This section of the website is focused on employment and getting a job, it covers:
How we can find jobs
Tips and hints which can make getting a job easier
What to expect when looking for a job
Get started below.
Getting a job.
Job searching is never easy, looking for and applying for jobs takes a lot of your time and whether you get an interview or not it all takes the same amount of time. It can be a frustrating and an annoying process.
But there is good news as there are hints, tips and strategies that can help and mean you can have more chances of success when applying for jobs.
In this resource, you will find hints and tips on how to search for a job and make the best use of your time.
More good news, you will be pleased to know that changing jobs and getting a new job is always easier once you have a job – so the first big task for you is getting a job.
Until you have a job, treat ‘getting a job’ as a job – it’s a new project
Once you are emotionally and physically ready to start a job search, it is a good idea to think of it as a sales project – the only difference is, the items that you are trying to sell are your skills, experience and your winning personality!
The first thing you need to do is prepare your Curriculum Vitae (often referred to as a CV) which is a summary of your qualifications, skills and experience. Don’t worry too much about identifying your skills – we have another really useful resource to help you out with that as well.
There are two types of job search:
The ‘reactive’ job search - Reactive means we react to what is already available, this could be using a website or looking in a local paper to find jobs which are available
The ‘proactive’ job search - Proactive means we find out what is available, this could mean handing out CV’s (more on these later) or asking businesses if they have any jobs or even asking friends and family if they know of any jobs which are available.
We can think about this as kind of like an iceberg, with the ‘reactive’ jobs are the ones we can see above the water, these are easier to find and more obvious.
The ‘proactive’ jobs are those you need to find, in terms of the iceberg they are below the water so you have to seek them out.
There can be just as many jobs available ‘below the water line’ you just need to be active in trying to find them.
So don’t be put off if you can’t always find jobs in the reactive way there are other ways to look for work, which can be successful as well.
Another top tip is employers like people being proactive, most will see it as a real positive if you make the effort to come and ask for a job.
The reactive job search
As we just learnt these are jobs above the waterline, the tip of the iceberg, the jobs that you see advertised.
You can find jobs advertised;
Recruitment Agencies - Can be found in most high streets, both local and national providers, we have some more information on using these, learn more about recruitment agencies.
Job Adverts – Local newspapers remain a good place to find jobs, often they advertise these on their websites as well so you won't need to buy a copy of the paper, other local free ads may also include jobs as well, we have some more detailed info on job adverts.
Websites - like Monster, Indeed, Gumtree etc. It’s worth noting there are loads of job websites so you will need to do some searching, we will have the main links for you later in this section. We have more information on job websites and how these work.
Social Media - More and more jobs are being advertised on social media, for example on Facebook there are jobs’ groups, it’s worth searching through social media as well
Job Centres - If you still have one local to where you live
Careers Advice - You may have a local organisation or charity, which provides this kind of work, find a list of these for Essex here
The advantages of the reactive job search are that these jobs are pretty easy to find, have been advertised and you can find out some information on exactly what the employer is looking for.
However, the important bit to remember is that the jobs you can see advertised only makeup about a 33% of the jobs available, so 2/3 of all the jobs won't be found using these means.
So these 2/3 of jobs are below the waterline, the bottom of our iceberg, but because they aren’t yet advertised or won't be, you’ll need to be proactive in your search.
The proactive job search – So what is it?
Put simply, this is all about talking to people, in businesses it's often called "Networking" as it's all about building a network which can lead to more job offers and opportunities. Read our top tips on networking here.
In the real world this means you should use all of the skills and contacts you have already when you are looking for a job, you may be surprised where talking to people you know may lead you.
Think about it like this:
Whilst we don’t know how many jobs are below the waterline, we do know that there are far more opportunities, and far less people applying for them – so your chances of success can increase hugely.
Some things you can do to proactively look for a job:
Ask in businesses if they are looking for anyone – this can be effective in businesses like cafes and smaller independent shops
Drop you CV in – Even if they are not hiring at the moment they may keep your details on file and contact you if they have a job become available, more on writing CV’s can be found here.
Ask your friends and family – You might be surprised by what and who people know, this can be an effective way to find opportunities
Top Tip – If you are proactively looking for a job remember you can only make a first impression once. So try and remember the 3 P’s;
This can be the most proactive and successful kind of job search.
Networking doesn’t just have to be face to face – there are loads of ways to reach people;
Face to face
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
When networking, start with the people you know and follow these steps;
Make a list of people you know who have a job (think family, friends, support workers).
Make contact with each of them, let them know that you are looking for work, be specific about the type of job you are looking for, and ask if they can let you know of any opportunities that they come across.
Be prepared to help others do the same thing - give and take!
Remember to thank people for any suggestions or opportunities that they send your way even if you don't like them.
Should someone suggest something that you are really keen on, you have an opportunity to ask them if they'd mind introducing you to the employer. Equally, you can be proactive and make contact yourself; “Hi there, I hope you don’t mind me ringing, I have been told by Jim that you have some jobs available. I am currently looking for a new job and would love to find out more.”
The likelihood is that if the employer thinks you can do the job and they like what they have heard from you, they will ask you to apply – then it is about looking at the hints and tips related to job adverts and the other resources in the section.
The other way to network is with people you don’t know – once you have a CV prepared, think about the town you live in and all of the places of work that are easy to get to for you.
Next – it's steps 2 and 5 above. You can do this in person, or on the telephone!
Top Tip – Keep a notebook with the name of the company and the date you spoke to them on. Use this to keep yourself on track, be persistent and follow-up.
“Hi there, I don’t know if you remember me, but my name is John Smith and I came in to speak to you on 10th February. I left my CV with you in the hope that you were looking for new members of staff. Have you had chance to have a look yet?”
Remember, by being persistent you are showing an employer than you care, you want to work for them and you don’t give up – these are all qualities that ALL employers look for!