday-Friday, 9-5 as above and rest/try not to worry during the evenings and weekends.  That's the key to staying mentally fit during this often trying and stressful period of your life.

Interview Advice

Interviews are all about preparation.  Most interviews will cover variations on a common set of questions.  Search for 'top 100 interview questions' on Google and prepare answers ahead of time for them.  Rehearse them a couple of times before going for an interview.

Make sure you research the company and the position you are applying for as much as possible ahead of time.  You need to convince an interviewer that it's *this* job and *this* company you want to work for and not just any job to pay the bills.

Dress appropriately.  Talk to Recruitment/HR ahead of time and enquire about the dress format.  If in doubt, go smart - trousers, shirt and a tie at least.  Whilst you are talking to HR you can also enquire about the interview format - how long will it be, how many people, how many other candidates, any areas you should revise for ahead of time, who will the interviewers be (their job titles).  It all helps to prepare.

During the interview stay positive, polite and professional.  Never swear or use bad language and don't complain about past employment.  Take an active role in the interview, take notes and ask questions as you go, it shows you are switched on an engaged with the process.

Try to relax and stay calm.  If you don't know the answer to a question then just say so, don't lie.  Ask for additional information if you don't understand a question. 

    Working Advice

    When you do finally land a job (you will, have faith) your search needn't stop there.  The task may now have less urgency and move to the background, but it never hurts to keep an eye out for a better job by applying the following.

    Keep your CV up to date.  It's easy to forget experience and skills gained if you only update your CV once every few years.  Make a point of updating your CV every few months.

    Continue to improve your skills and education.  Now you've got a job, perhaps you can afford evening classes as stepping stone to something better.  Skills and education are the foundation of your career!  Never stop investing.

    Put some money aside in case you get made redundant again in future.  It doesn't hurt putting a little bit aside for a rainy day.  Consider taking out insurance against redundancy for real peace of mind.  That way should it come to the worst then hopefully you can continue to pay the mortgage etc.

    Think about generating other revenue streams.  Don't just be reliant on one job.  Can you turn a hobby into something that makes a little extra money on the side?  Sell things on Ebay or at car boot sales for example. 

    Know how much you are worth.  Check the job listings from time to time to make sure you aren't missing out on opportunities and you know how much you should be getting paid.  If your salary starts to slip out of line with the market then it might be time to consider negotiations with your current employer (tread carefully and research how to do this ahead of time - there is a right way and a wrong way) or looking for employment elsewhere.  If you do end up leaving your current job then don't jump ship until you have something to move to.  Also, when leaving, resist the urge to be rude or disruptive if something has annoyed you.  It's a small world and you never know when you might run into the same people or need to return to the same job again.  Be careful which bridges you burn.

    Build your network via e.g. linkedin.com and other networking sites.  Those contacts come in handy when you are looking for work again in future.

      Links

      • www.gov.uk/browse/working/finding-job
      I hope the information above helps you to find a job.  I know personally that it can be a stressful and scary time.  Have faith, keep looking, be flexible and positive, eventually you'll be rewarded with a job.

      All the best,

      Jim.