Once you’ve decided on the type of role you're looking for, you need to know how to find it. But what are the options available to you?
This guide will cover the main avenues you can explore to find your next role, from using a job site to contacting your nearest recruitment agency.
Job sites are a fantastic resource for finding jobs, allowing you to search opportunities in your own time, within a wide range of industries across the UK.
Not only are job sites convenient - all you need is an internet connection - but they offer a wide variety of opportunities. Direct employers and recruitment agencies use job sites to advertise their vacancies.
Once on a job site, a combination of searching and browsing should lead you to a suitable role.
Establishing a contact within a few recruitment agencies is a good way to keep up-to-date with the latest roles they have available. Many agencies will have a combination of permanent and contract opportunities at any given time, offering roles to suit your requirements.
It's also worth keeping an eye out for those agencies that specialise in your particular area of work, as these will hold jobs specifically within your niche area.
Register with relevant agencies in your local area and you'll be kept up-to-date with the latest vacancies available.
Approaching employers directly
There may be instances when employers do not advertise certain roles, so it's worthwhile contacting them directly to ask if they have any vacancies.
One benefit of doing things this way is that you're not competing against a large group of people - like you would if the job was advertised.
Employers are used to people asking questions about jobs, so if they can find somebody without advertising, it saves them time and money.
Make sure you approach them in the right way. Ensure you have an up-to-date CV and covering letter at the ready and, if emailing your application, try to find out the name of the individual responsible for hiring in the department you wish to work in and send it directly to them.
If you've graduated from university or you're about to, you may want to consider a graduate scheme. These schemes are often tailored to suit those who have completed a university course, and can act as a fast-track to senior positions within an organisation.
If you have a particular employer in mind to complete a graduate scheme, make sure you check their website and understand when they look to hire graduates.
Alternatively, you can find out more information from your university's careers service, as well as at careers fairs that are typically held at universities, allowing firms to showcase what they have to offer you.
You can also search graduate-specific job sites, including graduate jobs on reed.co.uk, to try and locate the ideal role for you.
Social networking is becoming a more and more powerful tool when it comes to finding a new job. It's a useful way to learn more about the people, roles and structure at companies that interest you.
Some employers now use social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to recruit new staff. To take advantage, you should make sure you create a profile that will impress potential employers. You may wish to follow the brands you'd like to work for, keeping an eye out for new information on upcoming vacancies.
Across all of these social networks, however, it's vital that your own accounts are professional and clean. Any offensive or inappropriate activity on social networking sites can quickly be tracked down by prospective employers, hindering your chances of securing a new role.
Sometimes a friend or family member may be able to provide useful information regarding opportunities.
Newspapers also keep you up-to-date on which companies are moving into the area and which are expanding. You can use this information to apply to those companies directly before they advertise to see if there are any vacancies. Make sure you're prepared that you have your CV in order and have written a tailored covering letter
Word of mouth
Local newspapers have long been a reliable method for uncovering vacancies in the area. Find out which day the local paper comes out and, more importantly, the day it advertises jobs.
Discuss with them the type of work you're looking, your skills and your experience. They may know of a suitable position or have you in mind if anything comes up in the future. They may also be able to put in a good word for you with their own employer.
Networking events, conferences and exhibitions can also prove to be a rich source of new contacts. Before attending any event, you should think about what you want to get from it. You should also take a few copies of your CV along with you.
Once you've made your applications, make sure you keep track of which stage you've reached with each one. This way, you'll be able to follow them up and find out whether you've been successful at the initial stage, and, if not, understand why.
It's also worth noting:
- which recruitment agencies you've contacted and hold relationships with
- which friends have provided useful information
- which companies you've already approached directly
- which job sites have provided relevant jobs, and any outstanding applications to follow up
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