Job searching tips

It can be a daunting and confusing world to trying to get a job, and sometimes you can feel like there is no hope of ever getting some money together to pay the bills or get that first step onto the career ladder, but don't worry! There's a whole wealth of information right here.

Friends and Family

A good starting point for employment is asking friends and family if they know of anything going, particularly if you are after experience in a specific field. Some jobs are based on networking, in which X person knows a friend of a friend who has a vacancy and you might be just lucky enough to get it. You can be lucky in these respects and some of you may most likely get your first job this way.


Looking For Yourself

Basic Lost Wanderer Searching

If friends and family don’t have any suggestions, you need to widen the search. Keep an eye out for "Recruiting" ads in shops and such. If there is one, go in and ask about the job, and if needs be, bring in a CV. Just keep an eye out for job vacancies advertised in shop windows. Sometimes its worth calling into shops, or cafes/restaurants and asking if they need staff. It might be something they are thinking about but not got round to, and you will have much less competition.


The Job Centre

If the job hunt is not going so well, a good place to start is the Job Centre. This tends to be more helpful if you are looking for a job as a school leaver, rather than with a degree, as there will be more relevant jobs. If you've got an National Insurance number you can register for Jobseeker's Allowance which will provide you with a bit of cash while you're looking for work. But don't take the Jobseeker's Allowance as an excuse to slack off.

In the job centre, they have computers with all the available jobs on. Click on "New Jobs Today" or "Detailed Job Search" and just go through, select the type of work you want, the type of hours, etc. Usually this will throw up a few jobs. Sometimes you can just select "New Jobs Today".

When you find one you like, or many that you like, you can press the "Print" button. This'll print out a little receipt-like object which you should keep as it has the reference number which will come in useful. Print out as little or as much as you like, and if you are confused, ask one of the people at the desk for help.

Now take this to one of the people at the desks and ask about it, and they will most of the time ask you a few questions, and give you a piece of paper about the job and all the details, where you should apply to, etc. Sometimes they'll direct you to the phones to start the application process immediately. They'll send you an application form in the post which you fill out and bring or send back.

Also if you don't want to use the phones there, the little receipt thing will give you a telephone number to contact Jobseeker Direct. The lines are open 8.00am-6.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am-1.00pm on Saturdays. Remember to give them the reference number, which are normally in the format of "ABC/12345".

They also have a site where you can search for work:


The Internet

There are a huge variety of jobs websites around, some are better than others. The bigger ones have a lot of people searching for jobs on them. While this can look daunting (particularly when it says things like ‘238 people have applied for this job’ next to every admin job, try not to get disheartened. Chances are, it’s the same 238 people applying for everything, half of whom are unsuited to it anyway. Always make sure you tailor your CV to match each application. For CV writing advice, see our guide on Writing the killer CV.

General "Upload Your CV and Search Us" Jobseeking Websites

Now Information Service Website
Jobsites aimed at Students

Specific Areas Of Work


Office Work



  • - If you feel confident in tutoring a subject a kids who need to brush up on their revision, go here. As said by twattytim: "Takes a little while (and sweet talk buttering up the parents) to get jobs offered, but worth the effort, especially at 20 quid an hour..."




Also check to see if your local shopping centre is hiring, i.e.

Recruitment Agencies - Register your details and up a CV and these people will look for you.

Useful sites (You'll see these later on)

See also for links to all kinds of graduate employment tips and links and this page on that links to just about every online resource for job hunting by job type.

  • - Written by graduates, this site offers advice and guidance on the graduate application process including real life examples.

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