Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Great Big Job Hunt: Part 2 - The Search

What are we all doing with our lives?
What is our path?
What will be our story?


The Great Big Job Hunt: Part 2
The Search 

With an idea of what you want to do it's time to search...

Job Websites:

The Internet is an excellent way to search for positions as there are millions of adverts online, in every sector and all over the world. Job websites are designed to help you on your search, companies and recruitment agencies pay to advertise on them, and many of the sites pull ads from other websites too. It is great one stop shop for positions, although due to the scale of content, they can be a wee bit intense to sift through.

Tips for using job websites:
  1. Set up an account - Some site will not let you apply without an account, and some take application information and contact details out of the ads so that you click on the apply button. This can be annoying, as you may not want to give your details to a job website, but unfortunately this is all part of the Great Job Hunt game. However, there are some benefits, such as being able to create email alerts, save jobs to apply to later, and to see what you have applied for through the website.
  2. Set up email alerts - Email alerts, whilst annoying if you sign up to many sites and thus have a daily bombardment of emails, are very useful. If you know what sort of job you are looking for you can set up alerts, when a new job is uploaded that matches your criteria you will be emailed. This is a useful feature as you can be one of the first to find out about the job and thus be one of the first to apply (some companies start sifting through applications and contacting potential candidates from the first day their ad is out there).
  3. Find the right website/s - There are hundreds of job websites, some are very specific such as Charity Jobs, others are aimed at certain education backgrounds, such as Prospects, and others cover many sectors such as Fish4jobs and Indeed. Pick the sites that work for you, but don't just use one or just stick to a few, use as many that are relevant to you as possible and still use search engines. Advertising can be expensive so recruiters and companies may only advertise on one or two sites. 
  4. Be aware that information may be incorrect - As much as sites will do their best to provide you with the correct information, because many pull jobs from other sites the information can feed through slightly incorrect, and in some cases recruiters do not supply all the information necessary. Its best to take the information from the text itself as this will be wording provided by the recruiter/company. The other highlighted information such as hours, salary, and closing date, that can be found around the text can sometimes be incorrect. If you are unsure try contacting the recruiter, this can be done by googling them to find contact details.

Company and Industry Websites:

As much as job websites are useful one stop shops for applying and general information about finding jobs, if you have an idea about a company you want to work for, or an industry you want to work in it is always better to go to the source. For example if you know that you want to work in Accounting, but you want to work for a trusted and accredited firm why not go through the list of Chartered Accountants on the ICAEW website and research those firms to see if you like them, and if they have any jobs. The same can be done in other sectors too.

Furthermore, if you want to work for the Civil Service, NHS, a council, visit their job pages on their websites. Not all jobs will be advertised on generic job websites as this can be expensive. Companies like to use their own websites as it easier for them. 

Social Media:

As mentioned advertising costs. Many smaller businesses as well as large businesses use their own social media to advertise positions. Using their own accounts is free and their adverts reach people who are genuinely interested in their company, and know something about them. If there is a company you are particularly interested in follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. I do know of someone who gained a career through a company only advertising on social media.


I only recently set up for a LindedIn account so I don't know much myself but I know that some find it very beneficial. I occasionally check it, but only really to see what friends are currently doing. It can be a useful tool to see the career paths of individuals, which might help if you know you want to work in a certain position. The site also allows you to search for positions, like other job websites.

Recruitment Agencies:

I'm haven't had the best of experience with agencies, but I have recently found and am working with one that are very helpful. With agencies it is a bit of trial and error, but they can be a useful companion to your job search.

Key Tips:

  1. Little Information: Recruitment agencies tend to give little information in their ads because they need you to go through them and not go straight to the company to apply. It is how they make their money. It can be annoying as you are applying to a position blind. Though not all recruiters work this way, some give you lots of detail about the position.
  2. Don't get back to you: Recruitment agencies do not also get back to people. They are not the only ones as some companies do it too. This means you may apply for something and never hear back. If you don't hear back it is very likely you have not been shortlisted, but don't be afraid to phone up and check.
  3. Phoning for a chat: You may hear back from the recruitment agency, but they may say you aren't suitable for the position you applied for, then will discuss with you what you are looking for and your skills, and say they will keep you on file. Sadly this doesn't always mean anything, I am supposedly on file with a number of agencies, but have never heard back from them. However I believe if you are keen to work with them, it might just take a bit of pestering and chasing to get them on your side.
  4. Closing Dates?: I'm not sure about every agency but many I have interacted with have little information about a closing date. This is because they are usually hired by companies to fill a position quickly. If you see an ad that you are interested in that is advertised by a recruitment agency, I would suggest phoning up before you apply to check that the position isn't already shortlisted or filled, and to introduce yourself to the recruiter.
  5. Stay committed to yourself: Recruitment agency will try and offer you anything and they can be pushy. Stay true to yourself, if you know you don't want to do a certain job then don't do it. If they want you to do something on a certain day you can't tell them, and give them other options. Do what you think is right, don't be pushed. 
  6. Signing Up: Some agencies will make you fill in lengthy forms to sign up to them, others won't. This is part of the process, but don't worry if you are asked if you have signed up to others, you can sign up to as many as you like.

Dealing with recruitment agencies is a bit of a game. It took me some time to learn how they work and to find one that I like working with. Hopefully these tips will help you when interacting with them.

Print Media:

It may be on the decline, but print media such as Newspapers and Magazines are still a useful tool in you Job Hunting belt. If you are looking for something in your area why not try the job pages in your local newspaper. Whilst online you can search by location, some clients do pay to advertise more widely and thus results can pull in positions not actually in your area. With paper adverts someone based in Scotland is unlikely to advertise their position in a Cornwall paper, especially as print advertising can be expensive.

As well as newspapers, magazines and career specific publications are great for looking for a job as they target a certain audience.

Socialising and Surroundings:

Whilst The Great Big Job Hunt can feel like a full time job in its own right, don't forget to make time to see people and get outdoors. Sometimes when you least expect it and when you aren't really looking opportunities can arise.

  • Windows: Many places still advertise positions in their shop windows and office windows. Keep an eye out when you are out and about for such opportunities. This is how I got my first job after university.
  • People in the know: Getting out of the house/flat and meeting people can help with your search whether planned or not. A friend of a friend might work in the business you are looking to get into and might help you with some contacts, or others might know of an opening at a company and might be able to recommend you. I went to some birthday drinks once and it turned out someone lived with some flat mates who worked in the industry I was looking to get into and they offered to pass on my details. Nothing may come out of such meetings but sometimes something might, and knowing someone in the industry or at a company can be a great first foot in the door.
  • People have ideas - It is important to not shut yourself away. Discussing things with others can be a great help. They may have ideas about what careers you could do, they may be able to help get work experience, and they may just be good to bounce ideas off. 


If you have any questions regarding any part of this weeks topic or anything else, feel free to leave a comment.

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