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Searching for Jobs

Building your Network

Less than 20% of jobs are advertised anywhere because the cost of recruitment advertising is too high for many companies. These vacancies which are unadvertised are in the ‘hidden jobs market’, you can tap into this market through networking.

Keep up with everyone that you know. Email your contacts and make sure that they are aware that you are unemployed. There is no shame in it and you never know what opportunities your friends and connections may have for you, but if you don’t ask then you won’t find out about these opportunities.

Take every opportunity you can to meet people. This could be through professional networking events but it doesn’t have to be. Utilise any social opportunities you have, such as clubs, societies, parties etc. As they say, it’s not what you know, but who you know.

Use social networking sites. Social networking makes it quick and easy to meet people in an online setting. LinkedIn is a professional network designed for the purpose of meeting people, sharing ideas and posting jobs. Twitter is good for networking with companies and keeping up to speed with news from certain industries.

Looking for Jobs

There are many places to look for jobs now, so make sure you examine all of them:

  • Sector magazines. Most career sectors have a magazine where you can learn about the key players and issues in the industry.
  • Newspapers. Some jobs are still being advertised in newspapers. Ensure you get up early so that you can get information about jobs in your area before anyone else.
  • Windows. Shops and cafes will often advertise vacancies in their window because this is cheaper than recruiting on a website. When you go inside make sure you smile, talk to them politely and don’t look scruffy and unkempt. Hand them a CV that isn’t crumpled if possible.
  • Jobs websites: There are many websites advertising jobs, from listings on news websites, like the Guardian or the Times, to recruitment websites like www.reed.co.uk and Universal Jobsmatch. Just be careful as occasionally you will see bogus ads claiming that you will make lots of money with no experience or asking for your bank details, if something seems too good to be true then it’s probably fake.
  • Recruitment agencies. There are a number of agencies, some are focused in particular areas, sectors or industries and may also provide candidates with additional support in their job search
  • Social media.LinkedIn is a great resource for finding jobs with plenty of recruiters to connect with and jobs advertised. TwitJobSearch.com is a great resource for finding jobs related to a particular job title, industry or location; you don’t need a Twitter account to use it.
  • Networking. Take every opportunity to network and make connections, both online through LinkedIn and Twitter and in person at events, conferences, even dinner parties and social gatherings.

Using social media in your Job Search

Social media is an effective tool for keeping up with friends and contacts, but it can also be used to find and apply for jobs. Employers often look on people who use social media more highly, and some employers only post jobs on social media, so if you don’t tap into this hidden jobs market you could be missing out on a tonne of opportunities. Here is how to use these sites in your job search:

  • LinkedIn. This is the most obvious place to start if you wish to use social media for job search as it is specifically designed for professionals and jobseekers. There are job adverts posted on the site, but it is also really good for networking and finding companies that might be able to offer you a job! Creating a really good LinkedIn profile can act as an online CV, and can help to showcase your skills and experience and increase your chances of getting head hunted. Looking at LinkedIn regularly will help you to keep in contact with everyone in your network and learn about new opportunities through contacts.
  • Twitter. Being on Twitter will tell employers that you are in touch with the world. You can follow companies in your industry and keep up to date with current affairs and the latest developments in your industry. Tweeting about these things yourself will help to tell employers that you are knowledgeable about the industry and have a thoughtful and inquisitive personality. Also, thousands of jobs are posted on Twitter every day, so it can really pay off to follow companies and see what they are up to. The website TwitJobSearch.com allows you to search Twitter for jobs according to industry, location and level of experience, you don’t need to have a Twitter account to use it!
  • Google Plus. This is relatively new on the scene, but it is linked to the world’s most powerful search engine so having a strong Google Plus profile will give you a powerful internet presence and increase the likelihood of getting head hunted. You can put up similar information to what you can with a LinkedIn profile but you are not restricted in who you can send messages to and add to your circle. However, this of course means that you need to be careful about the information you put on there, and although it’s a powerful networking tool it’s not as useful as LinkedIn for searching for companies and jobs.
  • Facebook. Many employers may regard being on the world’s most visited website as essential. Facebook is maybe not as effective for job search as some of the other sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, however you might hear about opportunities through your friends and can use it to ask your friends if they know of any jobs in their company. Unless an employer states that you need to be on Facebook, it is best to keep Facebook separate from your other networks and make sure you use the highest security settings possible so that employers cannot access photos or statuses that could damage their impression of you.
  • YouTube. If you are looking for a job in the media industry or for large multinational companies, then having a presence on YouTube is usually a good idea. This helps to demonstrate your creativity. Creating a video CV using a web cam can demonstrate to employers that you are professional and articulate without them having to call you in for interview.
  • Blogs. If you have knowledge and interest in a particular area, then a blog is the perfect opportunity to show case your knowledge. It’s also a good way to build a base of followers and get noticed by potential employers, as well as being something you can put on your CV to demonstrate your knowledge and ability.

For support in finding employment please register for our Skills Support for Jobseekers programme, or use the contact form below to request more information.

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