Searching for the dream job can be a challenge for anyone. Read our helpful hints and tips below in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
What you need - making sure you are fully equipped for finding and applying for jobs
● Before you start searching job websites, speaking to friends or researching companies, you need to have a couple of things to help you in your job search:.
● You need to have an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV), which you can adapt for the different jobs as you apply for them.
● You should have a template for a covering letter. For any job which requires one or you wish to include one with, you can then adapt your template to the job specifications.
● You need to know what types of job you are interested in. There are all kinds of different industries you can work in, and in order for you to find long-term employment, you need to get into a job you would be happy and can succeed in.
Where to start - taking the right first step
● Job searching is a big task, there are lots of different jobs out there, some right for you and others not. There are many different ways of applying for those jobs, and this module is designed to help you in finding the right job.
Websites to use - where best to start your job search
● There is a wide range of websites out there where jobs are advertised, and it’s all about using the right sites for the jobs you want. There are general sites out there, such as Monster, or TotalJobs, which employers will use to post adverts for jobs and search CVs. There are also sites which are for specific job areas, such as NHS, or websites that specifically target graduate roles, like Prospects. You can find many of these through a quick google search, e.g. construction job sites uk gives http://www.careersinconstruction.com/ which offers jobs in architecture and engineering among others.
● When looking for the jobs available in your area, these sites can give you a real idea for what’s available, what the employers are looking for and what some good recruitment agencies to register with are.
● By creating a profile and submitting your CV to these websites, employers can search for your CV based on keywords contained in your CV. This part of the job search is really important, as it takes very little work on your part and will have employers coming directly to you.
● Be sure to keep your CV updated on the website, as the most up-to-date CVs appear at the top of the searches. When looking at job adverts, keep an eye out for common words or phrases they use, e.g. Microsoft Office, sales experience. By taking those and including them in your CV, it will help you be the person employers find on their search.
Hidden job market - making sure you are getting access to as many jobs out there as possible
● In this day and age, up to 80% of jobs don’t get advertised anymore. Whether it’s by internal promotions, the employer CV searching on Job sites (as mentioned in the previous slide) or through friends and families, only 1 fifth of jobs will ever make it to job boards or the papers.
● Given how many jobs you can find on the various websites out there, there are a large number of jobs you’re not being considered for. Just because they’re not being advertised, however, doesn't mean you can’t be considered for them.
● One key way to find jobs not being advertised is through your friends and family - if they know of a job at their workplace, or if they can pass your details onto a hiring manager, it can really help with getting you the first interview, or having your CV kept on record for when a vacancy does come up.
● Agencies will often have people looking for work registered with them, so when they do get a job in, they don’t have to advertise - they just send your CV and details straight into the company and get you booked in for an interview.
● The main areas to consider for this is: uploading your CV to job sites, speaking to family and friends, contacting suitable employers directly and using social media.
● You should still apply directly to jobs as well, however, as this will still provide you with a lot of opportunities.
Using recruitment agencies - how to get the most from them
● Employment agencies are paid to find you a job, so they can be your best friend when looking for work.
● There are hundreds of agencies out there, so you need to be sure you are registering for the right ones for you. Depending on the industry you want to go into will help you decide which ones are best to register with. Agencies will sometimes ask you to come in for an interview first, so you want to make the most of your time.
● Use the job sites to see which agencies have a lot of the right types of jobs in your area when choosing which ones to register with, or check out their websites to see what types of jobs they recruit for.
● Agencies should contact you when they have jobs come in which they think are suitable for you, however you need to keep in touch with them yourself, maybe a weekly call, to keep yourself top of their mind for when they are filling jobs.
● Don’t just register with one or two agencies. The more agencies you are registered with, the more likely one of them will find the right job for you.
Speculative applications - contacting companies you want to work for who aren’t advertising
● Sometimes companies could be looking to recruit but have yet to advertise, or are only advertising internally. Alternatively, they may not be actively looking to take on anyone new, but can be interested in taking someone on if they’re the right person.
● One way you can look for jobs is by going directly to companies with your CV and cover letter, even if they don’t have any jobs advertised. Once you know what sort of jobs you are interested, research the industry to see what the major companies in that field are, e.g. if you are interested in working in the construction industry, find out where your nearest Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke or Amey UK centre is.
● You can also look at what companies are in your area through some simple Google searches - something like ‘big companies in [your area]’ and you should be able to find information on websites about some big employers near you that you can look at. www.myjobgroup.co.uk is a very good site for this, giving a breakdown of different regions of the country with what the big companies in that area are.
● Before sending in a speculative application, you need to find out a few things first:
○ What jobs the company has or may have that would be suited for you
○ the best people to speak to - it’s advised that speculative applications go to department heads, not HR teams, as they will know more about future needs for the business, and if they could do with a new team member.
○ You can use social media, LinkedIn in particular, to see who works at the company and the tasks they carry out. You can also use it to identify the heads of departments, or branch managers that you want to send the applications to.
● Sending in a prospective application will look different to a specific job application in that you can’t tailor it to a job description. In order to make yourself most attractive to companies, try to find information on their around their values, or their mission. This should give you an idea of what they look for in their employees, and should help you pick out key characteristics and skills in your CV or covering letter.
● When sending in a speculative application, you should address the person in the covering letter, and explain what about that company attracted you to them in the first place. These applications shouldn’t just be sent out to everyone you can find, you need to spend some time researching the companies, and tailoring the letters so the employer knows you are interested in them specifically.
Is this job right for me? - You need to find a job you are happy holding for the long-term.
● When looking at jobs, you need to consider a few things before applying:
○ Do you think you are able to carry out the tasks listed in the job description?
○ Do you have enough of the qualifications and experience they ask for?
○ Would you enjoy carrying out the responsibilities they list?
○ What do you think of the company and their values? Would you be happy working for them?
● It’s important you are thinking of these things when looking at job descriptions and you research the company, as you want to ensure the job is right for you and is suitable long-term.
Using social media - using social media
● Social media is a great tool to use when looking for jobs. You can use these in a number of ways to help in finding work, however one of the most useful platforms is Twitter. You can get a profile created very easily, and follow different companies or providers to get job vacancies in your ‘twitter feed’.
● There are a number of different profiles to follow about this, and a google search will show you some different profiles that can be a good place to start - http://www.jobsite.co.uk/twitter.html is a good one as it enables you to build a personalised job search feed with them, or Monster has specific twitter fields for different regional and industry feeds - http://career-advice.monster.co.uk/searching-for-jobs/job-advice-by-industry/twitter/article.aspx.
● You will also find numerous articles on different websites with advice from different people on how they used social media, and twitter in particular to help find a job.
Feedback - learning from your progress
● Finding a job is a long process, and no one ever gets it right the first time. In order to ensure you can learn from what you are doing wrong and get that job as soon as possible, it’s important you contact employers who you are applying to, and asking for feedback.
● If you had an interview but weren’t successful, call them up and ask them why not. If you’ve applied for a job but not been contacted about the next stage, give them a call. Confirm they’ve received your application, and find out if they contact everyone who applies and what the timescales are for this.
● Whether you get the job or not, you can always learn something from it. Whether it’s something different you can do next time, or a certain behaviour you need to improve on, any feedback is good and will help you in obtaining that job!
In summary, the job market is very competitive these days, with high levels of applicants for any job advertised. In order to give yourself the best opportunity to find the right role, you need to spend the time looking at all possible avenues for applying, and ensure each application sells yourself in the best light for the role.